Latimer Ledja Skiff 100 Official Launch

whitburn ledga peaceWhitburn, Tyne and Wear recently held a launch ceremony and party for their first skiff, which also happens to be the 100th skiff launched in the UK.  Here we have a report from our pasty sampling North East correspondent, Bryan from Amble:

It’s only half way through 2015 and Whitburn Coastal Rowing already look hot favourites for the “hosts of the year award” as they welcomed us to the official launch of their beautiful skiff. Some glorious sunshine and bacon sandwiches met us at Whitburn beach (a lovely spot) . It wasn’t long before the crowds gathered (a bunch of skiffs on the beach will always draw attention) and following some wonderfully chosen words to bless the skiff, Latimer Ledja met the water to a rousing cheer. The proposed half-hour tryout sessions extended to hours as interest from the public was so great (hurrah!!) with folks from young to old, newbies to experienced rowers alike queuing to have a blast around the bay (wonderfully coordinated via the Skiff clipboard) It’s really great to see a local community taking such an interest and sharing the fun we have .. Attention was then drawn to the tent where the extent of Whitburn hospitality was becoming apparent .Here cakes of every type, sandwiches, frittata and pasties aplenty were offered to the surprised yet thankful masses (and when we say pasties were talking a different level completely with smoked haddock, leek and potato parcels lovingly crafted in the early hours to a secret family recipe) Tea, coffee, beer, wine and more cake and pasties seemed to appear endlessly from the “tent of joy” as skiffies from local clubs met new friends and caught up with old ones , swapping stories and making the inevitable oar comparisons. At this point we were seriously considering buying a tent and all calling in sick tomorrow. Suitably refreshed we crewed up and headed for a longer row along the bay, having a blast in spray from the surf . Activity back at the beach varied from brave souls (or lunatics as we choose to call them) swimming out almost to the bar and back whilst others took the opportunity to power nap the pasties off….) once back they continued the gold star service by valet parking the skiffs off the beach via quad bike ( Rob, do club funds run to one of these…please!!) After a quick wash down (the boats that is) we were invited to the garden for another quick round of tea and cake. Here plans were hatched for the next round of adventures with rowing to Yorkshire, night rowing and the Northumberland cost all on the table. At some point even maps and charts of Scottish waters were brought out for perusal. It was at this point that that my plans to find the secret pasty recipe were thwarted as the security terrier spotted the sample I’d earmarked for analysis and set about removing it from my camera bag. A grand day out indeed…. Huge thanks to Whitburn for having us and congratulations on a really lovely boat and a really successful launch .. we foresee much fun in the future !!!

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