Introducing the St Ayles Skiff to Hout Bay
Over 50 people attended our recent presentation to introduce the concept of adding coastal rowing to the waterborne activities at HBYC. The feedback was hugely positive … Hout Bay want to start rowing!
Paul Tomes (Rear Commodore Keelboats at HBYC), has been communicating with Alec Jordan, from the United Kingdom for several weeks now, to secure the rights to build the St Ayles Skiff in Hout Bay. The Skiff was designed by Iain Oughtred and Alec is responsible for the design and supply of the CNC kits to build the skiff throughout the United Kingdom, and many other parts of the world.
Local Hout Bay boat builder Roy McBride, has agreed to cut and supply the CNC kits and also to source and supply many of the other materials needed. Peter Adamo also a local boat builder (the Sentinel and Explorer traditional day sailors) has stepped in to give advice and support for the overall project. “This is not just about adding rowing to HBYC’s waterborne activities”… comments Paul, “It’s about creating a recreational activity that brings different communities together in Hout Bay”. “The St Ayles Skiff is the perfect boat … relatively easy to build and very easy for absolute beginners to learn how to row as part of a 5-person team (four rowers and a cox in each boat)”.
From the feedback forms filled in at the presentation, the plan is now to link people up in communities to create syndicates to fund and build the boats. We will be communicating with everyone shortly. In the interim, Paul is determined to get the ball rolling and hopes to convince a few club members this coming weekend to chip in the money needed to build the first boat.
Alec Jordan has also put us in touch with Robbie Wightman from the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association and Patrick Groot, from the St Ayles Skiff Community Rowing Association of Australia, both of whom have been immensely helpful as to the best way to set up our own coastal skiff rowing association in South Africa. Plus we have an invitation to enter a South African team in the 2019 St Ayles ‘Skiffie’ World Championships!… who’s game?