Coigach Coastal Rowers have issued a friendly invitation to join them for their third annual Coastal Rowing Regatta in sunny Achiltibuie on the weekend of 18th and 19th May 2013 (that’s the central belt public holiday long weekend for Victoria Day.)
As indicated in an earlier post Plockton small boat sailing club are organising a 15 mile row in company around the stunning coastline inshore of the Isle of Skye. The castles at start and finish are pretty stunning too. The row is not restricted to St Ayles boats, other classes will be present making for a sociable adventure. It is not a race, more a cruise in company. Boats are required to have a maximum of 5 persons on board, and carry 2 spare oars and spare kabes/ rowlocks. Find the organisers on Facebook, or e mail email@example.com for an entry form and more detailed information.
Coigach Lass Facebook page carries the news that Saturday 20th April is the Official Launch Day for Coigach’s newly-built skiff, the ‘Lily~Rose’. At 3pm in Old Dornie harbour, she will kiss the water to the skirl of the pipes! There will be a hoolie in the Cummunity Hall thereafter to celebrate the occasion.
There is some boat building going on down by the Solway. Annan Coastal Rowers are hard at work putting together that Firth’s first St Ayles skiff which is now turned, with fitting out taking place:
The SCRA committee has approved changes to the racing rules for the forthcoming season. These were tried at the Castle Semple event in the Autumn, and have had one or two further revisals in the light of that experience.
New categories for rowers have been defined including “Novice” (a rower who has never won a race, but would quite like to), “Fresher” (a rower who has been rowing for less than a year), “Intermediate” (a rower who is in the season of or the first season after winning their first race). In addition definitions have been given to “Second Crews“, and “New Clubs”. It is hoped that regatta organisers will consider offering events in some of these categories, in addition to (or instead of) the open and age categories currently offered at most regattas.
Scottish Coastal Rowing has a great community ethos, and to maintain that we will need to ensure that we are open and encouraging to those in our communities who would like to take up the activity for the first time, and indeed to the new communities that are joining us. Offering some of these categories will allow everyone a route into the sport, and indeed a way to progress onward to the standard of more experienced rowers, while maintaining enthusiasm. It is also likely to spread the medals about a bit, and everyone likes a medal from time to time. It is however entirely a matter for the regatta organisers to decide what categories to offer at any particular event.
Clarity has been brought to the definition of a “mixed” crew. Entries can be accepted from crews of 3 women and 1 man rowing, or two of each, but not crews with 3 men and 1 woman, since such a crew would be likely to have an unfair advantage.
New rules have been introduced to section 8, to clarify the position in races where each crew has their own turning buoy (as will be the case at the 2013 Worlds). In general terms the crew going into the turn must keep clear of any boat that is coming out of the turn. We will all need to take care to avoid head on situations around this type of turn.
Hopefully the new rules about penalties and review will not be required! However they are found at rules 10 and 11, and introduce the option for an umpire to require a crew to undertake a 360 or 720 degree turn as an alternative to disqualification, where the umpire judges that an unfair advantage has been gained, but safety has not been compromised.
Finally the starting commands have been changed to “Attention……. Go” since we understand that to be the internationally adopted norm. However it is recognised that regattas will wish to have their own start sequences prior to that point (eg, flags, sounds, muster points etc) which will have been tailored for the specific nature of the event, and the prevailing conditions.
Please do ask all rowers and coxes in your clubs, regatta organisers and umpires to familiarise themselves with the 2013 rules.
I wish you all a happy, successful and rewarding racing season in 2013, and look forward to seeing lots of old faces, and many new ones at the various regattas to be held this year.
Norfolk’s first St Ayles skiff has passed the important stage of turnover:
Read the full report on the CRA Blakeney website. Despite the cold weather work has continued, mostly on cutting and fitting pieces that do not require epoxy, and on oars. The intention is to exhibit Blakeneys first St Ayles skiff at Pangbourne 7th to 9th June 2013 in the Beale Park Boat Show.
An active season of rowing events is already planned at Blakeney with rowing events on March 29th, Sat 27th April, Sat 25th May, Sat 8th June, Sat 10th August (Blakeney Regatta), Sat 24th August (Morston Regatta and Rowing Race), Sat 7th September, Sat 21st September, Sat 5th October. The Marsh Marathon is on Sunday 5 August. Don’t know exactly what it is, but the record is 45 minutes, and it sounds like the sort of event St Ayles skiffies will love.
