Archive for December, 2011
Project leader Niall McGinnis tells us “It all went well with nobody being squashed! We used the opportunity to invite a whole host of local people and to promote the newly formed club, “Carrick Coastal Rowing Project”.
“Getting the boat ready for the day was touch and go, with extra hours needed to reach the deadline, but it was worthwhile with the ceremony receiving a great turnout with lots of positive remarks.”
Pictured are the 6th years, Hollie Lucas, Connor Riggans, Robbie McCreath, Dale Hamilton, Daniel Roulston and Blair Jardine ,project leader Niall McGinnis, technician Brian Auld, and two senior volunteers that help out for two hours a week John McGinnis and Alec Kelly.
Might be a bit early but thought we should publicise this at every opportunity as they were a founding member of the SCRA.
The Scottish Fisheries Museum Open Day has FREE admission for all on Bank Holiday Monday 4th June, 2012. It is a chance to see the Museum and the work it does with the local community. There will be a chance to see the Fisher Lass & Lad come into the harbour onboard the historic herring drifter ‘Reaper’ and see the work of our volunteers and clubs. Winning entries from the children’s art competition will be on display and there will be a range of activities for all the family (N.B. most activities still be arranged at this stage)
This is the weekend the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and the Tuesday has also been designated a Public Holiday (for those that qualify).
Coastal Rowing Groups are looking at a variety of ways to bring in the New Year or see out the old.
Boatie Blest will be holding their new year family races on January 3rd 2012, with the start of racing expected at around 9am. As last year the races will probably held within Port Seton Harbour, giving excellent spectator views.
Last year Boatie Blest’s families races attraced 8 teams: ”archies offspring”, “murphys”, “bergs” “Aitkens/Atkins” “Brashes” “Doney Family Fearons” “souness and Friends” and “mariettas Misfits” racing round the circuit track in the harbour in a head to head knockout. Archies Offsprings were victorious on the day and have since been awarded the “Jackie Robertson Quaich” . It will be raced for again this year.
There will also be the usual high quality tea and coffee cakes for which Boatie Blest is famous.
Ardersier Boat Club are still looking for a shed in which to buld their boat. If you can possibly help them in their search, please get in touch. Until they get a shed, they won’t have a boat.
The lack of a boat however is not going to put this intrepid new community club off from being on the water on New Year’s day….. or rather in the water. Club members and supporters are called upon to don their cossies, trunks, swimmers or mankinis and go for a Loony Dook at 3.30 on New Years Day. Actually fancy dress is also the order of the day, so we can look forward to seeing the photos after the new year.
Meet at the Slipway Car Park, the Beach, Ardersier. The dookers will be raising funds to try to ensure that next year they can be kept away from the cold water by the hull of a St Ayles skiff.
Follow Ardersier Boat Club on Facebook for any updates. Good luck intrepid swimmers. Sponsorship forms, which include safety information (eg wear sensible shoes with your fancy dress) from email@example.com
After the New Year the next meeting of the Ardersier Boat Club will be January 19th, 2012.
Where is the mystery, luxury shed that has kept you guessing? Port Glasgow? Nooo, Cockenzie? Noooo.
Ta dahhhh. It’s Queensferry Rowing Club’s swish building emporium beside Scotmid supermarket on the Loan in South Queensferry. Here are members of the building team under Mike McDowall (third from left) working on the sister ship to “Ferry Lass”. Visitors welcome.
Yes Queensferry are building their second skiff, thanks to a community grant award from Almond Neighbourhood Partnership of £1000, fundraising and other kind donations. Perhaps some of the clubs in Edinburgh want to try to tap their local neighbourhood partnership for some funds.
Queensferry Rowing Club secretary Denise Havard tells us “the second boat build is keeping us busy as well as our winter programme of talks ranging from knots, to rowing technique, safety to tides and charts and of course a few social gatherings in between.
“Happy Christmas to all of our coastal rowing friends and if your are about in Queensferry on the 1 January for the Loony Dook look out for the “Ferry Lass” and our very own Tony Hamblin who is going to brave the waters to raise funds for the club!
“Nadolig Llawen” as they say in Wales.”
Crivens the water will be cold as we say in Scotland. Watch this space for more news of intended new year capers from other skiffies.
We have been looking recently at the venues that communities have been able to secure to build their boats. The venue that Alex Finnegan, co-founder and director of Puppetship CIC takes some beating. Alex has been building small boats with youth groups in Northumberland for some time. It is no great surprise that he was enthusiastic about the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project, and wanted to become involved. There was however one small problem: he was not sure if a completed St Ayles skiff could be extracted through the 41″ (1035mm) wide doors (three of them in a row) that stood between his boat building space in St Michaels Church, Byker, and the open sea.
