01/10/2017 Newquay gig rowing season finale

Well done lads! A memorable weekend for Appledore Pilot Gig Club. Seventy-six men's crews from all over the South West took part in the finale to the gig rowing season which is held in Newquay each year. Appledore entered two crews, who both confidently won through the first round of racing on Saturday morning.  The Appledore B crew were happy to end the day with an overall position of 39th, but didn't make the the quarter finals. The A crew fought hard through the rounds on Sunday and were rewarded with a place in the final, an exciting end to the weekend's racing.  Falmouth A rowing in Lark took the trophy in a time of 28.01.02 , six tenths of a second ahead of runners up Caradon A in Hope. The Appledore crew in Merthen came in 6th place in 30.36, the best result in the club's history. 

Local club results: Appledore A - 6, Torridge A - 24, Ilfracombe A - 25, Boscastle A - 26, Appledore B - 39, Barnstaple A - 43, Boscastle B - 45, Ilfracombe B - 47, Bude A - 64.

Appledore Men's A crew
Guy Cooke, Rob Ovenell, Chris Byrom, Jon Johnson, Leigh Marquardt, Tim Tennant. Cox: Zoe Green.

Appledore Mens B crew
Rich Connor, Mark Thomason, Jeremy Beer, Steve Price, Will Knowles, Steve Jarvis. Cox: Linda Stella


24/09/2017 Junior Social at the AquaPark

An end of season social was enjoyed or maybe more endured, by juniors and some seniors on Sunday at the North Devon WakePark. Cold conditions and a lot of rain didn't deter them and they appeared to enjoy themselves although there was a lot of screaming.

The TigerSharks have had an amazing race season and with some recent new recruits and training through the winter we can build on the success and have both U14 and U16 crews raring to go for 2018. Well done you lot, very proud of you all - Julie x


13/08/2017 APGC Pirates Reign at Appledore Carnival

For the fourth year running, APGCs junior rowers have reigned over Appledore Carnival with Ellie Saltearn crowned as this year’s Queen. She is pictured here with previous queens and fellow ‘Pirate’ rowers Mim Keirle, Summer Ford and Ellen Keirle.

The club's carnival entry won them 2nd place, ending a fabulous couple weeks in the village with success in the estuary race along with Ladies A, Mixed Vets, Juniors and Sarah Thomas winning the salmon boat race at Appledore & Instow Regatta events.

Thank you to our rum and lager-fuelled pirates in the stern and the beautifully stylish rowers with new junior Harriet in the bow. Big thank you to Tim, Sarah, Dave, Jo, Angela, Tomo and our creative juniors for putting the float together, Ian for the loan of the music system and to Linda for towing Margaret James for us.

Yo Ho!


23/07/2017 Hayle Cornwall County Under 14 Championships

Six Junior gig rowers from Appledore Pilot Gig Club travelled to Hayle on the North Cornwall coast on Sunday to take part in the Cornwall County Under 14 Championships. Thirty-one crews took part from all over Devon and Cornwall, highlighting the growth of the sport in the South West and making for a tremendous atmosphere. Racing took place in the wonderful estuary setting, where the Copperhouse Pool and River Hayle meet St. Ives Bay.

The Appledore youngsters were joined by an Ilfracombe crew from North Devon, both clubs' members providing each other with massive support throughout the event.

In the first round Appledore won their heat, rowing against Cadgwith C and Rock in a time of 4mins 20 secs, with Ilfracombe also scoring the same time. In the second round Appledore took first place against Cadgwith C and Dart, this time in 4mins 04 secs, although Ilfracombe narrowly lost out in a time of 4mins 16 secs .

In the Quarter Finals the Appledore youngsters found themselves in a very strong group along with Coverack A and Cadgwith B. The Appledore Juniors came in second, only 13 seconds behind Coverack A who went on to become runners up in the Championship trophy behind the winners from Rame.

To come in overall 9th position out of 31 crews in their first ever championship regatta, is a result to be very proud of and testament to the hard work they have put into training at home on the Torridge estuary.


08/07/2017 Clovelly Regatta

Appledore were thrilled to come out as race champions in Clovelly. The mens A crew rowing in 'Verbena' once again scored maximum points for a second week. Can they repeat their success at the Torridge regatta to be held in Appledore this Sunday 16th July to make it three local events in a row?

Maximum points were also scored by the Appledore Junior Under 14s (Ellen, Summer, Rory, Mim, Ellie and Joel), making a significant contribution to the overall total.

The Appledore Ladies A took 2nd place, Ladies B 3rd and Ladies Vets 2nd.

Then Mens B came 4th and the Mens Vets 9th.

The Under 16s were represented by Caitlin who magnificently stroked a mixed club boat. With so many Appledore members in attendance the ladies were able to field a 3rd crew, giving Candy and Rhiannon the chance to row in their first competitive races.

The icing on the cake came when 'Verbena' won the final non-scoring Barbarians race, enabling the Appledore boat to be towed up Clovelly's famous steep hill first.


01/07/2017 Appledore Pilot Gig Annual Regatta

With 10 trophies up for grabs, this year's annual Appledore Pilot Gig Club regatta was always going to inspire some exhilarating racing.

The local clubs turned out in force, under blue skies, with excellent sea conditions. Generous sponsorship from local businesses and a PA system provided by 'Over and Above' all helped to make the event a success.

A start and finish line in front of the quay afforded a perfect opportunity for spectators to see at close quarters the skill and power of the rowers and the fiercely competitive focus that drives them through a race. However it was the buoy turns further out to sea that provided the most drama and where vital points were lost or won. Crews in both the mens and ladies races were disqualified, promoted or demoted by the race umpire, after clashing oars and impeding other boats, as they attempted to execute the tightest turns.

The first win of the day went to Ilfracombe in the Ladies A race, followed by Appledore in the Mens A. The Appledore Ladies won their B race and Boscastle collected the Mens B trophy. The Ladies Vets race was won by Torridge and the Mens Vets by Ilfracombe. Ilfracombe were also winners of the mixed race and took the Championship trophy by a narrow 1 point margin over Torridge.

The Junior races were very well supported, with young rowers representing Appledore, Bude, Torridge, Barnstaple, Ilfracombe and Boscastle. At U14 Bude and Appledore fielded full crews, while Torridge and Barnstaple combined. In the U16 race Ilfracombe, Boscastle, Appledore and Barnstaple all entered teams. The Juniors fought close races, demonstrating all the effort and training they have been putting in over the months. Bude were winners of the U14 trophy, while Ilfracombe were victors at U16.

Participating Clubs: Appledore, Barnstaple, Boscastle, Bude, Ilfracombe, Torridge.


17/06/2017 Ilfracombe Regatta 2017

The rowers of Appledore had a very successful and enjoyable day in Ilfracombe. Scoring consistently well in each race put them in 3rd place overall, only 2 points behind Lyme Regis. The best results came from the Ladies A and B crews and the Men's Supervets, who all came 2nd. For other crews, a buoy turn relatively close to the start produced some exciting clashes of oars, whilst adding to the thrill of the chase, it also resulted in the loss of some valuable race order positions.

Appledore were particularly proud of their Junior crews. Eight youngsters took part, six made up a complete under 14 crew, who rowed in 'Verbena', for the first time in the open sea. Two of the under 16 members joined three Barnstaple rowers and one from Ilfracombe to make a combined team in 'Nipper'. Photos here:

Club Chair Angela Valentini said "I have great respect for all of our participating juniors, it was a joy to watch them compete."


10/06/2017 Two Bridges Race 2017

After two weeks of cancelled Cornish regattas due to poor sea conditions, the gig rowers of North Devon were eager to get out on the water. The annual 'Two Bridges' event between Bideford and Barnstaple new bridges on Saturday gave the local clubs the opportunity to use up their excess energy.

