About our Club
Cadgwith Pilot Gig Club race with our four gigs. "Buller", "Socoa", "Rose of Cadgwith" and "Tamarisk”
At the centre of the cove is the Pilot Gig Club. It is based in the old lifeboat house for nearly 100 years before it closed in 1963. A board in the entrance to the Old Cellars lists the rescues carried out by the Cadgwith Lifeboat.
On most evenings from May to September the gig teams practice. There are open sessions on Sunday mornings, for anyone interested to join in.
The Fisherman's Apprentice with Monty Halls
Since May last year, a BBC film crew have been making a television series about life in Cadgwith, Among the highs, the lows, there is some of Cadgwith's gigs with some fantastic views and a few locals!!
Since May 2011, a BBC film crew have been making
a television series
about life in Cadgwith, and telling the story of the small boat fishing fleet. The crew were delighted that people came along to join them for a presentation about the making of the series – the highs, the lows, and the projectile vomiting.
RUAN MINOR VILLAGE HALL – Monday 19th December 7:30pm £3 on the door - all proceeds went to the Gig Club NB: Monty also give a sneak preview of his new series about the Great Barrier Reef coming out in January this year – a world exclusive (well, kind of….)
News September 2009 Report by Rachel and Katie
AGM was held in November. Thanks go to..”
Our AGM was held in November. Thanks go to Danny Phillips, Steve Jane, and Sam Jane, who have served as Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary respectively for many years between them, and we’re glad to continue to have their experience on the committee. Mike Hardy has taken over as Chair, David Henn as Vice-Chair, and Rachel Holder as Secretary. Thanks also to Emma George who remains as Treasurer, and we appreciate the work of all committee members over the last year. The current committee is George Cooper, Stuart George, Mike Halliday, David Holyer, Sam Jane, Steve Jane, Elwyn Jones, Brett Jose, Katie Jose, Parry Jose, Danny Phillips, Jeb Preston, Angie Richards.
the good news.
Cadgwith U16s are County Champions! Congratulations to our Juniors, and to Jeb Preston, their coach. Jeb writes more elsewhere about this fine achievement and thrilling final. Our U14s have also had a great season, winning the hat trick of local events (Buller Day, Helford and Coverack).
And the bad news? Buller’s trailer is missing presumed stolen, from the Community Trust car park in Cadgwith sometime before 10th September. Any help with tracking it down obviously gratefully received. Rather a specific second hand market you would think, at least without severe modification!
Events: The last few months have been a busy time for the club. Unfortunately wet weather scuppered our two Wednesday evening BBQs this year, but Buller Day on 8th August was a sunny success. We were blessed with one of the few hot and dry days of mid-summer, and the gigs made a colourful scene in the cove, and it was a fitting opportunity for us to race our new boat Tamarisk. A dozen Cornish clubs attended, with everyone enjoying both the racing and the evening party. And just as importantly, everyone scoffed lots of burgers and drank much beer, thereby making a healthy contribution to our funds! Thanks to everyone who made it such a great day, helping with everything from cake baking to commentating, umpiring to unloading boats.
Results were: Vets : Falmouth, Cadgwith, Helford. U16s : Cadgwith, Helford, Truro. Mens A : Falmouth, Flushing & Mylor, Padstow – great close finish between these two crews. Ladies A : Falmouth, Newquay, Padstow. U14s : Cadgwith, Porthleven, Coverack. Mens B : Falmouth, Lizard Football Club (yes you read it right!), Newquay. Ladies B : Helford, Mounts Bay, Newquay.
Over the summer months, we’ve also held a couple of Friday night races, which gives us the chance to mix up the crews for some (generally!) friendly competition and good training practice. One annual event we’re pleased to continue, is Peter and Tony night, where we come together to race in memory of two Cadgwith fishermen lost at sea in 1994, and which this year concluded with a hearty sing song on the slip.
Further afield, our ladies A and B crews attended the County Championships at Newquay on 12th September, gaining places of 56th and 65th respectively, in a day of racing where deteriorating sea conditions stacked odds in favour of crews in the faster earlier heats. But such is Newquay! Our mens crews head up to Newquay on the 26th, and we wish them well for this the last race of the season.
Our new gig shed on land beyond the Community Trust car park is watertight and largely complete, and we’ll be looking to fundraise to finish elements such as electrics and internal boarding over the coming months. It’s a fantastic building which will stand us in good stead for many years, and will allow us to store and work on our gigs protected from the elements.
