ILRACOMBE PILOT GIG CLUB
A SHORT HISTORY of the PILOT GIG
Originally Pilot gigs, dating from 1790 were built to transport the pilot out to sailing ships waiting to enter Cornish harbours. A ship only needed one pilot, so the first one to arrive at the ship got the job - and the pay! It is easy to understand why these craft were built for maximum speed and to cope with the sea and weather conditions off the Cornish coast. Original Gigs were often rigged to carry sails too.
Gigs have also been used as lifeboats (and for smuggling contraband !)
Gig racing is open to teams of Under-14's, Under-16's, Ladies 'A' and 'B' crews, Mens 'A' and 'B' crews as well as mixed and veteran participants.
Gigs are all constructed to the same specification. Made from Elm, they are 32' long by 4'3" across the beam. There are 8 seats (called "thwarts") for the coxswain, six rowers and a "seagull" in the bow. The boat has a "stroke" side (port) and a "Bow" side (starboard), the rowers are staggered along the thwarts, and each rower pulls a single oar.
The CORNISH PILOT GIG ASSOCIATION
In 1986 the Cornish Pilot Gig Asociation (CPGA) was formed b y 4 clubs in Cornwall and the rules for boat construction were established.