WPGC 2012 – discounted travel?

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The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company (IOSSC) have suspended a controversial voucher system from this year’s travel booking procedure. IE, things will operate in the same way as last year where discounted travel to the islands is available for passengers who are gig club members.

Non-discounted IOSSC fares have increased this year but prices have been pretty much unchanged since 2009. With the fuel price inflation over the past few years, it’s hardly surprising that IOSSC feel the pressure to raise prices.

So, are higher fares and accommodation costs making you reconsider attending the WPGC this year?

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  1. Matt

    I am going over to the IOS for the champs (on the ferry), would not want to miss it for the world. Guess some people will want the champs to be moved to the mainland in the near future,i really hope not.

  2. Penny Chuter

    Yes, I am confining my stay to the shortened discount period (it was 1 week either side of the Championships), and in the past I have stayed, and spent money on the IOS, for the 2-week discount period. Now that the discount period is reduced, my stay, and therefore expenditure on the Isles is also reduced. P.

  3. Colin

    Several of our younger, keen rowers have had to pull out of the Scillies this year specifically because of the cost of the weekend.

    It would be a shame if the Scillies weekend became limited to wealthier rowers, or to people from wealthier clubs which can afford to partially cover the costs for their members.

  4. Martha

    Hello!! I made a comment on line 3 yrs ago after my accommodation/rent was doubled, that the Scillys was on its way to becoming a competition of the biggest wallets not the best rowers, there was some unkind remarks made about it too at the time, I now see that this very subject is on the front page of gig rower, well done gig rower! It is a fab and wonderful weekend, alas I cant afford to go anymore! but I hope those that can afford it have a wonderful time. I will end with the same comment that I made 3 yrs ago,
    Scillys don’t kill the goose that lays you the golden eggs!

  5. Tinks

    I think Scillies is a very very special event and it is such a shame people are struggling with the cost.

    There will always be a place for the WPGC but with the growth of the sport I think the question now is this:

    Is it now time for a big weekend long championship on the mainland ? a whole weekend of professionally run straight line racing ?

    Be interesting to know what growth strategy the CPGA have as the sports governing body.

  6. Seals

    I agree that a longer championships on Scilly would be better, or something similar on the mainland. Especially if it works out more affordable for some.

    BTW I got reduced plane fares even though I booked for a week.

  7. Issy

    I agree that it would be a pity if rowers couldn’t come over for the expense. There are cheaper accommodation options like the methodist hall and camping. However I do feel that the Steamship Company are being unfairly criticised. They are offering discount fares to rowers…they already sponsor the event. I think to make spectators pay the full amount is fare enough.

    • Happy Rower

      Why should someone be charged so much to come and watch an amateur sport? There are plenty of places on the Mainland that this event could be held at, making it much cheaper for those that want to participate and those that want to spectate. The cost of this weekend will slowly kill it.

        • Happy Rower

          Im Pretty sure people would turn up! Look at the Newquay entries this year. There are pleas on the mainland that are far more accessible that Scillies, theres no cost in accommodation, food, and transportation of gigs. The possibilities are endless, especially if you consider the 2012 Olympics and the massive project in Weymouth, Accommodation, guaranteed conditions all in one place!

          • MAP

            Do we want our sport to become a national sport or not. If not keep the Worl Champs on the Scillies if we want our sport to grow we need to improve access to the champs. i.e Weymouth

          • Ottie

            Happy Rower, our club would be delighted if you could organise our club’s food, accomodation and transportation at Newquay for no cost. Would you also consider including free parking in the deal?

  8. Nicky

    First Great Western does a great train/helicopter package and you don’t have to be a rower. Complete fare is £125 return (Liskeard > St Marys). You still have to pay for the transfer from the station to the heliport but it’s so much cheaper. It helps with the overall cost of the increasingly expensive weekend.

    • Tracey

      Hi Nicky can`t seem to get any info from first great western re; train/helicopter package`have you got a number I could phone?
      Thanks Tracey

  9. George

    It is a difficult time financially for alot of people and any discounts available are very welcome.
    Travel to Scilly is expensive unfortunatley but I think that the islands are the perfect unique place to hold such an event.
    The history of gig racing starts in and around the islands and this event has grown year on year.
    Living expenses have also grown year on year but peoples pay packets not so much.
    I think it would a massive loss to the whole gig rowing community to lose this event and hope that travel providers and accomodation providers in Scilly realise that they need to offer good value to secure the future of this fantastic weekend.
    As much as people say that Weymouth could offer a comparable experience, I’m fairly sure that Scilly has a special place in many peoples hearts and is the home of the WPGC since the very start.
    The combination of the beauty of the islands, the pilot gig heritage and overall relaxed and community feel of the whole weekend works so well in the small community of Scilly, that I don’t think could be so effective in a mainland venue.

