Archive for November, 2011
Last year a group of pupils invovled in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme at Carrick Academy in South Ayrshire succeeded in building a 16ft Canadian canoe. In 2011/12 the Design & Technology Department at Carrick Academy pushed the boat out a bit further, offering this year’s 6th year a chance to build a St Ayles Skiff .
The course will be reaching a major milestone in the week before Christmas. The pupils are nearly finished constructing the hull and will be ready for the turning over ceremony on Wednesday the 21st of December. The internal construction will start after the Christmas break with a view to completing the build by the Easter Holidays 2012.
The large vessel being constructed in the department has created a real buzz with all involved really enjoying the experience. When complete the boat will used by Carrick pupils and the local community for competition and recreation.
Pictured are the 6th years with project leader Niall McGinnis, Technician Brian Auld, and two senoir volunteers that help out for two hours a week , John McGinnis and Alec Kelly.
Other school builds are ongoing in Eyemouth, in Glasgow (through Gal Gael) and at Preston Lodge High School in Prestonpans. Ullapool High School launched their first skiff in the summer. There are also many High Schools currently building St Ayles skiff in the United States through the “Boatbuilding and Rowing Challenge.” More schools always welcome! Well done and good luck to the builders at Carrick Academy.
Troon Coastal Rowing Club were successful in their applicaiton for a grant from the Royal Bank of Scotland Community Force. The Community Force scheme relies on a public vote and Troon are grateful for the votes that they received from other Coastal Rowers to give them success in their area.
The club is a very new one, and hopes that the grant will asisst in encouraging rowing throughout their community, with a particular emphasis on young persons. The build of their first skiff, “Marr Voyager” involved youngsters taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s awards scheme. The desire of the club is to involve more youngsters in the build of a second boat, and also in competetion and expeditions.
The grant awarded by RBS Community Force will be used to fund the building of a second St Ayles skiff and the purchase of a trailer to allow the club to participate in the growing rowing competitions throughout Scotland. It will also allow the club to purchase safety equipment including lifejackets and VHF radios and fund recognised training and certification in rowing standards.
The Scottish Coastal Rowing community also supported applications to the scheme from Arderseir, Portobello, Newhaven. Boatie Blest (Cockenzie/Port Seton) and Eyemouth, which were not successful on this occassion. However the support shown was much appreciated.
To help everyone plan their summer holidays the 2012 SCRA regatta programme can now be found by clicking the Events 2012 tab above. Check in from time to time, as other events will almost certainly be added in as the season approaches. Anyone with any additions please contact Adam through adam_graham<at>hotmail.com .
SCRA looks forward to seeing familiar faces return, and new faces make an appearance at the 2012 regattas.
Adding to the various ways in which clubs raise funds to keep the skiffs on the water, Ullapool CRC have published their 2012 calendar.
If you’d like to have a copy to grace your wall, please follow the link to the Ullapool website where you can have a look at all the pages, and the address to get in touch to order your copy.
One of the smaller communities to become involved in the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project is Catterline, perched at the top of a steep brae above the sea between Montrose and Stonehaven, on Scotland’s east coast. The Catterline builders are keen to fill the gap in St Ayles skiff provision between Fife and Portsoy, a coast with many towns which would benefit from the community involvement which comes with building and using coastal rowing boats.
Building at Catterline finally got underway in September. The kit had arrived sometime ago but had to wait for a barn to be built, which is now proving to be a perfect place in which to build a boat. The only complaint so far is that it has not been cold enough to test the 16kw wood burning stove and get rid of all the plywood off cuts.
The hog is just about to be glued to the stems, so progress is not too bad and the aim is to have the skiff on the water in summer 2012.
So far thirteen people have been involved in the boat building, which has seen turnouts from 1 to 7! A wide range of ages are reflected in the group, including three teenagers, who are keen to turn out on Sundays. Rob Plummer is leading the project, whose Iain Oughtred designed Ness Yawl is a regular visitor to Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, Portsoy. Rob co-built the Ness Yole and this experience is proving to be a a great help in co-ordination of the St Ayles build. The team includes an ex-policeman, who had wanted to build his own boat, and a previous participant in the Galgael project. The backgrounds of the rest of the group are varied: golf course greenkeeper, IT specialist (and cartie driver), social worker, retired army, economist and oil company employee.
A weekly update is being posted on http://www.catterline.org/coastalRowing
These folks at Catterline are up for a bit of fun. Check out the village Cartie event, where they race home made carties down the hill. There are some excellent videos. http://www.catterline.org/cartie
What are the Scottish Coastal Rowers doing over the winter?
