Stornoway Rowing Club attend boat festival

The 23 foot St Ayles skiff was built in Stornoway by volunteers.
The 23 foot St Ayles skiff was built in Stornoway by volunteers.

The 23 foot St Ayles skiff built in Stornoway by volunteers, as part of the Scottish Coastal Rowing project, was one of 17 skiffs at the Portsoy Traditional Boats Festival last week.

The Coastal Rowing initiative brought skiffs Madadh Ruadh and Ulla from Stornoway and Ullapool from the West Coast of Scotland, to race Groot n Grut the Woudrichem skiff from the Netherlands and other clubs from East and Central Scotland. Due to the weather the competitions of the first day were harbour sprints only, whilst the next day despite the heavy seas some races took place in the Firth.

The Stornoway Rowing Club team visiting the Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival in its 21st year, found time to enjoy the maritime heritage craft stalls, five music stages and the rare sight of 5 traditional ships under sail.

Madadh Ruadh the Stornoway boat will be participating in the Ullapool Regatta this week and in the Sail Stornoway festival from the 15th of July. There will be an opportunity to view the St Ayles skiff and row a lap of the inner harbour on Saturday the 19th July, from the marina in Stornoway. Beginners are welcome as tuition will be given.

Seventy Scottish communities have now built a St Ayles skiff, which are rowed by four people and guided by a cox. As three other Skiffs are currently under construction in the Isle of Lewis: at the Nicolson Institute, Tolsta and Shawbost, coastal rowing regattas will be adding to next season’s community events.

The Stornoway Club rowing sessions are on Thursdays at 7pm from Cuddy Point. More information available from Events Organiser Gerald Hales on 7717172159 or eamil or visit