Ten Gig Crew To Row For St Mary’s This Year

The Bonnet following her refit

The Bonnet following her refit

St Mary’s gig club will have the highest number of crew for several seasons following this year’s allocation of boats.

Chairman Andy King says there’ll be six mens crew and four ladies crew rowing, which he says bodes well for the sport on the island.

The club has held an extraordinary general meeting to allocate gigs for the upcoming domestic inter-island gig rowing season, which runs from May to September, as there was a low turnout at the AGM when allocation would normally have been discussed.

Andy says the committee put forward a proposal for allocating gigs based on being competitive against the off islands and rewarding continued crew commitment.

All gigs have varying characteristics, he says, and the two slower gigs unfortunately have to be allocated to crew that will inevitably have preferred a better boat.

Andy says the domestic rowing on Scilly is unique as all gigs vary quite a bit from the standard specification. The series of ‘Swap’ races can determine who is the best islands’ crew with all the ‘Trophy’ races in your own boat a chance to continue weekly rivalries.

He added that there’s no perfect method for allocating boats as, in the absence of a typical club setup that has a hierarchy of crew, each crew is in effect only interested in its own performance.

One change this year is that the committee will be expanded to include a representative from each boat.

Andy says the club’s gigs are generally in very good condition thanks to the efforts of club members and also following major refits.

The Bonnet has just returned from a refit with Peter Martin and Andrew Hicks, and Andy says she looks stunning and should be good for another 183 years.

The club is planning to raise funds over the summer by selling off their old oars and replacing these with new lightweight and more efficient racing ones. They’ve also received £3,000 from Sports Mode from the sales of championships merchandise, and Andy says without support like this, they’d have to charge a lot more for membership.