Imagine v Swiftsure grudge match

posted May 20, 2013, 3:59 PM by Richard Forster   [ updated May 20, 2013, 4:05 PM ]
The St Ayles Skiff team competing in the world championships in Ullapool in July is into their last weeks of training in Franklin. A picturesque Huon Valley Sunday was the setting for the inaugural race of the whaleboat Swiftsure against the Women-On-Water built St Ayles Skiff Imagine.

The course was set from the Wooden Boat Centre, around Rat Island and back in near-perfect conditions. Just over 22 minutes of racing later,   Imagine nosed across the line, using skills and tactics to manoeuvre around Rat Island in the lead and stay ahead for the homeward stretch.

The Imagine crew of five have been training weekly since February and are now down to the last handful of training sessions before heading over to compete at Loch Broom in Scotland in July. There they will be challenged by countries from all over the world, including one team from New Zealand.

A send-off from the Living Boat Trust this week is a celebration of the “Women On Water” achievements and wooden boats. The L.B.T has fully supported the women since the State Department of Health and Human Services grant commenced in December 2011. Since then, 80 ladies have participated in the program with options to sail, row, scull, exercise for fitness, build a boat and join in on “Tawe Nunnugah”, a 200km journey from Recherché Bay to Hobart for the Wooden Boat Festival.

The “World Skiffies” in Ullapool is the next challenge, with the international camaraderie something the crew is looking forward to. After seeing Imagine earlier this year, the Scottish “Mercury” reported “The Australians are coming….and they mean business”.

Jane Johnson