Traditional fixed seat rowing boats gather in Bembridge Harbour

Despite the Bembridge Gig Fest being cancelled when Coronavirus restrictions were extended, the event weekend of 10 – 11 July saw rowers from four mainland clubs and the Island’s own Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club gathering informally in Bembridge Harbour.

The Thames Barbarians, London Cornish and Lewes Pilot Gig Clubs launched from Eastney and rowed two 30’ gigs across the Solent on Friday, with other club members making their way by ferry.  Three more gigs from the Tudor Sailing Club joined in for a day trip from Portsmouth on Saturday – two hours plus of rowing each way.

More than 50 rowers were involved, with fun races including 2km sprints, and a timed course from Silversands Beach around St Helens Fort and back, with Mixed, Ladies and Men’s crews.  Social rows allowed crews to try out different boats and see a bit of area at a more leisurely pace.

Everyone agreed there is huge potential for a great event next year when, having been cancelled in 2019 and 2020 due to Covid, it will be a case of third time lucky.

For more information on the 2022 event:

Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club welcomes new rowers, with or without experience, for taster rows out of Yarmouth Harbour –   


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