Gig and Ocean rowing at the World Rowing Cup

The British Rowing tent will be showcasing rowing’s enormous diversity today, with boats and crews from coastal and ocean rowing making an appearance.

With plenty of action on the water to keep the spectators entertained, people will also be able to get a closer look at the distinctive boats – thanks to Bristol Pilot Gig Club and ocean rowing crew Inspirational Friends.

A far-removed cousin of the sliding-seat, fine rowing boats competing on Dorney Lake this weekend, Cornish Pilot Gigs have been used in the South West of England for hundreds of years.

Constructed from Elm and more than 30 feet long, the fixed-seat gigs are rapidly growing in popularity, with crews of six competing in coastal waters.

Bristol PGC’s boat, Isambard, will be on display at the British Rowing tent on Saturday and Sunday, offering rowing fans the opportunity to get up close and personal to one of the most traditional boats in rowing.

Also at the British Rowing tent today will be Inspirational Friends’ custom-built ocean rowing boat.

Another stark contrast to the international racing boats being used in competition this weekend, the ocean rowing boat is designed to be entirely self-sufficient for months at a time.

The Inspirational Friends crew, Stewards Charitable Trust coach Hannah Lawton and Jessie Van Beck, will be on hand all weekend, explaining how they will aim to smash the record for rowing across the Atlantic later this year.

The duo hope to raise £100,000 for Myton Hospice and cervical cancer research charity Jo’s Trust – find out more at www.insfriends.org.uk.

As well as the Cornish Pilot Gig and ocean rowing boat, British Rowing will also be putting on indoor rowing races throughout the weekend. So, if you’re feeling inspired by the heroics on show at Dorney, come and have a go yourself at the British Rowing tent!

Want to have a go at rowing? Find out how at www.britishrowing.org/taking-part.

Rowing is continuing to grown in the UK – get a closer look at our latest membership stats here: www.britishrowing.org/news/2013/june/20/british-rowing-membership-keeps-rising.

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