Friday 17 August 2012
Olympic Rowing Challenge
Olympic rowers, fresh from the 2012 Games, will be going head to head with some of the toughest gig rowers in the South West next month.
The GB Rowing Team's, women's eight, have thrown down the gaunlet and are taking on Cornish gig rowers in a series of races on the waters off St Mawes, Cornwall.
The Olympians, who came fifth in this year's London Games, have been rallied by team member and ShelterBox patron Annie Vernon. Cornish-born Annie said: “Now that the Olympics are over, I'm really excited to bring some of the British olympic rowers to Cornwall to take on the county's gig rowers. This our chance to see which rowers can triumph and also show off what's great about our county and one of our most popular watersports. I hope lots of people come down to watch the action and get involved.”
Annie will be joined by fellow Olympic rowers Helen Glover from Penzance and gold medalists Heather Stanning and Sophie Hosking. The Olympic team will be using sliding seat rowing boats, whereas the gig rowers will be using fixed seats.
Annie, who won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics said: “I have rowed internaitonally for eight years now and Cornwall has been really supportive, I wanted to give something back.”
Annie started rowing at Castle Dore Rowing Club in Cornwall when she was 17, inspired by her father, who had also rowed. She then went to Cambridge University where she rowed in the women's Blue Boat in 2003, but the secret of her progress was in joining GB Rowing's Team's Start Programme in 2002. Based in Cambridge and coached by Adrian Cassidy she learnt to scull and began to show in the GB Rowing U23 testing.
Annie added: “It would be fantastic to get more people involved in rowing, epecially from a young age.”
The event, which is being held in aid of ShelterBox, is on Wednesday September 12. The challenge will open at 5pm with a series of three races starting at 6pm. The event, hosted by Roseland Gig Club, is free to watch. There will be a hog roast and at the Rising Sun eatery.
The challenge is being sponsored by St Austell Brewery, A&P Falmouth Ltd, Seasalt Cornwall and VisitCornwall.
Photo from L-R: Caroline O'Connor, Olivia Whitlam, Vicky Thorney, Katie Greves, Tash Page, Louisa Reeve, Lindsey Maguire, Jess Eddie and Annie Vernon