The Gig Rowing ‘County’ Championships held at Newquay are the pinnacle of the racing season; this year saw 96 crews battle it out in a knock out style competition held over two days.
All of the crews enter the brutal first round, raced in heats of six boats, with only the first three across the line progressing in the competition.
This year Ilfracombe showed their strength as a club with both their A and B crews making the cut, and Appledore A looked very strong winning their heat impressively.
The second round sees the same system cut the number of crews again, Ilfracombe B lost out but Ilfracombe A qualified in third spot and Appledore claimed second in their heat to secure places in the top 24.
The quarter finals are timed meaning the only guaranteed spots in the semi's go to first in each heat, the remaining places going to the fastest losers. Ilfracombe finished fifth in a time of 14.07 minutes which wasn't fast enough to qualify. Appledore finished third in 13.57 minutes, which after an anxious wait, secured them a spot in the semi-finals by a margin of one second.
The Appledore crew weren't content to be the slowest in the top 12 however, in a storming race they convincingly beat both Cattewater and Mounts Bay to claim fourth place.
They were also faster than two boats in the other semi final and that meant they earnt an overall finishing position of eighth and were just seven seconds off the coveted final.