Help for Heroes receive exclusive new gig

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A number of the Help for Heroes gig crew attended a handover event recently receiving a bespoke, new ‘plastic gig’ from Composite Integration Ltd and Fusion Pilot Gigs.

A first for the Help for Heroes crew, the new GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) gig allows the wounded, injured and sick personnel and veterans to enhance their gig training, relieving the pressures on the wooden gig previously gifted to them by National Maritime Museum Cornwall.

Marty Aldrich, Physical Development Manager for Help for Heroes at its Plymouth Recovery Centre said: “Richard Bland and his team at Composite Integration and Fusion Pilot Gigs have been so good to us, giving a generous discount, their time, skills, knowledge and experience designing a Help for Heroes world first. Who knew that a chance meeting at Caradon Pilot Gig Club would lead to an inspired enthusiasm to help our charity, which has now single-handedly expanded and developed the gig racing arm of our sports recovery work and made a real difference to the guys that are supported by us.”

“Having this training Gig has given us so much more freedom to train on a regular basis. It has also given Help for Heroes the ability and freedom to introduce rowing to a wider audience which has both physical and psychological benefits.”

Richard Bland, his team and the Help for Heroes crew

Richard Bland, Director of Composite Integration Ltd, a partner in Fusion Pilot Gigs and rower for Caradon Pilot Gig Club says: “Help for Heroes is a charity we simply had to get involved with. Having rowed with Help for Heroes at Caradon Gig Club in Saltash and seen how competitive their members were, we wanted to contribute and make a real difference to their core goals. This was a great opportunity to help the gig team and it’s been a real pleasure working with the Help for Heroes teams designing, delivering and gifting this new gig.”

The main aim of Fusion Pilot Gigs, established in 2013, is to manufacture the highest quality GRP Cornish Pilot Gigs. These aren’t replacing the heritage of the wooden gigs used for racing but are simply used for training, offering a more affordable option for clubs to open up access to all gig club members, encouraging more to take up the sport.

Bland concludes: “Each gig is bespoke and makes extensive use of modern high performance materials and processing methods developed by Composite Integration Ltd for the marine, wind energy and aerospace sectors to produce lightweight, strong and long-lasting boats. This reduces weight and improves both strength and quality.

“Tailor made to each customer to ensure maximum performance they are designed in such a way they can be adjusted to suit each individual club. We have made 16 gigs to date and hope this partnership with Help for Heroes opens up new opportunities not just for Fusion Gigs but also for the gig community.”

More information on Fusion Gigs via Twitter: @fusioncornishpilotgigs or Facebook:


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