St Austell Brewery takes on the Champions!

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St Austell Brewery has crowned its longstanding partnership with the Cornish Pilot Gig Association and support for the increasingly popular sport by signing up as a key sponsor for this year’s World Pilot Gig Championships on the Scillies.

Now in its 29th year, the Championships have long been a highlight of the Scillonian and Cornish rowing calendar, with upwards of 160 boats and their crews converging on the islands for the first weekend in May.

As part of the sponsorship, and alongside perennial sponsors the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, St Austell Brewery’s flagship Tribute Cornish Pale Ale will now become the official beer of the weekend event, with funds available to help the Championships committee to manage the ever-expanding number of registrations from around the world taking part in Men’s, Women’s, Veterans and Super Vets races between May 4th and May 6th on St Mary’s.

Speaking of the new sponsorship deal, Jeremy Mitchell, Brewery Marketing & Communications Director said, “We have been proud supporters of pilot gigs for well over a decade now, so to become official joint sponsors of the World Championships is the natural progression of our commitment to helping the sport as it continues to gather new followers year on year. We’re thrilled to be a part of this celebration of the sport on the Isles of Scilly and to safeguarding its future for an even wider fan base in the coming years.”

As a well as having a presence on Town Beach and in the ever popular ‘Tunnel’ canteen, Tribute will welcome contestants and spectators alike with official banners on the town quay as well as keep officials dry with some much-needed all-weather gear.

Commenting on the new relationship, Committee advisor Terry Ward said, “Over the years the championships have grown in scale and popularity to the point where we simply couldn’t handle every aspect of the event without some external sponsorship. We’ve always had the unstinting support of the steamship company and we knew that if we brought someone else on board as a key sponsor, they would need to have a special connection, not only to the islands but also to the sport.

“My daughter Georgia, who runs the IOS store, and myself were asked by the Committee to try and drum up some much needed new, fresh and relevant sponsorship, and we were only too happy to help. The first people that we approached were St Austell Brewery and it quickly became obvious that we were pushing against an open door. They stepped up to the mark without question or hesitation and we’re thrilled to have them on board for what look set to be another fantastic Championship event.” 

The programme for this year’s Championships sees the Veteran’s races fought for on Friday 4th with the Men’s and Women’s events running across Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th. For more information on the event and for registrations, visit For information about the sport, visit

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