In order to understand the true history of the Association you need to talk to those people who were there, the passion with which these individuals talk about the early days is what has led it to be the Association it is today and to those people the whole membership are grateful. In the year of June 1985 - June 1986 four new gigs clubs were formed Truro, Cadgwith, Roseland and Mount's Bay. This was in addition to Newquay and the small rowing clubs that existed around the coast.
During the summer of 1986 a conversation between George Northey (Newquay) and Ralph Bird, they both felt that the time was right to make sure that some specification was laid down as to how the new gigs should be built, this was also discussed with the CPGA current Standards Officer John Bawden. With the summer being busy any meetings were forgotten about and so it was in November 1986 that a meeting was called for the 5th December 1986 in Ralph Bird's front room !! A total of 14 gentlemen attended that meeting. Everyone agreed that there should be a specification written down for new gigs being built. It was a basic description - length, beam, elm planking and no fibreglass. At the time there was also an agreement that with such a small organisation they did not want to be top heavy with committee and so the only officer elected was the Chairperson, he would also do the measuring. The committee met again in the January at the Royal Hotel in Truro and accepted the plans that had been drawn up by the late Ralph Bird. This was the meeting that also came up with the name of the association - Cornish Pilot Gig Association. Since then the Association has grown, today the club membership stands at 65. Gigs that are registered - 170+, this does not include all of the Isles of Scilly Gigs. What a sport we have? What a history we have? We, the current membership and curators of the sport for future generations need to look after what we have and make sure that we pass it to the next generation in good order. Much of the information supplied in this article comes from the late Ralph Bird - former President of the Association and life member of the CPGA.
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