Coastal rowing is perhaps the best community initiative to emerge in Scotland in recent years. It’s good exercise, social and affordable. The movement started in Anstruther a few years ago to revive a tradition dating back to the middle of the 20th century. There are now some 150 clubs in Scotland and beyond.
The clubs row St Ayles skiffs, 22ft long four-oared boats, crewed by four rowers and a coxswain. Their design is inspired by the traditional Fair Isle skiffs, small and relatively lightweight fishing vessels suitable for use in rough sea conditions.
Glasgow Coastal Rowing Club was established in February 2016, a few months after GalGael’s boat builder, Ben Duffin, floated the idea as a way of getting GalGael’s skiffs Gobhancroit and Lady Danger, which had fallen into disrepair, back into regular use.
Ben assembled a group of enthusiasts who set up a launch committee – Ewan Kennedy (Convenor), Gordon McCracken (Secretary) and Ian Watson (Treasurer) – charged with securing the agreement with Galgael, raising revenue and getting the first skiff on the water.