STAGING Helford River Gig Club rows to the Isles of Scilly - British Rowing

Helford River Gig Club rows to the Isles of Scilly

After close to a year of waiting for perfect weather conditions, Helford River Gig Club (HRGC) finally took on a gruelling 65-mile charity gig-rowing challenge on June 25th.


Eight rowers from the club set off from Helford River in clear, calm conditions – rowing to the Isle of Scilly in aid of Cornwall Hospice Care.

The group consisted of Freddie and Ed Gleadowe, George Wilson, Patrick Hopson, Rory Loftus, Maurice Chetwynd-Woods and Charlie Samuel, who have rowed with HRGC since the ages of 12 and 13.

Now aged between 18 and 20, the septet were joined by coach Dave Merrick in the pilot gig Golden Gear.

Setting off early on the morning of Monday 25th June, the crew battled rough seas and the notoriously choppy patches of Lizard Point on their way to the finish line some 65-miles away – including a particularly demanding final 12 miles into a punishing tide.

They finally arrived at the Scillies soon after 11.15pm, to a well-earned meal provided by a local gig rowing club.

“The trip was harder than we expected,” said Freddie Gleadowe. “We anticipated it taking 12 to 16 hours, and we ended up right on the upper limit at 16 hours and 15 minutes.

“I’m delighted to have made it happen, and to have completed it – as are the rest of the crew and everyone who has helped us along the way. We received tremendous support from our club, the people of Scilly, and Fugro Seacore – one of our sponsors. Without them, it would never have been possible.

“All in all, it was a tremendous effort from the crew, and a lifetime achievement for all of us.”

So far, the crew has raised close to £2000 for Cornwall Hospice Care. To donate, visit Freddie Gleadowe’s Just Giving page.