There are now three St Ayles skiffs afloat in Northern Ireland. The first was launched at Ardglass Harbour and named the “Ardglass Lass” . She was built by a team of dedicated volunteers as part of the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership’s (SLLP’s) community coastal rowing project “The Narrows Challenges.”
Rickey Le Bloas, a boat builder or many years’ experience explained, “The Ardglass team had a late start but we were determined not to be left behind in the race for the water. Once we found a place to build the boat, it was full steam ahead”. William Mulhall, the Ardglass team leader, said, ” It was great to see how everyone pulled so hard together to make the project forge ahead – no sooner did the kit arrive than they had it looking like a boat.” The Ardglass team only took delivery of their kit eight weeks ago, after securing premises from Hendersons . There is a report on the Ardglass launch in the Down Reporter.
The project has been set up under the banner of Down Coastal Rowing Club, and a total of 9 kits have been supplied to the communities around Strangford Lough and Lecale. The second and third of boats took to the water this weekend. First up was “Skart”, launched by the community of Killyleagh. She was quickly followed by “Black Neb Vixen”, built in the community of Kircubbin.
The boats have been given numbers 77, 78 and 79 on the St Ayles Register of Craft.
It is not long until these boats will be racing for the first time. The “Narrows Challenge” will be a longer distance race followed by sprints in Strangford Lough on the first weekend of October.
Photos Copyright ©Bernie Brown 2014. More photos can be seen on the Down Coastal Rowing Club Facebook Page.