The Worlds Came to Ullapool, and how the sun shone.
The best week of the summer so far, and the West Shore Street beach was an overseas paradise. Rowers from Australia, USA, Holland, Blakeny in Norfolk, and many parts of Scotland from Wick to Islay, Dunbar to Achiltibuie, all laughed, smiled, shouted, raced and basked in glorious sunshine. The official opening by HRH the Princess Royal was the start of a fantastic week, that even we could not have predicted. Only one race, the long distance Womans, was postponed as the wind whipped up on Tuesday, the men having set off from Ullapool to Ardmair in some pretty challenging conditions. For the rest of the week, the 2km races all took place, on time and in wonderful conditions.
The welcome all the skiffie visitors received in Ullapool was first class, and every single person who came to row or cheer on their rowing friends and family, has appreciated the Highland hospitality. The races were challenging but fun and many of the rowers were finding their ‘oars’ as newcomers to the sport. Ulla rowed by the Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club met the challenge of entering every single race, and finished in 3rd place overall in the Championships. The 2nd place was taken by North Berwick, their distinctive red club shirts seen everywhere around the village. But it was Achiltibuie that dominated and Coigach Community Rowing won the overall Championship Trophy, commissioned by the Scottish Fisheries Museum, and made by Steve Husband in Achiltibuie.
The visiting boats also had many successes, with RowPorty from Portobello taking 4th overall place, and St Ayles (Anstruther) close behind. 6th Place was taken by Port Seton& Cockenzie, and newcomers Crail achieved a fantastic 7th place. Our own ‘Loki’ of Loch Broom Sailing Club came in closely behind Bunillidh (Helmsdale) who are another club newly onto the skiff racing scene. The Islay crews were delighted with 10th, and won the sprint races. WSV Woudrichem, from the Netherlands achieved the best overseas club placing, and a special award for Endeavour and Effort was presented to Michael and Lynne Brolly who brought their musical skiff ‘Sephira’ over from Amercia, and delighted us all. For anyone who is interested, all the results can be found on the skiffieworlds website.
And finally, the car raffle. We have become quite accustomed to seeing the little red car (and Peugeot 107) outside the Seaforth, waiting to be claimed. It was won by the North Queensferry Rowing Club who had bought some tickets with club funds. They were absolutely delighted, and Harry Macrae of the Seaforth, who had organised the prize with Kens Garage in Kildary, handed over the keys.
The effort to create the first World Championships in Ullapool was immense, and it could not have been done with such success without the multitude of people involved. A big thank you to everyone.”