Archive for June, 2010
Chris Perkins has started the process of uploading his videos to Youtube.
The first is Coigach v Port Seton.
Port Seton v Anstruther Ladies - a learning experience for umpires and rib pilots! the race was rerun after recovery time.
and Ullapool v Anstruther showing Ulla’s brief instant of success
I will add links to others as he lets me know that they have been uploaded.
Safe to say that everyone was a winner. The skiff racing at Portsoy was a fantastic event in wonderful weather.
It was at Portsoy last year that promotion really started for the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project, with Iain Oughtred still working away at his drawing board. It was fantastic to see six skiffs racing at the event, especially with the knowledge that many more are already in build.
Recognition of the attention that the project has received can be seen from the fact that Scotland’s First minister came along in order to watch our racing and present the prizes. Every one was a winner, but some are more winner than others, so congratulations to Port Seton for winning three events: the mixed open, men’s over 40 and Women’s over 40; to North Berwick for winning the mixed over 40, to Coigach for winning the men’s open, and to Anstruther for winning the Women’s open.
See post below for Flickr link.
From the reaction of the Organisers of Portsoy when I said goodbye to them on Monday morning, the title of this post will be the show’s title next year. I have booked the whole of the Links campsite for Skiffies for next year (I wish).
First set of pictures on Flickr have been posted, courtesy of Chris Perkins. I could not decide which of them should be in this post!
I’m expecting to get a link to Kathy Mansfield’s set in a day or two, and I will get the official results up here in the morning.
To all who attended this weekend’s fun, a massive thank you, to all who haven’t yet built themselves a Skiff, time to get building to join the fun!
I’ve had a busy weekend showing off Chris o’Kanaird. On Saturday we were at the Pittenweem Gala day, and from discussions there, it would appear that Pittenweem and St Monans have been talking seriously about joining the fun. There was second hand news that Boarhills (near St Andrews) has been talking about it, and everyone who I talked to from Crail said that they were going to get things moving there! On top of the news last week that there is serious interest from Methil and Burntisland, it appears that the Kingdom of Fife is at last getting its skiffs on.
Sunday saw Chris making her way over the bridge again to South Queensferry, where she assisted the RNLI gala day by chucking the chairman of the Queensferry group in the sea for him to be rescued by the inshore rescue boat. Quite a few members of the Queensferry group had a try, and Mike McDowall showed off his model of the skiff that he has been using to publicise the build there.
I’ll hopefully receive a few pictures of the boat later, but in the meantime, here’s Mike and his model.
Watercraft Magazine is focussing on Coastal Rowing in the display boats on their stand this year. The St Ayles has been joined by a Cornish Gig displaying Coastal Rowing from opposite ends of the country. It would be good to report how the St Ayles has the edge over the Gig, sadly this cannot be said. Looking at the relative waterline lengths gives one reason for the trouncing the Skiff received on the R Thames, the experience and fitness of the Lyme Regis Rowers compared with the UK-HBBR scratch crew may also have had something to do with it.
Much interest has been shown in the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project at the show with some coming along specifically to see the boat.
In case you weren’t already aware, BBC Landward sent one of their crews to cover the regatta on Saturday.
Landward Programme on BBC iPlayer until Fri 11th – Go to 10min30 for the Anstruther piece, repeated on Wed 9 June at 11am.
Saturday the 29th May was for me the culmination of almost exactly a year’s work. In the time since the serious discussions began with the Fisheries Museum regarding the student build I have had little time to myself, and few full days off from having something to do with the St Ayles Skiff.
My feelings about the project are best summed up in the words of David Tod, Chairman of the Steering Group, when he handed over to the Association on Saturday; he said “When the Museum took this on, we had no idea we were taking hold of a Tiger’s Tail”.
Re-invigorating coastal rowing around Scotland has been a dream of mine for many years; it took the confluence of ideas between myself and the Museum, and the happy coincidence that Robbie Wightman had the same idea at the same time that turned the idea into a reality.
While I thought that the idea would have traction over time, there is absolutely no way that eight months ago I would have honestly expected to have sold 21 kits by now. The tiger has been the number of people who have thought the same way, and put their money on the table to create the success that we have so far.
I have never worked so hard for such a long period of time – including my time in the Army in my youth. A week before the Regatta I was close to being a gibbering wreck but its success has made every bit of effort worthwhile. It was as near a perfect day as I can remember. Especially so that my crew won our event!
To everyone out there who has built a skiff, bought a skiff kit, or wants to row in one, I extend my heartfelt thanks for making my little dream a reality.
I am now able to take a few steps back from the project, and it will be hard to let go of many of the areas that I was involved in. My commitment on a personal level is undimmed, and I intend to stay involved with Coastal Rowing for a very long time yet.
This is a better place for me to record my thanks to many of the names who have helped in making the project so successful so far. In no particular order: David Tod, Chris Perkins, Robbie Wightman, Robert Prescot, Shaun Anderson and Ernie Tolley of Methil SCC, Gavin Atkin, Pete Greenfield, Iain Oughtred, Cllr Arthur Robertson, Marilyn Livingston MSP and her staff, Simon Hayhow, Linda Fitzpatrick – for coming up with the name of the design, Brian Swan, Tam & Darren Christie, Ian and his team at CRC Autos for helping turn the prototype on numerous occasions and many other small favours, Norman Thomson, Johnny Johnson of Eyemouth and his team, Ian Clark, Andrew Leslie, Richard Pierce. Most importantly, the Board of the Scottish Fisheries Museum without whose backing the project would have been a great deal slower to get off the ground.
In Organising the Regatta: Sheila Taylor, Kelly Scott, Barbara Elliott and Alan Waugh, Vicky Brown, Bill the Anstruther Harbourmaster, Anstruther RNLI, Neil MacFarlane and his umpiring team, plus others who have given assistance through these but whose names I do not know. Most specially, I want to thank Gert Riemersma of Newhaven who had the job of Beachmaster all afternoon, and whose efforts kept the regatta on its schedule – something that no-one expected to happen.
There are many others who I have probably missed from both lists – it has been a whirlwind year, and I hope you will not feel offended if your name is not here.
Tomorrow morning I will be taking the prototype to the Beale Park Thames Boat Show near Pangbourne in Berkshire, where she will be displayed beside a Cornish Pilot Gig. Hopefully our Skiff and its community involvement will catch the imagination of the visitors, and even if the English do not take on the St AYles Skiff design, they will take on the concept of community built boats and we will see the idea spreading around the whole of the British Isles – and beyond!