MEMBERS of Helford River Gig Club saw their new boat get blessed and launched on the water for the first time on Saturday.

Bill Stuart-White, the Archdeacon of Cornwall, came down to the club’s base in the Helford Passage to perform the ceremony traditionally done on all pilot gigs before they are used.

The wooden boat, which has been named Helford after another previously owned by the club, cost £20,000 to build.

After the blessing, champagne was poured over the boat constructed by Looe’s David Currah before it hit the waves in blustery conditions.

Ladies A captain Gill Ahearne said: “She is a beautiful gig, very light and ran really smoothly despite the windy conditions today.”

Helford will now be heading out to the Isles of Scilly where she will be used during the World Championships next month.