The first thoughts were theoretical. Chris O’Kannaird, the first skiff built, had fitted through a similar sized door when she visited the Scottish Parliament in January 2010. However that was a single door, and it was not known if the series of doors, combined with the beautiful rising sheer of the St Ayles would be a problem.
Alec Jordan of Jordan Boats, does of course have a CAD model of the St Ayles on his computer. He did what anyone would expect him to do in the circumstances, and with the measurements given to him of the church, designed a CAD model of the church. Bringing the two models together on the computer, he found he was able to post the boat through the virtual letterbox. He confidently predicted that it would fit.
Just to be sure before building started…… SCRA put Alex in touch with Phil Walton and the Gosforth Community rowers, who were happy to use their skiff Grace for a trial. The pictures above tell the story: it IS possible to fit a St Ayles Skiff through a Church doorway.
So it looks like Gosforth will have company/competition for Grace on Tyneside – and thanks to Alex Finnegan and Puppetship some more young folk in Newcastle will have a fantastic opportunity to share in the boat building experience that has given so many so much.
Anyone who buys the current edition of “Watercraft” Magazine will see some stunning photos of the skiff racing at Portsoy 2011. The Photos were taken by Kathy Mansfield, a professional marine photographer, who regularly attends Portsoy, as well as many other well posh international marine events. Photos from Portsoy can be viewed and purchased on Kathy Mansfields website:
As the year draws to a close, I thought it may be of interest to mark where we are in terms of numbers, and some other achievements.
This week has seen another three orders for St Ayles Skiffs; from Girvan, Islay, and second from Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
We have now sold kits for 49 skiffs in the UK, two south of the border. It is looking very likely that there will be another three or four early in 2012.
I frequently receive enquiries from further south, and sometime, someone from a bit further south of Newcastle is going to bite. Even if it is not for a St Ayles, the idea of a community built kit boat has taken hold and I have had further enquiries from people looking at building local designs on the Solent and the Thames.
There are still a few holes in the geographic coverage of Scotland, but there has been interest from these areas, apart from the South West from the Solway around to Maybole.
Doing a bit of totting up in starting preparation for the 2012 Portsoy Regatta, it looks like there will be about 33 St Ayles Skiffs on the water by the spring – maybe more if the ones who have just ordered or about to order really pull out the stops to get their skiffs on the water. Would be a wonderful sight to see them all in one place!
In the USA, there are now 2 skiffs launched, and another 14 building, mainly in New England, but also in Pennsylvania, New York state, and Florida. The Portland ladies have been in touch and are keen to visit Scotland next year. There is other interest in the USA, and there has also been strong interest from a couple of places in Canada, though these have not yet translated into hard orders as yet.
The “order” that we had from Australia did not actually happen in the end, but, our agents there have told me that there are enthusiastic supporters of the idea, and that Tasmania is the most likely candidate for the first Australian Skiff.
We can be confident that the numbers of St Ayles skiffs will continue to grow both in Scotland and further afield.
The East Neuk of Fife has a string of stunning and picturesque villages along its coast. Anstruther, home to the Scottish Fisheries Museum, (the Patrons of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association who commissioned the St Ayles skiff design from Ian Oughtred) already have two skiffs on the water. Next season they are going to be joined by their neighbours on both sides. Pittenweem to the west have been steadily building away, and are now on the final stage of fit out.
The small village of Crail to the East of Anstruther will be familiar to anyone who has ever bought a calendar, a dish towel or a jigsaw. The image of the village’s harbour with crow step gabled houses behind must be one of the most popular in the Scottish tourist industry. However next year the view is going to be enhanced, by the addition of a gorgeous St Ayles skiff in the foreground.
The local rowing club, known as “Crail Crabbers” are making great progress in their St Ayles skiff build, having found a new home in September. Below are pictures of the skiff builders in action.
The keel has now been laid and the Crail Crabber craftsmen are looking forward to breaking the skiff out from her moulds and turning her over for fit out. The Crabbers intend to be on the water in the Spring and racing on the Scottish Coastal Rowing Circuit in the summer of 2012.
Keep up with the Crail Crabbers on their website: http://crailcrabbers.wordpress.com/
The rest of Fife is not going to be left behind. Skiff building projects are underway in Newburgh, North Queensferry and Aberdour. Any other towns of villages who want to join the coastal rowing scene next year will be made most welcome.