Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club was founded in January 2010 by a small group of keen gig rowers who felt it was about time
Barnstaple had its own pilot gig club, in this growing traditional sport.
After founding the club a training gig was purchased from Cattewater
Pilot Gig Club (Odessa) to enable potential new Barnstaple members to
get a taster of the sport and begin on water training.
This created a large amount of interest and within 12 months the club had
over 50 members, this number is still growing.
To enable the club to compete competitively a CPGA certified race gig was needed, and other various equipment which would be useful to take part in gig rowing. Various fundraising events were planned to start raising the cash needed.
In November 2010 the race gig was ordered following a generous donation from the Keith Abrahams Charitable Trust.
The new gig was built throughout the winter and the club took delivery of this in March 2011. This boat would allow members
to participate in numerous regattas across the south west and beyond, it would also increase the time on the water for clubs
The club started out rowing from Appledore as there was no where to store the gig in Barnstaple. This was until Bernard
Maskill offered the club the use of his shed on Rolle Quay. This meant that we could store the gig safe and dry and start
rowing on the river Taw. We have now had to move from this shed due to construction. We are now based on the old Gliddon
& Squire site at the end of Mill Road (next to the Rugby Club).
On the weekend of receiving the gig a blessing ceremony was held and Keith Abrahams named the gig “Lady Freda” by
wetting the bow with local Barum Ale.
Shortly after this, Lady Freda was shipped off to the Isles of Scilly along with 35 club members in order for them to take part in
their first competition at the World Pilot Gig Championships.
The club has been now got a new plastic training gig thanks to a grant from Sports England. This is our 3rd gig and will allow
us to get more members on the water for longer periods, which is the main priority as membership numbers grow.
In August 2012 we founded the Barnstaple Pilot Gig Club Junior Section, who are now known as the "Barum Blades". We currently have a very keen group of youngsters who train together at least once a week - tides and times willing.
They will no doubt be competing at the World Championships in years to come and will be representing us in local regattas.
Early in 2013 the club took delivery of their second plastic training gig and are fund-raising for a much needed second race gig to accommodate the clubs growing membership of all ages who want to represent Barnstaple in this growing sport.
Toward the end of 2013 the club got a second racing gig, thanks to a generous donation. This additional racing gig will allow even more members to compete in the many regattas and competitions.
for, whether this is for social rowing, rowing for fitness or for competition. This is in line with the fine traditions of our sport
where keen competition on the water is matched by fellowship off it!
Our belief is that by making the club fun, with a friendly and helpful membership, the likelihood of racing success is greatly improved. Safety and fun come first, competitive success will happen thereafter!
The club will encourage the formation and development of both male and female and mixed crews of all ages and abilities, all
of whom will get coaching and assistance appropriate to their level and their aspirations.
For the latest news on Barnstaple Pilot Gig club please check out the News page.
Please check out our short presentation which we hope will give you an idea about what our sport is all about.