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Gig club celebrating 25 years of success

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 02, 2013

  • CELEBRATIONS: The River Fowey Gig club is marking 25 years of success with a mini-regatta.

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THE RIVER Fowey Gig Club will celebrate 25 years of success this month.

A mini-regatta will be held at the port to mark the club's 25th anniversary.

Formed in 1988, the club was established after townsfolk raised an interest in starting a Cornish Rowing Association (CRA) club.

However, due to the increased popularity of gig racing in the county it was decided that a gig club would be formed instead.

During the past 25 years the club has gone from strength to strength, with both the men's and ladies' A crews scooping fifth places at this year's Isles of Scilly World Championships.

To mark the club's anniversary, a day-long event will be held on Saturday, October 12 when past and present members are encouraged to attend.

Describing how the club was formed chairman Jon Rolls, said: "A meeting was set up at the Fowey Hotel and 40 to 50 people attended. A committee was formed and training started using an old four-oared boat from a local boatbuilder. Each evening the training boat would be taken from its moorings up the river and towed down to Albert Quay where individuals would turn up to train.

"The club started to race at events using borrowed gigs from Roseland and Newquay gig clubs. Maurice Hunkin, on a race day, would drive to Newquay to get the Active, tow it to an event, race and then tow it back to Newquay afterwards."

1989 was a special year for Fowey River Gig Club – when its first gig was built. Named Rival, it was built by respected builder Ralph Bird.

In 1996, an anonymous donation allowed the club to build a second racing gig, Gallant, built by Dave Currah. This was followed by Lantic, which the club commissioned Maurice Hunkin to build and was launched in 2003.

The club's current main racing gig, Troy, was launched in 2011.

Jon continued: "Fowey has consistently turned out competitive crews, both men's and ladies.

"The ladies spent nine years in the top three at the county championships at Newquay as well as winning the world championships, while the men remained unbeaten for a long time in the early Nineties.

"We've had a cracking year this year and in addition to the world championships the Ladies A team came fourth at the county championships, the Ladies B took third overall in the Tribute series and the Juniors won the U14s Counties, U16s came third at counties and third overall in this season's Tribute series.

"Fowey saw success around the racing circuit from the beginning and has maintained its position since."

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