Steven Gourlay is a most excellent Ullapool based photographer who has recently been wowing the locals by showing the village from a new perspective. His aerial shots of Lochbroom and Ullapool give a seagulls eye view of village activities and he was in action at this years Regatta. It is very well worth visiting his facebook page to see some stunning shots of the start line and race action from the air. He has also secured an excellent portfolio of shots from land and sea in not particularly good conditions (the quality of the light on Saturday was exceedingly harsh and difficult) also viewable on facebook. For those interested in the how a couple of shots of the aerial machine and operator.
The rather sad strips of camping roll that have served as seat cushions have now been replaced by some rather snazzy bespoke cushions from supplier to Cornish gigs, Gigass. The level of service provided has been superb, they took the trouble to research this website to add little touches like ‘Ulla’s’ name in the correct font and to make sure they were in the club colours. such has been the rowers delight in the new level of comfort achieved that a set will be ordered for Cul Mor.
In an unexpected treat for Ullapool Skiff Regatta goers Falmouth Pilot Gig Club, current World Champions (Mens & Womens), and Coigach Community Rowing Club, current Skiffie World Champions, were seen going head to head in the same race. ‘Energy’, the 1985 launched Pilot Gig enjoyed a leisurely row across Loch Broom steadily increasing her lead over ‘Coigach Lass’. Granted the Pilot Gig has an advantage in waterline length and 50% more oar power as well as quite a few more years in developing technique. A real pleasure seeing the two types of coastal rowing craft on the water together – our grateful thanks to Falmouth for traveling the length of the United Kingdom to give us this treat. (in fairness ‘Energy’ were not formally part of the race but luck of the Skiffies lane draw had resulted in Coigach Lass on the outside lane next to uncontested water where the Gig rowed)
After the serious business of the day – racing on the Costa del Broom – the Gig club generously took (very) interested skiffies out for Gig rowing taster sessions.
We flagged up a request from Julia Barton, artist, earlier in the year for Skiffies to take part in the Littoral Raft Project on World Environment Day – The Day is rapidly approaching, so a gentle reminder to any Ullapool Skiffies available on Thursday, a chance to make your mark by helping power the rafts over from Isle Martin behind the Skiffs. Visit the booking Calendar and add your name if you can help – Thanks.
Artist Julia Barton is looking for Skiffs and volunteers to row to Isle Martin on Thursday the 5th June (World Environment Day) to pick up and tow ‘litter rafts’ back to Ardmair Slipway for collection by the Highland Council Waste Services team. Julia anticipates making five rafts out of litter that she will be collecting and documenting during her residency on the island which will form stage II of her Littoral Art Project – investigating and drawing awareness to the harmful effects of litter which she began last autumn with local schools & residents .
She is trying to get enough boats (hopefully 5) and teams of volunteers to form a flotilla of skiffs and ‘litter rafts’ to be filmed to show Ross-Shire’s contribution to global activities on World Environment Day – to draw attention to the need to look after our environment.
Julia set up her project last autumn at An Talla Solais and has been working with schools and groups in Ullapool, Achiltibuie and Lochinver; a selection of the work that she carried out will be exhibited at the Ullapool Museum from the 2nd of May.
Much more information can be found on Julia’s blog http://littoralartproject.com
Please get in touch with Julia or perhaps there is a Skiffie who would co-ordinate the boaty side of things.
Julia – 07977997605, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For anybody interested the content is still out there for the time being – just go to http://skiffieworlds.wordpress.com/. Most of the links to SkiffieWorlds from within this site have been updated so now work but links from any other site that have not been amended won’t.
Kathy Mansfield, renowned maritime photo journalist, has done a drop dead gorgeous report on SkiffieWorlds in the current edition of Water Craft Magazine – on the bookstalls now. Kathy’s report paints a vivid picture of those glorious days in July, accompanied as always by mouth-watering images. A very pleasant reminder of a fantastic event which should be on every Skiffies coffee table – rush out and get a copy now.
This issue is also notable for the first appearance of a St Ayles as the cover shot – in this case a superb capture by local master lensman, Steven Gourlay, of the Mens Open contingent of the Skiff World Champions, Coigach, storming home to a well deserved victory.
More of Kathy Mansfield’s super shots can be seen and enjoyed on her site
North West Rowing Clubs Dominate North Berwick Regatta
In strong south westerly winds, North Berwick held their third annual rowing regatta last weekend, and 15 St Ayles Skiffs from all over Scotland converged on North Berwick’s West Beach to battle it out. The day opened with a sign of things to come as Coigach won the Mens Open by 17 seconds, beating the hosts into second place. The overall times were around 20 minutes for the 1.9 mile course, out around Craigleith and back against the wind, so this is close racing.
Coigach won the next two races as well, with Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club third in the Mixed Open. Then came our first triumph with our ladies team of Bev MacGregor, Fiona Macdonald, Kathleen Mackay and Kath Foote. They won the Ladies 40+ by a large margin. This race and all the others were coxed by John MacIntyre, who sneaked us past the opposition by skilfully shaving the barnacles off Craigleith.
In the Mixed Novices Lisa Urquhart led a team with Sue Agnew, Erica Holland and John Grant to the narrowest of second places. They were so close to the leading Newburgh boat that the times were identical, and only about a third of a boats length separated them in a thrilling finish.
The following race, Mens 60+, was won by Portobello (neither NW team entered). In the Mens 40+ Coigach led the field with Ulla coming a creditable 4th, setting the stage for the last race, the Ladies Open.
In rising winds the boats set off, and since the tide had turned several boats hardly had the power to weather Craigleith. As the leaders emerged from the shadow of the rock Ulla could be seen with a lead, and the UCRC spectators shouted themselves hoarse. The wind rose to 28 knots which is Force 7, and the boats were plugging into this wind plus waves. Ulla won this race to our enormous delight by 34 seconds from Anstruther, looking fresh and in time as they crossed the line. The Coigach team had bad luck with a rudder malfunction, which was a shame as they were well in contention.
All in all the two NW clubs took 6 out of the 8 races, which bodes well for the first St Ayles Skiff World Championships at Ullapool between 8th and 13th July 2013!