Gig Championship Chairman Warns Islanders About Prices

The Chairman of the World Pilot Gig Championships committee is appealing to Scilly businesses not to hike food, drink or accommodation prices over gig weekend, in case it strengthens the case of rival rowing venues.

Some rowers who have complained about the high costs involved in coming here have suggested Weymouth as an alternative.

Rick Persich says Weymouth’s club has assured him and the Cornish Association they don’t intend to rival Scilly.

He thinks the Steamship Company is doing their bit by reducing freight charges from £305 to £132 per gig and offering reduced club member fares.

But he says the Cornish Association has flagged up concerns over pricing during the event with some islanders charging more for the weekend.

Many attendees complain that the price of food and drink goes up.

Rick says he understands the laws of supply and demand but says it would be “better to moderate any rises than lose the event.”

From Radio Scilly

Rick Persich talks to Keri Jones about the upcoming gig championships

He cautioned the community, “not to kill the goose that lays the golden egg” and reminds providers that this is traditionally a shoulder period where occupancy is low.

Rick will also meet with Steamship Company Chairman Andrew May to try and resolve complaints over gig transportation.

Mainland clubs are unhappy that their gigs have to be shipped over in mid February and don’t go back until June, meaning some clubs have months without their gigs.

Despite fears that costs could affect attendance, 107 gigs are currently registered and Rick expects 125 to line up. That’s just 2 fewer than last year.

Rick Persich

There’s been interest from a river rowing club at Henley this year, who may still attend, and the Dutch club Loosdrecht will bring back the re-named former Tregathen’s Gig, Treasure.

There’ll be a number of new boats this year.

And Rick reckons Caradon will aim to regain the championships in their new boat, which is reportedly much faster.

Most arrangements on the water will be unchanged. The curved start-line at St Agnes, which was introduced by Keith Hale last year will be used again.

The Club has invested in a new, sturdier, aluminium stage for the prize giving.

The food in the tunnel will also be different. Maggie Tucker’s team will offer less salad and more hot food like meat pies.

Rick says feedback has revealed that rowers would rather have calories and carbs.


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