Clovelly Pilot Gig Club emerged victorious from Appledore’s Estuary Race on Wednesday.

Appledore Estuary Race 2018. Picture: Beardy/SmileandTurnAppledore Estuary Race 2018. Picture: Beardy/SmileandTurn

The crew of John Keeble, Pat Stubbs, John Rous, Dale Hancock, Roger Heywood, Paul Smale and cox Tom Hapgood won in near perfect conditions, beating eight other crews.

The race, officially known as the Colin Eastman Challenge, commemorates the day in 1926 when a gig crew from Cornwall challenged the best boats at Appledore, with the locals only taking to the water if they were paid a guinea.

Boats competing in the Estuary Race are given a time handicap based on the age and gender of the crew members, and each crew is allowed to choose their own course to and from the Middle Ridge Buoy once out of the start line.

Torridge were the first boat over the line, with the top five all finishing within 20 seconds of each other. After handicaps were taken into account it was Clovelly who were announced as the winners, picking up the trophy which has a guinea set into it.

Appledore Estuary Race 2018. Picture: Beardy/SmileandTurnAppledore Estuary Race 2018. Picture: Beardy/SmileandTurn

Clovelly Pilot Gig Club chairman Paul Smale said: “That was a tough race, and we’re delighted to have won it against good competition.

“Colin does a great job organising the race, and his handicap system means you can never let up – especially when the margins are so tight.”