Steamship Company Committed To Supporting Gig Championships

Gig loading on scillonian 2013The Steamship Company say they’re committed to continued sponsorship the World Pilot Gig Championships because they know how important it is to the islands’ economy.

Commercial Manager Nick Sanders says the company will continue to offer sponsorship, with sizeable discounts for gig crew’s travel and moving their boats over to the islands at no charge*, because the success of the event impacts on so many businesses here.

After meetings with mainland gig officials, the company re-scheduled movement of the boats nearer to the championship weekend, with around two boats being carried from the end of March on each Scillonian trip and six on the Gry Maritha.

From Radio Scilly

Nick Sanders from the Steamship Company talks to Radio Scilly

In the past, earlier shipping meant some clubs were without their best boats from soon after the New Year.

Nick says all UK gigs have now been moved and this week, only overseas boats will be carried, in recognition of the effort the Dutch crew undertake in transferring their gigs from the Continent. They’ll also be amongst the first clubs to have their boats sent back to the mainland after the event.

Nick says the company has the capacity to move everyone and the boat will carry more rowers than last year, in the double sailings on Friday. It’s full with 432 passengers on both journeys to Scilly but this year, following the refurbishment, everyone will have a seat.

The company say they can also cope with the extra air travel demand for the event, the first without a scheduled helicopter service, as they’ve concentrated on shorter flights from Cornwall and leased an extra Twin Otter plane.

*Nick Sanders has subsequently confirmed that the Steamship Co actually charge each club £100 return for transporting the boats, which, he says, still reflects a large discount based upon their normal tariff.