Archive for July, 2011
The weekend of 13/14 August sees two other events with Skiffy connections.
The burgh of Newburgh on Fife’s north coast has been holding Salmon Coble racing since at least 1880. This tradition has been kept alive through to the present day with the annual World Coble Rowing Championship. The Coble rowers have seen that with skiff racing, they can row against other communities around Scotland, and I have been told that I will have their order for a St Ayles kit very shortly.
Skiffies are invited to take part in the Coble Rowing Chamionships, and, if you fancy taking your skiff a little less distance than Ullapool, an exhibition race can be arranged to help them gain more local interest. If you are interested in attending to row Cobles or Skiffs, please contact John Ferrans on 01337 840500.
On the west coast, Cumbrae are hosting Sail & Oar again. Galgael and Royal West are attending, and other skiffy groups are welcome to make their way to Millport, which should be the first public outing of the Millport skiff.
A group of friends from London who undertake various charity challenges (including having rowed the Shannon, and the Thames) have contacted SCRA to ask if anyone can lend them a suitable boat for rowing the length of the Great Glen in September. They hope to raise a few thousand pounds in the process for charity. Their plan is to set off from West of Fort William on 3 September and take the week to wend their way to Inverness.
They recognise that Loch Ness can be a bit lumpy, as well as being infested with monsters, and have worked out that the St Ayles is a good for the sort of chop they might find. They probably don’t think that they have enough time to build a St Ayles, although the ladies in Portland might disagree.
If you have a boat that you might be able to lend or hire to them for the trip please conact Vince Harte through firstname.lastname@example.org .
The St Ayles is a great design for adventure as well as for racing. Plan some adventures in your St Ayles and we will be delighted to post reports on them here.
On their cruise in company north from Greenock to Lerwick, several of the tall ships in the 2011 Tall Ships Race called into Loch Broom. The skiffies of Ullapool’s Coastal Rowing Club and High School, Loch Broom Sailing Club and Coigach each played their part by offering locals and visitors a chance to row round the fleet, and allowing the Ships Crews the chance to race each other using the skiffs.
A full report can be found on the Ulla website: http://ullcoastrow.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/loch-broom-skiffies-add-to-the-tall-ships-festivities/
Twenty oarsmen from the Isle of Islay enjoyed the challenge of rowing 44 miles from their island to Moville in Co.Donegal. They were invited to take part in the challenge by Foyle Rowing Club. The 42 mile crossing invovled crew changeovers on the way.
This race kicked off a twin “Festival of the sea” in both Port Ellen and Greencastle, Donegal, involving events based on the common maritime, historic and culture common to both locations. (It is hoped that the event will be a biennial event). Proceeds from the event are to be donated to the Foyle Hospice celebrating 20 yrs of inpatient care this year. The Islay community raised £1700 prior to departure thanks to the work of the Lagavulin Fundraisers and presented the cheque to Foyle Hospice founding member Dr Tom McGinley on arrival and Greencastle.
More information here: http://blog.islayinfo.com/article.php/islay-festival-of-the-sea
Several skiff crews are likely to attend the Great River Race on the River Thames in London on 17 September this year. The race goes right through London, from Docklands to Surrey. More information can be found at http://www.greatriverrace.co.uk/ . SCRA class rules for the St Ayles skiff will apply, but racing rules will be as advertised on the Great River Race website. Each boat must fly a flag, as demonstrated by North Berwick last year.
Anyone who fancies a trip to London next year without racing, but with pomp and circumstance might consider the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3 June 2012. The organisers claim that up to 1000 vessels will be expected to help HM Queen Elizabeth celebrate 60 years on the thrown. I venture to suggest that the event could be a finale or a starting point for a pleasant cruise up the Thames. More info: http://www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org/index.htm
Patsy James from Rowporty reports on taking part in a community festival on the Union Canal in Edinburgh:
Since she was launched in the middle of April Jenny Skylark & her sea-faring crew have been to regattas near (Dunbar, Port Seton & S Queensferry) & far (Achiltibuie & Port Soy), with challenges from wind, waves & weather.
The canal posed challenges of a different sort. First up were the swans who took
up residence at the slipway by Harrison Park – thanks to Mo for gallantly sacrificing her sandwiches to entice them back onto the water! Next, in the tight confines of the canal, we managed to break an oar whilst manoeuvring out onto the water. We then had a leisurely row up the canal towards Meggatland.
