New addition at Sidmouth Gig Racing Club a significant milestone for the sport

Sidmouth Gig Racing Club starts 2018 with a brand new addition – a traditional wooden Cornish pilot gig.

Named after the Sidmouth landmark, Little Picket is a significant milestone in the history of the sport, as it is the 200th pilot gig to be built and registered with the Cornish Pilot Gig Association.

Following the same specifications used since 1838, the gig is 32 feet long and is clinker built – of elm – and copper fastened, with more than 4,000 rivets used. It was crafted by Fowey boat builder Louis Hunkin.

Club chairman Jeremy Cloke said: “We are absolutely delighted with Little Picket. She is a beautiful example of the craftsmanship that goes into making the traditional pilot gigs.

“The club would like to express our thanks to our generous sponsors, the Sid Vale Association, via its Keith Owen Fund, Sport England, the Norman Charitable Trust and the Edwin and Joyce Hill Charitable Trust.

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“Membership of the club continues to grow and so it is great news that we can add to our fleet to ensure the club continues to give everyone the chance to enjoy this amazing sport.”

The club was founded in 2009 and in August 2010 launched its first training boat, Alma. That was followed in March 2012 with Keith Owen, its first wooden racing gig, named in honour of the Sid Vale Association’s (SVA) generous benefactor. The club now takes part in regattas in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall.

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SVA chairman Alan Darrant said: “The SVA’s Keith Owen Fund match funded the first wooden pilot gig boat for Sidmouth and we were delighted to support again with a donation to match fund the purchase of Little Picket.

“It gives the SVA great pleasure to see the club develop and enable more local residents to row on the Sidmouth coastline.”

The official naming ceremony, blessing and launch will be at 10.30am next Saturday (February 17) by the Sailing Club and everyone is welcome to attend to witness Little Picket’s maiden row.

For more information on the club, visit or email club secretary Stephen Gray at

For further information on the Keith Owen Fund and the SVA, visit

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