Queensferry: Regatta and Flotilla Call for Entries

This year is a special one for Queensferry Rowing Club and North Queensferry Rowing as their joint regatta is part of the Forth Bridges Festival. The festival marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Forth Road Bridge.  This years event takes place on Saturday the 6th of September.  Races will be between 1.5km and 2km in length.  The following categories are offered:
  • Mixed Novice
  • 40+ Women
  • 40+ Men
  • Mixed Open
  • Women’s Open
  • Men’s Open
  • Pick’N’Mix
The organisers  have a limit of 12 boats that can be accommodated so  would be grateful for quick notes of interest from clubs who wish to attend.  Contact ferryrowsecretary@yahoo.co.uk .  Limited camping is available at Port Edgar.   More information will be available on the Queensferry Rowing Club Website.
Even those disappointed in not being able to get their entry in, or not able to bring as many skiffs in as they would like, can take part in a very special event,  “The Forth Bridges Flotilla” on the Sunday 7 September.
Details of this can be found on the website of the Forth Bridges Festival.   It claims:   ” A multitude of crafts will travel along the stretch of water in front of North and South Queensferry.  Tall ships, pleasure boats, warships, private yachts, ferries, motor-boats and canoes – it is sure to be a magnificent and emotive spectacle.”    Better make sure that we add St Ayles skiffs to that list!  It should be a great day out.  Should you wish to take part in this momentous event then please complete the online application form. Note that this must be entered separately from the regatta, as it has different organisers.

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Islay Regatta 2 August 2014

Islay regatta

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Eskmuthe Fun Races at Harbour Festival

Seven skiffs attended a fun filled regatta at Fisherrow Harbour on 27 July 2014.    Eskmuthe’s skiff  “Honesty” was joined by skiffs from  Queensferry,  Pittenweem, Port Seton,  Anstruther and two skiffs from Portobello.

eskmuthe. Pittenweem

The first event was a mixed blind fold event, 450m (total 900m) around an individual buoy.  Which proved a bit of a challenge with lots of oar clashing and miss timing.  Unfortunately we do not have a note of the winners, quite possibly because everyone remained blindfolded so no one noticed, but here is a nice photo of the Queensferry Team:

eskmuthe Queensferry


Second race was a women’s Sprint out to their individual buoy, collect a balloon and bring it back to shore.  Portobello lost their balloon, gave chase, retrieved it and managed to bring it back. Third race was a pretty straight forward men’s Sprint.  Forth race was again a straight forward mixed, lucky dip Sprint. The final race was a relay race following the format set at Portobello regatta.
This event coincided with the Honest Toun Association’s Harbour Festival which included a organised raft race around the harbour and a celebration for the Toun’s honest lad and lass. They left the harbour on a local fishing boat and were presented with a salute from all the skiffs attending.  To end the day there was a tug of war event which was won by Anstruther, who also carried off the magnificent trophy for overall regatta winners.
eskmuthe Porty TOW
eskmuthe winners
Photos from Gaynor Allen and  Eskmuthe RC.  More photos on the Eskmuthe RC flickr page.
eskmuthe flag


Collieston Skiff Racing on 2 August 2014

collieston poster

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Tasmania Calling

The Living Boat trust, and in particular the Women on the Water Group, today  celebrated the unpacking of their second kit. The boat is sponsored by their local Bank, Bendigo Community Bank.  Work starts on Wednesday with two teams per week to ensure the boat is completed in time for the Southern Hemisphere’s first International St Ayles Regatta, 12-15 February, 2015


Skiffies from around the world are invited to participate in this regatta to be held on the spectacular Huon River at Franklin, Southern Tasmania.   Lending and sharing of boats will be arranged for those that are not able to bring their own, and the organisers are really keen to ensure that this is an international affair.  They would be delighted to hear from all skiffies who might be able to attend.   Contact Lorrie Harrison on  w.lharrison[at]bigpond.com
For more information see our earlier post and go to http://www.tasskiffie2015.org

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Troon and Carrick Visit Dalriada Festival

carrick mist

troon fender

Troon and Carrick Coastal Rowing Clubs from Ayrshire accepted the kind invitation to row at the annual Dalriada Festival in Glenarm,  County Antrim.  Attendance is made possible by the very kind sponsorship of the event by P&O ferries, which allows the skiff and towing vehicle to travel on the Cairnryan to Larne ferry for free.  Various Scottish Coastal Rowing Clubs have attended the festival over the years,  taking squads of rowers across to contribute to the economy and the party in Northern Ireland, thanks in part to this excellent deal.

