Please will all Clubs check their entry on the Club Finder page on the SCRA Website, and intimate any changes to firstname.lastname@example.org . The SCRA Secretary will shortly be sending out to all listed contacts a document designed to aid the reporting and resolution of Incidents or “near misses”. This will allow the Association committee to consider whether there is learning that could be shared amongst all clubs perhaps by way of a “Safety Alert” to be issued, or simply by way of a regular update of matters which will help clubs review their own risk assessments, protocols or practices. Reporting will also help the committee consider whether SCRA Rules of Racing or Measurement Rules need to be adapted or amended.
The Incident Report Form is designed to help clubs to carry out investigations themselves for the benefit this might bring to their own members. However the ethos of the St Ayles is that we share our knowledge and encourage other communities.
In order to preserve anonymity, the Committee only require to see Page 1 with page 2 for Club use. Once a report has been submitted, the Committee will consider the report and if required prepare a Safety Alert or Guidance which will be issued to all SCRA member clubs in an anonymous form.
Early Bird registration has opened for this years Ocean to City Race. The special offer of 30 euro per seat is available for a short period only.
Ocean to City – An Rás Mór- is Ireland’s very own long-distance rowing race attracting hundreds of participants annually. Now in its twelfth year, it has grown from its origin as a race for traditional fixed-seat boats into an all-inclusive rowing event, embracing everything from traditional wooden working boats, currachs, skiffs, gigs and longboats to contemporary ocean racing shells, kayaks and canoes. 2015 saw eight St Ayles skiffs joining in the race, meaning that there is now a trophy specifically for best performance for a St Ayles, which will be awarded whenever there are more than five St Ayles in the fleet. Last year the St Ayles all took part in the Ocean Course, which is around 15 nautical miles with an entertaining variety of water conditions.
Start times are staggered with the slowest boat types leaving first, and the fastest boat types leaving last. With ocean and city course finishing times varying between 1:45 and 4:30hrs, An Rás Mór is much more than just a race… it is a test of endurance, a personal challenge and a shared effort. A great time was had by all the participants at last years event.
In the 2015 event the skiffies were all made to feel most welcome, and took home their fair share of prizes. Coigach brought home the Trophy for fastest St Ayles. They were followed in Second Place by a crew from North Berwick, who were also runners up in the overall competition for mixed crews, decided on handicap across all the rowing fleet. Coigach (mistakenly relocated to Wales on the prize list) also took home the trophy for fastest wooden boat. The St Ayles trophy haul was completed when Jeremy Duffin was recognised as boat builder of the day, for his work on the stunning Strangford Coastal Rowing Club boat Strangfjǫrðr. Coigach have said they are not attending this year, so there is a chance for another club to get their name on a trophy.
More information at www.oceantocity.com
A bold announcement from Kings Lynn……. no pressure on to get on with the build then?
Avoch, on the Black Isle north of Inverness, will be launching their second skiff on 28 February. She will be sister skiff for “Zulu”. They would be delighted to welcome any visitors to share their joy at the doubling of their fleet.
Congratulations to the Scottish Boat Building School at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, who have been named winners of the Enterprising Museum Award at the Scottish Arts and Business Awards ceremony. The award is made for “an innovative or entrepreneurial project that has delivered an ambitious high-impact museum experience”. It was the Museum’s collaboration with Prestwick Academy and The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme on the construction of St Ayles Skiffs at the boat building school which was recognised. Well done to everyone for all their hard work !
Martin Hughes, who leads the Boat Building course at the Museum said “Our trainees worked as mentors to the Prestwick pupils during the construction of the vessel here at our workshop, and upon completion the Prestwick Coastal Rowing Club was established. We have just started 9 new trainees who will be working on a pre apprenticeship programme for the next 12 months alongside our staff and 2 apprentices who are working towards their City and Guilds qualification. We are the only place in Scotland who can currently offer the City and Guilds which is a level 2 certificate in Marine Construction, Systems Engineering and Maintenance. Receiving this award has been a great boost to the apprentices who took part in the project as recognition of their hard work by an external organisation is a great achievement.”