The race consists of a 12 km row from Bideford to Barnstaple for the men, with the Ladies' crews rowing the return 10 km from Barnstaple back to the quay in Appledore. With light rain falling and a humid, windless atmosphere, the prospect of rowing the long distance presented as much a mental battle as a physical one. Rowing against the tide and river flows in the Torridge and Taw was also a challenge for the coxes, who had to keep their crews motivated when they seemed to be making little headway against the strong currents.

Once again it was Appledore's turn to dominate this local derby. The Appledore Men's A crew took 1st place in Verbena, with Torridge in 2nd place in Will to Win. In the Ladies' race Appledore A crew were winners in Whitford, with Ilfracombe in 2nd place in Rapparee.

Participating Clubs: Appledore (Whitford, Verbena), Barnstaple (Lady Freda, Nipper), Ilfracombe (Rapparee), Torridge (Will to Win).

Mens Winning Crew - Appledore A: Will Knowles, Rob Ovenell, Steve Price, Guy Cooke, Leigh Marquardt, Chris Byrom. Cox Linda Stella. Ladies Winning Crew - Appledore A: Zoe Green, Yvette Parkin, Zoe Sims, Sarah Thomas, Emily Lea, Lucy Chapman. Cox Mark Thomason. Photos here:


27/05/2017 Appledore History Race 2017

Appledore's famous History Race took place on Saturday 27th May. The evening race was supported by six local clubs, with eleven crews taking part. It is a challenging distance of around 6 miles from Appledore Quay down the Torridge to the Middle Ridge marker buoy and back.

With the full width of the Estuary and Skern to manouevre, the line taken by the boats often plays a crucial part. Coxes try to use the fast currents and flat water areas to their advantage. This year was made even more exciting with the incoming tide and swell creating waves, which a skilful cox can use to surf their boat home.

Gig boats lined up across the estuary as a sailing race was about to take place, creating a colourful spectacle at the start. As the boats headed out to sea, it was the Torridge men who took the lead. They kept their position right up until the final 250m, unable to shake off a chasing Appledore crew who turned on the power and crossed the finish line first. Both rowers and spectators enjoyed the thrill of the close finish, unusual for a race lasting the best part of an hour.

The event originated in the 1930's when there were still six working pilot gigs on the Torridge. Rival gigs Siren and Endeavour challenged each other to a race for a £1 wager. In 2008 Appledore Pilot Gig Club took ownership of a training boat and named her Siren to maintain the historical connection; the race is now an annual event, a £1 coin the focal point of the winner's trophy.

Participating Clubs: Appledore, Barnstaple, Boscastle & Crackington Haven, Bude, Clovelly, Torridge. Photos here:

1st Appledore (Verbena)

1st Bude (Barrel Rock)


20/05/2017 Zennor Regatta . . . Is this Appleridge or Torridore?

This Saturday, Appledore and Torridge Pilot Gig Clubs joined forces for an oustanding all-round performance at Zennor Regatta near Newlyn, Penzance.

Against the dramatic backdrop of St. Michael's Mount and in near-perfect conditions, the North Devon crews delivered consistently across all classes. Seventeen clubs took part, with rowers eager to prove their worth in Cornish water, after boats had been delivered back from the Scillies World Championships.

First to race were the Ladies' A crew who took 3rd place, followed by the Ladies' B crew who came 6th. The Men's A team also took 3rd place. The Ladies' Vets boat and the Mixed crew both recorded 2nd places. The honour of 'oars up' at the finish, to signify a win, went to the Men's B and the Men's Vets crews. As the points were added up the clubs' members were thrilled to discover they had been placed 3rd overall.

The Chairs of Appledore and Torridge Gig Clubs said "Putting together a joint squad was really good fun and we certainly did the village of Appledore proud."

Local clubs will be racing closer to home this Saturday 27th May, when Appledore Gig Club hosts its annual 'History Race' starting from the Quay at 6.30pm.

Zennor Regatta Results
Ladies A - 3rd in Verbena (Winners - Mounts Bay in Taran)
Ladies B - 6th in Verbena (Winners - Mounts bay in Taran)
Mens A - 3rd in Verbena (Winners - Mounts Bay in Taran)
Mens B - 1st in Verbena
Mixed - 2nd in Verbena (Winners - Coverack in Lark)
Mens Vets - 1st in Verbena
Ladies Vets - 2nd in Whitford


30/04/2017 Sensational Scillies For Appledore!

Appledore Pilot Gig Club recorded its best ever results this year. Sea conditions ranged from flat calm under a blue sky to high winds and a rough choppy swell, testing every aspect of the rowers and coxes ability.

A thrilled Appledore Ladies A crew proved they are up there with the best, coming in 15th out of 142 teams, over two days of racing. Ladies A crew - Zoe Sims, Lucy Chapman, Carol Norman, Emily Campbell Jones, Sarah Thomas and Zoe Green. Cox Mark Thomason. The Ladies B were 71st, Ladies C 123rd. The two Appledore Mens crews battled it out in the same group, pushing each other as far as they could up the table, recording results of 54th and 57th. The Ladies Vets crew came in 29th.

This year for the first time the Supervets had their own race slot, where Appledore Ladies took 8th place in a field of  30 and the Mens crew came 5th. Photos here:


Winners - Caradon - Ann Glanville
15th Appledore - Whitford
27th Ilfracombe - Rapparee
51st  Torridge - Kerens
71st Appledore - Verbena
88th Barnstaple - Nipper
95th Torridge - Will to Win
99th Ilfracombe - Rogue
108th Clovelly - Christine H
118th Barnstaple - Lady Freda
123rd Appledore - Daedalus

Winners - Falmouth - Black Rock
25th Ilfracombe - Rapparee
28th Torridge - Will to Win
38th Torridge - Kerens
54th Appledore - Whitford
57th Appledore - Verbena

80th Ilfracombe - Rogue
84th Barnstaple - Lady Freda
104th Barnstaple - Nipper
116th Clovelly - Christine H

Winners - Netherlands - Zeeheld
11th Torridge - Kerens
14th Ilfracombe - Rapparee
29th Appledore - Whitford
34th Barnstaple - Nipper
40th Clovelly - Christine H
42nd Torridge - Will to Win

Winners -  Mounts Bay - Kensa
8th Appledore - Verbena
21st Ilfracombe - Rogue

Winners - Caradon - Ann Glanvile
15th Ilfracombe - Rapparee
38th Torridge - Kerens
Barnstaple - Nipper Disq

Winners - Helford - Helford
5th Appledore - Verbena
6th Torridge - Will to Win
25th Ilfracombe - Rogue


08/04/2017 North Coast League

The last race of the North Coast Gig League took place on Saturday 8th April. Many thanks go to Torridge Pilot Gig Club whose efforts have kept us all fit and hungry for a win during the winter months. They also put on a fabulous evening of music and dancing to celebrate the end of this successful new event.

The Appledore Ladies particularly, put up a great show of strength over the months. Captain Sarah T reported that roughly 25 ladies had taken part, with at least 11 at some point rowing as part of the A crew. Congratulations to The Ladies A and the Ladies B squads who amassed enough points to be declared North Coast League Winners and take the trophy in both categories. The Ladies Vets came in a brilliant 3rd overall.

The Mens teams didn't fare so well, but a magnificent commitment from the dedicated few kept them in the points and meant they had some fantastic sustained race training. Men's A joint 5th, Men's B 6th, Men's Vets 5th.

Appledore Junior rowers also had the chance to take part, giving them valuable experience and the excitement of racing.

The club's coxes seized the opportunity to practise their skills, enjoying the challenge of some cunning tactical manoeuvring. Congratulations to Steve Jarvis who coxed his first race.


