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BRNC gig crew fly the flag in Amsterdam

25 July 2017
The Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) gig crew became one of only two British teams to compete in a brand new race held on an historic Amsterdam lake, finishing in fourth place.

The 10-strong team from BRNC travelled to the Netherlands to take part in the first ever Cornish pilot gig race to be held on the Bosbaan – a two kilometre purpose built lake. Constructed in the 1930s, it is used as the Dutch national rowing course and Olympic rowing venue.

The event was unique for the College, as it was the gig team’s first international regatta, and the first time that they had competed in an event solely comprised of mixed male and female crews.

After training at events in Weymouth, Teignmouth, and Cattewater, the College crew were strong going into the event, and it showed as they qualified for the A final with the third fastest time from a total of 18 crews.

A strong start in the final race saw the crew cross the half way mark in third place, but in a tough battle over the last 1,000 metres they were pipped to the line and finished fourth overall.

The Royal Netherlands Yacht Club were fantastic hosts, and it was a wonderfully organised weekend.

Lieutenant Commander John Barry

The Dutch hosts praised the performance, and were even more impressed to learn that some of the College crew have only been rowing for six months.

Lieutenant Commander John Barry, who oversaw the event, said:  “I don’t think anyone expected the Naval College team to be so competitive. The Royal Netherlands Yacht Club were fantastic hosts, and it was a wonderfully organised weekend.”

Flight Lieutenant Mark Dunstan, officer-in-charge of the College gig team, said: “This is my third season rowing with the College, and this is the strongest crew I’ve rowed with. It’s fantastic that we’ve been given the opportunity to race as a mixed crew, particularly in such a historic location.”

The event was organised by The Royal Netherlands Yacht Club (KNZRV), and featured teams from across the Netherlands, as well as a crew from Nankersey in Cornwall.

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