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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 October 2007, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
New gig launch signals end of era
Ralph Bird
Ralph Bird launched the explosion of interest in gig racing
A boat builder, who started the revival in gig racing in the south-west of England, has retired.

Ralph Bird borrowed a few of the traditional pilot boats from Newquay, Cornwall, for a race in 1981 and the sport began a renaissance.

Now more than 130 gigs race every weekend throughout the summer and thousands of people are involved.

The last of 29 gigs to be built by Mr Bird was launched in Newquay on Saturday.

Mr Bird, who has been a boat builder all of his life, said: "The sport has got bigger than anyone thought.

"But it is something traditional that all members of the family can take part in."

Racers swell islands' population
08 May 07 |  Cornwall
Gig racing halted by bad weather
30 Apr 05 |  Cornwall
Islands' prepare for gig influx
29 Apr 05 |  Cornwall


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