Archive for category Uncategorized
There has been much buzz in the past few days with the news that Moravian Academy of Bethlehem PA is not only bringing crews across the Atlantic for Skiffie Worlds, but they are bringing their skiff as well.
This is however a skiff with a difference. Apart from her rowing, she has been built to to talk to the whales. Sephiramust be one of the largest musical instruments in the world, and I am looking forward to the concert at Ullapool.
Sephira will be starting her journey cooped up in a container from the USA on Tuesday next week, arriving in Grangemouth at the end of June.
She can be seen in concert here.
The costs of shipping her to the UK for Skiffie Worlds have so far been met by her creator Michael Brolley. If you would like to help contribute in some small way to these costs, please go to the Musical Ark Facebook page.
This has also been picked up by BBC News.
Brought to my attention a couple of days ago, a very well put together 10 minute documentary on Coigach.
The Scottish Coastal Rowing Association’s committee has been considering carefully the best way to ensure that future St Ayles Skiff World championships are special events and are run with the enthusiasm and commitment that is being put into the 2013 Worlds at Ullapool. We want to ensure that the event remains truly international, that the hosts are able to lend sufficient boats to visiting crews from other nations, and that visiting crews can make the commitment to travel considerable distances to take part in a very special event.
For these reasons the committee do not consider that the Skiffie Worlds should take place every year, and provisionally are planning for the second Skiffie Worlds to take place in 2016. This will keep the event special.
We do however want to encourage and participate in exciting new events for 2014, and provisional planning is going into these, to ensure that the class and the sport continues to develop and grow.
At this stage we are hoping that our 2014 calendar will include a long distance event up the River Clyde into Glasgow city centre as part of a bigger flotilla event. The SCRA also hopes to host a regatta in Glasgow City Centre… those who were at the Glenlee Ceilidh will have looked out over the proposed course. There is also the possibility of a touring event on the Great Glen, and a long distance race on the Forth to be organised by some of the SCRA clubs.
Blink and you miss them. Three more communities have held naming ceremonies in the past 10 days, bringing the total Scottish fleet up to an amazing 42 boats.
First in was North Queensferry’s second skiff “Ferry Sonnet” launched on Saturday 11th May 2013. The name has an interesting story. Alan Turing, who helped solve the Enigma Code in WW2 and invented the Turing Test in artificial intelligence, had suggested that a suitable question to ask a possibly sentient computer in the Turing Test would be “Can you compose a sonnet about the Forth Rail Bridge?”. So this skiff is as well composed as any sonnet ever was. She was welcomed to the water (in some lively conditions) by her sister ship St Margaret’s Hope, by Ferry Maid and Ferry Lass from the other end of the Forth Bridge, and by Fisher Lass from Pittenweem.
Next up was Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club, who launched “Saltire” at Fairlie. Fairlie was home to the Fife Family who launched many stunning yachts across the beach where Saltire took to the water. The local community turned out in force despite the damp conditions, and Troon CRC brought a skiff along to welcome their new neigbours to the water.
Then “Selkie”, the Seil Skiff, was placed gently onto the water at the Clachan sound, which separates Seil from the mainland. There is some historic video that captures her maiden voyage. Note from the Seil Skiff website: ”Not just a boat made. Friendships too.”
Good luck to all three communities. Scottish Coastal Rowing wishes you many happy outings in your newcommunity skiffs.
The 2013 Scottish St Ayles skiff regatta season started with the Coigach Regatta on 18 May. Crews travelled from Helmsdale, Ullapool, Newhaven, Newburgh, Anstruther, North Berwick, Portobello, Loch Broom SC joined the hosts two skiffs to test themselves over a 1km straight multilane course. An offshore wind came and went during the day, testing the skill of the coxes as well as the braun of the rowers.
Although there were spirited rows from the visitors, notably a couple of great results from the Helmsdale crews, Coigach dominated the competition, winning every one of the categories on offer. Full results can be found here.
More details, and photos to be added later. If anyone has a good pictures please send them on. Race to Tanera Mor takes place on the Sunday.
On Monday 8th July, the Princess Royal will launch the first ever St Ayles Skiff World Championships in Ullapool, Rossshire. This heralds the start of a week-long rowing event, which will see more than 30 teams from as far away as the USA,New Zealand andAustralia, compete on the waters of Loch Broom.
Hundreds of spectators and competitors are expected to gather in Ullapool to watch, support and take part in the new Championships. St Ayles Skiffs have initially been built by communities and groups acrossScotland but interest in them has grown internationally and they are now built around the world.
