Olympian opens new Cornish gig boat store

Devoran Pilot Gig Club celebrated the opening of their new gig boat store in glorious Cornish sunshine and with Olympic style last Sunday.

Beijing Olympic GB Rowing Silver Medal Winner Annie Vernon led the official opening by ‘cutting the ribbon’ before presenting Club Chairman Stuart Mountford with her London Olympic 2012 rowing singlet, which will take pride of place on display in the boat store.

More than one hundred Club members and Devoran villagers joined representatives from British Rowing, the Cornish Pilot Gig Association, Sport England and SITA Cornwall Trust – whose support and funding had made the project a reality. Amongst the guests were Annamarie Phelps, Chairman of British Rowing, and Rosemary Napp, Development Director of British Rowing, who had made the journey to Cornwall from London especially for the event.

A delighted Stuart Mountford said “We would not have had the building at all without the solid and continuous support of British Rowing’s Facilities Representative, Alan Meegan, and SITA Cornwall Trust’s Wendy Reading. Both stuck with us throughout all the problems we encountered and encouraged us when the project really seemed to have hit the buffers. It is a real pleasure to see representatives from both organisations here today. Of course thanks must go to Richard Orsman for leasing the land for the shed at  Devoran Metals Ltd to us. We are especially pleased he has joined us today.

“What has been rewarding has been the number of Club members who have been able to put time, effort and specialist skills to help the project along. In particular thanks must go to George Whetman, John Bray, Nigel Pinnick and Stephanie Gardner.

“I am also delighted that Annie Vernon was able to be our guest of honour. It is made more special by the fact that Annie is not only an Olympian but also a true Cornishwoman and we have been honoured that both she and her parents have been kind enough to make the effort to come down to Devoran Gig Club today. I know she is keen to row a gig and we would be very happy to see her out with our crews in the future should she take up gig rowing.” 

After the formalities, the gathered crowd were serenaded with traditional Cornish songs by the Rum and Shrub Shanty Singers before proceeding to Devoran Quay to row two of their Club boats, Falcon and Faith.

For more information about Devoran Pilot Gig Club, visit www.devorangigclub.co.uk.

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