Portishead Pilot Gig Club make good start to 2019 season

PUBLISHED: 08:47 11 March 2019

Portishead Pilot Gig Club face the camera

Portishead Pilot Gig Club face the camera

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Portishead Pilot Gig Club began the 2019 season at the annual Three Rivers race in Cornwall.

Portishead Pilot Gig Club's new pilot racing gig Black NorePortishead Pilot Gig Club's new pilot racing gig Black Nore

The six-mile endurance event saw 160 crews row through the Tamar, Tavy and Lynher rivers and underneath the iconic Tamar Bridge.

Weather conditions were challenging as crews faced strong winds and tidal currents during the hour long race.

But the club raced BlackNore, their recently acquired wooden Cornish pilot racing gig, with the men and women in heat six.

After strong starts both crews made gains on the way to way to the first buoy and, during the second, much more challenging stretch of the row with tide and wind against them, Portishead came into their own and passed many others as they struggled against the wind.

The men’s crew finished 37th out of 74 and the women were 38th out of 76.

Club Secretary Debbie Cogley said: “We’re thrilled with these results given the club was only established at the end of 2017 and this was the first endurance race for many of our new members.”

Cornish pilot gig racing is one of the most popular and fastest growing water sports in the country.

Pilot Gigs are 32ft, wooden, six-oared rowing boats, traditionally used for pilotage, harbour work and as lifeboats.

Portishead’s Gig Club was established in October 2017 and has since grown to over 60 members with three pilot gigs, two for training and one for racing.

There are over 8,000 active gig rowers competing throughout the year at regattas along the UK’s coastline, culminating in at the annual World Pilot Gig Rowing Championships on the Isles of Scilly in May.

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