On Saturday 12th January 2019, Falmouth Pilot Gig Club will launch their new Pilot Gig ‘Arwenack’ at 12 noon at the Watersports Centre in Falmouth, Cornwall.
Club members past & present plus supporters are expected to gather at the water’s edge to see the brand new Cornish Pilot Gig built by Peter Williams and blessed by Revd. Jon Robertshaw from The Mission to Seafarers which will be launched officially for her first outing on the water.
Taking 5 months to build by traditional clinker boat builders Peter Williams, all Cornish pilot gigs built today follow the lines of the gig ‘Treffry’, a 32 foot long pilot gig built in 1838. The Cornish Pilot Gig Association (CPGA), who oversees and maintains this one class design send out inspectors at various points to make sure each gig is built to the same measurements. This will be officially recognised as CPGA gig number ‘204’ in the current modern fleet, with each gig now receiving their unique ID.
Club Captain Greg Carrol says of the launch: “This will give the club three fantastic race boats, with the additions of Black Rock & Governor, to allow the club members to attend as many events during the summer as possible and increase our members’ racing time. This will hopefully be turned into some good results at the major events in the Gig calendar; The County Championships and World Pilot Gig Championships.”
This will be Falmouth’s 6th built Cornish Pilot Gig since their inception, with the club updating their fleet by selling previous versions to allow for faster, more competitive racing gig. The current fleet will now be brought back up to four wooden gigs, and two GRP training gigs.
The name ‘Arwenack’ has much history within Falmouth with the infamous Arwenack House. Arwenack House is the oldest building in Falmouth, originally built in 1385 and then largely rebuilt around 1567-1571 by Sir John Killigrew, the first Governor of Pendennis Castle. At that time it was described as ‘the finest and most costly house in the country’. Arwenack will be official named by Falmouth Club President David Barnicoat.
The club will hope to see great success at the upcoming World Pilot Gig Championships 2019 held on the Isles of Scilly, with the Ladies’ and Men’s finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively plus the Men’s SuperVets being crowned World Champions in 2018, to push to bring both Open and SuperVet titles back to Falmouth. Ladies’ Captain Karen Beswetherick comments: “We are looking forward to be rowing a beautiful new race boat, the Arwenack at the World Championships in May.
Our Ladies’ squad has grown this year with some great talent coming through which means we will have strong crews competing. We will have four crews in the open competition and 2 SuperVets crews which is great for us. Having a new race boat and kit will hopefully make it an exciting and successful weekend of racing.”
The Club wishes to thank everyone who made this possible, from the members raising funds, to Peter Williams for the Build and the support of the community that will see a little bit of Falmouth History take to the waters.
Everyone is invited to join in the celebrations which we look forward to seeing everyone there.