The local boat ‘Ulla’ is already known to the Royal Family having attended, at the invite of the Lord-Lieutenant of Ross & Cromarty Mrs Janet Bowen, the Jubilee Thames Regatta last year. The Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club is delighted that this relationship is strengthened further with the Princess Royals’ visit. Members look forward to welcoming Her Royal Highness and introducing her to the local and visiting skiff communities, as well as the many supporters of the event.
Topher Dawson, Convenor of the Club said “This is a really exciting way to open the World Championships. The spectacle of over 30 rowing skiffs on the waters of Lochbroom will be a sight to behold, and it is especially fitting this will be witnessed by the Princess Royal”.
The governing body, the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association has fully supported Ullapools hosting of the first Championships. Robbie Wightman, Convenor, said “the skiff community has grown remarkably over the past three years, from the first boat launched in 2010. It is a real endorsement that the Princess Royal is opening this first ever World Championships, and we are proud to introduce her to this community based sport.”
More information will can be found on the St Ayles Skiff World Championships Worlds website http://skiffieworlds.com/ and on Facebook.
The SCRA committee have received advice from the measurement group, who are cuttently looking at seats. Many clubs have found that increasing the spacing between seats has led to an improvement in trim and given rowers more room to take their stroke. Although this is a departure from the plans it is accepted (and indeed encouraged).
However a further development has been attempted, which involves a longer, offset seat. This causes the following concerns:
1. Long seats are capable of being used for sliding upon to a far greater degree than the seat shown in the St Ayles plans. This is the first stage of moving towards sliding seat rowing (or at least sliding backside rowing) which the group believes is not allowed by current rules and should not be allowed as long as the St Ayles is a fixed seat class of skiff.
2. Seats should not depart far from the plans
3. The boats should remain useful for social activities and coaching of beginners and youngsters, not just racing,and some long seat development, including offsetting the long part of the seat, may limit this.
4. Any perceived competitive advantage would cause unrest amongst the skiff community at regattas.
The group then looked at what could be done to address the issue and has made the following recommendations to the SCRA committee:
1. 10 inch (254mm) absolute maximum seat width since a slightly larger seat is often desirable for abnormal sized personnel; however the additional 2 inches from the current plans are seen as having no racing advantage apart from comfort.
2. Seats should be size shown in plans, except they can be up to 10 inches in width in the fore and aft plane.
The SCRA committee are minded to accept this advice, and introduce a specific addition to the St Ayles measurement rules to introduce a specific restriction of a maximum 10″ seat width IN ADVANCE OF THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. If such a change will cause your club difficulty or hardship please advise the SCRA committee in the next 7 days by e mailing:
You might have read a previous post speculating how the students of Renbrook School in Connecticut were going to get the St Ayles skiff that they build out of the workshop. Well this is how it is done:
And this is the end product, skiff US07:
Congratulations to the pupils of Renbrook who have done a great job, working together to make a beautiful skiff. The sharp eyed among you may notice a small job that still has to be comleted. The skiff is named “William S. Shipp” after the husband of Renbrook’s former Head, Jane Shipp.
Toby Goodrich explains: “William S Shipp was an accomplished woodworker and boatbuilder. He loved the idea of bringing kids into boatbuilding. Three years ago, when he was fighting cancer, he and I often talked about the Boatbuilding and Rowing Challenge (BARC), which was WoodenBoat magazine’s challenge for US schools to build and race St. Ayles Skiffs. We recognized a beautiful boat when we saw one, and we thought Renbrook should take on the challenge. As Bill’s health worsened he never lost his fascination with how these boats have caught on in Scotland. When it became clear he didn’t have much time, Bill went through his beautiful woodworking shop with me, making sure I had a complete inventory of tools I could use at Renbrook. When he died he left a generous sum, which became the school’s wood boat fund. Signs hang in the doorways to the converted classroom space, now our boat building shop: “Shipp Yard.”
Lets all raise a glass to William S Shipp. A video has been produced that follows the project, and shows a lot of happy faces. In the meantime someone has a window to replace and a wall to repair.
If you haven’t had a direct email from the organising committee regarding Skiffie Worlds or seen the website, the Notice of Race has been published on the Skiffie Worlds website.
Entries close on the 8th of June.
Entries will be accepted from UK groups/ clubs that are members of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association, and from international groups/ clubs . All entrant groups must either have a St Ayles skiff launched or in build.