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Gig rowing comes to Harper Adams

Posted 11 May 2006

A DETERMINED student at Harper Adams University College has successfully competed in an international competition. 

Nineteen-year-old George Hillson took his seat in a six-man Cornish design sea-boat boat during the World Pilot Gig Championships last weekend. 

The First-Year HND student in Agriculture and Mechanisation, who has been rowing for just over two years, joined the Tavistock Tamar and Tavy Gig Club to compete in the championships - held in the Isles of Scilly.  

Speaking shortly after the event, George said: “I was thrilled to be part of the team for this wonderful event.” 

“I trained really hard to give myself a good chance of getting into the team, and the championships and I am so pleased all the work paid off.”

During the championships, George took his place in one of the 91 boats competing in the event – which finished 38th. 

The team competed against some of the top teams in the world and unfortunately got knocked out in one of the heats. 

“We were knocked out but it was really close and it was fantastic to improve our position as last year the team came 58th out of 85 teams. 

“We will be back next year and are looking forward to taking on the challenge once again.” 

George’s performance has inspired his fellow students at Harper Adams and there has even been talk of the students forming their own rowing club.

Professor Wynne Jones, Principal of the university college, said: “We have a diverse number of students attending Harper Adams and positively welcome new interests.

“We have already distinguished ourselves in a number of sports, including rugby, hockey and shooting, but always welcome new, challenging sports and activities.”

The team’s boat, Ginette, was built in winter 2003 and George has only been rowing since May 2004. 

The Tamar and Tavy Gig Club is one of the newest gig rowing clubs in the south-west and was founded in 2003. It is situated at the Weir Quay Sailing Club in the Bere peninsular on the Devon shore of the River Tamar.  

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