The latest addition to the St Ayles fleet made a stunning bow at the recent muster on Loch Shiel. On her first outing Troika was crewed, amongst others, by one of her boat builders from the Muirhouse Youth Development Group. As she made her way to the shore at Glenfinnan, having rowed the 17 miles of Loch Shiel, the other seven skiffs which had been rowing in a line abreast across the Loch formed into two columns fore and aft. Troika was then rowed between the two columns and as she passed through the fleet crews in the other skiffs tossed oars and cheered Troika and her crew ashore. A lot of smiles and congratulations were given, and one or two tears may have been shed.
When the builders met the Duchess of Cornwall in Portobello in June they had already decided upon the name, but refused to reveal it to the Duchess, explaining to her that do so at this stage would be unlucky.
A Troika is a group of three working together, and the name was an inspired choice by the three youngsters involved in the build. The kit was number 123 ex Jordan Boats works (Although she takes number 106 in the St Ayles Register of Craft). Troika was built by 3 young people working together. They came to live in Edinburgh from three different countries and have three different first languages. “Troika” is a masterpiece by Tchaikovsky and youngsters consider that their troika is masterpiece too! The Duchess might have been interested to know that Troika is also a make of Cornish pottery, and the blue and white paint markings on the skiff are reminiscent of Cornishware.
The young boat builders were tutored by Nik Savage and encouraged and coordinated by Ali Grant. The boat was built within Craigroyston Community High School , Edinburgh and Ali and the team are indebted to Head Teacher, Stephen Ross, and his team for all their support in making this project happen.
Loch Shiel photos from Jon Gerrard, other photos from rowporty.