Other Sport: Bristol Pilot Gig Club in World Championships

Alison Maney, May 3, 2016

 The ladies’ A crew for the Bristol Pilot Gig Club surpassed all expectations at the 27th World Pilot Gig Championship competition on May 1. The crew jumped from 42nd place in last year’s competition to 10th place out of 144 teams this year.

“This year we really trained hard and just wanted it so much,” said Hayla Blacknell, one half of the team’s bow pair, or the rowers responsible for the boat’s stability. “We went four times a week from a cottage at the end of the harbour all the way up to Temple Meads.”

Rowers convened in the Isles of Scilly in Cornwall for the competition in which teams from all over the world raced in heats to secure the top spot. Six-person teams race for a chance to stand on the podium and win the event’s coveted glass medals.

The sport is Cornish in origin, says Blacknell, originating with boats racing each other to help guide big ships into the Cornish cove. Five other Bristol Pilot Gig teams competed in the competition.

After the ladies’ A team’s stellar performance, they’re moving on to even more competitions in the coming months.

“The season has just started,” says Blacknell. “Every weekend we’ll be away in Cornwall, Dorset or Somerset competing. We row up and down Bristol every day of the week.”

If you’re interested in joining or sponsoring the Bristol Pilot Gig Club, contact Hayla Blacknell at communications@bristolgigclub.co.uk. All ages and abilities are welcome.


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