04/03/2017 Three Rivers Race Saturday 4th

This 5 mile race starts under the iconic Tamar Bridge and Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge and takes in the rivers Tamar, Tavy and Lynher. It is particularly important as it marks the start of the gig racing season and is the only chance many crews will get to see their rivals before the World Championships in the Scilly Isles on 28th April. As one of the largest events in the gig rowing calendar, hosts Caradon Gig Club welcomed 80 boats from 46 clubs. The figure of 8 course is a great test of fitness and endurance, after the winter indoor training sessions, and a spur to focus on improving techniques and stamina.

Conditions on the water were relatively calm, with boats divided into timed groups. The race format gives plenty of opportunity for crews to chase down leading boats, and a chance for coxes to fine tune their skills by either picking the best line between the buoys or denying other teams the chance.

Local honours this year went to Appledore Ladies A crew rowing in Whitford, who came in a fantastic 13th place in a time of 59 min 09 secs.

In the men's race Ilfracombe's A crew in Raparee came out top of the local table in 17th place in a time of 52 min 50secs.

Look out for boats racing along the quay in Appledore at the next North Coast Gig League event on Saturday 25th March.
Photo (above): Mens boats heading for the start line, dwarfed by the bridges. Results:


21/01/2017 North Coast Pilot Gig League

Great turn out from club rowers on Saturday, although most of us weren't sure if we were rowing or auditioning for a part in 'Scott of the Antarctic'! Some members even came along just to cheer everyone on, which was greatly appreciated. Tony Masterchief came in his special thermal dufflecoat, however we were disappointed that he had no marmalade sandwiches in his pockets! Hats off to Torridge who did a great job keeping everything moving as fast as possible and everyone supplied with delicious hot drinks and food. Lovely to see familiar faces from as far away as Bristol and Rock, with 8 clubs taking part.Full Results can be found on the Facebook site North Coast Pilot Gig League. Appledore Ladies A won their race, the Ladies B crew came in 2nd - a fantastic debut race for Nicola, the Ladies Vets were 5th. Well done to all the men, many of whom rowed in several races, with a freeze, thaw, freeze thaw, go to the pub race plan. Mens A 5th, Mens B 6th, Mens Vets 4th.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the next league meeting.


24/12/2016 Santa Row

After being escorted across the road by Car Park Supremo Masterchief Tony and under the watchful eye of President Santa Len from his snow mobile on the slipway, 9 Senior Santas, 5 Junior Santas and 2 Reindeer coxes enjoyed their annual Christmas Eve row. The traditional route consists of a trip around the lifeboat, followed by a raid on Instow Beach to surprise the dog walkers and partake in some festive refreshments. This year everyone managed to stay dry, despite some tricky coxing to get the boats on and off the sand in a cross wind. Great fun! Click here to see photos.


09/12/2016 Christmas Party

The club's Christmas party and award ceremony took place at Appledore Football Club, with everyone bringing stacks of tasty food and the bar was open.

Older members were very impressed when the Junior contingent made a collective speech led by Caitlin thanking all those who had helped them get out onto the water during the year. The Junior Rower of the Year trophy was awarded to Summer Ford.

Trophies and certificates were presented to Senior members of the club for serious contributions both to the club and rowing as well as the usual humorous selection. The 'Mens Rower of the Year' award went to Jeremy Beer and the 'Ladies Rower of The Year' award to Lucy Routley. Other noteworthy accolades went to Paul Morris for the massive hours of work he puts in to maintaining the boats and the President's Trophy was awarded to Naomi Marley for her wonderful fund raising efforts.

The fancy dress contingent put on an impressive nativity tableau including a baby, Mary, Joseph, cow, sheep, shepherd, angels and kings. Click here to see photos.


03/09/2016 Pilot Gig Clubs Fly the Flag for Devon in London's Great River Race

Two crews from Appledore rowing in Siren and Margaret James, two from Torridge in Will-to-Win and Kerens, a crew from Clovelly in Christine H and a crew from Ilfracombe rowing in Rogue took part in the 21.6 mile London's Great River Race on Saturday.

The race, in its 29th year, starts from Milwall and winds its way up the Thames, passing under 28 bridges before finishing at Ham. This year, as well as getting a river's eye view of all London's famous landmarks, the crews were able to see the extraordinary representation of the 17th century City skyline moored on huge barges near Blackfriars Bridge, due to be set alight on Sept 4th to mark the 350th Anniversary of the Great Fire of London.

The race is open to any traditional or traditional-style boat, powered by a minimum of 4 oars or paddles; sliding seats and riggers are not allowed. Each boat must be coxed and in keeping with the Watermen's ancient traditions as the taxi drivers of the Thames, must carry a passenger. 

331 boats took part this year; along with 43 Cornish Pilot Gigs were Dragon Boats, Thames Waterman Cutters, Celtic Longboats, Skiffs, Seine Boats, Whale Boats from Holland (including a 12-oared monster, rowed by the Royal Netherlands Naval College), Hawaiian Outriggers and even an 8-oared Lifeboat (to name just a few).

The event has a real carnival atmosphere,  as the rowers are cheered along the course by large crowds on the bridges. Some travel at a measured pace to save the blisters on their hands from growing ever bigger! Others fight for a prized trophy, paddling at speed often to the beat of a drum. The slowest boats start first and the fastest last. If all things were equal under the handicap system then they would all cross the finish line together. Of course, this never happens, but it makes for a great spectacle at the finish as the fastest catch up with the slowest in a splendid celebration of traditional boating.

Photos: Appledore  Margaret James and Siren, Clovelly Christine H, Ilfracombe Rogue, Netherlands Navy. Click here to see photos.



Carnival Queens all at Sea / Carnival Success with The Tiger Sharks

Appledore Carnival Queen 2016, 10 year old Mim Kierle, followed tradition yesterday, leading the procession through the village in the giglet 'Blanche'. Following behind were her U14 crew mates and friends from Appledore Tiger Sharks, dressed as Vikings, in the full size 30ft gig boat 'Margaret James'. Mim trains at Appledore Pilot Gig Club alongside her sister Ellen and Summer Ford who have held the Carnival Queen honour in previous years. They are hoping to be in action this Saturday at Torridge Regatta.

Photos: Caitlin with her Viking umbrella keeping the rain off their trophy. Mim Kierle, Carnival Queen 2016. Appledore Junior U14 crew with Mim rowing in the number 5 seat. Appledore Pilot Gig Club - Tiger Sharks - dressed as Vikings.

The U14 crew and their parents did a fantastic job decorating the gig to look like a Viking ship and they won first prize. Top marks to Tim and Tomo for dressing up as Vikings, Sara P and Sarah T looked lovely as usual as Viking wenches and all the kids were great. Mim Keirle who rows in the Junior crew was the Carnival Queen and looked beautiful sitting in 'Blanche', followed by 'Margaret James 'the Viking Longboat, towed by Len.
Click here to see photos.


23/07/2016 Mounts Bay Gig Regatta - Appledore Crews Show They Are Up With The Best.

Appledore and Ilfracombe represented North Devon at the Tribute Mount's Bay Regatta on Saturday in Marazion. With historic St. Michael's Mount as a backdrop and the whole of Mount's Bay in which to set the kite-shaped course, it was certainly a spectacular setting. Twenty-four Cornish clubs were represented, along with St. Mary's from the Isles of Scilly, and Bristol.

This time it was Appledore who took the majority of leads over Ilfracombe, as both clubs fought hard to break the dominance of the Cornish. In the elite Men's A race Appledore took 8th place, 71 seconds behind winners Falmouth. The Ilfracombe men were not far behind in 10th position. The Appledore Ladies A crew, who have been consistently gaining in strength and improved technique over the season once again showed what they are made of, crossing the line in 9th place, 73 seconds behind Flushing Mylor in 1st place. Ilfracombe Ladies were 15th.

