Best Performance at World Championships

  • Author: Nichola Winstanley
  • Date: Friday 27th May 2016
Best Performance at World Championships Best Performance at World Championships

Gig crews from Britannia Royal Naval College recorded the best ever result at the World Pilot Gig Rowing Championships held off the Isles of Scilly in April.

Two crews from BRNC were among the largest field of competitors attending the annual event. The College A crew finished 77th of a record 150 crews, competing against the USA, Bermuda, Ireland, Holland, the Faroe Islands, and clubs from across the South West.

The College B crew won their heat and finished 97th, which as a stand-alone result is BRNC's third best ever parformance. Its all the more impressive given that none of the B crew had rowed a gig before January this year.

Flight Lieutenant Mark Dunstan, the RAF Liaison Officer at the College, is in charge of the Pilot Gig Team. He Said: "The sport of gig rowing is very closely aligned to the aims of BRNC. Not only does it require commitment, determination, teamwork and excellent physical fitness, but it takes place in the open sea. There is no better way to learn about the effects of wind and tide than when you have to use your own body to overcome them. The team have demonstrated excellent sprit to develop from novices so quickly, and I'm proud of them and the results they have achieved.

The Cornish pilot gig is a six-oared rowing boat, built of Cornicsh narrow leaf elm, 32 feet long with a beam of four feet and ten inches. It is recognised as one of the first shore-based lifeboats that went to vessels in distress, with recorded rescues going as far back as the late 17th century. The original purpose of the Cornish pilot gig was as a general work boat, and the craft was used for taking pilots out to incoming vessels off the Atlantic. At the time the race would be the first gig to get their pilot on board a vessel to secure a job, and hence the payment. The gig Rowing world Championships is now larger than ever attracting over 5,000 people to the Scilly Isles, making it officially the biggest rowing event in the world.

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