Unfortunately, for the first time, the racing did not go ahead.  The fog was in so thick that the course could not be seen.  The Scottish Rowers never the less enjoyed and educated themselves, taking local rowers out in the St Ayles skiffs, and in turn having a go in the local class of GRP gigs.  The Ayrshire rowers were also very impressed by the boat houses and pubs available to the local gig crews.

antrim gig

boat house



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New Skiffs for Blyth and Bunillidh

Two new skiffs joined the fleet this weekend,  one in Northumberland and one in Sutherland.  (For those of you not in the UK it might not be obvious that Northumberland is in the South and Sutherland is pretty far north).   The following pictures have all been shared onto the Scottish Coastal Rowing Facebook Group.

blyth champaign

blyth salute

blytha and gosforth

Crofton (skiff number 69) was launched at Blythe.  She was paraded through town behind a marching band, before being blessed, named and launched.  Gosforths “Grace” met her on the water and Byker Belle was also in attendance.

Pride of Bunillidh was lauched in the afternoon in Helmsdale, Sutherland.  She is skiff number 70 on the register of craft.  She was named   by Davy Cowie, a retired fishing skipper whose family owned the previous fishing vessels going by the name Pride of Bunillidh.

pride launch

pride bunillidh

Congratulations to all those involved in getting both these boats from sheets of plywood to the stage of launching beautiful skiffs.  Good luck to all those who have the opportunity to benefit from the teamwork and hard work that went into building them, including those who put teamwork and hard work into racing them.

Sadly the racing at the Darliada festival due to take place over the weekend was cancelled due to very thick fog.  If you can’t see the course, you can’t really race. This of course did not stop a skiff being launched and used around the marina!

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Meanwhile on Lake Champlain…..

There was a gathering of five St Ayles skiffs in Vermont over the weekend.  This amounts to half the current North American fleet, and is the biggest gathering of St Ayles skiffs in the one place to date,  outwith the UK.  The gathering took place on Lake Champlain, where the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum keeps its two skiffs.   Lisa Percival reports:

“We had a delightful weekend of rowing last Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13!!  We had a total of 5 St.Ayles skiffs with two from LCMM, 1 from Ayle of Quinte in Picton Ontario, 1 from Moravian Academy in Pennsylvania (Sephira) and 1 from Renbrook Academy in Connecticut.

“We had glorious weather on Saturday for our 1 mile skiff race to a harbor across Lake Champlain, joined by 2 of our 32’Cornish Pilot gigs.  After the race over, most rowers went for a swim or dip in the lake waters and relaxed for almost an hour before racing back to our harbor at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.  We had a picnic lunch on the grounds and then rowers went back onto the lake for a more leisurely exploration of the area.

“On Sunday, July 13 the skiffs were joined by our fleet of gigs and several man powered smaller boats for our  annual Challenge Race.  Due to high winds and the threat of storms, we modified the course to follow the Vermont coastline—it was roughly a 3 mile oval race.  Once the race was finished, all rowers and guests were invited to a sumptuous meal provided by our Community Rowing Club.”

Lisa describes it as a “wonderful event for all” and explains how the rowers thought of fellow skiffies from the 2013 worlds and knew how much we would have enjoyed joining in!  One for next year?

Champlain (PICTON)


renbrook navy



cHamplain Perseverence


For those of you interested in the results, clicky clicky.  There is also now a report on the North American St Ayles website www.skiffies.org


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Bunillidh to Launch Second Helmsdale Skiff

Bunnilidh Launch

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Baton Relay Skiff Escort

baton relay millport

St Ayles skiffs formed a guard of honour to welcome the Commonwealth Games Baton to the Isle of Cumbrae on 15 July 2014.  Six skiffs formed the guard.  The local boat “Cumbrae” was joined by skiffs from Irvine Coastal Rowing Club, Royal West, Firth of Clyde, Carrick and Galgael.

Galgael had been involved in making the baton, and the wood for the handle which they crafted came from an Elm Tree in the grounds of Garrison House on Cumbrae.  The baton was therefore able to make a brief stop at its birthplace!  After the baton made its way off the island, many locals and visitors took up the oportunity to have a try at the sport of coastal rowing in one of the skiffs.

baton relay beach

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