The festivities kicked off a around 11 with a parade, led by Zazou, a floating café, with a piper aboard, followed by Stan Reeves in his curragh, then Jenny Skylark & a flotilla of canoes / small craft. We crept along at the slowest of paces, occasionally having to ship oars as the canal narrowed under bridges.
The festival was very colourful when we arrived, with lots to see, including raft racing & a samba band on the Leamington Lift Bridge, as well as many stalls & music. After a leisurely lunch, we gave rides in Jenny Skylark up to the lift bridge & back between raft races.
On the return journey the weather changed for the worse & there were several torrential downpours. Well done to all who weathered the return trip! This was a very different day out for RowPorty, but it was good to explore a stretch of water, very different to our own, as well as making links with other communities. Next time we might take paddles rather than oars. The laid back nature of the festivities is reflected by the picture of Nik Savage, relaxing on Jenny Skylark.
RowPorty host Portobello Regatta on 30 July. More information at http://rowporty.org.uk/tag/regatta
Chris Perkins has managed to go through his thousands of Portsoy snaps, and there is now a very large selection on the Flickr Group. Here are a few to whet the appetite…
Royal West of Scotland Boat Club welcomed rowers to Greenock for a regatta on Saturday 9 July, coinciding with the arrival of the last of the Tall Ships fleet for the 2011 Tall Ships Race.
Royal West have a long history of rowing in fixed seat boats on the tidal Clyde. They received their Royal Warrant as a thank you for lending a rowing boat to Queen Victoria for her to enjoy on a Scottish Summer holiday. They have seen many other Scottish sea rowing clubs fall by the wayside over the years, and are delighted as a club by the recent resurgance in Coastal Rowing brought about through the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project.
The visting clubs were treated to close racing on a short course alongside Greenock Esplanade. Races were held in two classes of boats. The visiting clubs had travelled with their own St Ayles Skiffs, but were also given use of matched clinker built coxed pairs for competition in Mens and Womens coxed pair competitions.
Honours were shared around in the St Ayles events. North Berwick won in the Over 45 mens and the open mixed, Anstruther won in the ladies open and the over 50 mixed, and Royal West won in the Open Mens event. Junior races were also held over short distances, with youths racing in the matched Royal West Skiffs, and even younger children racing in the coxed pairs. Full list of winners as follows:
Men’s 45+ Skiff North Berwick
Junior Pairs Royal West (Kane)
Women’s Pairs North Berwick/Anstruther
Mixed 50+ Skiffs Anstruther
Men’s Open Skiff Royal West (Graham)
Women’s Open Skiff Anstruther
Men’s Pairs Royal West (Graham)
Mixed Open Skiffs North Berwick
After a fairly lively evening enjoying the excellent facilities of Royal West’s club house and the wonderful hospitality of the club, crews were welcomed back on Sunday 10 July to enjoy a cruise in company up the Clyde to review the tall ship fleet. Crews were mixed around a bit, and all enjoyed a spectacular sight, and a highly sociable rowing experience, reminding us all that use of our boats should not just be all about racing.
A couple of photos for you. The first is proof that they have been rowing in Plockton for a long time when most of the rest of us had not even thought of the idea. Plockton are inviting any skiffs that can make it along to their open day on 23 July, and are even able to offer a little bit of assistance with travel. It would be interesting to see if a St Ayles skiff, fully crewed with lowland scots could outrun a swarm of the Highland Midge. See post below for more details, and do try to make it if you can.
The second photo is a mystery skiff, looking like she wants to be afloat. I wonder where she is and when we will see her on the water??? What do you reckon?
For the sheer speed and enthusiasm of a skiff build, I think that few will be able to match the enthusiasm of the 10 women building the first US West Coast skiff in Portland Oregon.
They received their kit on the 25th of May, and finished the planking on Sunday – five weeks building from a group of 10 women who apparently had barely done more than a little bit of home improvement. If they can continue the rate of progress into the dreary days of fitting out, there is a good chance that they might beat the Maine schools that started building last autumn.
They have a very detailed blog of what they have been up to which can be found here.
I have told them that they need to start thinking about raising the money to get to Portsoy next year.