Porthgain Weekend Away

Monday, 12 September, 2016

The weekend started well – those booked into B&Bs offered their genuine support and encouragement as much of the club battled the wind, rain and failing light to get the tents up at East Farm. It all looked more optimistic from the safety of the Sloop Inn, and sure enough the next day began fair as promised by the weatherman. The surf crashing into whitesands bay put paid to plans to launch from there and row around Ramsey island, however the excellent plan b was to put in at Porthgain and do a long sightseeing row up and down the coast.

Porthgain is a gig rower’s SimCity project : Boatshed, slip, harbour, ocean; then pub and chip shop when you’re done. And not a lot else.

As well as Clevedon and Porthgain, Tamar and our old friends from Bristol and Clifton made for a colourful flotilla of 9 gigs and a very enjoyable and sometimes testing row. The atlantic swell, steep cliffs, islands and wildlife (commentary from Andrew Attenborough-Brown) made up for the lack of slidey-seaters and cheerful heckling that we normally enjoy.

A full welsh breakfast was provided by the caterer back at the farm, after which a few ticket holders trotted off to red bull cliff diving. Having recce’d the blue pool at Aberiddy earlier, the afternoon was also the perfect opportunity to get back in the gig and paddle down to watch the diving (from 85ft) from the sea. By the end the Atlantic swell was huge and widely spaced, combining with very variable chop to make unusual conditions , for us anyway. On the way home we encountered 5 young lads stranded in a rib who had more beer than sense and eventually plucked up the courage to ask for a tow back to Porthgain. Another Clevedon rescue chalked up.

It would have been cheeky not to enjoy the sunshine with the classic pint/ice cream/pint combo before heading back to East Farm.

The barn dance of course was a Porthgain club fundraiser and given numbers – well over a hundred , two hundred?, don’t know – we can be confident their goals were achieved.

Obviously the serious competition was elsewhere that weekend, however a few prizes were up for grabs:

  • Best transport: Myles and Sid
  • Best cowboy boots: James
  • Most red bull consumed: Chris
  • Most high speed non stop conversation: Also Chris
  • Best table football team: Myles and the 4 year old in the dragon onesie