It is exactly 200 years since the Royal Oak was launched at the Ringdufferin Estate near Killyleagh and she now takes pride of place at the River and Rowing Museum at Henley on Thames.
With this very important legacy, we are delighted to announce the launch thanks to ‘Awards for All’ Lottery Funding of our second St Ayle’s Skiff called Gocean at Killyeagh Harbour.
Gocean was purchased from The Skiff Factory, Havant, England and she is a beautiful purpose-built craft. Special thanks to Andrew and Vilma McCleery who officiated at the launch and to John Boyd for skilfully lifting Gocean onto the water.
Ann Fee of the Killyleagh CRC said: “The welcome party was amazing, Skiffies from Donaghadee Coastal Rowing Club, Portavogie Coastal Rowing Club, Portaferry Coastal Rowing Club, the Black Neb Rowing Club, Strangford Coastal Rowing Club , Skettrick Coastal Rowing Club and the current World Champions Dundrum Coastal Rowing Club joined Killyleagh Coastal Rowing Club and the local community for the launch at Killyleagh Harbour which was followed by a very enjoyable row and a picnic at Salt Island Bothy.
“We are a community rowing club and form a very eclectic mix of people. You can row with us if you are between 11 years of age and a senior citizen! You will initially be given basic training to get you on the water and this will be followed up with personal safety, rowing and seamanship training.
“Some of our members row purely socially some row purely competitively and others do both. This year the team have competed Nationally and Internationally in the Netherlands, Ballyshannon, Skiffie Strangford and lately they came second in the prestigious NW Challenge in Scotland.
“At present, adult social membership is £20 per annum and full adult membership is £50 per annum, Under-17 is £5 and Under-21 is £10 per annum. We can also provide beginner taster sessions and one is scheduled for this Saturday 14 October from 10am to 2pm. Please get in touch if you are interested.
“We hope you will enjoy skiff rowing as much as we do and that you will want to join our club? We launch our Killyleagh community St Ayle’s skiffs, at the Net Walk in Killyleagh so be prepared to get your feet wet, and if you are able bodied you will be asked to assist with launching and retrieving Skart and or Gocean as there are only 5 people at each single rowing session but if this poses a problem don’t worry, we will do our best to accommodate you. Everyone is welcome!”