Rowporty launches new skiff Sunday 17th April

Please come down to Portobello beach at noon on Sunday 17th April to help Rowporty launch their brand new skiff! It’s been built by loc­als here in Porty for com­munity coastal row­ing as part of the Portobello Skiff Project (aka Rowporty), an off­shoot of the Portobello Sailing and Kayaking Club. Rowporty was set up in response to the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project launched in Anstruther in 2009, a pro­ject designed to bring afford­able, eas­ily con­struc­ted and light­weight boats to com­munit­ies around Scotland for both fun row­ing and ser­i­ous racing, and it already has attrac­ted almost 100 mem­bers from Porty and Joppa.

Rowporty star­ted build­ing this skiff in December 2010, the second that Rowporty has con­struc­ted in the last eight­een months. All the row­ing teams are eager to try her out, and with the increase in num­bers of people tak­ing now, the group can really use this second boat.

The new skiff will be car­ried along the prom from Joppa to Bath Street at noon on Sunday 17th April. There will be a short nam­ing cere­mony, and a present­a­tion by the Royal West Rowing Club of a racing trophy which belonged to one of the ori­gin­al Portobello row­ing clubs, then the new skiff will be launched into the sea, where there will be a few oth­er skiffs wait­ing to greet her.

This is spe­cific­ally a com­munity pro­ject, so costs are paid for by fun­drais­ing. Unlike sail­ing or main­tain­ing your own boat, for example, the only expense in tak­ing part in this club’s pro­jects is yearly mem­ber­ship, and per­haps the pur­chase of the dis­tinct­ive Portobello green ‘Never mind the Rollocks’ t – shirt. You don’t need any row­ing exper­i­ence to join a team. Not all build­ers row and not all row­ers build, and some mem­bers don’t build or row, but every­one is wel­come to come to meet­ings, to arrange for a tri­al trip, to man the infam­ous cake stalls at the Regatta, help with fun­drais­ing, help with main­ten­ance, learn to use the res­cue power boat (nev­er needed, but a neces­sary safety detail) or work on the his­tory and mem­or­ab­il­ia research — or just come along to watch the skiffs out on the water.

Rowporty’s ori­gin­al skiff, ‘Icebreaker’ is a famil­i­ar sight out on the water these days, hav­ing been com­pleted last spring in time for a few months hard row­ing prac­tice, before com­pet­ing in a sea­son of regat­tas. This year’s Portobello Regatta will take place on 30th and 31st July, and will fea­ture skiffs from all over Scotland, from Achiltibue to North Berwick. Some of last year’s com­pet­it­ors have also been build­ing a second skiff so the num­bers of teams tak­ing part this year will be even higher!


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