    • Matt

      To true George, I just love going over each year on the ferry because it is usually my only holiday besides work.

      Clubs who have 3 gig’s or more should be capped to prevent over crowding of the main beach on St Mary’s as it is a good idea.

      • Adam

        Matt, why should clubs with 3 gigs or more be capped? Some clubs could have 3 or 4 crews in the top 20 and yet you are suggesting they shouldn’t all be allowed to attend and instead lesser crews should be take their places?

        As the whole premise of the event is racing, I feel it should be the less competitive crews that are excluded (if any have to be), rather than simply weeding out the field based on club affiliation.

        On the whole ‘Scillies or Weymouth’ debate, I can see both sides. I do enjoy the Championships on the Scillies and it does have a special feel. However, I also feel that little is done to make the weekend affordable and a ‘price reduction’ of £4.50 per trip from the Scillian hardly constitutes supporting the event considering how much extra business the championships generate for them. I would like to see it remain on Scillies in the longterm, but feel moving it to the mainland for a yerar or two may make them realise how much they need the Championships.

        • Matt

          Adam, the point i was saying is that clubs are going to build ‘new’ gigs or buy used ones from other clubs. The main beach on St Mary’s can not cope. I would like to see a team from devon win the men’s final or it might be the dutch crew’s who take the crown from Mount’s Bay in the near future, you would not want to mess with those guy’s!

          Sorry to everyone (inc you and Alan) if I wanted to have a rant

      • Alan

        I agree with Adam, why should a larger club be penalised and prevented from attending one of the major ‘racing’ events of the year. As Adam says there are several clubs who can field 2 or 3 crews in both the Ladies and Mens top 2 groups, who have all trained very hard (in some cases to get a place in the C crew).
        This event and Newquay are the only places that C (and D) crews can get meaningful competition to test themselves against the best crews.
        Preventing such crews from entering would do more to harm the status of the ‘World Championships’ as a premier event on the calendar, and render it as more of a social event. If it comes to limiting numbers then the WPGC committee need to decide which way they want to go.
        As an event, I think the WPGC is second to none, the atmosphere, location, the close run format of the races, and prizes for each group give all crews realistic targets to aim for, lets keep it that way.

    • Jim

      My club is probably not going to go this year, on the basis of total cost, especially to our younger members. Are any others clubs still considering numbers?

    • Suloouk

      As a Weymouth rower, I have to say that despite the increases in costs our club members love going to the Scillies for the championships, look forward to it, and compete keenly to be a crew member taking part in the Pilot Gig World Championships!

  10. Dave Hall

    last year was our first year as a gig club ( clevedon) and we went to the scillies. Surprise, but maybe not we didnt do very well BUT we had a lovely time and yet again im in a tent. The view, the history and the whole event was great and would be destoyed if it went to Weymouth. Before you all moan I probably travel the furthest except for the dutch men so a £100.00 petrol bill is on my plate as well!!

  11. A Woodland Clevedon

    I am camping on the scillies this year ,not to every ones taste i know . But at £40 .00 for three nights on a bank holiday is a bargain I would pay £22.00 per night in Devon for the same weekend .
    Use the food tent for wholesome food and youve saved a few more quid So the only extra expense is transporting the gigs and the ferry cost . In my mind thats worth it for the magical experience

    • Lucy

      Yes the costs are a lot, and it would be beneficial in the short term for rowers/supporters and in the long term for Scillies tourist economy to look at meaningful ways to reduce them.

      Restricting crews simply isn’t fair on either the more competitive C / D crews who get ruled out or the less competitive crews who get in by default. One of the best things about the weekend is that all crews get to compete against thier peers for a true reflection of where they stand in the overall gig world rankings. It’s a gig rowing rite of passage wherever you end up.

      As for moving the event to the mainland I don’t see how this would work, where else has the atmosphere, history and logistics? Can you really see gigs stored in the street in Newquay, Falmouth or any other large mainland town for at least a long weekend without it causing problems or resulting in damage? Our club has looked at organising something similar and it isn’t as easy as people seem to think.
      Clue is in the name really, we all look forward to ‘Scillies’, not the ‘Worlds’.

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