To Falmouth for Orders!

The CPGA asks us to set our annual regatta date in the autumn, and we tie our event into Falmouth’s, so that visiting clubs might make a weekend of if. Little did the old committee realise what a terrible date they’d picked – there was hardly any water due to spring tides! Not great for the traditional sprint races between the two quays in Flushing.

With a lot of beach and not much water this had our Chair, Dave Matthews thinking. Why not do something that celebrates the heritage of the Cornish Pilot Gig, and have crews competing to be the first one to get their pilot to collect ‘orders’?

Crews racing to get their pilot back to the beach…

On Sunday 25th June we held the regatta.  With such little water, we had to make it an invitation only event, and were delighted to welcome a handful of clubs. The race format was a “Le Mans” racing start, with crews/pilot running down the beach to their waiting gig, with Cox in place. They then had to back up and round a buoy, causing much shouting and competion for water. The gigs then raced out to the waiting ship, BOB, positoned off Trefusis Point. They had to round the ship clockwise and then race back to shore to put their pilot back on shore. It was as much a test of coxing skills as the power of the rowers.

Our Ladies C dressed up as fairies for their race…

Of course there was another demand – clubs needed to be in fancy dress (of course!), with the pilot having to wear (and return) a tricorn hat. Club secretary Julia Webb-Harvey said, “We wanted to celebrate the heritage of the Cornish Pilot gigs, and inject some fun into the gig racing calendar, echoing the ethos of our club. It was a battle for water off the line, and you had the real sense of what the competition might have been like to get your pilot to the waiting ship back in the day,” she added, “Lyme Regis had most of the glory in the results, but there were no real losers on the day as everyone left beaming.”

In fact, the thanks poured in from all clubs, saying that it was such a fun day, and a contrast to the more serious sprints the previous day. All have asked to be invited next year… so it looks like we have a new format in the gig racing calendar. If we want to invite more clubs next year, we’re going to need a bigger beach!

Bristol’s Old Luggers heading out to the waiting ship…

Thanks go to all club members who stepped up to make the event a success – this includes our beach marshalls, time keepers, event planners/executers, boat providers, safety boat… and especially to the catering crew, who put on a splendid spread, surely reason enough alone to return in 2018.

Photograph credits: Ria Sands.

Ladies A Win at Mounts Bay

Photo above: Ladies A crew (L-R): Kirsty Anthony-Johns, Liz Fernie, Kim Dodge, Sally Thompson, Lena Budd, Mel Williams, Jeremy Stonehouse (cox)

Photo above: Kirsty Anthony Johns collecting the Ladies A prize

Ladies A won their race at the final Tribute race of the season yesterday. They had a good battle with Caradon to the first mark, arriving there alongside each other but our crew with the advantage of having the inside line. LA then pushed hard to ensure there was clearer water at the 2nd mark although Caradon were touching the stern of Zawn as they turned.

On the final leg LA continued to increase their lead to 1.5 boat lengths and eventually finished 9 seconds ahead of Caradon and then Charlestown.

Men’s A report to follow…


Mounts Bay Results

Best ever club result at 3 Rivers

Over a course which was half a mile longer than the usual length and against a record-breaking number of entries, FMPGC crews took part in the 3 Rivers Race at Saltash last weekend. The ladies fleet included 63 gigs and the men’s 67. The weather was dry but quite windy.


After many years of consistently coming 5th in this event, our Ladies A eventually finished in 4th place behind Newquay, Caradon and Mounts Bay in a time of 54:34. Ladies B, in Penarrow, were 27th in 1:03:13. And the men, in Zawn, came 9th in 51:15. The 4th place of LA is a club record for both men’s and ladies crews. Zawn came 4th in the combined results.

Thanks to Andy Blake for rowing in MA at the last minute as Justin Dodge was injured.  Jeremy for coxing LA and MA and to Barry for coxing LB, plus Stephen Cary and Lynn Stonehouse for towing.


Photos: Above: Ladies A Below: MA rowing back down the course under the Tamar Bridge & then coming ashore.

2015-03-14 13.02.19

2015-03-14 13.26.15

Paignton regatta – more medals

Calm and very hot. Well, the weather was at least. 28 degrees and tarmac too hot to stand on. FMPGC men’s A/Vets were equally hot at the event, taking 2nd in the Mens-A “Open” category and winning the Mens-Veterans for the 2nd year running at this popular event.

Around 20 clubs attended and it was nearly a clean-sweep for Caradon Gig club, only interrupted by the FMPGC men’s vets…