‘Baile an Or’ was formally launched in Helmsdale Harbour on Saturday afternoon, after a year of hard work by a group of enthusiasts who built the boat in the old coastguard shed. A good crowd gathered to watch Highland Councillor, Deirdre Mackay and local man Jim Mackay christen the skiff with a drop of Clyneleish. Jim has a special connection to the boat as the retired merchant sea captain owned a fishing boat of the same name which worked out of Helmsdale. A piece of salvaged oak from the old boat has been incorporated into its new namesake.
Jamie Kelly played the pipes as the crew carried the boat down to the water to put her through her paces for the first time. With four oars to power the skiff, it cuts through the water and generates some speed. After this first test the crew retired to the old coastguard shed and shared a celebratory drink and some food with the crowd.
The day went very smoothly and was enjoyed by all.
See you in Portsoy!
Photos came from Garry, and Chris Perkins, who made an incognito trip to Helmsdale to check out the potential opposition to Ulla. He reckons that the Helmsdale oarsmen & women have considerable potential to challenge the established clubs.
Baile an Or is the 33rd St Ayles launched in the UK. We are expecting the launch of the first Newburgh skiff and the second Galgael skiff within the next couple of weeks along with one or two more in the USA.