It seems that this year, and in lovely recent conditions, many are going out rowing on the sea. In the dark midweek evenings some are getting ready to build more boats, be they St Ayles Skiffs, Wee Skiffs or others, or perhaps they are building new oars or taking their spokeshaves to the old ones. However, just in case anyone has more spare time, Scottish Rowing has brought our attention to various indoor rowing competitions. Indoor rowing takes place on Concept 2 Rowing machines, which are found in most gyms, and some schools and community facilities. There are no waves in indoor rowing, but it is a testing exercise in its own right.
Scottish Rowing is pleased to announce the launch of theScottish Indoor Rowing League for Schools, in partnership with Concept2. This competition is for teams of four or eight and is open to pupils from Primary 7 right through to S6. There is even a category for adult teams incorporating staff and parents so everyone can get involved.
There are 5 monthly challenges between now and April 2012 and prizes will be awarded to the category winners after all 5 challenges have been completed. An entry into the Scottish League automatically enters you in the Concept2 national league and allows you to compare your scores with teams from the rest of Britain and Ireland and beyond. The league is live and online now so to find out more click here or to enter your team(s), go towww.concept2.co.uk/scottish_league and sign up or for more information contact email@example.com (mobile 07585 979494).
Those not involved with schools may be interested in two further events:
Scottish Indoor Rowing Champs are 29th January 2012. See website http://concept2.co.uk/nationals/scottish
British Indoor Rowing Champs 25th March 2012 Entry now open. See http://concept2.co.uk/birc/
Boatie Blest’s now experienced boat-builders in Port Seton and Cockenzie, together with technical staff from Preston Lodge High School, have been helping school pupils build a school skiff. The kit has been sponsored by Boatie Blest and boat-builders, Alex Weatherhead and Stuart Mack who are both regular visitors, have developed great links with the staff and pupils. Gordon Kidd and Brian Frost from Preston Lodge High School report that there’s been a fair bit of activity lately, with frames and hog being assembled and planks in the process of being scarfed. In the next few weeks, S3/S4 pupils – who have been working hard every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon – will put these together on the mould and see what resembles the start of their boat being formed!
S3/S4 pupils taking a well-earned break at Preston Lodge High School
Check out a film about Boatie Blest on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRs5kT0pUyM
An advert has been placed in the local newsletter calling on interested parties of all ages to attend an open meeting to discuss the possibilities of building and operating a St Ayles Skiff on Barra, one of the Outer Hebrides.
Scottish Coastal Rowing is very excited to hear of this development, and wishes the community well in its endevours. The meeting is in Castlebay School, Monday 14 November 2011 @ 7.30 pm. For further details contact Tom Edwards on Barra 890 318 .
At the AGM we agreed to make a change to the rules of racing, and a change to the constitution.
The rules of racing are amended to require competitors to carry a number visible in the bows of their boat, corresponding to the number allocated to their vessel in the SCRA register of craft which can be found on the “participants” section of the website. The number must be at least 20cm in height. This is to assist umpires in identifying craft during races. It was also agreed that it would be sensible to be able to identify craft from astern, so regatta organisers may insist that a number is worn on the back of the cox too.
We also agreed to create a class of “associate member” of the Association. This does not carry voting rights, but allows individuals to show their support for the aims of the Association. Full membership for organisations is £60 for 2012 (funds to Topher Dawson as soon as possible please), and the new associate membership fee for individuals will be £20.
The new committee were elected by affirmation at the AGM. I am pleased to be able to report that their first act since the AGM has been to co-opt Denise Havard to act as Secretary to SCRA. The committee taking us forward into 2012 is therefore:
Robbie Wightman (North Berwick) Convenor
Topher Dawson (Ullapool) Treasurer
Denise Havard (Queensferry) Secretary
Adam Graham (Royal West, Greenock) Training and Development
Barbara Elliot (St Ayles, Anstruther)
Stuart Mack (Boatie Blest, Cockenzie/ Port Seton)
Ian Clark (Royal West, Greenock)
David Tod (Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther)
Posted by in Uncategorized on 2 November 2011
Royal West played host this weekend to two days of Fixed Seat Rowing activity. Eleven clubs were represented by 32 people attending a coach’s day on Saturday and on Sunday twelve clubs attended a seminar in the morning, then the AGM of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association in the afternoon. Clubs attending over the weekend were Newhaven, North Berwick, Royal West, RowPorty, Boatie Blest, Troon, Queensferry, Gal Gael, St Ayles, Dunbar, Lochgilphead, Ullapool, Gosforth and Cumbrae.
Saturday saw coaches from 11 clubs attend a day long workshop on what they should be considering as coaches. There was a small group from Troon CRC who attended as guinea pigs as well as 4 pupils and 3 teachers from Lochgilphead Joint Campus School.
