Cornish Pilot Gigs
A Cornish Pilot Gig is a 6 man rowing boat, 32 feet in length and a 4ft 9in beam. They are Clinker built with Elm on Oak. Their specification is based on the "Trefry" , a gig built in 1838 and still in regular use by Newquay Rowing Club. Their original use was to take pilots out to incoming ships in the Atlantic Approaches. The fastest gig would be in with the best chance of securing the pilotage fees. Originally a commercial venture, now the sport of gig racing has become established throughout the West Country to the South Coast, Wales, Ireland and beyond. Holland, France, the Faroe Islands, Australia, Bermuda and the USA are just some of the overseas gig rowing communities.
Our 1st Gig - Sir Tristan
Tristan was built by Alan Hangar at Kingfisher Marine
, with the help of two other founder members . Alan had served his apprenticeship in the same loft some 40 years earlier building Clinker dinghies. Kingfisher was of course, where Tristan worked as an apprentice marine engineer. With sponsorship and donations of materials, our first gig was launched on 2nd June 2001. It was named Sir Tristan, making a neat connection between Tristan, through Arthurian legend, to the Celtic origin of the boat's design.
Our 2nd Gig - Penny
The second boat, like the first, was built by Alan Hangar at Kingfisher Marine. It was launched on 2nd March 2002 and names after Tristan's friend Simon Penny, who died nine months before him. He too had worked for Kingfisher Marine. Simon was affectionately known simply as Penny, so too was our second boat named.
Our 3rd Gig -Isolde
In 2008 we launched Isolde, our third gig. She was commissioned from a professional gig builder Dave Currah from Looe in Cornwall. Dave Currah had a reputation for building fine racing gigs. She has turned out to be all that we hoped for. All racing crews improved their performances since she was adopted as our first dedicated racing gig. She was funded by club fundraising activities and by grants obtained after lots of hard work by our fund raising committee.
Our 4th Gig - Tristan
Having three gigs, with one being reserved for racing, kit soon became apparent that we needed another to satisfy the number of club members wishing to row. We were so pleased with the success of Isolde that we commissioned another gig from Dave Currah. A large tranche of funding came from the use of Penny in the film " The Boat that Rocked". Tristan was launched early in 2010. It was the 10th anniversary of Tristan's death and the club decided that this new gig should be named "Tristan". She has since become the clubs dedicated racing gig.
Training Gigs Kingfisher, Mixen and 'New Gig'
Kingfisher and Mixen are fibreglass training gigs. Kingfisher was launched in April 2013 and as our first training gig, is a helpful addition to the club as she can be stored on the water, making it easier for our Junior crews to launch. The growth of the club resulted in the need for a second training gig and Mixen joined Kingfisher in Spring 2013. White Nothe is our newest training gig and she arrived at the beginning of June 2020.