Phoenix Naming Ceremony

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The sun shone for the blessing of Portishead Pilot Gig Club’s new training gig, Phoenix as part of the Festival on the Quay celebrations in Portishead last weekend.

The name Phoenix, chosen by club members was to represent the redevelopment of the Portishead coal fired powered station into the fantastic marina there today – rising like a phoenix out of the ashes. Phoenix was built by Cornish boat builder Trevor Deakin.

Gig rowing is one of the fastest growing water sports in the country and with the arrival of Phoenix, Portishead Pilot Gig Club is no exception, with the club membership now standing at 60, since it was first established in October last year.

It is tradition that a new boat be blessed to bring luck when out on the open seas and protect all those who use her and Portishead Pilot Gig Club was delighted that that Reverend Phillip Auden MNM DL blessed Phoenix with a sprinkle of local Somerset tipple Thatcher’s Cider, surrounded by the club, representatives from Portishead Quays Marina, Portishead RNLI and members of the local community.

Local Shanty Singers the Barnacle Buoys followed the naming ceremony with traditional sea shanty maritime classics.

Portishead Pilot Gig Club Secretary Tanya Saker said “It has been a really special day, a real celebration of maritime history in Portishead. We are so pleased to have Phoenix finally here. Since we set the club up last year we have been overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and support from the local community. Our membership has grown from 5 to 60 in just 9 months and so to have our first fibre glass training gig was very much needed to enable us to continue to offer this affordable sport to the people of Portishead. We’re looking forward to an exciting future of traditional gig rowing along our coastline and the joy, health and well-being benefits it will bring to the people of Portishead”

The club has recently celebrated a successful application to Sport England, having heard they were will receive a grant of £10,000 towards the commissioning of a new wooden racing gig. The club is actively fundraising and seeking sponsors to raise the remaining money needed to enable them to commission their first racing gig.

Portishead Pilot Gig Club is a friendly, sociable club that rows regularly throughout the summer and winter. For further information please visit our website or email [email protected]


Courtesy of Portishead Gig Club

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