Bermuda Gig Club Will Come To Next Year’s Championships

Bermuda Gig Club rowers. From the club's Facebook page.

Bermuda Gig Club rowers. From the club’s Facebook page.

A Bermuda-based gig rowing club has confirmed that they are coming to Scilly for next year’s World Championships. And now they need our help.

The group from the British territory at the other side of the North Atlantic has launched an appeal for accommodation over the first Bank Holiday in 2016.

Former Appledore rower Steve Lock has relocated to the island to develop the club member’s rowing skills.

Steve knows what to expect in Scilly as he’s rowed in seven Gig Championship events previously.

He says the club’s rowers are good and the conditions in Bermuda can be tough because of the temperature.

Yesterday morning the men and women were out on the water at 8am in 85oF (30oC) heat.

Unlike Scilly and Cornwall, getting funding hasn’t presented a huge challenge because Bermuda is an offshore financial centre and there is cash available for sports.

The club quickly raised $125,000 to commission three fibreglass boats for training and they’ve secured traditional gigs to use during the championships.

They’re borrowing one from Clovelly Gig Club and are lining up a second from another club. That means they’ll be able to field both A and B Mens and Ladies crew.

And he feels the Ladies A crew are “very strong” and could end up around the middle of the table.

Steve doesn’t think training in plastic boats with disadvantage the Bermudans when they’re on the water over here. He says wooden gigs are easier to row at sea than fibreglass although he admits the “long, choppy” stretch from St Agnes could be a struggle for them.

The club executives have already found places to stay. Steve says they are now committed to coming over and need to secure accommodation for all the rowers.

Steve says Bermuda is a wealthy country and they’re not after a freebie. They are prepared to pay and are ideally looking for a weeklong booking.

They would prefer to stay on St Mary’s because as first timers, “that’s where the action is.”

There’ll be around 20 people in total.

Steve hopes that Radio Scilly listeners will come forward with offers of assistance in the same way that they helped the club from Massachusetts find accommodation for their first championships this year.

You can contact the club through Radio Scilly.