An iconic Cornish gig project is fast taking shape, securing traditional boatbuilding skills for the future while delivering a new craft for a military veterans gig club.

The Energy 2 Project is based on the gig called Energy that was built by Falmouth Marine School students in 1985, a vessel that reputedly initiated the modern interest in gig racing.

This new boat commissioned by the Cornish Pilot Gig Association (CPGA) and built under the close watchful eye of established gig builder Andrew Nancarrow, will be launched in the summer, joining a new rowing club run by military veterans for military veterans.

Chris Bosanko-Green, boatbuilding course manager at Falmouth Marine School, said: “We were approached by the CPGA to build a new craft to commemorate 35 years since the launch of the original Energy boat.

“Our students have been extremely busy working on the project since last September. With Andrew’s involvement as mentor and overseen by Simon Combe and myself, the students have had to learn lots of new skills to construct the boat to exacting standards as prescribed by the CPGA.”

More than 40 students will be involved in the final build, with the official launch taking place in late June.

Shane Sullivan, chairman of Cornish Pilot Gig Association added: “What the tutors and students have achieved is fantastic and we are really looking forward to the day when the boat is in the water and being used by the new club.”

Energy 2 will be used by EPIC GIGability – The Veterans Cornish Pilot Gig Club. This newly formed club is the brainchild of Mike Selwood, of the National Maritime Museum, following his involvement in the 2016 Epic Gig Row.

That event saw a gig called Valiant rowed by veterans with physical and mental challenges from Falmouth to the Isles of Scilly and handed over to the Help for Heroes gig rowing team.

Since that project, Mike has strived to establish a club for veterans with a focus on wellbeing, fitness and of course camaraderie.

Bill Sharpe, retired lieutenant colonel and chairman of the EPIC GIGability Club said: “With full support from the CPGA the club intends to encourage military veterans of all ages and abilities to row as a pathway to a healthier life, with enrichment of wellbeing and friendship.

“Everyone connected to the club is thrilled to be taking ownership of Energy 2, although not her final name, this will be revealed at the official launch. We are very excited about using the gig to help veterans overcome mental health and physical barriers and we cannot thank enough the staff and students at Falmouth Marine School for building such a fine craft.”

Falmouth Marine School will also be celebrating 100 years of teaching boatbuilding courses later this year, with plans for a special event and mass launch of various craft hand-built by students.

Steve Taylor, head of campus, said: “As Cornwall’s leading provider of specialist boatbuilding courses, we are extremely honoured to be involved in this project for the benefit of former forces personnel."

For more information about the courses please visit or contact the college on 0330 123 4783.