Gig Championships Chairman Looking Forward To Next Year’s Event

Gig Championships Chairman, Rick Persich

Gig Championships Chairman, Rick Persich

The Chairman of the World Pilot Gig Championship committee says he feels the weekend went better than ever, with record entry levels and a smooth-running event.

And now Rick Persich says he wants to start work on next year’s 25th anniversary event.

Rick wants to increase international participation, encouraging former attendees from Brittany, Massachusetts and the Faroes to take part.

The weekend started well for islanders as the St Mary’s Emma Louise crew won the Friday evening Ladies Veterans race and became World Champions.

That’s despite rower Vicki Hitchens being unable to row for part of the race after losing two pins. Sister and crewmember Selena Baxter said the team had, “good aggression” and had been working hard since January.

The lumpy conditions played in their favour and Selena said they wouldn’t have known what to do if the sea had been flat. And the crew paid tribute to their young cox Ben Johnson for, “putting up with whingeing old women,” during training.

The Emma Louise crew also won the Mens Group B pool and St Martin’s gig Iron Maid won in Mens Group D.

The Islander crew topped the Ladies Group F. Team member Beth Collier says they didn’t go to the start expecting to win, but just rowed as hard as they could. And Vik Heaney says it was a special win as it’s the 20th anniversary of the Islander gig winning the championships.

Falmouth mens and ladies crew successfully defended their 2012 World Champion titles.

Some crew were unhappy about being disqualified but Rick says all clubs are made aware of the rules.

Rick said they’ve had two previous years where there weren’t any disqualification after a number in 2010. But he said the six boats disqualified in the Ladies Veterans race this year pushed the line by half a length, which was too much to ignore.

He said he’s had complaints from some of them, but Rick says they need to have a word with their cox’s for getting them into that situation.

From next year, clubs will be asked to register online to prevent issues over multiple registration and confusion over whether crew have entered as veterans or super vets.