Duchy College Sport Maker, Kate Bourne, has triumphed in the 2016 World Pilot Gig Championships, coming home with a gold medal. Held on the Isles of Scilly, this was the 27th year of the championships.
Gig rowing is the fastest growing sport in the South West with teams comprising of six rowers, one coxswain and a gig. This was Kate’s fifth World Championships with Caradon Gig Club, with the team winning gold for the first time. They had been consistent throughout the weekend, winning all their preliminary races by rowing the stroke and technique they had been training for in the eight months leading up to the event before reaching the final.
Kate said: “Before we knew what was what the race had started. For the first time all weekend we were first off the start and after about 20 strokes we were ahead. At no point during that race did we ever think we were going to win. You can’t have that thought as it takes one wrong move to either get your oar caught or miss a stroke. The conditions were far from ideal with the wind and sea both causing problems but we were cool headed and dealt with the conditions. We train on the river so we don’t often have opportunities to experience sea swell but through racing and quality coaching, we know how to deal with it. “
Kate concluded: “Coming down to the finish line you can hear the crowds of 4000 rowers cheering and you know you are getting close. By this point we were about three lengths clear but we still were in disbelief as to what was going on. The hooter going off has to be one of the most relieving sounds I have ever experienced. Not only were we World Champions, but we were the first ladies crew in the history of our club to receive the title. I am also the coach and coxwain for the Help for Heroes crew who are an absolute inspiration. I soon hopped out of our boat and into theirs to take them to their final race of the weekend. Hands down, this was one of the best moments of my life, we now have a title to defend!”
For more information on the range of sport courses available across The Cornwall College Group visit www.duchy.ac.uk or call 0845 60 50 455.