Tuesday 16 July 2024

Club History


For further information Contact Us on - 07956 884 122

Our Club was set up after local youngsters won a fun gig event in 1998, and achieved 'Lottery' funding to launch their first, traditionally built, wooden gig in October 2000. Avarack, named after rocks off Pendeen Watch, was built by Andrew Nancarrow at Bissoe, near Truro. We have since acquired further grant funding to buy two GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) training gigs - Portheras in 2007 and Pendeen Watch in 2010. Though there are grants available from time to time, we are essentially self-financing, and as such we supplement our membership and rowing fees with various social, fundraising events, which will always need the support of all members. We are very grateful to local companies and pubs that assist us with sponsorship, and are always looking for new funding sources, particularly as we have still a little way to go to raise the £22,000 for our new wooden gig which will be completed in September 2013.

As a club we cater for all ages and abilities. If all you want to do is treat rowing as 'fun' exercise, there is no pressure to become seriously race fit, but there is something curiously addictive about training and you will soon be asking about race events. Junior rowers are welcome from the age of 12 and row for free after joining; they need parental consent up to the age of 18 and are eligible to row in Junior Races until they reach 17. (Appropriate adults are CRB checked). We hold our practice sessions at Newlyn, rowing from the pontoons below the RNLI office (TR18 5HW). We row all year on Sunday at 10am and during British Summer Time we add Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5.30pm. We have recently established successful sessions for juniors too and these take place on Friday afternoons in Newlyn from 4pm, apart from the mid-winter months when they are at 11.15 on Sunday. We have quarterly business meetings and publish a monthly newsletter, aptly named the "Gig-gle", with details of our activities and rowing times.

The 'umbrella' organisation for Gig Rowing is the CPGA (Cornish Pilot Gig Association) and, as well as controlling essentials such as registration and Health and Safety, they organise the 'Tribute Challenge' each year. This consists of 3 Race days during the summer, where we can only row actual Club Members and thepoints gained at each event accumulate, giving a final CPGA position for the year. There are 'A' and 'B' races for both Men and Women plus 'Mixed', 'Vets' (over 40's), and junior races. Gig Clubs throughout the South West also host their own race days during the summer with a similar selection of races. The rules are a little more relaxed for these and we can borrow rowers from other clubs if necessary. We try to attend as many race days as possible, lifts can be arranged and they are a fun day out at the beach. The highlight of the racing year is the World Championship event on the Isles of Scilly during May Day weekend. Attended by all Gig Clubs, the racing here takes a different format. There are 4 events, "Men's and Ladies' Vets' rowing from St Agnes to St Mary's on Friday evening and the main 'Men's and Ladies' event which takes place over the rest of the weekend. The main event consists of one spectacular race from St Agnes with over 100 Gigs starting together, creating a league table of divisions which then race against each other three times from the close Nut Rock, shuffling positions until the final race on Sunday. Early in the season, this race always gives the incentive for competitive training for rowers to achieve a place in the 'A' boat as well as something for us all to look forward to socially.

For more information, or to arrange to come and have a free "taster" row with us, please contact our Secretary on the email link on this page.

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. ©  



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Race for Life

Every year hundreds of ladies dress in pink and take part in the Race for Life raising much needed funds & awareness for Cancer Research UK. This year, 2014, some of Pendeen ladies took part, not only did they represent the club but they ran their hearts out for a great cause.

If you would like to donate to help the ladies raise funds for such a worthy cause please use the email facility at the bottom of this page.



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