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Gig rowing challenge looms on horizon for Appledore ladies

10:11 17 September 2013

The Appledore rowers heading out to the Bar Buoy during training for their channel crossing. Pic: Andrew Hobbs

The Appledore rowers heading out to the Bar Buoy during training for their channel crossing. Pic: Andrew Hobbs

(c) Andrew Hobbs Photography 2013

The team from Appledore Pilot Gig Club have already raised more than £5,000 towards a new gig boat ahead of the channel crossing next month.

A GROUP of intrepid gig rowers have already raised more than half their £10,000 total as they countdown to their channel crossing challenge next month.

The ladies from Appledore Pilot Gig Club will be rowing the English Channel while trying to raise the money for a new gig boat, and have now raised around £5,100.

Naomi Cudmore, the lead fundraiser from the group, said Tesco Bideford had offered to support the row and supply food for the weekend challenge.

She said: “There are lots of things which seem to have appeared on everyone’s lists – bananas, gel shots and flapjack, for example.

“There’s nothing like being in a traditional boat which is such a wonderful part of our coastal heritage. The sport is growing fast and that is why we are raising funds for a new training gig.”

As well as fundraising for the new gig, the seven rowers and one cox are hoping to donate a percentage to Brain Tumour Research, after one of the ladies benefitted from cutting-edge surgery to remove a rare brain tumour in January.

The team is currently looking for a title sponsor, who would like to put their name to the challenge and have the honour of naming the new gig boat.

Ladies captain, Natasha Acres, said: “It’s an epic challenge but one that we’re all really looking forward to.

“Gig rowing is not for the faint-hearted at the best of times as we’re often racing in choppy seas, but to row in the Channel, so close to some of the mega-ships out there, will be just breathtaking.”

If you’re interested in sponsoring the team, or would like to enquire about bespoke donation – for example, adding someone’s name to the gunwale of the new vessel in their memory – contact Naomi on 01984 641359 or email:

The team’s pledge page and further information can be found at


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