South Scotland

SkiffieWorlds coastal rowing event staged in Stranraer

Crews Image copyright Saskia Coulson
Image caption Loch Ryan is said to provide the "perfect stage" for the sport

Coastal rowing crews from around the world have arrived in south west Scotland for their championships.

They are in Stranraer for the SkiffieWorlds which run in the Dumfries and Galloway town until Saturday.

It is the world championship for the St Ayles Class of coastal rowing boat.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop and the Princess Royal joined thousands of spectators to watch the teams take to the waters of Loch Ryan - described as the "perfect stage".

Flags Image copyright Kirstin McEwen
Image caption Teams from around the world are taking part in the championships in Stranraer

Wendi Cuffe, of Stranraer Coastal Rowing Club, said it was "truly spectacular" to see the skiffs take to the water.

"Each and every one of these boats is a work of art, and each one has been built by ordinary folk, men, women and young people, coming together to share skills and create a community owned boat that makes enjoying the water accessible and affordable for everyone," she said.

"Because ultimately St Ayles Skiff racing is about building coastal communities as much as it is about building boats, and community building is something we know a fair bit about in Stranraer."

Passing boat Image copyright Saskia Coulson
Image caption The competition will take place on the waters off south west Scotland until Saturday

Ms Hyslop said Scotland had a reputation as a "fantastic destination for adventure tourism"

"It is little wonder that so many people want to come here to watch world championship rowing in a stunning setting, enjoying competitive sport whilst boosting local businesses and the wider economy," she said.

"I am particularly pleased that the local community has embraced coastal and marine activities as we approach the year of Scotland's coasts and waters in 2020.

"I very much hope that many of those here this week return in the future to see more of what Scotland has to offer."

Action Image copyright Saskia Coulson

The St Ayles skiff is an oared rowing boat inspired by the traditional Fair Isle skiff.

The standard crew is four rowers, each with a single oar, and a coxswain.

The world championships are held every three years with Stranraer winning the competitive bidding process to stage the event in 2019.

Smiling girl Image copyright Saskia Coulson
Image caption Organisers hope those attending the event will be tempted to return to Scotland in future

All images are copyrighted.

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