Sunday, 3 July 2011
Rowing Cornish pilot gig Anne
I finally got the opportunity to row a Cornish pilot gig with thole pins yesterday, with Mike Gilbert's new venture Langstone Rowing. Mike operates grp pilot gig Anne, giving locals a chance to row her regularly and also providing training course for groups planning Cross-Channel rows but who might only have experience rowing sliding seat river boats or even be novice rowers.
So far, Anne has been fitted with crutches and the oars have had buttons, so this was a learning experience for us all.
Rock Gig Club makes it all look easy and smooth, but it is a difficult and counter-intuitive technique.
The first surprise was that the oars don't jar back against the thole pin on at the catch as I had expected - if you come forward properly, the oar almost jams between the thole pins and is automatically laid up against the rowing pin at the start of the stroke.
Holding the outside hand under the handle felt wrong, but I soon got used to it. What I still hadn't really sorted out at the end of the session was keeping the power on as the wrist moves round the handle as you pass it round the side of your body. Here's a video of my rather pathetic effort. No comments about timing please, it is a novice crew some of whom had never set foot in a rowing boat before.