Report from Peter Fisher of the CPGA, who has been liaising with area groups over the past winter to discuss this new initiative.
Next year, the CPGA are adding a new event to the racing season. The National County Championship, sponsored by The St Austell Brewery Tribute brand, will replace the old Tribute Championship (star events), which is being moth balled.
This new championship will help create pathways for rowers to progress above club sport, and have wider opportunities representing Cornish Pilot Gig rowing and fixed seat rowing nationally and internationally. The new event also supports the growing regionalisation of our sport, as more local leagues are being formed within counties and area groups are being re-established.
Each county that has a CPGA member club is eligible to create a crew /squad and pick a gig from its membership and race under their County banner. All counties will be required to pick the crew from as many clubs as possible (not just picking the top club crew in the county). This method should also help increase the standard of rowing in as many clubs as possible, because rowing styles and theories will be shared.
The 2018 event will be run during a club regatta as it will comprise of 3 races; Men’s Championship, Ladies Championship and Under 18’s Mixed Championship, and is likely to currently comprise of up to eight counties. Once the event is established, more categories can be added and run as an event on its own. Each county will have an opportunity to hold the event on a rota.
2017 is being used as an establishing year, so counties can set up their own structures and selection committees to meet these new requirements.
The National County Championship is not replacing any of the current club events, which are still regarded as important because they allow as broad a range of rowers as possible to compete, a fundamental which is at the heart of our sport.
The CPGA are also looking for clubs to express an interest in hosting a 2018 mixed and veterans championship as well as an additional event that would include Under 18 racing. This could be run as single or multiple events, in either a club’s own boats or borrowed ones, depending on location and format suggestions. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help or have feedback.
Photo courtesy of Jo Zimber showing gig coxed by Peter Fisher