As the racing season draws to an end, we would like to thank everyone who has put so much into the club, whether it be as a rower, supporter, or fundraiser and in particular we would like to thank Danny Phillips, who has recently stepped down as Chair, for all that he has done for the Club over many years.
We have finished refurbishing our building (aided by a Heritage Lottery Grant), donations to funds are always welcome.
Help and sponsorship, a huge thankyou!!!
Cadgwith Pilot Gig Club would like to thank all of you who help and support us, those who sponsor us, it really helps, the costs are high, maintaining the Gigs, the Clubhouse running costs, transport to the events, safety and clothing and a lot more. Sponsorship is extremely appreciated and this can range from monetary donations to the supply of clothing such as jackets, t-shirts, vest tops for racing, etc. We are happy to add advertising boards to the gig trailers which are towed throughout the region, and are also willing to advertise our sponsors' details on this website.
If you would like to sponsor us, please contact us.
All those involved say a huge thank you! The Club plays a large part of the Cadgwith social scene, and helps all ages get together, this helps preserve the village and Community life, so its very important those who Sponsor us. Cadgwith Pilot Gig Club would again like to thank you all.
Cadgwiths Pilot Gig boats
Our gigs are "Buller", "Socoa" "Rose of Cadgwith and Tamarisk"
The first of Cadgwith's gigs is the "Buller". "Buller" was built by the Devoran Shipwright, Ralph Bird in 1986. She is a copy of the famous gig "Treffry". She got her name from a local, Richard Redvers Arthur, otherwise known as Buller.
The second of the gigs came along in the form of "Socoa". Built in 1990 by John Moore of Mevagissey. "Socoa" was built as a sailing ship, but is now used for rowing. She was named after a French sailing ship that got stranded off the Cadgwith coast in 1907.
The 3rd of the Cadgwith gigs is dedicated in memory of two local Cadgwith fishermen, Tony Culmer and Peter Williams, whose fishing vessel, the "Karen Marie" sank off the Cadgwith Cove in 1994. The "Rose of Cadgwith" was built in 1994 and is currently the main racing gig of Cadgwith. Cadgwith commemorate the lives of Peter and Tony by holding races between the Cadgwith crews, the Peter and Tony races.
And in 2009 we have are new slightly lighter gig, TAMARISK, thank you to all who have helped pay for this and raised money, working hard, supporting fund raising, buying our goods: t-shirts posters etc, and a very big thank you to a certain couple who have given us a large sum.A gig, or pilot gig, is a 32 feet long clinker-built rowing boat with six rowers and a cox. Although many new boats have been built in recent years, some have survived since the early 19th century and are still in use.
The original gigs were used to take pilots out to sailing ships as they approached the Isles of Scilly or coast of Cornwall. The first pilot aboard the ship got the job, so the gigs evolved into very fast seagoing rowing boats.
There are many gig clubs around Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, Devon and there are even some overseas.
Each gig or boat built of Cornish narrow leaf elm, 32 feet long with a beam of four feet ten inches. They have a crew of six rowers, male, female and mixed, with the addition of a coxswain at the helm of each boat to navigate.
It is recognised as one of the first shore based lifeboats that went to vessels in distress, with recorded rescues going back as far as the late 17th century.
The original purpose of the Cornish pilot gig was as a general work boat, and the craft is used for taking pilots out to incoming vessels off the Atlantic. In those days the race would be the first gig to get their pilot on board a vessel (often those about to run aground on rocks) got the job, and hence the payment.
Pilot Gigs today
Today, pilot gigs are used primarily for sport, with around 100 clubs across the globe. The main concentration is within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, there are also clubs in Devon, Dorset, Wales and London. Internationally there are pilot gig clubs in Australia, the Faeroe Islands, France, the Netherlands, and the USA.
All modern racing gigs are based on the "Treffry", built in 1838 by William Peters of St. Mawes, and still owned and raced by the Newquay Rowing Club. However non-racing gigs have been built which do not conform to the exact specification of the Treffry and are disallowed from racing in competitive races.
The sport is governed by the Cornish Pilot Gig Association, which monitors all racing gigs during the construction phase. The Association's Standards Officer is responsible for measuring every gig at least three times during construction, to ensure that it conforms to the Standard set by the Association.
The 100th gig, built for the Bude Gig Club
by Ralph Bird was launched during the summer of 2005.
Thanks to your support”
Cadgwith Pilot Gig Club would like to thank all of you who help and support us, those who sponsor us, it really helps, the costs are high, maintaining the Gigs, the Clubhouse running costs, transport to the events, safety and clothing and a lot more.