The Ayle of Quinte’s Team Canada continues to arrive in Ireland over the next couple of days. We will be dealing with jet lag in advance of the races which begin with a large flotilla on Sunday. Over 50 clubs will be represented by 1000 participants in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland.
As you may know there are different types of coastal rowing boats, including the Irish East Coast skiffs and, of course, the Scottish coastal rowing boats that we use, the St Ayles skiffs. Racing these hand made wooden boats has become a huge sport in many countries where teams train hard and race each other, maintaining the traditions of the past. The sport of coastal skiff racing has its origins in the occupation of hobbling, circa the 1800’s, where the first boat to reach an incoming ship won the contract to pilot it into the harbour and unload, then reload, the cargo. Competition was fierce.
We expect the competition in the races of the week to come to also be competitive, but hopefully not as fierce.
Your cub reporter reporting from Skerries, Ireland
Team Canada received a mayoral sendoff before they head to Ireland for the Skiffie Worlds later this month. Prince Edward County mayor, Robert Quaiff, and South Marysburg councillor, Steve Ferguson, came down to the Waupoos Marina to meet with the Ayle of Quinte Skiff Club and the six members who will be rowing for Canada.
Unfortunately Mother Nature decided to take part in the weekend’s activities with the introduction of thunderstorms, forcing the cancellation of the Saturday St Ayles skiff races. The Sunday three mile race however was able to go ahead as planned after some early morning showers. The sun even made an appearance for the after race lunch and awards ceremony. Despite the weather and the disappointment of the cancelled races we all had a great time visiting with our American neighbours. To complete our crews, two of them rowed with the Ayle of Quinte Skiff Club, Tom from the LCMM in Sea Shadow and Toby Goodrich in the William S Shipp.
After this morning’s row, the boats were given a good cleanup and then loaded onto the trailers for the trip to Vermont. For the last decade or more in July, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has hosted a Sunday 3-mile Challenge Race, open to all non-motorized boats. Two years ago they added St Ayles skiff races on the Saturday consisting of two one mile sprints across the lake. This will be our third year attending this event and it has become the highlight of our rowing season.
The last thing that needed to be done to the William S Shipp was to install a foot stretcher for the stroke oarsman. Because the cox floor was a different configuration to our other two skiffs an alternate design was required.
Preparations are underway for our trip to Vermont next weekend to attend the Lake Champlain Challenge Weekend. We are very pleased to have Toby Goodrich, the William S Shipp’s builder, joining us to pull an oar for the Ayle of Quinte Skiff Club.
Don’t know how we managed with just two boats. More than enough rowers to crew all three boats.
The William S Shipp is back on the water! After a year in retirement, she joins Sea Shadow and Sea Spirit, our other two Canadian skiffs. Seeing the three of them on the water is indeed a lovely sight. Once again a big thank you to Renbrook School, Toby Goodrich and Jane Shipp for their generous donation. The William S Shipp is a much appreciated addition to our club and it’s growing membership.
Our To Do List is down to the last few items 1) Glue in floorboard supports 2) Install turnbuttons to hold floorboards in place 3) Apply one more coat of paint to the interior and sheerstrake 4) Reapply the name to both sides of the bow
The William S Shipp should be ready to relaunch by the end of the week.