I've finally fulfilled a dream I've had since moving to Cornwall, and tried gig rowing. It is the fastest growing sport in the South West, and probably the only one where men, women and children can all take part in the same boat!
A Cornish pilot gig is a six oared rowing boat that was originally used to rescue people who were ship-wrecked, or to guide a ship into port. Today, there is a growing sport associated with it and the World Championships are held every year in the Isles of Scilly.
I joined the Helford Gig Rowing club on a lovely sunny evening. The river is a beautiful place that is worth the effort just for the views of the wooded banks, herons and sandy beaches.
We set off from outside the Ferryboat Inn, two boat loads of mainly amateurs plus one dog called Ruby who came along for the ride. Although I often 'caught a crab' by dipping my oar in too deeply, I wasn't made to feel awkward or embarrassed. The cox was kind and there was a lot of laughter on the water. I'll definitely be back.