From Scilly to Dartmoor – gigs to Tors

I’ve been really lucky!

I have been involved with two of the largest mass participation outdoor sporting events in the south west. Last week I competed in the Isles of Scilly World Gig Rowing Championships (see here, here and here) and today I’m off to the 2016 Ten Tors Challenge event.

I’m the Team Manager for the National Trust on Dartmoor (I’m now a volunteer but was previously the NT’s General Manager on the Moor). We have three teams – 35, 45 and 55 milers. We have been training for the last nine months with Torquay Boys Grammar School preparing 18 young people for the challenge. Yesterday teams of staff and volunteers from the NT and TBGS prepared the base camp (there was even a cuckoo urging everyone on). Today we have a day of briefing and preparation. The main event starts at 7am on Saturday morning.

Training has been tough this year – we have been out torrential amber warning rain and winds – see here and cold nights – see here. The teams are therefore ready to go and amazingly the weather forecast looks very good i.e. not raining and cold. Yippee.

TT pass
I collected my car pass from Okehampton Camp today after having collected the teams and volunteers ‘event’ hoodies.

Wild Tribe 55
Here is National Trust Wild Tribe 55 mile last year mid event with the Brigadier and a helicopter! How cool is that.

10 Tors 24-Jan 1
Sunset during a training walk – what a time to be on the moor

10 Tors is brilliant for young people – it teaches them two sets of life skills:-

  1. A love of the outdoors, nature and landscapes – it gets them away from their ‘screens’ for while.
  2. It also gives them fitness, grit and determination, teaches them teamwork and encourages leadership and achievement.

Just what the National Trust is trying to encourage by its support of the Wild Network.

Thank you Torquay Boys Grammar School (and Dr. Roy Colvile and Tony Owen in particular) without you the National Trust couldn’t do 10 Tors.

The Eastern Isles – a panorama

When you stand on the eastern end of St Martins on Chapel Down you get a fantastic view of all of the Eastern Isles set out in front out you. The following photograph is a panorama of the Eastern Isles created by merging 6 individual pictures. If you double click on the image it will open as an enlarged file so you can see the detail.

Eastern Isles panorama

Going from left to right the rocks / islands are named as follows:-

Great and Little Innisvouls
Great Ganilly
Great and Little Arthur
Little Ganilly
Little Ganinick
Great Ganinick

St Mary’s is the island in the background.

Eastern Isles OS Map
Here is a snap shot from the map to help you orientate the picture

One of the best views in England in my opinion!

More Scilly scenes and birds

Normal service has now been resumed after the fun and games of Gig weekend! Here are a few photos mainly from yesterday around St Mary’s.

Sailing Ship
Lovely sailing ship making its way to The Roads

Pulpit RockPulpit Rock

Carn LehCarn Leh by Old Town beach

Up to Peninnis HeadThrift in flower on the path up to Peninnis Head

Rock pipitA rock pipit on the beach

Wheatear 1Wheatear

Stonechat 1A stonechat

World Gig Rowing Championships Final Day

Yesterday was a fantastic day – the final day of the World Gig Rowing Championships on the Isles of Scilly and I was lucky enough to row for Boscastle and Crackington Gig Club in both races.

Rodney Bey - Ladies final
Before our last race we watched the Exmouth Ladies finish their race

RespectAfter the final race (which was very difficult as a result of the conditions) all the gigs line up to welcome in the final heat and the winners

Line upA wobbly picture of the line up – we were next to the Bermuda crew who we had been racing all weekend

BCGCOn the beach – with the Boscastle and Crackington guys – in fact not entirely true…. there were three guys from B&C and a rotating group of honoraries. We had a different stroke rower in each race and as a result we weren’t entirely competitive.

Results-finalIn fact we won the wooden spoon

The best weekend I have had for years – much celebration afterwards and I’m pleased to say this morning I still have my phone and wallet, I got home to my billet and I’m still alive.

Thanks Boscastle and Crackington Gig Club.


World Championships – day 2

The weather on Scilly yesterday was fantastic – the sun shone all day and the wind had dropped.

A busy beach first thing

First job was to get the Exmouth Ladies Crew launched for the Long Race

Rodney Bey LadiesUp and rowing

B&C2My day was spent with the Boscastle and Crackington Gig Club

B&C1Waiting for the start at the Long Race

Long race startA busy bit of water just off Annet

Two more races to go today …. let’s hope the aches and pains subside.


Isles of Scilly World Gig Rowing Championships 2016

As well as going birding on the Isles of Scilly I am here for the gig rowing in the 2016 World Gig Rowing Championships!

AC - Rodney BeyLast night I rowed for the Exmouth Gig Club in Rodney Bey in the Vet’s Team.

ECG Vets

Racing in the chop! To be honest that was a flat bit of water – if only it had all been like that. But… it was much better than our trials and tribulations of last year – see here.

ResultsThe results

Rodney Bey
On the beach at St Mary’s preparing the boat with Bob and Steve

Rodney Bey 2
There are 140 gigs competing this weekend – for some reason the blue, white and orange Scilly flag is upside down!

Today and tomorrow I am rowing for Boscastle and Crackington Gig Rowing Club in their boat Rival. I had only intended to row for Exmouth – my own club, in the Vet’s Race but Boscastle and Crackington were a man short – as I have lots of family connections with Crackington  it seemed like a good idea on Thursday to volunteer for them …. time will tell.

Avona is a brand new gig for the Clifton Gig Club – the chaplain Perran Gay had just blessed the boat and is now being taken on its maiden voyage

Gig 1
Great light on a colourful boat

New oars! They won’t look like that on Sunday night…..