Alan (Mel) Meldrum, Vice-Captain of Queensferry Rowing Club, died on 23 January, aged 56, after a courageous fight with cancer. Mel was a regular at outings on Ferry Lass, the Club’s St Ayles skiff, even coxing after the onset of his illness. At the wheel of his green VW camper van with wife Jenni in the passenger seat Mel would often tow Ferry Lass to regattas around Scotland. This unflappable broadcast engineer was one of those quiet problem-solvers who could turn his hand to setting up the VHF for the skiff or fine tuning the boat’s road trailer.
At his funeral Club members wearing their maroon sweat shirts hoisted the coffin aboard Ferry Lass to be towed up the Loan to Queensferry’s cemetery. About 100 people applauded Mel at the start his final trip.
We have had a good start to the season with good articles in Scotland Outdoors and Rowing & Regatta magazine.
Rowing & Regatta is the magazine of British Rowing, mainly covering the sliding seat and tame water conditions of racing shells. In recent years, they have been providing more coverage of the sea rowing activities of Cornish Pilot Gigs and the Celtic Longboats used in Wales. Following the publication of this article, author Ian Mills of Crail Crabbers has been asked to continue to write about what is happening with the St Ayles class.
Just to give us a little more exposure, the contents page of R&R used the atmospheric photo from the Guardian just before Christmas.
Out of almost nowhere, an order has been placed from New Zealand for a St Ayles kit. As I type, the kit is actually on its way across the Tasman Sea. The New Zealanders now become the 7th country in the world with a skiff, this being the 95th kit ordered.
Not only are they buying the kit, but there is a very definite intention of attending Skiffy Worlds in Ullapool. I received this from Mike Mahoney this morning.
Thank you for the contact. Steve Cranch the driving force behind the NZ Traditional Boatbuilding School www.atbs.org.nz noticed your exciting skiffs and immediately saw an ideal fit for the NZTBS.
The school has for many years fostered, tutored, mentored all manner of family, schools and industry groups in the dying art of traditional boatbuilding. The St Ayles Skiffs will hopefully springboard a resurgence of interest at many levels in the community.
Auckland the City of Sails has a very proactive Council entity – Waterfront Auckland – who have initiated measures to encourage classic vessels to moor and interact with the public in the tourist mecca of our city. NZTBS is looking to relocate its yard to a heritage waterfront site where the public will be able to view first hand vessels under construction, restoration and of course St Ayles skiffs being built by community groups
Its early days for the skiffs – the idea was only first discussed 10 days ago, but we anticipate similar take up for similar reasons in NZ as you have achieved in Scotland and abroad.
By attending the Worlds we hope to have fun first and foremost but also see first hand the systems and structures you have in place and align our NZ programme to match.
We hope to be under construction within a couple of weeks and if the planets align have Wee Tawera on the start line (albeit with a shabby unfit crew) in July.
Topher has put Mike right about the need to bring a boat to Ullapool. We will look forward to meeting the Kiwis then.
There are another four St Ayles orders imminent from Australia and the USA, as well as the several communities getting things together in Scotland and England.
The early Season social event of 2013 was Scottish Coastal Rowing Ceilidh on Board the Tall Ship Glenlea on the River Clyde in Glasgow. The ship was a fantasic venue, with dancing and socialising on the mid-deck, and the chance to explore the whole ship.
Music was provided by “The Reel Stramash” . The photo shows the bandseye view of the head of the Orcadian Strip the Willow, with rowers showing off their fitness as well as their finesse! The event was very kindly sponsored by Airco Developments Ltd of Eskbank and RCK Fabrication Ltd of Prestonpans. Thanks to their kind sponsorship and the enthusiasm of those who attended we were able to raise over £900 to be used for running the 2013 St Ayles Skiff World Championships.
Some of the rowers also noticed the fantastic facilities on and around the Ship. SCRA hopes to run an event on the upper clyde in 2014, but in the meantime if any rowers would like to explore Glasgow from the Clyde, they can use the Kelvin Slipway, just at the stern of the ship.
Thanks to Barbara Elliot, Andrew Doney and Adam Graham for their work in organising the event.