As some of you may have heard on Two Lochs Radio the Gairloch Skiff has now been turned. A crowd of around 60 locals turned up (a high proportion of the local population) to help to turn the boat over for her internal fit out, and to help demolish the snacks and drinks which were kindly provided to mark the occasion.
The big turnout added to the community feel of the project and interest in rowing in the area is increasing all the time. More photos and report on Gairloch Coastal Rowing Club facebook page.
We want to hear about your build and your rowing, and share your news with the wider skiff community. Please send any reports and photos to email@example.com .
Funding. Another tranche of the Coastal Community Fund is being released through the National Lottery. The purpose is “funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs” in economically challenged coastal communities with a population of around 60,000 or less. This may not be directly relevant to a club wanting to buy a trailer say, but it may be something that clubs could involve themselves in as part of a wider application in their community. Many of our club members will be very motivated to secure economic growth and jobs for their communities.
St Ayles RC were delighted to go to Wormit on Saturday 1st March to encourage and sign up new rowers for the village’s two new skiffs, which have been purchased, but still to be built. Our previous visit to Wormit had been at the end of our Tay jaunt in April 2012 where the slipway there was a welcome sight!
It was a glorious morning and Newburgh RC with Glide, also joined us to further the cause. Initially the Chris O’Kanaird was set up on the pier as display, with the St Ayles being launched, but soon it was obvious she would also be needed on the water to take out the amount of keen locals waiting on the beach. All 3 skiffs spent around 3 hours out on the Tay with the usual fast current, but little wind, and lots of sunshine. We all hope the enthusiasm we have for our skiffs was enough to convince the interested people of Wormit that the quicker the skiffs are built the quicker they can row in such lovely surroundings! Wormit Rowing Club were excellent hosts, supplying fantastic home made soup, rolls, home baking and tea and coffee throughout the day to all the skiffers.
It was very much appreciated. Anyone interested in joining this vibrant new club should telephone Rob Durham on 01382 543167
St Ayles RC, Anstruther.
(Photos Bruce Dryburgh)
Now, there is an invitation to the Skiffie community. Short row from the Mainland (if you are able to start in the right place!) Or there are ferries. If weather permits there will be rowing on the Saturday and the Sunday. Best wishes to Eala Bhan, all her builders, supporters and future crew.
The Fife Today Website is carrying a story about the Wormit starting their St Ayles skiff build. An open day, to encourage local boat builders and potential rowers, is being held on Saturday 1 March at Wormit Boating Club from 11am. Nearby clubs from Newburgh and Anstruther will be taking their skiffs for the locals to have a look at and (weather permitting) have a row in. Interest on the Tay is picking up, with a skiff build starting in Broughty Ferry, to join the Newburgh and Wormit crews.
So if you are local to the Wormit area and are interested in the whole St Ayles skiff concept, please do go along (and encourage your friends to do so too!)
Last year some of us enjoyed the Exciseman’s Chase which involved the foot of Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast. And again, there was an enjoyable Lochalsh Row in June. Well this year, how about a race between 2 Castles…a bit further afield??
Our Welsh cousins have just sent a promotional paragraph about their Castle to Castle race. It’s on 05th April – practically tomorrow!
Here are the details:
Annually we [the Welsh Sea Rowing Association] hold a race – the Castle to Castle, along the Menai Strait which separates Mainland Wales and the Isle of Anglesey. The length of the race is 12 miles, and runs from two famous castles both on the shores of the Strait. The race starts from the Royal Anglesey Yacht Club in Beaumaris, under both Menai Suspension Bridge, through the Swellies, and under the Britannia Bridge on to the finishing line at Caernarfon and The Royal Welch Yacht Club.
The race is open to any rowing boat class; we row Celtic Long Boats, as do most Welsh sea rowing clubs.
Date: 5th April 2014.
Start Time 12.30pm
If any of your members are interested or need more information please contact me: elinspowell – at – aol.com or 07747600578.
…The tides could be interesting!
For those not familiar with this particular piece of Welsh coastline (see the first photo here for a glimpse of it), here is the relevant Google Map. Apparently one could walk the distance in something over 4 hours (no, not on water) – amusingly, they do not include a ‘by sea’ travel option…(must write and point out this glaring omission).