In the Men's B event Caradon crossed the line first, with Ilfracombe in 7th place and Appledore 20th. In the Ladies B race Truro were the winners, Appledore 13th and Ilfracombe 24th. With competition still fierce, Caradon's mixed crew took the three buoy turns first, Appledore not far behind in 8th place and Ilfracombe fielding two strong crews came 10th and 12th.

Ilfracombe were proud to take the trophy in the Men's Vets race, winning in 15mins 37 secs, Appledore coming in a respectable 8th. In the Ladies Vets, Charleston were winners, with Ilfracombe 4th and Appledore chasing them to the line in 5th. Ilfracombe were the only North Devon Club to travel with Junior crews this time, and they did their club proud with superb rowing, the U14s coming 3rd and U16s coming in 6th place. Click here to see photos.


10/07/2016 Barnstaple Regatta

Great result for Appledore winning the Ladies A, 2nd in Mens A, 5th in Mens B, 3rd in Ladies B, winners of the mixed Vets and 2nd in the U14s.

The Junior U14 crew were amazing, fighting to the very last in an effort to catch the winning boat, another few yards and they would have made it! The mixed vets probably had the most interesting race, surviving a broken pin (great recovery Jeremy), lots of oar clashing (cool heads from everyone) and superb coxing skill from Sandy.

Thanks to hosts Barnstaple, who kept everyone supplied with gorgeous cakes, baps and pasties. Click here to see photos.


07/07/2016 Appledore History Race

Appledore's famous History Race took place on Thursday 7th July. The evening race was supported by seven local clubs, with fourteen crews taking part. It is a challenging distance of 4.5 miles down the Torridge to the Outer Pulley marker buoy and back. With the full width of the Estuary and Skern to manouevre, the line taken by the coxes often plays a crucial part as they try to use the fast currents and flat water areas to their advantage. This year it was a Cornish crew from Boscastle (Torrent) who took the honours, with Ilfracombe (Rapparee) in 2nd place and Appledore (Verbena) taking 3rd. In the women's race Torridge Ladies were the victors in Kerens with Appledore (Whitford) in 2nd place and Ilfracombe (Rogue) 3rd.

The event originated in the 1930's when there were still six working pilot gigs on the Torridge. Rival gigs Siren and Endeavour challenged each other to a race for a £1 wager. In 2008 Appledore Pilot Gig Club took ownership of a training boat and named her Siren to maintain the historical connection; the race is now an annual event, a £1 coin the focal point of the winner's trophy.

Participating Clubs:
Appledore, Barnstaple, Bude, Clovelly, Ilfracombe, Torridge, Boscastle

Boscastle, Boscastle receiving the trophy from Caitlin Haughton (Junior rower and granddaughter of Appledore's club President).

Click here to see photos.


26/06/2016 Appledore Regatta

Appledore Pilot Gig Club welcomed clubs from Ilfracombe, Torridge, Clevedon, Bude, Barnstaple and Boscastle to their annual regatta. Races started from the quayside, with the boats heading seaward on a circular 1.7 mile course around two marker buoys before returning to cross the finish line just beyond the slipway anchor. Despite the distance, the results of several of the races were extremely close calls, reflecting the competitive intensity of the rowing.

Ilfracombe came out winners in both the Mens A and B events, while Appledore dominated in both the Ladies races. It was Torridge's turn to take the trophies in the Mens and Ladies Vets, while Clevedon U14s won their Junior event and Bude U16s took the honours in theirs. However, once again it was Ilfracombe who took home the overall regatta trophy, though perhaps feeling a little less secure in their success this year. A spread of clubs taking home the silverware meant the prize giving ceremony was a particularly convivial affair, made all the better through the generosity of individual race sponsors donating prizes for each event.

The Appledore U14 Juniors were excited by the opportunity to race competitively for the first time. Caitlin Haughton stroked Sunday's race crew to second place, along with Mim Keirle, Ellen Keirle, Zoe Cross and Rory Lynch , assisted by Holly from the Torridge club. Caitlin was proudly watched by her grandfather Len White the Appledore club's founder and President. The girls are also remarkable off the water too; Mim Parsons, in the bow seat, is this year's Appledore Carnival Queen. She trains at the club alongside her sister Ellen and Summer Ford who have held the honour in previous years.

Top 3 in each race.
Mens A 1. Ilfracombe (Raparee) 2. Torridge (Kerens) 3. Appledore (Verbena)
Mens B 1. Ilfracombe (Raparee) 2. Ilfracombe (Rogue) 3. Torridge
Ladies A 1. Appledore 2. Torridge 3. Ilfracombe
Ladies B 1. Appledore 2. Torridge 3. Boscastle (Whitford)
Mens Vets 1. Torridge 2. Ilfracombe 3. Appledore
Ladies Vets 1. Torridge 2. Appledore 3. Ilfracombe
Mixed 1. Ilfracombe 2. Appledore 3. Torridge
Under 14 1. Clevedon (Watch & Pray) 2. Appledore 3. Bude
Under 16 1. Bude (Bedehaven) 2. Ilfracombe 3. Clevedon

Click here to see photos.


04/06/2016 Two Bridges Gig Race

There was fantastic support for Appledore's annual Two Bridges race as both locals and holiday makers cheered the gig boats along the quayside. The event consists of a 9 mile row from Bideford New Bridge to Barnstaple New Bridge for the men, with the Ladies' crews rowing the return 7 miles from Barnstaple back to the quay in Appledore. Superb conditions in the river meant there were no issues with wind or waves, allowing teams to put everything into power and technique for the entire course. Coxes skilfully manoeuvred the boats to take advantage of the best tidal currents in the Torridge, crossing the estuary where the two rivers meet and navigating the Taw.

This year it was Appledore's turn to dominate this local derby. The Appledore Mens A crew took 1st place in Verbena with Torridge in 2nd place in Will to Win and Bude in 3rd place in Bedehaven.

In the Ladies race Appledore A crew were winners in Whitford with Appledore Ladies B crew not far behind in Verbena, Barnstaple took 3rd place in Nipper.

Participating Clubs: Appledore (Whitford, Verbena), Barnstaple (Lady Freda, Nipper), Bude (Bedehaven), Clovelly (Christine H), Torridge (Will to Win).

Mens Winning Crew - Appledore A: Nick Bryant, Rob Lea, Will Knowles, Rob Ovenell, Steve Price, Jeremy Beer, Cox Linda Stella.

Ladies Winning Crew - Appledore A: Yvette Parkin, Zoe Sims, Sarah Thomas, Carol Norman, Emily Lea, Lucy Routley, Cox Mark Thomason. Click here to see photos.


29/05/2016 Rock Gig Regatta held at Daymer Bay

With 28 boats lined up on the sandy curve of Daymer Bay, Rock Gig Club Regatta took on the feel of a mini Scillies. All the top Cornish clubs were represented with a racing heat system based on the Scillies World Championship results. Caradon rowing in Miller's Daughter won both the prestigious Ladies and Mens A races.

The event kicked off in bright sunshine before the sea mist rolled in, obscuring the buoys and providing an additional challenge for the coxes. A long course with a couple of tight buoy turns meant there was ample opportunity for boat crashes, oar clashes and the inevitable disqualifications, all adding to the thrill of the chase.

Of the North Devon crews Torridge came out tops in the Ladies Vets with a 4th place in Kerens, followed by Barnstaple in Lady Freda in 6th, Appledore rowing Verbena in 8th and Clovelly in Christine H coming 15th.

In the Mens Vets, Torridge again took the local honours with 2nd place, Appledore were next in 9th, Barnstaple 14th and Clovelly 17th.

Now under a clear blue sky, the Appledore Ladies B crew fought hard from the back to gain advantage around the final buoy over Torridge and take 6th place, with Torridge in 7th, Barnstaple 18th, and Clovelly 26th.

In the Mens B race Torridge were 11th closely followed this time by Clovelly in 12th, Appledore in 16th and Barnstaple in 20th.

