The first race of the weekend for the Help for Heroes Gig Rowing Team – the veterans race – got underway in tough conditions with a decent swell, steady rain and fog closing in. The warm up was the row from St Mary’s to the start line at St Agnes where the men got their first taste of the sea state leaving the harbour and rounding the corner of the quay. Spirits were high and determination obvious.
Seventy boats set off for the two mile row on starters orders; some hadn’t made it to the line fast enough and were automatically disqualified. The Help for Heroes crew got stuck into a steady pace, avoiding the gig pile up that was taking place between four teams who hadn’t managed to navigate the large orange marker buoy.
With sea spray and rain becoming distracting ,a few strokes were dropped here and there but not enough to cause a problem and the team persisted. Up at the front reigning champions Falmouth had pulled away and went on to cross the line first in Grosvenor but Help for Heroes fought on. They crossed the line to cheers from spectators and their peers in surrounding gigs.
Team member Huw Ingram said: “It was a marvellous experience in unusual conditions that we’ve never experienced before. I was extremely proud that we achieved not only finishing the race but not finishing it last! We’re feeling hopeful for the next few races and we know that we can improve with each race.”
Official standings are yet to be released but the view from the water…not first, but not last by a few. The lads are proud of their achievement and raring to go for the next races.
Keep up to speed with the team's progress and show your support by following @PlymouthRC and @H4H_SR.