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Pensford pair keep it in the family at gruelling Dutch rowing regatta

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: December 27, 2012

Andy Littler, at the back, and son Myke, front, both from Pensford, training in Bristol Docks ahead of the Muiden Pampus Muiden regatta in Holland

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A father and son from Pensford finished 12th out of 160 boats at a prestigious rowing regatta in Holland.

Andy Littler, who was joined by son Myke at the Muiden Pampus Muiden event, said he was pleased with the result, having only been drafted in as a replacement.

"It was tremendous fun, although hard work, solid rowing without a stop," said the 62-year-old.

"Myke used to be a member of Bristol Pilot Gig Club. The club entered a men's and ladies' team for the annual rowing regatta in Holland, but then found that various men could not go after all, so started to try and find others to fill in.

"Eventually they rang Myke, who said he would go and could probably find others to fill the gaps, and he rang me.

"I thought that at my age, the chance of a competitive row after all these years was just too good to miss so I joined and started exercising and rowing as often as I could."

When they were in Muiden, the Bristol teams rowed a gig called Young Bristol, which former Chew Valley School pupil Myke had a hand in building.

A gig is a six-oared rowing boat originally used to carry pilots to vessels wanting to negotiate difficult waters around Cornwall, hence the name Pilot Gig.

"We had a superb time, and we finished 12th out of 160 boats, including 21 gigs, which was a good result for us," said Andy.

"Myke has been a regular rower for some years, lately as stroke. In the regatta I rowed in bow, at the other end of the gig.

Asked if he would do it again, he added: "Yes, if I am asked. I am on the shortlist for the World Pilot Gig Championships in the Isle of Scilly in May and am hoping I will get picked."

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