World Pilot Gig Championships
One of the most spectacular sporting events in the country and one of the best kept secrets too...
From its humble beginnings in 1990 with 11 wooden pilot gigs taking part, the line-up now runs to around 130 boats of both men and women’s crews. In fact, the first races (from St Agnes to St Mary’s) on the Saturday involve all the gigs, with a start line over a mile long!
The event takes place on the first bank holiday weekend in May, with the 2021 Championships from Friday 30th April to Monday 3rd May 2021.
The fun starts on Friday evening with the veterans and super-veterans’ races. On Saturday, the main men's and ladies' races begin, with a spectacular first race involving all 130+ gigs. Saturday afternoon and Sunday see the heats and, on Sunday afternoon, the finals. Monday rounds off the event with a rugby match and a traditional gig sailing race.
Tresco Boats usually operate a full boating schedule to St Mary's throughout the weekend. From St Mary's, spectators can either watch the race from the shoreline or jump on one of the spectators boats.
Gig Racing Throughout the Season
If you're not on Tresco over the Gig Championship weekend, fear not!
Throughout the summer our inter-island gig races take place, with women racing every Wednesday night and men every Friday night.
Tresco Boats regularly follow the races - details will be posted on their website and boat boards across the island.
There is something spectacular - in the truest sense of the word - about a Gig Race, and to hop aboard a spectator boat and witness a race up close must count as one of the Scillonian holiday must-do experiences.
Take a look at our Gig Racing page for full details.