Before going afloat on Saturday the coaches had to demonstrate not only key elements of boat and equipment knowledge , but also rowing technique. Following on from this they had to work with the novices to develop skills on the water in conditions that were less than ideal.
Pictured above is a crew containing David Pestell of Newhaven at Cox, Trisha Bone of St. Ayles RC at stroke, two of the pupils from Lochgilphead and Frazer McDonald Hay of North Berwick RC, the photo was taken by Alec Ohnstad of Lochgilphead.
The water based session in the morning involved 4 of the new St Ayles Skiffs and two of the Club’s Heavy Fours, Whiteforeland and Zebra. The Club’s rescue boat was also launched to provide safety cover and a platform from which to supervise the coaching from.
Lunch was provided by members’ wives and family, much to the delight of the visiting participants. Having an hour out of the wind and drizzle with hot soup and rolls was very much appreciated.
In the afternoon crews participated in Immersion Recovery Drills (man overboard to the uninitiated). Two dummies were used to simulate casualties in the water and the crews had to take it in turn to manoeuvre and rescue them. Different people in the boats took it in turn to control the exercise each time allowing the experience to be more fully understood by a larger group.
Before the crews returned to shore it was decided to take a short trip from the Club into Cardwell Bay. Within a few minutes of starting this trip a weather front approached from the West bringing with it waves, high winds and torrential rain. The organising group was very impressed with the decision making skills of the participating coaches in individual boats who quickly understood the change in weather and also the capabilities of their crews and turned back for the relative safety of the bay in front of the Club.
Once the boats were all put away, showers taken and refreshments found there was a debrief on the day’s activities. There was no shortage of feedback on how the visiting clubs had found the day and also on what they would like to happen next. There was a strong feeling from the participants that more formal qualifications are needed at club level and the SCRA have started the process of organising a UKCC Level 2 Fixed Seat Rowing Coaches Course in the spring. Details will be published on the SCRA website as the course if formalised.
Saturday was rounded off with a Halloween Party in the clubhouse attended by approx 50 members and guests.
Sunday was a mostly land based day. There was a seminar in the morning covering;
• Regatta organisation
• PVG issues
There was lively constructive debate on all these topics and a good sharing of knowledge. Watch out for information on the website as a result of these discussions.
Over lunch, again catered for by the Royal West members’ wives and family, there was an opportunity for some water based activity. The St. Ayles RC crew took Chris o’ Kinnaird out for a wander and various people tried out Alec Jordan’s new Wemyss Skiff.
The afternoon was dominated by the SCRA AGM. A report on this will be posted separately.
There have been a number of very kind messages emailed or posted on websites regarding the weekend, we at Royal West would thank you all for attending and lending a hand whenever needed.
The comments are listed below:
“felt it was a very good introductory course. It was pitched just at the right level and covered the essential basics. It also whetted my appetite to learn more.”
David Pestell, Newhaven Coastal Rowing
“enjoyed the day – it was professional, considered and friendly – a perfect combination”
Frazer MacDonald Hay, North Berwick RC
“Thanks to you and the club for such an instructive and entertaining weekend”
Topher Dawson, Ullapool Coastal RC
“We wished we could have joined for the sessions, but we enjoyed what we did partake off”
Phil Walton, Gosforth Community Rowing
“Thanks again for this weekend to all at Royal West. I look forward to where we go from here.”
Ben Duffin, Gal Gael
“…thank you for the brilliantly organised, comfortably accommodated and magnificently catered day at Royal West yesterday. There was lots of evidence of excellent planning and preparation, thoughtful and considerate chairing, and the very genuine and positive collaborative spirit that has characterised my experience of coastal rowing so far. If you can pass on these thanks from RowPorty to your Royal West and SCRA colleagues, I’d be grateful.”
Emily Griffiths, RowPorty
“Thanks very much for letting us join your coaching day… the kids have been raving about it all the way home and ever since they got home, the best advert possible!
The staff also loved it and it was great to see the skiffs first hand.”
Alec Ohnstad, Lochgilphead Joint Campus School
“worth the trek and the total soaking I got from playing in the rain all day. It was also good to be in a different boat with a different mix of people.”
Alison Grant, RowPorty
“On behalf of Scottish Coastal Rowing Association I would like to express sincere thanks to Royal West of Scotland Amateur Boat Club for the hospitality that they extended to our member clubs over the weekend. The facilities you have were fantastic for holding our event, and as ever Royal West you made our visitors feel very welcome and safe. It is very kind of your members to share their experience with the relative newcomers to the sport from other clubs. The catering that your members provided was also very much appreciated. Best of luck to Royal West of Scotland ABC in all its endeavours.”
Robbie Wightman, Convenor, Scottish Coastal Rowing Association