LYME Regis Gig Club elevated their status at the annual World Pilot Gig Racing Championships in the Isles of Scilly, with one of their competitive crews securing two podium finishes and another two crews finishing just outside a medal position.

Lyme took second in the men’s supervets class, 26th in the women’s event and 28th in the men’s.

Competition was as fierce this year as it has ever been, as changes have been made to the running order.

Because of the growing popularity of this event, the organisers have taken measures to cap 2020 entries to one boat per club entered, for safety reasons.

However, were a team to finish in the top three in Ladies or Mens Vets or Supervets events, or the top 12 in the open event, this would entitle them to take a second boat for their club to enter next year, allowing extra club members to secure a racing opportunity.

A different race order for the Vets and SuperVets was also introduced, which meant that to secure a position in the final top three, a qualifying race was held on the Friday evening, to determine the top 12 crews for Saturday morning`s final.

The first qualifying round saw the Ladies Vets race but they finished mid-pack at 24th, so were denied a place in the final.

In the next race, the Ladies’ SuperVets maintained an excellent pace to cross the line in sixth place, in so doing earning themselves a place in the final.

The evening continued with the start of the Men’s Vets and they did not disappoint, after an excellent race they crossed the finish line in fourth place, meaning they were also through to the final.

The last race of the evening saw Lyme’s Super Vets set off, their start did not go according to plan which meant they had to draw on all of their resources to haul their boat into qualifying position.

This they achieved in the first half of the race, gaining an early advantage in an attempt to also secure a top 12 position, which they did, finishing fifth, also elevating themselves into the final.

The first contest for Lyme in the Vets and Supervets finals was the Ladies Supervets, who continued to do well, as their hard work and training through the winter months repaid them with an excellent sixth place overall.

After an impressive final stages contest, Lyme’s Men’s Vets would attempt to improve on their fourth place in the previous heat.

However, they were only just denied a podium position, remaining in fourth place after a close battle with their counterparts.

The last final was the Men’s Supervets and for this race, they executed the perfect start and from around 500 metres out they were in the leading pack, alongside established crews from Falmouth, Helford and Charlestown.

From halfway, Falmouth started to gain a very small advantage, being pushed by the Lyme crew.

Falmouth and Lyme Regis drew ahead of the rest of the pack, with Lyme holding off a challenge from Helford and Charlestown who have always beaten them on previous meetings.

Falmouth secured the win to be crowned World Supervet Champions with Lyme less than a boat length behind them in second.

Following this race was the qualifying stages of the open racing event, and these races would involve 164 on the start line of over a mile wide. From this race, the position of the finishing boats would confirm their group placing in the next heat, before a further two heats to determine final placings.

Going into the final the ladies’ A crew rowed themselves into group C, top 36, and finished just short of a group win and podium visit in 26th place, which is their best ever result.

The ladies’ B crew earned themselves a respectable 72nd overall position, and the ladies’ C boat crossed the line in their category to take a remarkable 76th overall.

In the men’s event, Lyme’s A crew rowed an exceptional race, finishing in 28th, closely followed by their B crew in 34th.

Lyme’s supervets were also in the open race event as their C crew, racing in Bridport’s Blaez, qualified as group E entrants, winning the group, securing another visit to the podium.

There was an early setback for Lyme’s development crew in their first group qualifier, as they were rammed by another boat. That aside, they rowed into group I and were second across the line in their final.

n Lyme Regis Gig Club would like to thank Men's vet and A crew member Ben Short for his part in their winter and on-going training schedule, Mike O'Leary for his valued coaching sessions and to Chris Waller for giving up so much of his time.

Also, the home-based support team and other coaches, sponsors and volunteers.