Well, it was everything you’d expect, with boats, music, stalls and people, and what’s more the sun came out! Well done, the folks of Faversham!
A group of wounded war veterans have built a Cornish pilot gig named Valiant in the National Maritime Museum Cornwall’s workshops at Falmouth, and a few days ago set out on an ambitious row to the Scillies.
The project is supported by National Maritime Museum Cornwall and military charities including the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant scheme and Help For Heroes. It was originally an idea developed by Mike Selwood and Andy Wyke NMMC, and the build was led by boat builder Andrew Nancarrow.
Along the way, the team of veterans have trained in boatbuilding skills, build a gig, learned to row and will compete in the 2016 World Pilot Gig Championships.
The project doesn’t have its own website, but there’s this page at the NMMC website and a few bits and pieces on the NMMC Twitter account – and this Facebook page, which looks as if it will likely be the best source of information on their progress, though time will tell.
For more posts about Cornish pilot gigs, click here.
I’d say it looks like a serious challenge, so great good luck to them!
The bateau was designed by steamboat Captain Thomas P Leathers of Kentucky, who is remembered for taking part in a race against the steamboat Robert E Lee in 1870.
Barbashela was a gift to Varina Anne ‘Winnie’ Davis of Biloxi, Mississippi, and the skiff was rowed on Oyster Bayou.
The plan is that the restored boat will be returned to the bayous in the Biloxi area.
My thanks to Brian Anderson for spotting this one.