With a short break for the senior rowers, it was exciting to watch the Juniors coming in across the bay in perfect conditions. Torridge fielded an U16 crew who came a very creditable 5th place.

The Ladies A crews then took to the water at low tide, with a fast estuary current making the management of the start line difficult. Appledore Ladies were the only North Devon Club to field an A crew and came in 11th.

In the Mens A race, friendly local rivalry between Torridge and Appledore kept the crews fighting for every inch of water and power on the stroke. In a photo finish, Appledore held on for 9th place, with Torridge sadly discovering they had been disqualified. Barnstaple took 16th place and Clovelly 20th. Click here to see photos.


29/04/2016 to 01/05/2016 Scilly Isles

Over 40 members of Appledore Pilot Gig Club, travelled to the Scilly Isles for the World Championships. The event is the highlight of the gig rowers calendar with 144 boats on the start line and 3,000 rowers taking part.

On Friday evening the first of the 1.6 nautical mile 'Long Races' takes place from St. Agnes to St. Mary's. The event got off to a fantastic start with the Ladies' Vets A crew taking 20th place out of 48, having managed to forge a clear path through the field. The Ladies' Vets B came in 41st after a clash with another gig had slowed their progress. The men had one Vets crew, who came in a creditable 23rd place fighting against worsening sea conditions and fading light.

On Saturday, in the 'Long Race', the wind had dropped and the sun came out, but the sea conditions remained choppy and challenging. The Ladies' A crew in Verbena, almost caught their local rivals Ilfracombe to finish in 26th place in group C. The Ladies' B crew in Whitford took 77th place and the Ladies' C crew came 135th in Lyonesse kindly loaned from the Scillies. For the following 'Short Race' heats of 1.2 nautical miles from Nut Rock, the Ladies were forced to reorganise after losing their A crew stroke to injury. Thankfully, the entire squad had trained hard throughout the winter and there was plenty of experience to draw upon. In the final, the Ladies' A crew kept their place in group C, finishing 36th out of 144. The Ladies' B crew remained in group F in 66th and the Ladies' C crew having fought their way valiantly out of group L finished in 127th in group K.

The Men's A crew reached their highest ever position in the 'Long Race' and were placed 19th in group B. The Men's B crew were placed 77th in group H and the Men's C crew, who were a mix of rowers from Appledore and other clubs were 126th in a field of 135. All the Men's crews rowed consistently throughout the 'Short Race' heats, with the Men's A crew eventually finishing 23rd, the Men's B crew 95th and the Men's C crew 129th in the Final. Click here to see photos.


02/04/2016 and 03/04/2016 APGC Supervets Regatta

North Devon Clubs take 1st and 2nd place at 4 counties Supervets Regatta

Appledore Pilot Gig Club hosted their 3rd annual Supervets Regatta this weekend. The event, only for rowers aged over 50, has grown exponentially in popularity. Twenty two clubs from throughout Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset brought more than 250 rowers to Appledore for two days of racing. Both the men's and ladies' races were fiercely competitive, with crews jostling for position to ensure the best racing line down the River Torridge from the start at the Fish Dock. The straight course then ran the length of the quay to Appledore's iconic anchor, enabling a large crowd to view the race and cheer on their teams. The sprint distance meant boats were very close, and no amount of energy was spared to drive the blades through the water to the finish.

In the finals on Sunday it was Ilfracombe Ladies who took the trophy, with Weymouth in 2nd place and Salcombe coming in 3rd.

The Men's race was won by Teign A crew, who narrowly beat the hosts Appledore, with Lyme Regis coming in 3rd.

Clubs were presented with their awards from a representative of the main sponsors 'Brewer Harding & Rowe'.

The crews will probably not meet again until the World Championships in the Scilly Isles in May, where a much longer course will pose a different type of challenge. Click here to see photos.

Participating Clubs:
Appledore, Barnstaple, Boscastle & Crackington, Bridport, Bude, Clevedon, Clovelly, Ilfracombe, Lyme Regis, Mevagissey, Pendeen, Port Isaac, Rame, RM Tamar, Rock, Salcombe, Sidmouth, Swanage, Tamar & Tavy, Teign, Torridge, Weymouth.


1st Ilfracombe
2nd Weymouth
3rd Salcombe
4th Lyme Regis
5th Torridge
6th Teign B

1st Teign A
2nd Appledore
3rd Lyme Regis A
4th Torridge
5th Weymouth A
6th Barnstaple


05/03/2016 Three Rivers Race

This 5 mile river race under the iconic Tamar bridge and Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge is one which is particularly important as it marks the start of the gig racing season. It is the only chance many crews will get to see their rivals before the World Championships in the Scilly Isles on 29th April. As one of the largest events in the gig rowing calendar, hosts Caradon Gig Club welcomed 68 boats to the start in Saltash. The figure of 8 course is a great test of fitness and endurance, after the winter indoor training sessions, and a spur to focus on improving techniques and stamina.

In the men's race Appledore's A crew rowing Verbena came out top of the local table in 11th place in a time of 51 min 30secs, only 4 minutes behind the winning team from Falmouth in Blackrock. They were followed by Ilfracombe in Raparee in 32nd place and Appledore's men's B crew in Whitford in 39th place.

Local honours for the ladies went to the Ilfracombe A crew, rowing Raparee into 16th place in a time of 1 hour 52 secs. They had battled with the Appledore team all the way around the course, eventually getting ahead in the last straight reaching the line 1 second in front. The Torridge crew rowing Kerens followed 5 minutes later in 36th place. The host team from Caradon were first over the line.

With the lighter evenings all the local crews will be maximising time spent on the water over the coming weeks in the rivers Taw and Torridge and the sea around Clovelly and Ilfracombe.

The next big event on the calendar before the Scillies is the Supervets Championships for rowers aged 50 years plus, to be held over 2 days in Appledore starting on 2nd April.


1st Falmouth - Blackrock - 46.25
11th Appledore - Verbena - 51.30
32nd Ilfracombe - Raparee - 54.22
39th Appledore - Whitford - 55.33
41st Ilfracombe - Rogue - 55.54
42nd Torridge - Kerens - 56.08
55th Barnstaple - Lady Freda - 59.32
56th Barnstaple - Nipper - 59.32

1st Caradon - Amazon - 00.54.58
16th Ilfracombe - Raparee - 1.00.52
17th Appledore - Whitford - 1.00.53
36th Torridge - Kerens - 1.05.51
47th Barnstaple - Nipper - 1.09.18
49th Barnstaple - Lady Freda - 1.09.55
53rd Appledore - Verbena - 1.10.12
58th Ilfracombe - Rogue 1.11.18


20/12/2015 Santa Row

28 Santas set off out to sea from Appledore in the sunshine for a festive row. The wind got up, the rain came down, the hail was horizontal, the sea got very choppy. 28 very soggy Santas headed for warming refreshments on Instow beach, much to the amusement of passing walkers. They returned to Appledore under a dark sky, lit up by a rainbow, with big smiles - another local Christmas tradition accomplished! This year saw the Junior crew, wearing their Santa hats, head off up the river for their own slightly calmer expedition. Click here to see photos.

22/08/2015 Appledore Regatta

Amid humid weather and grey cloud cover the crews arrived into Appledore. It was with great excitement that the APGC Men’s A crew took Whitford to a second place finish out of the 11 crews racing, being cleared on the line, by a boats length of their local rivals. Results then ran identically for the second race with the APGC Ladies’ A crew, who crafted a second place spot. Races were launched from the main slipway throughout the day and Appledore were able to accommodate the 11 clubs with great organisation and humour from all crews, seeing each gig in and out through a congested slipway and up to the starting line for what has now become a fantastic and much loved event.

