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Pilot Gig Racing

June 15th, 2008 · No Comments

I’ve started a new and exciting sport called Pilot Gig Racing. A Pilot Gig is a big row boat with six people rowing and one directing and steering called a coxswain. All together we row like vikings with giant oars and hurtle the boat along at a reasonable pace.

There are plenty of websites with information on gig racing so look them up. What I’m going to talk about is my personal experience with gig racing.

My first experience with a Gig was of being invited out to simply give it a go. Why was I invited out? Good question! While awaiting an Indian take-away, my wife and I started chatting with Bob who asked if I row. The only rowing I had done was on a rowing machine but gig rowing sounded interested. During this conversation I was informed that I was stocky — not quite sure how to take that.

The first actual time I rowed, I dropped the oar in the water and caught a few crabs. Catching a crab is when the oar doesn’t want to come out of the water as if a crab is on the end of it pulling it in.

What can I say about Gig racing in general? If you’ve never raced before the first time is the clincher. Practicing is one thing but to row flat out for 15 minutes is another. Especially when trying to catch another gig. It is the most grueling workout or sporting-like thing I’ve ever done. It’s great! An event can last upto 20 minutes and there are even ones where crews row long distances around the coastline. It’s all about core strength too — simply holding onto the oar is challenging but making that oar bend slightly when rowing, keeping in time with the everyone and simply keeping it up for 15-20 minutes is an amazing experience.

Tags: Pilot Gig

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