It’s mid April – that can only mean one thing…. it’s nearly time for the club to pack their racing kit and head over to the Scilly Isles for the World Pilot Gig Championships.
The 2016 World Pilot Gig Championships will take place on the Isles of Scilly from Friday, 29th April until Monday, 2nd May. This is the 27th year that the event has taken place and each year it gets bigger. Crews attend from as far afield as Holland and the USA. The majority of participants, however, come from the South West where the wooden pilot gigs are still built locally and race regularly. The atmosphere is buzzing and unlike any other weekend of the year on Scilly.
Long ago, acting as a pilot and guiding ships through the treacherous waters off the Isles of Scilly and Cornish coast was a well paid job. The first pilot to reach the boat would win the contract and earn much needed money. The pilot gigs, which accommodate six rowers and a coxain, would race out to get the job. Competition was fierce and an element of this can be seen today when the gigs come from all over to take part in this unique event.
The veteran’s race kicks off the proceedings on Friday night followed by men’s and women’s races on Saturday and Sunday.
We are all very excited, some of the new rowers in the ladies B team are a little nervous but they’ll settle right in after a few glasses of Port!