One of the biggest maritime events on the Firth of Forth is the Anstruther muster held at the start of August. The strong arms of Anstruther harbour can accommodate 100 visiting craft and this year for the first time there was a Classic Boat Rally and a St Ayles Skiff rowing event in the programme. Anstruther is of course where it all started, when the Scottish Fisheries Museum commissioned Iain Oughtred to design a four person rowing skiff suitable for building in the museum as part of a display but also suitable for communities around the coast of Scotland to build and race. That design was subsequently called the St Ayles skiff, named after the chapel which forms part of the building in which the museum is housed.
Local clubs St Ayles, Crail and Pittenweem were invited to participate in races at the 2012 Anstruther muster. Races were held in the outer harbour, twice around the buoy and back to the beach. There were 7 races in total broken down into 3 categories – Firstly, fun races using composite crews in which the winning boat took the prize. Convincingly won by the Pittenweem boat “Fisher Lass” giving them the Anster Cup.
Secondly, the mens, womens and mixed opens using clubs own crew members. Some very competitive racing forced St Ayles to work hard, but they pulled through to win the Muster Trophy.
Last, but by no means least, there was the first ever St Ayles relay race. This was by far the most amusing race of the day and not quite as easy as some may have thought! Crail stormed ahead leaving the other two teams in their wake to win the St Ayles Trophy. A great day out for all three clubs. With increasing numbers of clubs around the Scottish coast there are likely to be more and more local meets like this.