Dartmouth Town Council has pledged to improve the surface of the pathway used by the town’s gig rowers, after a gig-carrying trailer got stuck in the sticky mud on Saturday.

The crew of ladies crew who had enjoyed an hour’s row on the River Dart, found it impossible to manoeuvre the gig back into the club’s new shelter after the trailer wheels sank into the wet earth.

Despite much pushing, shoving and rocking, the trailer refused to budge. Luckily a second crew who had also been out that morning weren’t far behind and were able to step in and successfully lend a hand.

( Ginny Ware)

The path is also used by Dart RNLI and the gig rowers fear if one of their trailers gets stuck again it will block the emergency service crew’s access to the river.

Club chairwoman Peta Chivers said: “The ladies and junior rowers find it impossible to manoeuvre the trailers once we are stuck in the soft gravel. While we wait for help to arrive we are blocking the RNLI route.”

The council have put a some gravel in front of the gig shelter where the earth has been churned up by heavy vehicles used to re-surface the nearby tennis courts and lay gravel on the new dinghy park behind the shelter.

But when it rains, the exposed mud not covered by the hardcore material becomes soggy, making it difficult for the rowers to get their heavy and unwieldy trailers in and out of the gig store.

Dartmouth Town Council’s deputy clerk, Rich Crowley said he hoped a solution could be found.

He said: “The town council’s properties manager said the open spaces team will remove the gravel this week and level the ground as best they can, and the properties manager will let the gig club know a timescale for any improvements once he knows.

“Hopefully, with the drier weather, it will help the situation. The properties manager said he understands since the gig shelter was built the club now has fewer options to exit the area on an angle as they did prior to the shelter being built.

“Hopefully Dartmouth Town Council can continue to work together with the gig club to find a solution for all,” he added.