A crew of rowers from Richmond have gone as far as field as Scotland to take on a 60 mile challenge.

The London Cornish Gig Club have rowed from West to East across Scotland, from Fort William to Inverness.

With 24 rowers from the London Cornish Club powering three boats, the row was set to take two days with the second dominated by the 22 mile heave along the length of Loch Ness.

The loch is longer than the Channel is wide between Dover and Calais and is classified as an inland sea, with choppy conditions and waves commonly one and a half metres high.

London Cornish chairman Pete Chalkley said: “Everyone really pulled together and in some tough conditions. I was particularly impressed to see some of the newer gig rowers doing so well out there.

“The conditions weren’t favourable and really tested the crews. There was serious relief and then some serious celebrations at the end. We feel like we earned it.”

The London Cornish Pilot Gig Club formally joined the Cornish Pilot Gig Association (CPGA) in January 2016 and has already grown to nearly 90 members.

The Cornish pilot gig is a traditional six-oared rowing boat with room for one coxswain who directs the crew. Each new gig is built to strict specifications based on the ‘Treffry’ which was built in 1838.

St Austell Brewery’s Tribute Ale sponsors the club and said it’s proud as a Cornish company to help the sport to grow in Cornwall and beyond.

Peter Chalkley added: “The idea for the row may well have been cooked up over a pint of Tribute after a club row.

“After that, one of the club members hatched a plan for the three gigs to be transported by a professional haulage firm from just outside London to the Highlands. They were certainly an impressive sight as they left the Essex countryside.”

The 24-strong team included some rowers very new to Cornish Pilot Gigs, but all dug deep to help their crews.

The second day saw fierce weather with 50 mile an hour winds and waves over a metre high; conditions reached the point where one gig had to sit out on the sandy banks of the loch while the worst of the weather passed.

All three crews finally made it successfully into Inverness at the end of the challenging second day with one gig sprinted for two hours to reach the finish line in time.