Final Preparations Underway For 2012 World Gig Championships

With little over a week to go until the first competitors arrive in Scilly, final preparations are being made for the 23rd World Pilot Gig Championships.

Chairman of the Championships Committee, Rick Persich, says this could be the first year that there are more women’s crews than men’s.

He thinks 124 gigs will be in the men’s races and 126 in the women’s races with130 gigs in total having registered.

One new club, Portland, is taking part with the borrowed gig Baccante.

And four new gigs will be taking to the water; Amazon from Caradon, Grace from Charlestown, Winspit from Swanage and, of course, the new Tregarthen’s from St Mary’s, which will be launched and blessed by both Islands’ reverends on Friday lunchtime.

Rick says Boscastle, who were the only club to withdraw this year, have now contacted the registration officer and asked if they can be considered for a late registration. They’re considering rowing across from the mainland and Rick says they will be welcome.

One Dutch gig has withdrawn due to major repairs being necessary, but the crew will still be rowing in the borrowed gig, Irene Two.

New for this year is the Super Veterans race, where crew members must be at least 50 years old. So far 8 ladies crews and 12 men’s crews have signed up for that.

And Rick says a record number of gigs have expressed their interest in taking part in the sailing race with 7 or 8 expected for the traditional Monday morning event.

Refreshments will be provided this year by Leslie Thomas and her Brownies who have a one-off fundraising drive, instead of the Ladies Lifeboat Guild.

And Rick tells us that, in anticipation of some close finishes, a new ultrafast monitor has been purchased to review the finish line.

The Championships kick off on Friday 4th May at 6.30pm with the Ladies Veterans race, followed by the Men’s Veterans at 8.00pm.