Archive for April, 2012
The Island of Islay has launched its first St Ayles skiff. Around 200 people turned up to see “Lily Bheag” safely onto the water. The skiff is named after the new grand-daughter of builder Jack Glover.
The launch was followed by a fundraising barbecue, which raised around £800 to go towards a second St Ayles skiff for the Island.The sun shone on the launch that took place at Portnahaven, notwithstanding that it was torrential rain a few miles away on the other side of the island …. a good omen surely. The islanders already have some experience of coastal rowing boats, and look forward to getting to know their new skiff. Anyone interested in rowing on Islay should contact Jack Glover in the first instance: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Having read the post immediately below, Chris Perkins sent in this image to show that the St Ayles skiff is indeed perfectly suited for rowing in the kilt!
As you will probably know by now, the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association is the class association for the St Ayles skiff, and have awarded the hosting of the 2013 St Ayles Skiff world championships to Ullapool. See www.skiffieworlds.com for more information on that.
The overall World Governing body for the sport of rowing is FISA, and they are holding the World Coastal Rowing championships in Sweden in August 2013. These championships are held in sliding seat boats, with each rower having two oars, in boats for one, two or four rowers. More information on that event can be found at http://www.worldrowing.com/news/2013-world-rowing-coastal-championships-attributed-to-helsingborg-sweden . Watch out on those sliding seats if you are intending to wear your kilts.
The North Queensferry Coastal Rowing Club are in a race to launch on 6th May 2012. New club secretary Sandra Barour explains that the groups experienced boat builder Frank is overseeing an apprentice Crew doing the painting as outgoing chairman Gordon Scobie, is running around trying to make sure everything is in order for launch date. Sandra thinks that the skiff building project has been a steep learning curve for everyone but that of those immersed in the project in North Queensferry, not one would have missed this opportunity for the world.
The NQ Skiff has been named”St Margarets Hope” after an area in North Queenferry where St. Margaret (and other members of her family) supposedly landed in 1068 while fleeing the English court. It was also an important anchorage for shipping until Rosyth dockyard was built in the early 20th century. As North Queenferry residents know, the area is the site of the new Forth Bridge.
The launch date was set a while back for 6th May to suit the tides. Launch time is 3 p.m. with some skiffies from Anstruther and Queensferry joining in with the fun to welcome the club to Fife and to the Bridges! The Sunday is the second day of Boatie Blest Regatta, and others will hopefully be able to pop by to welcome the new skiff to the water on their way home…….. all are welcome. Anyone interested in Rowing in North Queensferry should contact Sandra at email@example.com . The club has a facebook page which can also be a point of contact.
Good luck to all boat builders and rowers of North Queensferry for your launch and for the pleasures of community rowing that lie ahead.
The Island of Islay made fantastic progress with their skiff. The community, who are intending to race at the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, Portsoy, will be launching their first St Ayles Skiff, to be called the ‘Lily Bheag’ in Portnahaven on Saturday at 3pm. They are having a fundraising Barbeque after everyone has a wee row, to raise funds towards the next boat!
Anyone interested in the launch, and in rowing on Islay, can contact Jack Glover at the Boatyard Portnahaven…tel. no. 01496 860222……e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The local Rugby Club retained NBRC’s Trades Cup on a fantastic evening of rowing off North Berwick Harbour last night. The Trades cup is a community competition open to any local organisation, trade or group, with the crews made up of complete beginners to rowing, but with an experienced coxswain/ coach provided from the rowing club.
The Oval Ball players had seen off a team of Firefighters on their way to the final. They faced a team of Homeworkers in the final, with a handicap system giving the homeworkers a 12 seconds start….. by a coincidence the exact difference between the times the two teams had registered in their heats.
Before that, in the Little Final, the Firefighters overcame a team of Skateboarders from local community project “theSpace”, with the Space men using the event to raise funds and warm up for a 10,000 km charity trip to Mongolia.
In the Final the Rugby players were down going into the turn, but managed to pull away from it half a length up, a lead which they extended as they headed for the finish.
All photos by Frazer MacDonald Hay, with more to be posted at www.nbrowingclub.com in due course.
Number three in an occassional series of skiffs in unusual places shows a skiff being borne skywards. This is in fact Vinalhaven school in Maine USA taking their part build skiff out for a bit of crowd surfing during turnover.
It does though remind us of the stories of the viking descended” Lords of the Isles”. A saga from Orkney claims that Scotland’s King Malcolm III offered (under duress presumably) Earl Magnus of Orkney all the islands off the west coastof Scotland ”navigable with the rudder set”. Magnus then allegedly had a skiff carried by his men across the neck of land at Tarbet, Loch Fyne with himself at the helm, thus including the Kintyre peninsula as one of the”isles” over which he was Lord.
The current “Lord of the Isles” is Prince Charles. Perhaps the pupils at Vinalhaven should offer to carry him round at the tiller of their skiff to do a bit of kingdom reclamation.
Saturday 31 March saw the turning of Queensferry Rowing’s second skiff. The club can’t wait until she is ready to take out on the water. The Club thanks to all those who have had a hand in building the skiff so far and especially to John Clenshaw.
