Just some positive and “international Pilot Gig news” from the Netherlands. Over the last 6 month’s our Gig Club (Scheveningsche Roei Vereniging) was responsible for training and coaching a team of 10 (troubled) youngsters, age 16 to 20, to row from Lowestoft UK to Scheveningen Holland. Therefor they had to cross the North Sea in a Cornisch Pilot Gig: a 36 hours, 90 nautical miles journey! The challenge was organized as a Youth Project by a local organization that gives young people somewhere to go – offering activities, workshops and social support. The youngsters started their rowing trip last Wednesday at 08:00 hour and did arrive Thursday at 20:00 hour local time. They had rowed in shifts of two hours long. A fully equipped support boat – including a RIB – was present to guarantee the safety of the rowers.
With this rowing project we challenged claims that this group of youngsters from Scheveningen are only troublemakers with anti-social behavior. After 36 hours of rowing, these younsters proof the community that they are no, or more than troublemakers as they were working as a team to overcome any barrier that stands in the way to achieve their goal: a successful – 90 nautical mile – crossing of the North Sea, from Lowestoft to Scheveningen. They showed the community, their friends and family, that they do have the discipline to train 2 to 3 times a week. Crossing the North Sea was huge challenge for them, beginners as they are. Especially if you know there were moments they had to deal with waves of 2 to 4 meters high at dark night!
The whole group arrived safe and well at Scheveningen Harbor, welcomed by many friends and family and hundreds of spectators. As a side effect, we gave the sport of “gig rowing” some positive attention as the whole project was covered by local and national press and TV.