Nigel Ford and Steve Spackman

Our guest speakers will be Nigel Ford and Steve Spackman of St Andrews Coastal Rowing Club. The Club is a new, dynamic group formally established in December 2013, which adopted its constitution and elected its committee the following month.

The tradition of coastal rowing is now enjoying an extraordinary renaissance, beginning in 2009 when the Scottish Fisheries Museum asked local kit-maker Alec Jordan to run a course on boat-building at the Museum. Alec suggested a four-oared Fair Isle skiff as a model, and the Museum commissioned a design from the well-known marine architect, Iain Oughtred.

Since the prototype was built in Anstruther, 150 kits have been sold, with about half of them already in the water in seven countries. The kit demands little more than handicraft or DIY skills, not a team of specialists to build. The cost of getting a skiff into the water is remarkably low, making it especially affordable for community groups and projects.

Coastal rowing is now the most dynamic and fastest-growing community-building and healthy leisure movement in the country. The movement has featured on BBC Scotland’s Countryfile and local news programmes, and the recent World Skiffies (the first Coastal Rowing World Championship, held in Ullapool, July 5-12) attracted considerable press coverage and large turnouts of competitors and enthusiastic supporters.

The Scottish Coastal Rowing Association was formed in 2010, and during the summer, regattas are held almost every weekend somewhere along the coast of Scotland. The SCRA constitution promotes coastal rowing as “a healthy activity which can be done safely by people of all ages at a level suitable to their competence”, while further bringing them into close contact with nature and wild life – goals intended to support national, regional and local policy.

New members are always welcome!


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