Portishead Pilot Gig Club 'honoured' by Boat Race outing

Portishead Pilot Gig Club's Madeleine Wade, Sam Blackmore-Squires, Michael Connor, Phil Trotham and Dickie Gourlay

Portishead Pilot Gig Club's Madeleine Wade, Sam Blackmore-Squires, Michael Connor, Phil Trotham and Dickie Gourlay - Credit: PPGC

Portishead Pilot Gig Club were honoured to be able to take part in a flotilla of traditional boats ahead of the University Boat Races.

Led by Her Royal Majesty the Queen's Row Barge 'Gloriana' the flotilla was followed by skiffs, Pilot Gigs and the Watermen's cutters competing in the Oxbridge Challenge racing over the full course.

Gloriana, HRM the Queen's Row Barge, led a flotilla of traditional boats ahead of the University Boat Races

Gloriana, HRM the Queen's Row Barge, led a flotilla of traditional boats ahead of the University Boat Races - Credit: PPGC

A crew of six from Portishead Pilot Gig Club were invited to take part by rowing a four-oared gig, loaned to the club by CFOGA.

The nine-mile course was challenging, with tricky conditions to navigate, but the crowds and occasion made it worthwhile.

Cox David Grant said: "It was a real privilege to have been invited to take part in such an incredible event.

Cox David Grant faces his crew on the River Thames

Cox David Grant faces his crew on the River Thames - Credit: PPGC

"We were lucky enough to be able to row next to Gloriana and being the first to launch was nerve wracking but we performed well.

"It was a great atmosphere and to see the raised oars of many boats under bridges in honour of the Royal Boat was a real spectacle.

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"We were then lucky enough to watch the women's and men's races from the finishling line, it was a truly memorable weekend."