Ilfracombe men’s and ladies’ crews fastest at Appledore

Ilfracombe's 'Raparee' crew took first place at this weekend's annual Appledore History Race.

A historical gig race first raced in 1880, it is a gruelling race of 4.5 miles where men's, ladies' and mixed crews all race together.

Rapparee and Verbena set the early pace, with Rogue hot on their tails. The arduous first leg saw a few clashes of oars but by half way the boats had spread out and the crews were all battling their nearest rivals.

By the turn Rapparee had the lead over Verbena and went on to take the win with a very strong performance.

Ilfracombe men's A crew of David Waters, Keith Barclay, Ian Halls, John Stanbury, Andy Lear, Jeremy Webb and Barry Turner retained the trophy for another year.

The first of the ladies were Ilfracombe ladies A, who beat some men's teams, and Ilfracombe ladies B won the battle of the heavier plastic gigs.

The trophy has a pound embedded in it to symbolise the original race, when Captain Hare, owner of the gig 'Swift', challenged the gig 'Siren' to race for the princely sum of £1.