Portishead Pilot Gig Club attended the Pilot Gig World Championships in May which took place on the Isles of Scilly. This was a historic moment for the club and the town of Portishead, with the club having only been set up for less than a year.
The racing order for the long weekend consists of the Veterans and Super Veterans races on the Friday; racing from St Agnes to St Mary’s.
Then Saturday holds two heats each for the men and women in open crews, followed by a third heat and the final on the Sunday.
The first race on the Saturday is a spectacular sight with over 150 boats lining up along the mile-long start line. In this race, crews race from St Agnes to St Mary’s, to cross the line and be given their group letter. Each group consists of 12 boats and these boats race each other in the heats to come. From here the first two boats to cross the finish line get moved up a group, while the last or second to last boats move down a group.
This year heat 3 was forced to be cancelled due to the foggy conditions on the Sunday morning but the final still took place later on that day, seeing the rowers race from Nut Rock, Tresco to St Marys, in a final sprint to the finish!
All crews raced exceptionally well, especially considering that some rowers have only had 6 months rowing experience. Final positions were as follows:
The weekend was an absolutely fantastic experience for all involved. The club wouldn’t have been able to compete without the help and support of Portishead Quays Marina, the clubs main sponsor and Porthgain Pilot Gig Club who transported the oars all the way to Scilly in their race gig, the Ella Rose.
The club borrowed the “Dolphin”, a Scillonian gig built in 1969 from the small island of St Martins for the event as Portishead do not yet have a racing gig of their own.