With Men’s B securing a third place finish and a thrilled Ladies’ B crew who ended up winning their race it was then with much pride that Appledore were able to introduce their youth academy with their Under 14’s crew, for their first Regatta. Clevedon under 14’s took first place and Bude under 16’s took first spot in their race. The support shown by each rival team was given with much respect and Appledore wish to thank every attending club for their welcomed support. The day ended under beautiful fresh blue skies and with smiles all round at an enthusiastically attended event.

Participating Clubs:
Appledore, Barnstaple, Bideford, Boscastle, Bridport, Bristol, Bude, Clevedon, Clovelly, Ilfracombe, Torridge

Results Men’s A:
1st Torridge [Kerens] 2nd Appledore [Whitford] 3rd Ilfracombe [Raparee]

Results Ladies’ A:
1st Torridge [Kerens] 2nd Appledore [Whitford] 3rd Ilfracombe [Raparee]

Results Men’s B:
1st Ilfracombe [Raparee] 2nd Clevedon [Watch & Pray] 3rd Appledore [Whitford]

Results Ladies’ B:
1st Appledore [Whitford] 2nd Clovelly [Christine H] 3rd Bridport [Dagger]

01/08/2015 Clovelly

In a line up of twelve gigs: Appledore Mens A 5th, Mens B 5th, Mens Vets 11th, Ladies A 2nd, Ladies B 1st, Ladies Vets 8th.

The Ladies B team were thrilled to win their race. At the first buoy turn and after some skilful manuoevering from their very experienced cox Len White, they piled on the power and opened up a significant and unbeatable lead.

Ilfracombe won the Ladies A race, but Appledore chased them right to the line, the gap between the clubs getting closer with each regatta.

The Ladies Vets crew were involved in a collision at the first buoy, despite having water over the offending boat. Bruised and battered the Appledore Ladies bravely kept their cool, leading the trailing pack to finish in 8th place. Click here to see photos.

22/07/2015 Appledore History Race

Appledore's famous History Race took place on Wednesday 22nd July. Fantastically supported by all seven local clubs, with fifteen Mens', Ladies' and Mixed crews taking part. It is a challenging distance of 4.5 miles down the Torridge to the Outer Pulley marker buoy and back. Low water and an incoming tide meant that the rowers fought against strong estuary currents on the first leg, and jostling for position in the narrow deepwater channel added an extra competitive dimension! It was the Appledore Men's crew who returned to the Quay first having built up a significant lead. Second place was taken by Ilfracombe Ladies chased home by their Men!

The event originated in the 1930's when there were still six working pilot gigs on the Torridge. Rival gigs Siren and Endeavour challenged each other to a race for a £1 wager. In 2008 Appledore Pilot Gig Club took ownership of a training boat and named her Siren to maintain the historical connection; the race is now an annual event, a £1 coin the focal point of the winner's trophy.

Participating Clubs:
Appledore, Barnstaple, Bideford, Bude, Clovelly, Ilfracombe, Torridge

1st Appledore Men
2nd Ilfracombe Ladies
3rd Ilfracombe Men
4th Appledore Ladies

11/07/2015 Spoilt for Choice on the North Coast

Spoilt for choice this weekend, the Appledore Ladies' A and Ladies' and Men's B crews hitched up Verbena and travelled west to Daymer Bay. Meanwhile the Men's A crew took Whitford and headed east in search of a more local prize, in an attempt to beat Ilfracombe at their home regatta.

Sadly for the Men's A, they came a close second to Ilfracombe in a field of 8, their best result so far. They now have a renewed determination to row past their great rivals before the season ends.

Launching from the wide expanse of beach at Daymer, Rock regatta was able to accommodate a much larger field, with 25 boats taking part. A big swell and increasing wind meant that racing became more and more challenging as the afternoon progressed. Improving all the time against the Cornish crews, the Appledore rowers were thrilled to take 5th place in the Ladies' A out of 21, 4th place in the Ladies' B out of 22 and 10th place out of 18 in the Men's B race. Click here to see photos.

04/07/2015 Appledore Pilot Gig Club spend the day at Mounts Bay

What's not to like about taking part in your chosen sport at the West Country's most treasured beauty spots. So far this season the Appledore Gig rowers have travelled to the Scilly Isles, Falmouth, Dartmouth, Salcombe, Saltash and Mevagissy. This weekend they competed at Mount's Bay, with the historic and imposing 14th century priory and castle of St. Michael's Mount as a backdrop.

The Cornish clubs were out in force, the Ladies A race having 20 boats jostling for position at the start and the Ladies B race having to be split into 2 heats. A big swell and chop meant some tricky rowing conditions, but the Appledore Ladies and Men coped admirably, enjoying the challenge of a rough ride under blue skies and a sparkling azure sea. The local crews,  however, had a clear advantage over the North Devon visitors, as they skilfully used the lines of surf to speed their return on the last leg of the race.  

Appledore were pleased with the day's results, coming 12th out of 15 in the Men's A race, 12th out of 20 in the Ladies' A race and 9th out of 17 in the Ladies' B race.

Next weekend is a busy one with Appledore crews travelling to Rock, Port Isaac and Ilfracombe, as the season really gets into full swing. Click here to see photos.

14/03/2015 Appledore men lead North Devon at 3 Rivers

Winter months spent training hard in the gym as well as tough sessions on the river paid off for Appledore in the first of this year's CPGA events. The six-mile endurance race hosted by the Caradon club started from the Yacht Club in Saltash and took in the three rivers Tamar, Tavy and Lynher. A cold but sunny day with flat water conditions was perfect for gig rowing. 67 crews took part in the men's race, leaving the start line in groups at 2 minute intervals. Falmouth took 1st place in Black Rock in a time of 48:19. Appledore in Whitford finished 20th in a time of 53:36.

Appledore Chairman Rob Lea said "For two of the crew it was their first ever regatta and the first time this crew has rowed together, so to come so high in the rankings against many of the prestigious Cornish crews was a great achievement. The race started at the Tamar Bridge, with the first half of the race up river against the tide. Appledore's Whitford took an early lead in heat 4 and continued to pull away throughout the race. They caught up with the tail end of heat 3 before the first of 3 bowside buoy turns. Then it was a long leg, down river, back past the bridge, eventually negotiating 2 stroke side buoys before turning back up against the tide to the finish."

Appledore crew : Henry Ostle, Jeremy Beer, Rob Ovenelll, Tim Tennant, Nick Bryant, Rob Lea. Linda Stella (Cox)

North Devon Results:

Mens: (67 crews entered)

Appledore - Whitford - 20th - 53.36

Ilfracombe A - Raparee - 22nd - 53.56

Torridge - Will to Win - 48th - 59.23

Ilfracombe B - Rogue - 55th - 60.41

Clovelly - Leah C - 58th - 62.27

Barnstaple - Lady Freda - 64th - 65.27

Ladies: (63 crews entered)

Ilfracombe A - Raparee - 11th - 57.18

Torridge A - Kerans - 17th - 60.42

Torridge B - Will to Win - 41st - 67.00

Barnstaple - Lady Freda - 52nd - 69.30

Clovelly - Leah C - 58th - 71.18

Ilfracombe B - Rogue - 59th - 71.53

12/03/2015 Auction of Promises

Thursday 12th March

Seagate Hotel Appledore


Browse Catalogue from 7.30pm, Auction starts at 8pm

In aid of Appledore's new defibrillator with remaining funds going to Appledore Pilot Gig Club, including monies towards new oars for the juniors.



(a groundsman, forester and tree surgeon at your garden's disposal for six man hours)

Chimney sweeping, power hosing your patio, valeting your car


babysitting, dog sitting, ironing, taxi service


help with CV, PC virus Check, veterinary care, home energy-efficiency consultations, swimming lessons


kayaking, paddleboarding, RIB trip for 8, navigation, champagne hiking on Exmoor

PLUS Hampers, Treats, Meals Out, Champagne, Beauty Treatments, Arts & Crafts, Cakes


20/12/2014 Festive Santas Go Rowing

About 25 members all decked out in Santa hats or even complete suits and beards (although it was a bit warm!), set off for a festive row on Saturday. They headed out towards the sea bravely rowing hard against a strong current by the legendary 'pink house', finally reaching the calm, gentle waters of the Skern. Then it was time to easy up for for a good old chat, a mince pie, hot drink, chocolates and any other goodies that appeared in the boat.

