Organisers of the Stranraer SkiffieWorlds, the Coastal Rowing World Championship, have welcomed the announcement that The Princess Royal, President of the Royal Yachting Association, will attend the event on 8th July.
News of the royal visitor came as organisers announced a record breaking number of entries for the fast growing international watersports event. Fifty-eight clubs from around the world will be taking part, including representation from Tasmania, Australia, the Netherlands, USA and Canada, with more than 2,000 competitors set to row on the waters of Loch Ryan this July.
SkiffieWorlds is the World Championship for the St Ayles Class of coastal rowing boat, taking place in Stranraer (south west Scotland) from 7th to 13th July 2019. The St Ayles coastal rowing boat was invented in Scotland 10 years ago and the sport is now one of the fastest growing watersports in the world.
The championship races will be 2000m out and back races on a multi lane course on Loch Ryan, a scenic and calm sea loch in south west Scotland, also famed for its rare native oyster bed. The host town of Stranraer is becoming known as a host venue for major events with its autumn Oyster Festival now one of Scotland’s most important food festivals. The SkiffieWorlds will be the largest event the town has hosted, and is expected to increase the population of Stranraer by a third for the duration of the championship.
Wendi Cuffe of Stranraer Coastal Rowing Club commented:
“We are thrilled to have such a high entry for the SkiffieWorlds and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming The Princess Royal to Stranraer and introducing her to the sport of coastal rowing. Loch Ryan is the perfect stage for coastal rowing, and watersports in general, and we were delighted to be asked to host this major international event. We can’t wait to introduce the world of St Ayles skiff rowers to Stranraer and our beautiful loch.”
The St Ayles Skiff is a 4 oared rowing boat inspired by the traditional Fair Isle skiff. The boat’s hull and frames are built using clinker plywood and it measures 22’ with a beam of 5’ 8”. The standard Crew is four rowers, each with a single oar, and a coxswain. The name of the design comes from the former chapel which now forms the entrance to the Scottish Fisheries Museum.
An essential part of St Ayles Skiff rowing is that building the boat itself is a fundamental part of the sport. This boat building process brings coastal communities together and teaches skills. It is considered to be the most accessible water sport in the world attracting a wide mix of ages. Scotland now sees boat building, oar making, practices, regattas and meetings taking place all around the Scottish Coast.
The SkiffieWorlds is a spectator event as well as a sporting event. It will include on-shore entertainment and festivities, as well as live-action drone footage screenings and live sporting commentary of the races. The event is also a fantastic opportunity to ‘wet your appetite’ ahead of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 which will shine a spotlight on the destination’s wonderful inland and coastal landscapes through a programme of activity and events.
June 2019 Opportunities for members of the media to ‘have-a-go’ at coastal rowing
End June 2019 International competitors arrive and pre World Championship training begins
7th July 2019 Practice Day and Welcome Ceremony
8th July 2019 Visit by The Princess Royal
8th – 13th July 2019 World Championship