Friday 19 July 2019

Cleaning the GRP training boats

Having both of our training boats moored permanently in Newlyn harbour is such an advantage for our club, we simply step off the pontoon into the boats and start rowing. Whereas most coastal clubs launch off a beach and rely on the weather & tide times. The only thing we have to do is take the boats out of the water occasionally and clean their bottoms of algae & barnacles, not only does this make the boats glide better, the banter between the club members is priceless :-)


Followed by a little ditty from Anna Murphy.©

Rowing today. Cleaning the boats, tip side up, keel a beard of seaweed and barnacles, methinks I glimpsed a tattoo of finger marks on the bow, five on each side, a lonely mermaid perhaps? The ghost of Captain Weirdbeard trying to catch a lift home? Wind too teasy for us today, sea outside the harbour a basket of wrestling kittens and lions. Up and down past the restless fishing boats, our oars like windmills.

3 x Level Two Coaches

Pendeen Gig club has three fully qualified level two, fixed seat, coaches.

Jan Barton completed the course, and passed with flying colours, in March 2014.

Shirley Pitts our Junior coordinator qualified alongside Stephen Brown during the early part of 2017 to complete the three coaches still involved with our club.

The club's aim of having any fully qualified coaches has now become reality and they can now apply to gain the British Rowing accreditation mark. The club is thrilled to boast that they can now provide three qualified coaches, well done to all of them a brilliant achievement.

The accreditation is an award set down by all governing bodies to show that the club is a safe & secure environment for children to precipitate in.

The club also boasts a number of male & female qualified coxes, first aiders, two welfare officers & a safety officer and may other co-opted members who work together as a team.

For further information please contact our club secretary using the email form  on this page.


Jan with her Batty Crew.



Shirley delighted to be coaching & coxing the juniors.                             Stephen taking the helm during training.

Huge congratulations to all our coaches, keep calm & keep coaching.





Anna's Rowing Ditties

Sea as lumpy as a sailors chin, sixteen hands frozen to oars, sun bouncing off paddles, rhythm as steady as a heartbeat, the bow a dolphins dive, eight happy women, hands thawing on pontoon. ©  

Unnamed black & white bird, smooth carney waves, mist of rain whispered across ocean from the lizard, men’s crew sliding on a greenly pontoon. ©  

Sea as tricky as a basket of eels.Effortless, amused guillemot riding the curve of the waves, watching us with a birdy glint. spray from oars a lemonadey fizz. Mens boat a sliver of silver under winter sun. Into the harbour we turn back to Yellow and Blue, arms a twist of muscly rope, or so it seems. Hearts pumping like beam engines, dreaming of Scilly's seas. ©   

An offshore north by north- west, a south-easterly blowing a Captain Harvey's bellow. Up by Low-Lee, a teasy breeze off shore and inshore, whipping up a westerly Sally Gunn, chased closely by a western-easterly-southerly-nothern gust of a midshipmans chest. The sea's a tricky lover, tempting us out with a gentle offshore-inshore kiss-of-a breeze, then up by lifeboat, tossing us carelessly aside like a salty Don Juan. A hard row in against "the like a cat in a bonfire, don;t know which way to turn" wind, we were all to one side like Smoothy's crab. Gulls welcomed us in, like frantic bunting against a steely sky. ©  

We slip out of the narrow gaps as if carrying contraband, rum and lace, brandy and dubloons. Sea a turquoise aquamarine, quiet as a sock draw. Past the gape of Penlee quarry, past the rust and burnt umber ferns on the cliffs, not a gannet or gull in sight. They must know something. Second row, a streak of blue sky to tempt us, rumours of rain backing off up to the Lizard . Then, out at Low Lee, in it comes, slanty and wetter than a bucket of fish, sea bad tempered, a sneaky mist with it's friend the wind. Back to the loving arms of Newlyn harbour, Neil the cox a human shiver, the rest of us Wet- Ass -No- Fish. Back home dry-clothes-warmth creeps over me like a sigh. ©  

Cleaning the boats, tip side up, keel a beard of seaweed and barnacles, methinks I glimpsed a tattoo of finger marks on the bow, five on each side, a lonely mermaid perhaps? The ghost of Captain Weirdbeard trying to catch a lift home? Wind too teasy for us today, sea outside the harbour a basket of wrestling kittens and lions. Up and down past the restless fishing boats, our oars like windmills. ©  



Club History

Pendeen Pilot Gig Club is a true community gig rowing club, founded in 1998 after local youngsters won a fun gig event. We currently have three gigs, but have recently been awarded a substantial amount of funding to help towards a second wooden racing gig, which is very exciting news for the club, especially after the formation of a new junior section recently.

Our racing gig called "Avarack" is named after the rocks off the coast of Pendeen lighthouse. She is a traditionally built wooden racing gig by Andrew Nancarrow and was launched in October 2000. She has been used numerous times in the world gig championships on the Isles of Scilly and in the 22 mile rowing marathon, The Great London River Race, which takes place every September.

In October 2007 we acquired a new GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) training gig named "Portheras" after a local cove.

The second GRP training boat was launched in August 2010 and named "Pendeen Watch" after the lighthouse in the village.

As a club we cater for all ages and abilities, offering junior rowing from the age of 12, with under 14 & under 16 race classes. Ages continue right up through to the Super Vets category.Our oldest active rowers are now in their 60's proving that age is no barrier in this sport.

If all you want to do is treat rowing as a "fun" exercise there is no pressure to become seriously race fit, but there is something curiously addictive about training,and, mark my words,you'll soon be inquiring about race events!

We train up to four times a week and compete regularly throughout the racing season between May & September.


Mixed Crew @ Saltash 2013.


L - R : Sue W, Tristian, Sue N, Geoff, Dan, Mike & Charlotte.

First Race for Geevor 2014

Traditionally Pendeen send crews up to the first event of the season the 3RR, held by Caradon Gig Club @ Saltash. This year was no exception, a Men's & Ladies crew attended this race, with another 52 boats lined up, clean & shining after a good winters maintenance. This year our new racing gig "Geevor" lined up for her first race. The ladies managed to get a crew together and rowed a time of 1hr 15mins. The men also excelled coming in 31st out of 52, a great start to this season in a time of 50mins.
If your interested in rowing for Pendeen please use the email facility below to contact us or simply turn up on a Sunday morning @ 10am, Newlyn Harbour by the RNLI office. Your first row is FREE.

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