Some things have to be celebrated in every community, and one of those things is the fitting of the final or “whisky” plank on their first St Ayles skiff. The community of Gairloch in the North West Highlands found itself in need of such a celebration today. The group have been making excellent progress in their first skiff build, and have even been finding time to encourage near by Loch Ewe who are just starting off on this journey (see post below).
Unfortunately both Gairloch’s build project manager and the owner of the garage kindly being lent to accommodate the build were away and missed the celebration. However, wisely, some of the celebratory malt has been saved for the next milestone, the turning of the hull.
All photos from the Gairloch Coastal Rowing Club Facebook Page.
A perfectly reasonable question asked at the recent Event Organiser seminar. The SCRA rules of racing state:
“8.1 All turning buoys must be left to starboard, unless specifically stated otherwise in race instructions.”
There is a three part answer.
Firstly, to avoid confusion/ collision/ concussion. it is sensible to have a rule so that coxes know what to expect. It is open for organisers to change to port turns for a particular course (and at times there may be good reason for this) but the onus is then on the organisers to use the notice of race and coxes briefing to make it very clear to the coxes that there is a change from the normal. First answer is therefore…… because it is the rule! So it is sensible to have consistency, but why Starboard turns, rather than turning to port?
This is principally down to tradition. Within many Scots fishing communities (remember that the Scottish Fisheries Museum set us on our way) it is/was considered unlucky to turn a boat “against the sun”, that is in an anti-clockwise direction. Therefore to preserve good luck you are best to turn to starboard. The habit extends to land too….. if you are having a bad day think back as to whether you may inadvertently have stirred your tea in an anti-clockwise direction this morning. Lowland Scots used the term “widdershins” to describe an anti-clockwise movement.
Finally in collision avoidance at sea the first reaction will be to turn to starboard as set out in the Collision Regulations. If two skiffs are approaching each other head on they should both alter course to starboard to pass port to port. If two vessels are meeting in a “crossing situation” the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel. The way to avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel is therefore to alter course to starboard (although stopping or changing speed could also be used). So since our natural reaction should always be to prepare to alter course to starboard, it makes sense to do this in our turning maneuvers too.
… And its the rule!
The SCRA Rules of Racing (2013 Edition remains current) can be found under the “documents” tab above. Please bring these to the attention of all your club mates…… rowers, coxes, regatta organisers, umpires…. so that we can all enjoy safe, consistent and enjoyable racing this year.
Another addition to the communities in North West Scotland planning to build a skiff. A major grant has been awarded by the 2014 Communities fund (Big Lottery Fund) with matched funding from Highland Council’s Culture Fund and the Ward 6 Discretionary Fund. The kit has now been ordered by Loch Ewe Community Skiff Group. The Group can be contacted through their facebook page, but best plan would be to go along to the meeting on Tuesday night and join in this great community project.
Forty members from a wide variety of coastal rowing groups gathered at Loch Insh in the central Highlands for a seminar on regatta organising on 15 February. One of the exercises at the seminar was to organise a small regatta the following day, which is why we found ourselves on the banks of Loch Insh on a beautiful (if chilly) Highland morning .
Ardersier Boat Club and Portsoy Coastal Rowing club had kindly brought their skiffs for the competitors to share. Eight mixed crews had been made up the night before, drawn from the entries received at the end of the seminar.
Racing was held over a sprint course of around 400m. Skiffs raced out and back, each turning their own buoy. Each crew raced in a heat, with successful crews going through to the semi finals and then final.
In a close final “Soy Loon” reached the turning buoy marginally ahead. Skiff “Esther” appeared to have the better of the turn but the crew in Soy Loon rowed well together to pull away again and cross the finish line ahead. The winning crew were:
Will Gover (Isle of Islay), Phil Robertson (North Berwick) (cox), Ewan Kennedy (Isle of Seil), Donna Martin (Queensferry), Gillian Innes (Eskmuthe)
Well done to all the rowers and coxes, and a big thank you to Ardersier and Portsoy for bringing their skiffs.
More photos and Video will be added to this post later. Further reports on the seminar will be published in due course.
Stop Press…… Loch Frozen the following day!