Dart Gig Club’s Under 16s County Championships were a great success, with their girls team beating all other female crews. 

The Club’s Under 16’s competed in the Cornish Pilot Gig Association U16’s National Championships on Saturday August 13th.

A spokesperson for the club said: “This is a special event allowing junior rowers to enter as all boys, mixed or all girls crews. Dart entered an all girl crew for this competition.”

Making up the team were: Neve Blair, Flo Cooper, Lily Abbot, Romy Saltmarsh, Mabel Abbot and Emma Eggleton.

The spokesperson added: “(The girls) have grown up through the club and were keen to row together for this final competition of the year.”

 The competition was held in Newquay, Cornwall, and the races were an exciting watch: “After a delayed start of over two hours due to choppy conditions the heats eventually got underway. 16 crews took part in the first round which was spread over three heats. The first four boats from each heat progressed to the semi-finals, and the remaining four competed in a plate final. The all-girls Dart crew raced in heat two in the red and white boat Troy. They got off to a difficult start after Mount’s Bay collided with their stroke side and preventing them from rowing.  Dart girls spent most of the first leg in 6th place. Then a smart move from their cox on the first buoy saw them move into third place where they put considerable distance on the other crews to qualify for the semi-finals.

The semi-finals were an equally impressive watch: “In the semi-finals Dart battled and finished ahead of the next all girls crew from St Mary’s by 40 seconds. However they were unable to beat the boys in their heat to qualify for the final. 

Overall, this means that the Dart girls finished in 9th place, which was the highest place of all girls’ boats, thus crowning them the U16 Girls Cornish Pilot Gig National Champions. 

This is a particularly significant achievement given that the Dart girls are an under 15s crew crew, and it means that they can race in the championships again next year. 

Junior captain and cox Jonny Holmes said “Our Dart Junior squad has gone from strength to strength this year. Their achievements in the U14 and U16 championships are true testament to the hard work, commitment and talent of the girls and boys in the squad. I would also like to thank my fellow coaches, Peta Chivers and Bev Worthington for their time and commitment.  Our U16 crew are the first Devon based boat to win the Girls Cornish Pilot Gig Association National Championship and we are very proud of them.”

Dart gig club are a modern Gig Rowing Club based in Dartmouth. The club is run by volunteers, who all give their time for free, and hope to make the sports as inclusive as possible.

The club, which has British Rowing qualified coaches,  try to keep membership fees low to encourage all generations to get involved with their club and take up rowing. They currently have over a hundred members ranging in age from 11 to 77.