Orkney Rowing Club are busy building two St Ayles skiffs over the winter. Recently they welcomed members of the 1st Kirkwall Company Boys Brigade. The visitors heard a little about the Rowing Club and how club went about building the St Ayles Skiffs. The members of the Boys Brigage asked a lot of questions and showed an interest in the boat building project. While they were they were able to contibute to the build by helping to turn the second skiff. They were very keen and made a splendid job of helping us turn and reposition the hull for the next stage of the build. Of course it is traditional to toast the boat once it has been turned and they also helped with that. A club spokesman tells us: “Hopefully we will get them out rowing once the boats are finished and in the water. A big thank you from Orkney Rowing Club to all that helped.”
Pictures from the Orkney Rowing Club facebook page.
The World Championships for the St Ayles Skiff will take place at Delamont Country Park, Strangford Lough, in July 2016. Keep and eye on the Skiffieworlds webpages for updates. That page carries the following provisional schedule of races. There may be a small amount of shifting about depending on final entry numbers in some classes.
Sunday 24th July: Launch and Opening Row in Company
Monday 25th July: Mens 40+ Heats; Womens 60+ Heats & Final; Mixed Open B Heats & Final.
Tuesday 26th July: Mens 60+ Heats & Final; Womens 40+ Heats & Final; Mens U17 Final; Mixed U19 Final; Mens 40+ Final.
Wednesday 27th July: Mens Open B Heats & Final; Womens Open B Heats & Final; Mixed 60+ Heats & Final.
Thursday 28th July: Mens 50+ Heats; Womens 50+ Heats; Mixed Open A Heats; Mixed U17 Final.
Friday 29th July: Mixed Open A Final; Mens Open A Heats; Womens Open A Heats; Mixed 40+ Heats; Mens 50+ Final; Womens 50+ Final; Womens U17 Final.
Saturday 30th July: Mixed 50+ Heats & Final; Mens U19 Final; Womens U19 Final; Mixed 40+ Final; Mens Open A Final; Womens Open A Final. Followed by Row In Company to Strangford/ Portaferry and Closing Events.
There will be plenty for accompanying friends and families to do when they are not watching the skiff races with the Strangford Lough Festival going on at the same time. Activities can include: Sail the Tall Ship Johanna Lucretia in and around the Lough (departures from Portaferry, advance booking essential), Park walks, steam train rides, huge playground, face-painting etc. at Delamont throughout the week . Music and craic in villages around the Lough throughout the week. Maritime village and Artisan Food Fair at Delamont Country Park. Open Day and Marine Discovery for all the family at Queens University Marine Lab. Castle tours, shore walks, open air music, food stalls and of course rowing and sailing have- a-go sessions and the prize giving!
Western Australia now has its first (and second) St Ayles skiffs. Ripple and Dotsie were launched at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club on Thursday 28 Jan 2016. The club have done an excellent job building two skiffs together, each with a lovely finish, and all just after 6 months since the two kits arrived. The club was formed in the 1890s and building the skiffs has brought the club back to its roots, with rowing having been an important part of club activities in the early years.
The members also looked to the history of the club for inspirationin naming the skiffs. In Ken Tregonning’s history of the Club he records that in 1924 Jack Norris, one of the great pre-war champions of WA Yachting, bought four 16 foot skiffs from Sydney to sail at FBYC. They were named Atalanta, Shadow, Ripple and Dotsie. It was felt that the first two were maybe a bit grand for a couple of rowing skiffs and so have settled on Ripple and Dotsie.
The day after launch day was a busy one for the skiffs, and the Freshie Skiffies. The skiffs were invitedto be part of the Opening of Elizabeth Quay in Perth. This is a project that has cost $440 million so was a pretty big deal with huge crowds attending. Elizabeth Quay is a project to create a new waterfront for the City of Perth. Plenty of folk there to see the skiffs and hear their story, so hopefully others in Western Australia will be inspired to become involved in Skiff Building.
There are already two more skiffs in build in WA. A group from Rockingham is building skiffs for use by Navy Cadets who in the past would have rowed 27 foot whalers. So well done and good luck to the freshies, and welcome Western Australia to the world wide community of St Ayles skiffs.