Gig racers' tough charity challenge

Joseph Bulmer

The longest and most gruelling race in the Pilot Gig calendar will take place in the Taw Torridge estuary on September 12 after the organisers have considered the tide tables and tidal conditions. The Two Bridges event is being run by Appledore Pilot Gig

The longest and most gruelling race in the Pilot Gig calendar will take place in the Taw Torridge estuary on September 12 after the organisers have considered the tide tables and tidal conditions.

The Two Bridges event is being run by Appledore Pilot Gig Club in association with Barnstaple Link Rotary Club and will take the gig racers from Bideford, under the Torridge Bridge to the estuary and up the river to the Taw bridge at Barnstaple.

"We have calculated that with a 9am start we will have enough water to run the race beneath the bridges at Bideford and Barnstaple and still be able to run a women's race back from Barnstaple. With luck we should also be able to get a race in for juniors from Appledore to Crow and back", said Len White from the Appledore club.

With the popularity of the sport still growing and more and more North Devon clubs being formed, the organisers are hoping to attract even more crews this year.

"The race has is a major event in the gig calendar, so we attract crews from as far as Bristol," said Len.

The race was originally started by the Rotary club to celebrate the opening of the Taw downstream bridge at Barnstaple.

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