Pilot Gig Club Holds Blessing For New Boats

April 20, 2016

On Monday evening, the Bermuda Pilot Gig Club launched their three new vessels, with the boats being blessed and christened by Bishop Nicholas Dill at the Spanish Point Boat Club.

The names selected for the new gigs were Pilot James Forbes, Pilot James T. Griffiths and Pilot John Cann, with each of these pilots having distinguished themselves in prior centuries when oared pilot gigs were the only way pilots could be brought to visiting ships.

Two of these new boats will be located at Spanish Point Boat Club and one at Sandys Boat Club.

New Gigs In Bermuda (1)

Commenting on the arrival of the new boats, Vice Chairman of the Bermuda Pilot Gig Club Roger Gillett said, “We have been delighted by the success of our rowing activities in the East End of the island based at the East End Mini Yacht Club.

“It was always our intention to introduce gigs to other locations on the island and the demand we have seen in St. Georges encouraged us to seek sponsorship for three more gigs sooner than we might have anticipated. The benefits of rowing as an activity and a sport have become apparent to many and this has certainly assisted us in obtaining sponsorship.

“The fundraising needed to purchase and ship the boats here is almost complete and we wish to express our gratitude to the many companies and individuals who have provided their support.

“In particular we would like to thank the Colonial Group who provided funding for one complete boat with equipment, the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Enstar, Chubb, United Insurance, Mutual Insurance, the UK P&I Club and Bacardi who have made significant contributions.”

Alan Peacock, Colonial Group CEO, said: “Colonial Group is pleased to support this growing new sport. As a leading Bermuda Insurance Company we recognize the need to encourage everyone to pursue healthy activities. Rowing offers an interesting option for all ages and we look forward to seeing it expand in the coming years. ”

Mr Gillett added, “We would like to invite members of the public to contact us at info@bermudapilotgigclub.com or call our coach, Steve Lock at 7071044 , if they would like to give it a try.

“We will be forming serious, competitive crews , men’s and ladies’, senior crews and junior crews in each of the locations with regattas to test their strength, endurance and skill to be organized.”


Chance Mclean, the Commodore of Spanish Point Boat Club welcomed the arrival of the gigs saying, “We are excited about this new activity that will be taking place at the Club and we think that the waters accessible from the Club, the Harbour and North Shore , will be ideal for this sport, and many members have already expressed an interest in rowing this interesting traditional boats.”

Miss Jaime DeSilva, commodore of Sandys Boat Club, echoed Mr. Mclean’s feelings saying, “The West End had its own tradition of piloting and we believe that gig rowing in the Mangrove Bay area will draw great interest in the community just as it has in the East End.”

More information on the Club can be found on Facebook under Bermuda Pilot Gig Club or their website.

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  1. Jean Foggo Simon says:

    I’m delighted to see that my great grandfather Pilot James T Griffiths from St. David’s Island has been honoured. Thanks so much to all donors and congratulations.