ILFRACOMBE crews achieved North Devon’s best ever results at the Men’s Newquay National Gig Championships at the weekend, battling in completely different weather conditions on the two days.

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Ilfracombe’s A and B crews both made progress through their opening heats in good conditions on Saturday

Their second heats saw Ilfracombe B makegood progress to finish fourth while Ilfracombe A had a hard-fought race that included home crew Newquay, but battled to the end and qualified for the quarter finals - the only North Devon crew to do so.

Sunday brought heavy rain and strengthening wind as the day progressed. But Ilfracombe mastered the conditions, overtaking Fowey and Truro and were gaining on Looe and Charlestown. With mere seconds between all the boats at the finish, all three got through to the semi-finals.

Ilfracombe had an amazing semi-final in tough conditions, but none of the boats in this second semi-final - rowed in worsening conditions - got through to the final, as places were decided on times.

World champions Falmouth ran out the overall winners, but Ilfracombe was the only non-Cornish club in the top 20!, the A crew of Keith Barclay, Stuart Dagley, John Stanbury, Jason Chubb, Jack Turner, Andy Leer and cox Nell Trotter finishing 12th and the B crew comprising Stuart Cansfield, Ian Halls, Graham Watson, Dave Schiller, Jeremy Webb, Barry Turner and Nell Trotter in 32nd.

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