A new black Rock to watch out for in Falmouth
After years of fundraising, months of careful craftsmanship, and weeks of planning Falmouth Gig Club’s latest addition to the fleet, Black Rock, was launched on Sunday from the club’s home at the Falmouth Watersports.
Though one of the most successful and senior clubs on the pilot gig circuit, this is Falmouth’s first new club gig since 1997. Black Rock will take her place alongside Energy (1985), Fury (1992), Idas (1997) and Tom (2001 punt), joining Falmouth’s racing gigs the Irene and Irene Too (kindly loaned by Chris Green) as a regular sight at the top of the leaderboards.
Built by David Currah in Looe over the past 12 months to strict standards laid down by the sport’s governing body the CPGA, Black Rock is a noticeably light, fast, and head turning boat, finished in varnish and named after the most prominent landmark at the mouth of Falmouth Harbour. Standing between Pendennis and St Mawes headlands the conical danger mark has a place in Falmouth’s history dating back to the Tudor period, features on the town coat of arms, and is the start line of the club’s Friday Night Racing.
As Falmouth’s senior pilot, and along with club treasurer Emma Campbell one of the most tireless fundraisers for the boat, David Barnicoat was invited to name and launch Black Rock, followed by a traditional blessing of her and all her crews by Reverend Jon Robertshaw. To rounds of applause and cheers from crowds gathered on the pontoon and in the bar, she was then taken for her maiden row around the harbour with David gracing the pilot seat in the bow. The crew of Adam Evans, Rosie Lyons, Vicki Drummond, Janet Cave, Emma Campbell, Sarah Bond and Nick Maxted (cox) were selected by way of thankyou for the part they played in making her arrival a reality. Club Chairman Greg Oldrieve also thanked the Foundation for Sports and Arts, Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, A&P Falmouth, Falfish, Marine Towage Services, Sub Marine services, Denholm Barwil, Falmouth Pilots, Falmouth Marine Band, and the Oddfellows Arms for grants donations and fundraising, Mackerelbus Design for the boat graphics, and all those businesses who have donated Christmas Raffle prizes over the years without whom the cost could not have been met.
Mens A were delighted to be pulled out of the hat as the first crew to race Black Rock in the Two Castles race which followed the launch, fitting given the amount of work put into preparing her by several of the crew including Men’s Squad Captain Fergus Muller, Boat Husband Adam Evans and Simon Moses. After being tailed closely by Mens B in Idas for the first few minutes, she and her crew cut through the water to leave the rest of the line up standing, cruising home to complete the 3 mile course in a remarkable 24 minutes. Mens B held onto second and Zennor’s vets crew in Melusine came in 3rd to break up a home 1, 2, 3, with Falmouth Ladies A 4th in Irene.
The club would like to thank all and every one of the members and wider Falmouth community who in their many ways contributed to her purchase and hope that Black Rock will no doubt prove to become a familiar sight at the head of the pack in races across the gig circuit.
If you’re interested in joining us next year, or just giving the sport a go, come down to the gig shed at the Watersports Centre in Grove Place (between Trago and Events Square) on Wednesday evenings for Novice rowing from 6pm ‘til it gets dark or go to www.falmouthgigclub.co.uk.