The launch of the National County Championships marks another significant stepping stone for the Sport of Traditional Coastal Fixed Seat Rowing. This will be the first-time rowers will be awarded the honour of representing their home Counties in our Sport, as opposed to ‘Club’ based crews, and align us with all the other main stream GB Sports.
The Sport of Pilot Gig racing now covers 10 Counties and continues to expand, both within the UK and Overseas, and counts amongst our rowers top athletes in several categories. It is my hope that this competition will grow to become a major annual competition, leading to the opening of development pathways for National recognition of our aspiring athletes, especially juniors, as well as recognition of our Sport from National bodies.
The Sport of Pilot Gig rowing is changing due to the size, spread and reach of the Sport. New approaches and ideas need to be considered to ensure that we try to cater for all members of our ‘Rowing Tribe’ from casual Recreational to Elite rowers. The National County Championships will now enable those at the top end of the sport to push for recognition. County Crews will also be invited to compete in the first ever International race against Italian National Crews (Ladies and Men’s) at Mounts Bay’s Regatta.
Cornwall is hosting the first Championships with the aim to rotate the event annually across different host counties. To help launch the Championships we have decided to incorporate them within the established Mixed Championships at Caradon, incorporating Men’s and Ladies Senior and Vets Crews and U18 Men’s and Ladies.
We aim to expand the categories as the event grows and will review the event as part of a Racing Forum to be held later in the year.
I would like to thank St.Austell Brewery for their continued interest and support for our Sport, Caradon Gig Club for hosting the event (we know they can deliver on the day) and all the volunteers who have stepped up to form, select and organise the crews for the Championships, a thankless and probably much criticised position, probably even for the winning Counties! Well done all.
Finally, good luck to the Crews on the day. I’m sure many would wish they were sat in their seats.
Trustee / Chair CPGA