One of the crews even managed to serenade onlookers on the quay with some christmas singing, although it was decided everyone would be better off if they just stuck to rowing!!

A great afternoon, can't wait until next year! Click here to see photos.

06/12/2014 Good News for Appledore

Appledore Pilot Gig Club have just been informed that they have been successful in their application for a Community Defibrillator, for the village, which should be in place in the Seagate Hotel in the New Year.

There are two active gig clubs in the village, each with 60 members plus, with active rowers up to the age of 80 years old. There have been two incidents in the past year alone, at South West regattas, where gig rowers have had sudden cardiac arrests. Each year the two Gig Clubs host their annual regattas which attract some 500 rowers. Appledore also hosts the Super Veterans National Championships where approximately 300 rowers over the age of 50 compete over two days.

Appledore and Instow Regatta also attracts thousands of visitors each day.

The population of Appledore, which currently number 2,200, is older than the national average. As a historic, traditional fishing village most of the internal road structure is not accessible by vehicle and is made up of a maze of narrow streets.

The village offers a range of facilities to all, visitors and locals alike, except one obvious facility - a defibrillator

A spokesperson from Appledore Pilot Gig Club said ' We started the application process with the British Heart Foundation just over four months ago and last weeks post bought great news for Appledore telling us our application had been successful. Hopefully this will not need to be used but there is peace of mind for the community to know that there is access to a defibrillator should it ever be needed. Click here to see photos.

25/10/2014 Marathon Row for Brain Tumour Research

One year on and the marathon is done!

A team of women rowers from Appledore has finally achieved their long-planned marathon row “ in rough conditions. After having to abandon their original plan of a 23-mile Channel row due to bad weather, they instead completed a 26-mile row in the Solent with company Langstone Adventure Rowing, on Saturday 25 October.

This time last year the seven intrepid ladies from Appledore Pilot Gig Club were cursing the weather forecast when their Channel Challenge was postponed due to gales.

As the summer season is largely given over to Channel swimmers, there are few opportunities to row the Channel other than in autumn or spring. So, with gales again persisting this October, the Appledore team decided that rather than give up they would look for an alternative.

Crew member Emily Lea said: œThe Challenge was designed to raise money for our club “ to buy a new training gig so that more people can learn to row at Appledore. We also set out to raise 1,000 for Brain Tumour Research because one of the crew had benefitted from cutting-edge surgery to remove a rare brain tumour in January 2013. By autumn last year we had achieved our goal, but were still waiting to honour all that sponsorship.

The answer? Row even further “ a full marathon of 26 miles “ in choppy water in the Solent instead. The girls, coxed by Len White, completed the challenge on Saturday 25 October in five hours and six minutes in the ˜roughest conditions yet rowed as part of a challenge with organisers Adventure Rowing™.

Team Captain, Natasha Acres, said: "That kind of distance was a tough prospect, but everyone met it head on and I am very proud of them. There were some tricky logistics involved. For a marathon row we have an extra rower and everyone gets a 15-minute rest in rotation “ this enables them to eat something and get more fluid in before their next stint of an hour and three-quarters. But in those waves it was pretty hairy changing places!

œIt™s also really hard to stay focused on technique for that long “ but, if your concentration wavers, you end up with even more aches and pains! As it was there were some impressive blisters by the end of the day. We also had plenty of vessels around us for Len to avoid “ guided by the safety boat which followed us closely through the whole five hours. We are all rather stiff now but we are so glad to have finally rowed our distance and earned our sponsorship.

The training gig, Maragaret James, which the club has bought with the sponsorship money, has already enabled many more people to begin rowing at Appledore and a cheque for 1,000 was recently given to Brain Tumour Research.

West Country companies Singer Instruments, Fatyak Kayaks, Skern Lodge, Bideford Bridge Trust, Peter, Peter & Wright, Miles Tea & Coffee, Hockings Ice Cream, Kingsley School Bideford, The Boathouse Instow and Tesco Bideford, as well as the Royal Marines and hundreds of individual sponsors, are among those who helped make this all possible. Click here to see photos.

27/09/2014 Flying the Flag for Devon in London's Great River Race

Two crews from Appledore rowing in Siren and Margaret James, two crews from Ilfracombe rowing in Rapparee and Rogue and a crew from Clovelly in Leah C took part in the 21.6 mile Great London River Race on Saturday.

The race in its 27th year starts from Milwall and winds its way up the Thames, passing under 28 bridges before finishing at Ham.

The race is open to any traditional or traditional-style boat powered by a minimum of 4 oars or paddles; sliding seats and riggers are not allowed. Each boat must be coxed and in keeping with the Waterman's ancient traditions as the taxi drivers of the Thames, must carry a passenger.

338 boats took part this year, along with 46 Cornish Pilot Gigs were Dragon Boats, Thames Waterman Cutters, Celtic Longboats, Skiffs, Seine Boats, a Dutch Whale Boat and Lifeboat, Pilot Gigs from Poland, Hawaiian Outriggers and for the first time a replica of a Bronze Age Boat (to name just a few).

The event has a real carnival atmosphere, as the rowers are cheered along the course by large crowds on the bridges. Some travel at a measured pace to save the blisters on their hands from growing ever bigger! Others fight for a prized trophy, paddling at speed often to the beat of a drum. The slowest boats start first and the fastest last. If all things were equal under the handicap system then they would all cross the finish line together. Of course this never happens, but it makes for a great spectacle at the finish as the fastest catch up with the slowest in a great celebration of traditional boating. Click here to see photos.

23/08/2014 Escorting the Kathleen & May Home

Just spent a fantastic afternoon rowing a pilot gig boat escorting the Kathleen and May, the last remaining British built wooden hull three masted top sail schooner up the Torridge, as she returned to her home port of Bideford in North Devon. In days gone by Pilot Gigs would have raced out to meet ships as they came in to port to try and be the first to get their 'pilot' on board. Two boats from Appledore Pilot Gig Club rowed out to the Fairway Buoy to meet this magnificent ship as she appeared over the horizon. The two crews of 6 rowers and a cox then rowed with her all the way up the Torridge to Bideford.

"We held our breaths as she headed for the New Bridge, it almost seemed like the ship did too. She passed under the bridge with what looked like little to spare and then confidently emerged to continue to Bideford Quay, to be met by large cheering crowds and amongst other things a pipe band, sea shanty singers and the firing of the Bideford Cannon."

The Appledore Pilot Gigs finally rowed alongside her at the quay, raising their oars as a salute in her honour, before saying goodbye and heading back to Appledore. Click here to see photos.

24/02/2014 Gig Rowers defy storm forecasts for inaugral SuperVets Championships

Pilot gig rowers from all over the South West of Britain waited anxiously to find out if Sunday’s inaugural Supervets Pilot Gig Championships would go ahead on the Torridge Estuary.

Defying the odds, the strong South Westerly winds were blowing in a favourable direction for the event to go ahead, and rowers trapped on shore for the previous storm-lashed weeks were thrilled to get out on the water for some serious competition. Black threatening skies, gale force squalls and white water on the river provided exciting conditions for the rowers who were all aged 50 plus. Power and tenacity were required to row up river to the start line against the wind and tide, while skilful timing and strong team work brought the crews on a fast run back to the finish by Appledore’s iconic anchor on the quay.

