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Two of Cornwall’s most important women swapped officialdom for the ocean this week when they took up the quintessentially Cornish sport of gig rowing for the first time.

High Sheriff Jane Hartley and Chief Executive of Cornwall Council Kate Kennally were invited by Truro River Rowing Club to come along to their weekly club session from Loe Beach at Feock.

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“They showed real promise,” said club captain Jacqui Rapier. “For novice rowers, they got into the rhythm quickly and performed incredibly well. We’ll have them back any time!”

It’s all part of Mrs Hartley’s Active Eight Charity Challenge, in which the High Sheriff has pledged to try eight new sports during her Shrieval year. Her aim is to raise money and awareness for her mental health fund, which focuses on sport and outdoor activity for young people.

“Gig rowing is at the heart of the Cornish way of life,” said Mrs Hartley, “so I was determined to give it a go as part of my challenge this year. Kate didn’t take much persuading to join me – it beats the office, doesn’t it?”

Mrs Hartley will also be having a go at commando abseiling (descending from a cliff head first), underwater hockey and BMXing. Already ticked off the list is wheelchair tennis, fencing and a biathlon.

High Sheriff 8

If you would like to follow her on her sporting adventures, go to her High Sheriff of Cornwall Active Eight Challenge Facebook page.

You can also support her here: