Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club Launch New Gig

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Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club has launched their newest race gig. This race gig is their second race gig and much needed in order to cope with growing numbers of competitive rowers.

The naming ceremony was held on Castle Quay with several people in attendance including North Devon gig clubs, family and friends all showing their support

Mrs Dianne Denney blessed the gig in a traditional way and the bow was wet with local Barum Ale.
The new gig was kindly funded by the Keith Abraham Charitable Trust. Keith Abraham (Trust Founder) has named the boat ‘Nipper’ this was the nickname that Keith had in his younger years and was known to many as Nipper.

Once the naming had been done ‘Nipper’ was put in to the River Taw alongside the clubs other racing gig (Lady Freda) and taken for a row along the river as supporters watched from the quay.

When the row finished Nipper was loaded on to the trailer & club chairman, Keith Baker (Club Chairman) thanked everyone for coming and all those who have helped and supported the club in past and future months.
Special thanks went to Keith Abraham as the addition of an extra race gig will allow Barnstaple to compete with more crews at the World Championship on the Isles of Scilly and future regattas over the coming season. The support from the Keith Abrahams Trust is greatly appreciated and all members love to see Keith at events or training sessions.

Keith Baker finished the ceremony by making 3 promises
1. To use this boat to get as many rowers on the water as possible.
2. Continue developing a strong junior section, which will be the future of the club.
3. To make the club as strong and successful as we can, and build on very good foundations.

The day was very successful and the club is looking forward to competing in many regattas and competitions, starting with the World Championships on the Isles of Scilly at the beginning of May.

It was great to see so much support from the local community and keep an eye out for us training hard on the River Taw and other North Devon locations.

The gig club is currently seeking support from local businesses, organisations or individuals in order to purchase the bits that are needed to fully kit out Nipper ready for the racing season. They are also offering Sponsor Boards on their new Trailer, which will transport Nipper to many Regattas & Competitions.

Maurice Hunkin & Son of Fowey built the new gig, traditional clinker built with elm planking and oak knees; it is 32ft long and 4ft 10ins on the widest part.

For more details about the club please visit

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