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Findochty Water sports Club
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Coastal rowing 2015

Sea Trials With all the hard work done it was time to reap the benefits. With this in mind it was decided to give the membership and public a preview of our newly completed Skiff on Sunday 10th August 2015. The plan was to display the Skiff on it’s temporary trailer but once it was close to the water  it was too hard to resist the urge to see if it floated. It was soon found to float very well and a number of folk had a short row around the harbour. The following evening, it had been arrange to have the official “un-official” sea trials, so the build crew and interested members and family assembled at 6pm for a bit of rowing. Over a couple of hours about twenty people had a try at rowing. This time the Skiff left the harbour for the first time with various combinations of crew rowing out past Sterlochy pier and back before the next crew had a go. The conditions were good for us novices with a brisk south wind  giving a flat sea with a bit of a blow for us to row back into. The skiff was found to move very easily and once we got into a rhythm we stopped bumping into the rowers on the seats in front and behind and we moved across the water with not a lot of effort. It was a very good evening which ended with a surprise birthday party in the Howff for “Bert the boat builder” which was well deserved as without his experience our Skiff would not have turned out so well built.
Launch day After nearly two years of planning and building our St Ayles Skiff was complete. Sunday 18th October 2015 was the big day. A good crowd and skiffs and crews from Burghead, Findhorn and Portsoy assembled to see our Skiff being named and launched. The proceedings began with an introduction by Club Treasurer Trevor Wilson who went on to describe the timeline of the funding and build before handing over to Vice Commodore Mairi Innes who thanked all those involved with the build along with our main Sponsors, Glenfiddich and Abbeyfield Fochabers. She also went on to thank the local well wishers and visiting Skiff crews for their support. With introductions complete we were introduced to Morag Reid, wife of our leading boat builder Bert who was asked to name our Skiff. It was agreed at a committee meeting that as we had monopolised Bert for nearly two years we should name our Skiff “Morag”, so with a quaich filled with a good Glenfiddich Morag named our Skiff “Morag” followed by wetting the stem with a splash of Whisky. It was time for the launch. The visiting skiffs were already afloat as, to the sound of the pipes played by Robert Morrice, the build crew walked Morag down to the waters edge on the new launch trolley and as the keel touched the water the skiffs presented oars and gave three cheers. With a crew aboard Morag lead the visiting skiffs out past Sterlochy for the first official row. On returning, the next hour was busy with various rowers local and visiting trying out Morag. She received very good revues although some struggled to get to grips with the traditional Orkney oars. Eventually crews started to migrate back to the Admirals for drinks and Sandwiches. The Admirals put on a fine spread for us and it was greatly enjoyed. Then with the photos and press interviews over and the buffet finished the day came to an end all that remained to be done was secure Morag on her new trailer and look forward to many days of rowing in the future.