From the Greatest Show to the Greatest County – A Cornish Legacy
The flame may have been extinguished but here at Team GCG we want to ignite your sporting side and show you exactly what makes Cornwall so inspiring.
It was one of the most sort-after tickets on the Olympic calendar, for some totally inexplicable reason, we are now all experts on beach volleyball, well the male population at least. Why import sand though when you have the finest to choose from right on your doorstep. Not that you should need any excuse to throw off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes as an array of beach volleyball tournaments are held throughout the summer and open to all ages. Get your shorts on, slap on the sun cream and don’t forget the sunglasses for making secret tactics with your eyes.
When you have the most decorated Olympian in sailing having learnt his skills on our waters, then there must be something special about our coast. On the surface is where all the action is and so what better way to explore our magnificent coastline than by following in Ben Ainslie’s wake. Take to the waters off the Roseland Peninsula and experience some of the best sailing and canoeing areas in the country. You don’t need any experience or equipment, just a sense of adventure for sailing the high seas or rather calm waters.
Penzance‘s very own Helen Glover will be remembered as the athlete who claimed the first gold for Team GB at London 2012 and helped put rowing firmly on the sporting map. On a river or out to sea, Cornwall has been traditionally associated with gig rowing from early rescue origins to modern day competitions. On any given day you will spot a dedicated team heading out to do battle with the waves and deep blue. With clubs dotted around Cornwall, the county’s finest will be taking to the waters and letting their oars cause a splash at the 2012 Newquay Ladies Gig Championships on the 8th/ 9th September.
With almost 300 miles of coastline acting as your aquatic playground, no visit to Cornwall is complete without dipping your toes (and the rest of your body) into our tempting waters. Azure tones, and maybe a wave or two, awaiting to greet you so what better way to soak up the coastline from an entirely different perspective. Naturally, open water swimming is always safer in numbers so the perfect solution is to head down to the Festival of Sport taking place from 14th – 16th September. Don your wetsuit, or swimsuit for the very brave, and swim your way along a choice of 1.5km, 3km and 10km distances set against the stirring backdrop of St Michael’s Mount.
Whilst we may not have a velodrome here in Cornwall we do have something far superior and much more exhilarating at no cost – enough endless country roads, challenging terrains and rousing scenery to keep your legs in motion for mile upon mile. The Cornish Way, Route 3 on the National Cycle Network, reveals quaint fishing villages and historic towns along the complete route. With almost 30 miles of traffic free peddling to enjoy, the whole family can soak up highlights en route including the Eden Project, the Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Camel Trail.
For some people one sport just isn’t enough though and you so if you have been motivated by the exploits of the Brownlee Brothers then why not try your hand at a triathlon, it is the world’s fastest growing sport after all. 2012 sees the launch of the new Cornwall Triathlon Series, with ten races to choose from dotted around the county and enough inspiring scenery to keep you moving along at your own pace. Paddle through the open waters of Perrenporth, ride through the rolling hills surrounding Bodmin and run along the charming Camel Trail in Wadebridge. The great thing about triathlons is that you get three sports for the price of one and once completed you can have the honour of calling yourself a triathlete amongst your friends.
Hopefully we have inspired you to give up your armchair Olympics and sample all the wonderful sporting opportunities that Cornwall has to offer. Don’t just take our ideas though as we would love to hear what you have been inspired to participate in.
From everyone at The Good Cornwall Guide, we salute our Cornish Olympians and look forward to seeing even more in Rio.