LAST July, shortly after leaving the fake tan and stilettos of Essex and arriving in Cornwall, I began my career in gig rowing with Nankersey Rowing Club. 

I immediately fell in love with it, even if my technique was a touch ropey to say the least despite my “individual” power, as a member of the club has described it before.

What I never anticipated was ten months later I would be taking a seat, at number two, in our men's crew for the World Championships on the Isles of Scilly.

But this was the case I found myself in as I experienced the biggest competition the sport has to offer.

Just after Christmas, I was somewhat recruited into the boat as a training reserve but eventually became part of the six rowers who would tackles the notoriously harsh waves which crews have to contend with at the Scillies.

Alongside the rest of our crew, we got some expert training from legendary cox Rob Hilder, a well known figure in the gig world, and despite not getting in enough practice as we should have, we went over to the islands in confident mood.

In 2014, the team experienced success as they topped Group I and we had ambitions of at least replicating this.

Catching the early ferry from Penzance, it was clear to see how big a competition is was as the Scillonian was full to the brim with rowers sporting t-shirts and hoodies with their club logo on.

Once we arrived, the sight of the boats lined up along the beach was also splendid to see and got me buzzing for the competition.

I shouted my voice away onboard a supporters' boat cheering on our veteran ladies crews over the line for their race on Friday and then the following morning it. Was our turn.

Rowing out to the start point for the long race, the waves crashing into the boat between the channel splitting St Mary's and St Agnes as some felt like they would tip our vessel, Serifina, over.

Thankfully they did not and we got under way with more than 140 other boats at the same time.

Although the waves had not subsided, it was a great experience to behold and we were starting to overtake boats for fun before our number five, Tony Sims, lost his oar as a mini typhoon ripped it out of his hands.

We worked our way to the finish with just five oars and even though we lost a few positions stayed ahead of plenty of boats and were set up in Group J, where we won the short race later in the day.

Now promoted to Group I, we gave our all for in the two races on Sunday to record third and second place finishes, missing out on a podium place after leading the final for a large part of it.

When I say we gave it our all, I really mean it as my hands were blistered to death and required a lot of attention from the wonderful St John's Ambulance volunteers.

It ended up being a weekend of many what ifs for Nankersey's men, but ultimately it did not matter as it was a fantastic event to be a part of.

Growing up I always wanted to take part in some sort of World Championship and although I never envisaged finishing 98th in my dreams, being involved was one of the best experiences I have had.

The camaraderie with your team-mates and excitement around the weekend was superb and makes it worth attending, even if you are not part of a gig rowing club.

It was even worth the bandaged up and painful hands.