Events in Newquay: During early autumn, to signal the end of Cornwall’s gig rowing season, Newquay Rowing Club hosts the Newquay County Gig Championships. This open event attracts crews, from numerous rowing clubs from near and far, to Newquay Harbour to battle it out in highly competitive races for the honour of being crowned County Gig Champions. The Ladies’ races are scheduled for September 10 and 11.
Saturday – commencing at 9.15am: Round 1 | Round 2
Sunday: Quarters | Finals | Semi-Finals | Final
The format will be the usual knock out competition and weather and sea conditions willing both days will see plenty of action. So get along to Newquay’s historic and picturesque harbour and watch these hard fought battles – the races are FREE to watch. To enjoy the atmosphere of starts and finishes the best advantage points to follow this exciting offshore spectacle are the Harbour walls but an overview of the whole course is available anywhere along the cliff tops which edge Newquay Bay from the Harbour to Lusty Glaze. Please be part of this exciting weekend and join the crews, their supporters, the organisers and the curious to experience rivalrous gig racing which has been part of Newquay life for well over a century.
The first gigs were built in the late 18th century and were used to carry a man – a pilot – out to sea to assistance ships’ crews to safely navigate what could often be treacherous waters. With local knowledge of potential hazards along their stretch of the Cornish coast, these pilots could ensure the vessels a safe passage to land. This service was very competitive and speed crucial as, on the day, it was the first gig to reach the vessel that took the pilot’s fee! Gig racing evolved both from this competition and from the testing of newly built gigs against others to measure their performance. Please check out the Cornish pilot gigs that are currently held in trust at Newquay Rowing Club.