Gig Weekend Chairman Appeals For More Accommodation Space

Gig Championships Chairman, Rick Persich

Gig Championships Chairman, Rick Persich

The Chairman of the World Pilot Gig Championships Committee wants landowners to offer camping space for the May Bank Holiday event.

Rick Persich says there’s increasing demand for accommodation from visiting clubs who are bringing more people each year.

And Rick says new clubs that would like to participate are being hampered because it’s harder to find places to stay.

Although registration hasn’t opened yet, there’s confirmed interest from the Bermudan rowers and clubs from Malta and Brittany have expressed a desire to attend in the future.

Rick believes that a short-term, three-day temporary campsite is permissible under planning rules.

The event organisers don’t get involved with sourcing places to stay but it is clearly becoming more of a challenge.

Rick says that the committee always thought that accommodation would be the most significant factor in deciding how much the event can grow and now it looks like the championships could be reaching its size limit.

The committee has also had many more emails asking for the loan of gigs. Rick says again he’s passed on these appeals but this is something else that is beyond their remit.

Over the next few months a new commercial partner will be sought.

Rick is philosophical about the loss of the championship’s long-running sponsor Ginsters.

The Cornish pasty producers have changed priorities and Rick says he’s sorry that the relationship will end, but adds they have been highly supportive of the event and gig rowing in general.

At their recent AGM, Islands’ Partnership event manager Zoe Parry was voted in as WPGC committee secretary. Zoe will be responsible for helping identify new funding opportunities.

Another potential change involves adjudication. After some controversy this year, the committee is investigating potential for an umpire boat.

Rick says that could be used in the final races to support decision-making.

Whether or not that happens is yet to be decided.