Clovelly Gig Regatta
Saturday, 29th August 2020
Clovelly Gig Regatta celebrates Devons best teams going head to head in a fun but intense day of competition .
We hear you are asking what’s in a Gig…?
Gig Rowing has exploded in popularity over the last few decades. There are now Gig Rowing Clubs all over the South West and beyond. But what is a Pilot Gig? How did its design evolve and why is it such a good racing boat?
The first record of a Pilot Gig is in 1666 when one is listed as helping the crew of a stricken ship off the Cornish coast. The fact an open rowing boat was taken out in heavy seas illustrates that this was no ordinary dinghy.
The gigs were designed for the highly competitive world of professional pilotage and in the 18th and 19th Century, especially in Cornwall and the Scilly Isles, being a pilot was a dog-eat-dog business. Individual pilots would race to get to the ships needing help, with the first there getting the job and the payment – a pilot who could not get to ships quickly enough would soon go hungry.
The West Country boasts a long tradition of racing pilot gigs. Gig racing is exciting and strenuous, with crews reaching speeds of 9 knots in North Devon’s powerful tidal waters.
You’re assured an exhilarating day’s racing. So come along and cheer on the brave crews!
Watch the video of the event filmed and edited by Miles Trevelyan-Johnson in 2019:
Normal admission charges apply