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Day 6 at Ullapool

posted Jul 14, 2013, 12:24 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 14, 2013, 6:55 AM ]
The final day of competition brought some exciting results. A weather change made conditions more difficult with plenty of jabble. The ladies rowed hard together to pull in 10th in the women's open heat. The men borrowed a young experienced rower from the strongest Club Coigach, and toughed out the wind and water conditions to finish 6th...enough to qualify for the most exciting final event of the day, the men's open. At 3.30 the crowd gathered to watch the Coigach Community Rowing Club win in around 12 minutes, and the Franklin team improve their time by 12 seconds to set a new Australian record of 13 mins and 24 seconds. Waltzing Matilda wafted across the beach with the words "as they rowed right through their billabong" causing the most interest. The club of Port Seton and Cockenzie, Boatie Blest, which was also the name of the Skiff that Tasmania borrowed, sang along on the beach with  the final sentence ringing true..."You'll see St Ayles Skiffs as never seen before". The windup awards and speeches showed the passion and community interest that has evolved with community rowing. More Scottish towns have signed up to build a St Ayles Skiff and there are more things planned for the future. Women On Water, Tasmania were presented with a hand stitched St Ayles Skiff by Boatie Blest that each rower had sewn and there were announcements about the Hobart Wooden Boat Festival being the 2015 venue for a first St Ayles Skiff regatta. The Tasmanian crew were halfway in the overall points allocation which was an incredible effort and the Scottish clubs were impressed, looking forward to future interaction. An evening Ceilidh was a wonderful ending to a well run programme, with the Australian crew swapping badges and T shirts, email addresses and club contact numbers. Meeting Ian Outred, the designer of the Skiff, in the street on the walk home to Arkle reinforced the positive future of this form of community rowing in Australia. Until 2015...

Jane Johnson