Inaugural “Festive Marathon” Row For Cornish Barbarians Pilot Gig Club

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Cornish Barbarians Pilot Gig Club will be hosting their very first event on 29.12.2018 – a Festive Marathon 26.2 mile group row from Looe to Portmellon aiming to raise over £2000 for charity.

Involving 40 invited rowers and coxswains from 11 different pilot gig clubs across the country, calling in along the way at the ports of Fowey, Polkerris, Charlestown and Mevagissey and raising money for two incredible charities – Bowel Cancer UK and Cystic Fibrosis Trust – it promises to be an amazing day and the first of what the organisers hope will be many future Cornish Barbarians rows for great causes.

The Cornish Barbarians

As with everything worth talking about, the idea for the Cornish Barbarians was born around a table in a pub on New Year’s Eve after a pasty, a few beers and a last-minute row between old friends.

At the time, everyone round the table rowed competitively for different clubs – but all wanted an excuse to get together in a boat every once in a while and enjoy a break from race training.

Inspired by the famous travelling Barbarian F.C Rugby Club, an idea was finally floated: raise money through rowing, invite old friends from different clubs to come together and make a few new ones whilst doing some epic things in gigs. Hand in hand with supporting great causes, the ethos of Cornish Barbarian rowing would be underpinned by participating for leisure, enjoyment and heritage – and spreading camaraderie between rowers from different clubs.

The idea stuck and, although it’s taken a couple of years to come together, a lot of paperwork and a few too many late nights, on 29.12.2018 the rest – as they say – will be history.


Founding members proudly supporting the new kit!

The Event Schedule

Although all seats in the five gigs taking part will be filled by invited participants, the Cornish Barbarians event organisers would love to see as many supporters as possible en-route! The rowers and coxswains will be shaking buckets at each of the pubs they stop at – and every ounce of support and every pound donated will mean a huge amount (and help the club reach their first fundraising target!).

If you can’t make it to any of the stops below, you’ll be able to catch updates – along with a drone-stream of the row courtesy of Steve at Southwest Sky Visions – on the GigRower Facebook page.

The Cornish Barbarians’ scheduled arrival times at each port/pub will be as follows. Please note, timings are calculated at an average rowing speed of 4.5 knots and our arrival to each port will be subject to change depending on weather etc:

And Finally…

As a club with no members (only participants), no kit, no gig and no fixed “home”, Cornish Barbarians have had to rely on the generosity of a huge amount of individuals, clubs and organisations to help get their first event up and running. In no particular order, the organisers would like to thank the following for their support!

  • The CPGA
  • Looe Rowing Club
  • Charlestown Rowing Club
  • Bristol Gig Club
  • Par Rowing Club
  • Torpoint Rowing Club
  • Goran Rowing Club
  • Padstow Rowing Club
  • Mevagissey Rowing Club
  • Caradon Rowing Club
  • The safety boat captains (Will Hancock, Sandy Pears and Rick Hallows)
  • The Landlords of The Galleon in Fowey, The Rashleigh in Polkerris, The Rashleigh Arms in Charlestown, The Fountain Inn in Mevagissey and the Rising Sun in Portmellon
  • Broad Meadow House Camping

The borrowed Gigs that will take on the challenge



The route the Gigs will take

Article courtesy of the Cornish Barbarian Gig Club

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