15 crews from Appledore, Barnstaple, Boscastle, Bristol, Bude, Clevedon, Dartmouth, Ilfracombe, Langstone, Lyme Regis, Newquay, Sidmouth, Swanage, Torridge and Truro, some of whom were first time visitors to Appledore, were impressed by all the village had to offer and the organisation of the Appledore Pilot Gig Club who were putting on the first event of this kind specifically for the older rower. As the sport of Pilot Gig Rowing has expanded rapidly over the last few years, the Supervets over-50 age group has increased in numbers with many looking forward to competitive rowing.

Races for Mens, Ladies and Mixed crews took the form of heats for 8 boats followed by a final with 6 crews in each category. Change-over of crews, oars, seats and even oar-pins presented a colourful and often frantic spectacle in the narrow confines of the slipway, with many on-lookers in awe of the skill and teamwork involved.

Mens Crew Final 1st Ilfracombe, 2nd Swanage, 3rd Bude

Ladies Crew Final 1st Swanage, 2nd Lyme Regis, 3rd Appledore Barbarians (Appledore/Boscastle/Clevedon mix)

Mixed Crew Final 1st Clevedon, 2nd Ilfracombe, 3rd Bude Click here to see photos.

12/08/2013 Channel Challenge for Appledore Ladies

The two-month countdown begins this week for seven intrepid female rowers and one brave cox from Appledore Pilot Gig Club who are preparing themselves to take on an epic charity row at sea.

The ladies “ Jan McLean, Naomi Cudmore, Linda Stella, Yvette Parkin, Zoe Sims, Emily Campbell Jones and Natasha Acres “ plus veteran cox and Club Chairman, Len White, are set to row the English Channel this October - 23 miles in the busiest shipping lane in the world.

The crew are attempting the challenge with the aim of raising 10,000 for a new training gig for their club, so that more people can learn to row at Appledore. The crew will also donate a percentage of the monies raised to the charity, Brain Tumour Research, after one of the crew members benefitted from cutting-edge surgery to remove a rare brain tumour in January of this year.

Ladies Captain, Natasha, said: "It's an epic challenge but one that we're all really looking forward to. Gig rowing is not for the faint-hearted at the best of times as we're often racing in choppy seas, but to row in the Channel, so close to some of the mega-ships out there, will be just breathtaking!

"The sport has seen a huge uptake in our region over the last few years and our membership just keeps growing; we're desperate to raise 10,000 to buy another training boat so that we can get more people, especially juniors, out on the water.

"Our club is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and we currently have one training gig and two wooden racing boats. However, because of the tidal waters, we are restricted to when the wooden boats can launch, which leaves our 70 members relying on one fibreglass boat to get a row. It's just not ideal. We're hoping that by doing something as mad as rowing the Channel we'll raise money to get more people on the water.

The Channel row is scheduled for mid October “ although this is reliant on the weather “ and is expected to take five hours. Training has already started, with the ladies rowing to Clovelly from Appledore this week. The crew have begun their fundraising campaign and have already raised over 1,000. West Country companies, Singer Instruments and Fatyak Kayaks, are among those who have helped the team reach this first milestone. The crew is looking for a title sponsor “ a person or a company who would like to put their name to the challenge and also name the gig. And a number of other sponsorship packages are also available, from purchasing and naming the new oars for the training gig, to trailer advertising and helping with other essentials such energy drinks.

The team™s fundraising lead, Naomi Cudmore, said: œWe™ve even been wondering about the possibilities of some locally-made sheepskin seat pads! Please get in touch if you can help. Last week we heard that some ˜incredible comfy undergarments™ are on the way to us from Bamboo Clothing, which is a great start to our kit! There are lots of mini challenges within the project and this helps get one main problem covered “ rowing for five hours will be taking its toll on our bottoms!

If you're interested in sponsoring or helping the team, or would like to enquire about bespoke donation “ for example, naming an oar in someone™s memory “ then please contact Naomi on 01984 641359 or email: To donate or for further information please click here.

07/08/2013 Here come the girls Andy Hobbs

We've had a lovely blog written by Andy Hobbs, our official photographer. Andy has taken most of the photos on this site and is an avid supporter. He'll be taking the photos of our epic challenge.

You can read his blog here

You can read about and support our challenge here. Every little really does help!

20/07/2013 Gold at the End of the Rainbow!

Appledore Pilot Gig club Members organised a 'Rainbow Row' from Appledore Quay to Fremington Quay and back on Saturday raising money for Children's Hospice South West. With three boats decked out in rainbow colours and each 6 person crew and cox dressed in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo or violet - they made a colourful picture as they crossed the estuary. A strong head wind against the tide meant for a choppy and often wet ride to get into the shelter of Fremington, where a 175 'pot of gold' was delivered to representatives of the Children's Hospice from Little Bridge House who had come to meet them. All the rowers from the youngest teenager to the oldest at 77 agreed it had been great fun and can't wait to do it again next year!

12/03/2013 Appledore Gig Club Quiz night

Appledore Gig Club invite you to a Quiz Night - 8 sets of 10 questions plus a sprint finish!

Teams of 4-6 people @ 5 per head.

Light buffet will be provided plus a licensed bar.

Friday 29th March at St Mary's Hall, Appledore. Please register via Berny: or phone: 07902 904244.

07/12/2012 End of year awards

Seventy members and friends of Appledore Pilot Gig Club gathered at the Westward Arms in Westward Ho! on Friday. As well as the usual fun awards, Trophies were presented to Junior Most Improved Rower Hugh Gray, Ladies' Most Improved Rower - Sara Pizani, Mens' Most Improved Rower - Steve Price, Ladies Rower of the Year - Tash Acres, Mens Rower of the Year - Andy Peck, Unsung Hero Award - Tony Powe. A beautiful newly commissioned glass trophy was donated by the family of Chairman Len White, The Rising Star Award was presented to Naomi Cudmore for her dedication and commitment to rowing and the club.

Next year will be an exciting one for Appledore Pilot Gig Club as it celebrates its 10th Anniversary.

14/11/2012 Christmas Dinner tickets available

The Club Christmas dinner will be held on 7th December at

the Westward Arms. The dinner is open to club members and partners initially, although if we have tickets available closer to the time we shall offer them to friends of the club.

If you wish to attend, please add your names to the calendar or contact the social events organiser.

06/11/2012 Club members take on epic sailing race

Two members from Appledore Gig Club are about to embark in a

cross-atlantic sailing challenge. Tom Prideaux and Steve Lock will be taking part in the 2012 ARC race on board a 60ft catamaran. You can follow the race at There is also a competition to guess the number of miles that the boat will travel. To take part either get in contact with a club member of visit the Quay in Appledore.

04/11/2012 Nominations for club awards open

The end of season awards are up for nomination now. Check your email for details on how to vote. The winners will be revealed at the Christmas dinner.

10/04/2012 Historical Dock welcomes first boat in seven years

The famous Richmond Dry Dock in Appledore opened once more for a boat over the Easter weekend. For the first time in 7 years the recently excavated docks opened its gates for Appledore Gig Club's gig, Siren.

Len White, chairman at Appledore Gig Club, said, "it was a really proud moment for us, Mr Evans of Richmond Dock was kind enough to invite us to row into the docks and see it up close. I worked in the ship yard all my life but I'd never had chance to go into Richmond Dock. We were delighted".

Richmond Dry Dock has been unused since 2005, and has been the subject of a number of attempts to save it from modern development. It has recently been leased to Gareth Evans from FTD Marine Ltd whose main activity is to use the docks to repair and dismantle vessels.

The latest excavation of the dock has allowed the gates to be opened ready for use. Appledore Gig Club, who celebrate their 10th anniversary next year, plus members of CASH (Celebrating Appledore's Shipping Heritage) and FTD Marine Ltd were all on hand to witness the occasion.


Photos Top Left: Appledore Junior Crews at AquaPark. Photos thanks to Julie. Photo Top Right: Appledore Men's A crew at Newquay. Photos thanks to Josie.