GIGS in Diamond Jubilee Pageant

  • Author: admin
  • Date: Wednesday 22nd February 2012
GIGS in Diamond Jubilee Pageant GIGS in Diamond Jubilee Pageant

The Cornish Pilot Gig, Leander owned by Britannia Royal Naval College and crewed by college staff and trainees is delighted to have been selected to take part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. She will be one of the Cornish Gigs which will be travelling in the flotilla on the afternoon of Sunday 3rd June.

Gig Leander is one of 3 Cornish Pilot gigs donated to the College by the Britannia Association. Built in 2002 by local boat builder Brian Pomeroy she has been used to give staff and young officers under training at the College a chance to compete in local regattas and rowing events around the West Country. LEANDER and her sister gigs Bacchante and Ajax are named after Leander class frigates with close connections to members of the Britannia Association.

Mr Bill Thompson, a Plymouth University lecturer at BRNC, BA member and enthusiastic gig-rower for ten years oversees the three gigs at the College. “Gig rowing is a great way to develop physical fitness and stamina”, Bill stated. “It gets you out on the water in a basic, traditional craft, the grass roots level in a maritime environment”.

The task of getting the crew together falls to Leading Physical Training Instructor Ollie Osborne. Ollie is a known competitor on the indoor rowing circuit having represented Team GB in the world championships last year.

The gig crew will number six plus two reserves. Due to the training programme it will be staff members who make up the numbers and as they will be pulling over a twelve mile course some pre-training is vital to ensure effective team-working.

Ollie said “this is quite a step up for me. It is a fantastic opportunity and a huge privilege to be part of such an historical event representing not only Britannia Royal Naval College but the Royal Navy as well”.

The pageant will be the largest flotilla in modern times on the river with rowing boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes beautifully dressed with streamers and Union Jacks, stretching for an estimated twelve and a half miles. Every vessel will proudly take its place in the flotilla alongside Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family aboard the Royal Barge, The Spirit of Chartwell.

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