About

 

On the start line – Anstruther 29 May 2010

The Scottish Coastal Rowing Association was formed on 29 May 2010 to encourage boat building and rowing and racing of coastal rowing boats around the Scottish Coastline.  Communities are encouraged to become involved in the building of new boats to be rowed, principally the St Ayles skiff.  SCRA is the Class Association for the St Ayles Skiff, as well as being the principal body organising coastal rowing in and around Scotland.

The SCRA now has over 70 member clubs around the Scottish Coast and on large freshwater lochs.  The clubs are introducing their communities to social rowing, expeditions, and friendly racing in St Ayles skiffs and sometimes other designs of coastal rowing boats too.  Thousands of people new to these activities are enjoying  the teamwork required to build and race these boats.  As well as making new friends within their communities, participants meet and learn about the other communities who are participating, many of which share a common history through the sea.

The concept of a community built kit rowing boat came from Alec Jordan of Jordan Boats who continues to supply the St Ayles Skiff Kit at an affordable price, making the St Ayles skiff the most economic way to get on the sea for communities and individuals.  The idea was backed by the Scottish Fisheries Museum at Anstruther which commissioned the St Ayles Skiff design from Iain Oughtred.

The St Ayles skiff became a remarkable success remarkably quickly.   It has now attracted world wide attention with communities building and rowing St Ayles skiffs in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,  South Africa, Spain, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Eire, France and England.  Although SCRA has until now been the world wide class association, they are now working with similar associations in Ireland, Netherlands and Australia to form and organise an international class association:  St Ayles Skiff International (SASI).

Most of the events that rowers take part in are organised by SCRA clubs.  SCRA itself though has organised major events that bring the clubs together, including Castle to Crane (a 13 mile race from Dumbarton to Glasgow in September each year), the Freshwater Sprints (held in October each year, and raced by regional teams) and of course SkiffieWorlds, the world championships for the St Ayles Class.  SkiffieWorlds 2019 was held in a July week in Stranraer.  It was attended by more than 30,000 spectators.  It featured over 1500 athletes and the economic impact on the area of the event has been independently assessed at between £3.5million and £4million.  SCRA is passing the responsibility for awarding and organising SkiffieWorlds to SASI, who will announce in due course where SkiffieWorlds 2022 will be held.

A register of the St Ayles that have been launched can be found elsewhere on this site.  Also check our clubfinder to see if there is a skiff near you already.

The St Ayles Skiff is 22ft long, with a beam of 5’8″.  It is rowed by four rowers, each with a single oar, and a steered by a coxswain.   The name of the design comes from the former chapel which now forms the entrance to the Scottish Fisheries Museum.  The design is derived from the boats that were used for fishing and transport on the remote Fair Isle, lying between Shetland and Orkney.

For more information on the project read  The Introduction to the St Ayles Skiff.  Also available below are a basic leaflet and the Prospectus from when the project was launched in 2009.

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