The Scottish Coastal Rowing Association is delighted to announce that Ullapool has been selected as the venue for the first World Championship for Coastal Rowing using the St Ayles Skiff. With the astonishing growth of St Ayles Skiff building and rowing by communities internationally the time is right to run a Skiffie Worlds to give an opportunity for Rowers from across the Globe to meet in friendly competition. The Championships will take place from 8 to 14 July 2013.
Ullapool, on the banks of Loch Broom, a large sheltered sea Loch in the Northwest of Scotland, is an ideal location to host such an event. With an existing infrastructure developed to cater for the needs of visitors and great community experience in running large cultural events SkiifieWorlds will be well within the capacity of the village.
Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club together with their partner organisations, the Loch Broom Sailing Club, Coigach Community Rowing and the Ullapool Harbour Trustees look forward to welcoming visiting crews to their magnificent waters. A full programme of maritime and landbased activities and entertainment is planned culminating with the Prizegiving followed by a boisterous Ceilidh Dance on Saturday 13th July 2013.
A dedicated Website has been set up at www.skiffieworlds.com
From Martine Robertson of Port Seton, an account of last weekend’s paddle down the Tay…
A sharp, sparklingly sunny Sunday morning saw us leave the Port Seton boat shed in high spirits, just after 9am. Destined in convoy for the silvery Tay, the plan was to row Boatie Blest and Boatie Rows, the brand new Black Agnes from Dunbar, Jenny Skylark from Portobello, the Anstruther Boats Chris o’Kanaird and St Ayles, and Ferry Lass of South Queensferry, down river from Perth to Newburgh and then on under the Tay rail bridge to Wormit. Not a row for the faint hearted we discovered, but on the day there were no faint hearts; shoogly legs and blistered hands yes, but no faint hearts as each team gave a great account of themselves.
The slipway and the car park at the sea cadets’ hut in Perth was a bustle of rubber and wood and waterproofs, clanking metal contraptions to carry our lovely boats, and Tesco’s bags weighed down with enough rolls, pork pies, cakes and crisps to feed the Armada. As ever there were appreciating eyes run over the different boats and any new bits added; a lovely bit of sign painting on the Black Agnes, smart new red oars on Boatie Rows, but in the end there is no skiff as bonnie as your own, and why would it be any different.
Finally, at the crack of noon, every boat was afloat, including the International Rescue Team in a very stylish Zodiac! A Westerly tail wind and 20 miles to go, we were off and rowing. Some teams had been assembled to give newcomers a chance, some for a training run, some just out for the jolly. Whatever the reason we certainly got a lot of rowing in!
It was a day full of light, clouds chased over the sun, and the reed fringed river was sparkling and silver. Sand banks were avoided as we rowed, on and on and on. Boats fell behind and caught up, bow sitters changed in with spent rowers, and still everyone rowed. Team Zodiac was alert and waiting to ‘fling the thingy’ should anyone fall overboard. As miles wore on and rowers drooped, the Zodiac would offer a rescue package; a wee nudge down the river, or more sensitively named, ‘the push of shame’ by Andrew. Most crews enjoyed the shame, and rowed on refreshed afterwards. For the statisticians among us? Only two boats did not avail themselves of the push of shame at some point, Boatie Rows and Ferry Lass.
The Flotilla dropped in at Newburgh for rest, tea and cakes and in some cases a crew change. A longish walk to the boat club provided relief for some of us. The Newburgh builders took the chance to have a good look at our boats, and for us, it was great to see their new boat in the making.
No hanging about though, lest we become mud bound, so with the cake and pork pie inside us instead of in the Tesco’s bags we set off again to conquer the Tay. We rowed on past more sand banks, where seals lolled about, and small birds peeked from the reeds, through changing light and fatigue, people began hailing the push of shame. From Boatie Blest, Gareth’s voice singing out the rhythm offered a more prosaic momentum. Boatie Rows began to disappear in one direction and Ferry Lass in the other, both were strong, and no push required.
After a detour when we thought Boatie Rows might be going to the pictures in Dundee, she turned and headed for Wormit, according to Stuarts plan, to be first to reach the boatclub slipway. Over the next twenty minutes the other boats came in one by one, crews tired, but straight into the business of getting the boat up the slipway, and onto the trailer, aye, it’s a relaxing thing the rowing.
More tea, more cake, more crack and laughter, as well as a bit of showing off of blisters, well earned, and fair enough.
What a day, we had certainly ‘done the Tay’, the sun had stayed with us, as did our good humour and sheer pleasure in what we do in coastal rowing. It’s tiring and hard work, you even have to put the boat away yourselves when you get home! But, I know when I got back to Port Seton, I said ‘look, we’re back at our own wee harbour, are we not lucky’ and you know what, I bet at some point during the day every rower thought to themselves, ‘am I not lucky’.
When’s the next thing then?
A big thank you to, Brenda from the Sea Cadets in Perth, Danny from the Wormit sailing club, Sam in Newburgh, and Andrew who set up the whole thing.
For more photos (and a different perspective) have a look at the RowPorty http://rowporty.org.uk/6-go-mad-on-the-silvery-tayblog here: