Clevedon Support Exmouth Club Launch
A group of supporters headed back down the M5 to Exmouth on Saturday 22nd March plus ‘Watch and Pray’ towed courtesy of Rob and Debs. This was Exmouth’s Big Day, officially launching the Club to the Town and with a blessing of their newly refurbished gig, but the opportunity was taken to add a few rows of our own before the formalities.
Once again the weather defied the forecast with the morning sunny and warm allowing two hour-long sessions before a lunch break. After nearly four months of problems with Clevedon’s slipway access it was a welcome experience to be back on the briny, although on a falling tide care had to be taken in avoiding the Exe estuary sandbars, a bit of added spice for coxes. Gary, Rob and Sarah Shopland. On the full ebb some really strong rowing was needed to keep headway, very much equal in strength to the Channel flow off Clevedon.
After a further rowing session ‘Watch and Pray’ was taken to the main beach for the ceremonials. Representatives from several other Clubs attended, including Sidmouth, Teignmouth, Dart, Lyme Regis and Looe. Teign had set out to row a gig to Exmouth but the strengthening n.westerly meant they had to abandon the attempt and turn back off Dawlish.
Exmouth’s ‘new’ gig (ex-‘Helford’ of Helford Gig Club) has been repainted in a striking orange, complete with matching orange oar blades, and re-named ‘Rodney Bey’ from local roots. Following a blessing by the local vicar, Ben Atkinson made a short speech, including an appreciation of his introduction and apprenticeship to the sport with Clevedon and their help and support in setting up the new Club. With a representative crew, including Martin Salisbury and coxed by Gary Simons, ‘Rodney Bey’ then took to the water for a brief row.
Particularly as their Club grows, we have an open invitation to go down and help them row and, only an hour from Clevedon, this is sure to become a popular destination, with or without our own gigs.
PS. Always advisable to make sure you take Martin Salisbury along as essential crew to help navigate the buoyage and sandbanks of the Estuary!