Working to a plan masterminded by Topher, Cul Mor and Ulla have been loaded in preparation for the long trip to Cork.
With the help of Ullapool Harbour Trust, the skiffs were lifted onto the trailer and secured by two heavyweight straps, all ready to be towed to Ireland by Kathryn and Paul’s campervan. Cul Mor will be transported on her trolley on the bottom, with Ulla nesting on top, cushioned by a cradle designed and made by Topher.
During a trial run around Ullapool a few weeks ago, the boats were deliberately tilted at 45 degree angles to make sure all was safe. The test was successful, with no movement and the boats remaining secure.
Kathryn and Paul will begin their journey on Wednesday morning with a leisurely drive south via Glasgow, before stopping overnight at Cairnryan, near Stranraer. On Thursday morning, they will catch the first ferry to Belfast, then drive south through Ireland for an estimated six hours before arriving in Cork late afternoon.
The boats will be unloaded on Friday ready for the 28km Ocean to City Race on Saturday morning.
The rest of the crew members are flying over, so as well as transporting the boats, Kathryn and Paul will be taking all the extra kit and luggage.
After the race, Ulla and Cul Mor will be craned out of the water at the finish line in Cork, and loaded onto the trailer ready for the return trip home. Kathryn and Paul will be enjoying Sunday sightseeing in Cork before coming back via the same route on Monday. Arrival back in Ullapool is expected late Tuesday afternoon.
The distance for the round trip will be 1,230 miles which does not include the 28km the teams will be rowing in Cork.
Good luck to The Corkers and Pink Fizzers in Cork, both with the race and drinking the bar dry afterwards.
This week, members of The Corkers and Pink Fizzers appeared on Lochbroom Radio’s Losing The Plot. Catch up with the programme here.
Last week an intrepid reporter from Lochbroom Radio ventured down to the wee pier in Ullapool just as the Cork teams were preparing for a training session. For an enjoyable insight into the minds of long distance skiffers, tune into Losing The Plot at 6.30pm, Thursday 21 May on Lochbroom Radio.
If you happen to be out training when the programme is broadcast, don’t fret – you will be able to listen via Mixcloud at a later date. Watch this space for details.
There was plenty of tasting going on at the Rowing Club today. Sheila’s venison sausage rolls were a big hit and there was an array of tempting cakes on offer for those with a sweeter tooth. Some rowing happened as well.
With just three weeks to go, the Cork teams are training hard. At 28km the course presents a raft of new challenges for teams more akin to 2km races. Stamina, grit, and fierce determination will be key, but a pair of reinforced, friction-absorbing breeks is also highly recommended.
The teams represent a good selection of club members, with experienced skiffers and rowers with only a few months experience all taking part. Kaz, Bev, Kathleen, Fiona and Lisa, otherwise known as The Pink Fizzers, make up the women’s team, while The Corkers mixed team is comprised of Topher, Jonathan, Kathryn, Tim and Jan.
Taking place on 30 May 2015, the Ocean To City Race is in its 11th year, but this will be a first-time appearance for Ullapool.
Cork, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
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.