Kathy Mansfield, renowned maritime photo journalist, has done a drop dead gorgeous report on SkiffieWorlds in the current edition of Water Craft Magazine – on the bookstalls now.  Kathy’s report paints a vivid picture of those glorious days in July, accompanied as always by mouth-watering images.  A very pleasant reminder of a fantastic event which should be on every Skiffies coffee table – rush out and get a copy now.

This issue is also notable for the first appearance of a St Ayles as the cover shot – in this case a superb capture by local master lensman, Steven Gourlay, of the Mens Open contingent of the Skiff World Champions, Coigach, storming home to a well deserved victory.

More of Kathy Mansfield’s super shots can be seen and enjoyed on  her site

Undoubtedly the best account of SkiffieWorlds to date. A ‘Must Read’ for anybody who was here and even more so for those unfortunates who couldn’t make it.

Go read about it on Will’s own site, but make sure you have plenty of time, once you have sampled the Worlds story you will want to explore more of his writing and photography. It’s very moreish.

Hoodies & TeeShirts

Just a note to remind anybody thinking of getting in on the last orders for these that we close for orders at lunchtime tomorrow, 11th August.

While the ordering system seems to have worked pretty well regrettably we are aware of a few instances where the email post hasn’t delivered orders or, in reverse,  the PayPal invoices – so if you tried to order and haven’t had an acknowledgement or Invoice then please let us know by getting in touch through the order form comment box on the merchandise page. If you want to redo your order please do so but make sure you put a note that this is a repeat order in the comment box otherwise we will think it is a fresh one.

Thanks to the very many people who have continued to support our endeavors, your enthusiasm has been amazing.

The Tee shirts are from top of pile on right : Navy Pale pink Orange Green Light blue Purple Azure blue Red Burgundy Royal Blue - flat

The Tee shirts are from top of pile on right :
Pale pink
Light blue
Azure blue
Royal Blue – flat

A final order will be placed for Hoodies and T Shirts on 12th August – to make sure of yours go to the updated Merchandise page and place your order by lunchtime on 11th August.


Beautifully captures the spirit of SkiffieWorlds

Thanks North Berwick!

 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.”

Cheers, Topher.

Lost Property

This VHF radio was left on the umpire tent table and nobody has claimed it.



If you are missing one and this looks like it please contact Topher by email – topher@dawsonullapool.com

Sephira’s Kickstarter funding appeal added an extra edge of tension to Skiffie Worlds week. The target $12,000 was reached yesterday afternoon so her imaginer, Micheal Brolly, will be spared that looming, uncomfortable, interview with the Bank Manager.

So, from Michael and all those who have been touched by by Sephira’s magic, a Huge Thankyou to all those who responded by pledging, every one of which was vital to this project.

Sephira may not be the fastest St Ayles at the Worlds but she was certainly the focus of attention contributing her song to the proceedings. Michael and Lynne with the rest of the Brolly Clan have added a whole new level to the huge success of SkiffieWorlds and we are so very thankful they took the brave decision to come.

For those who would still like to show their appreciation of Michael’s mad but brilliant creation you still have the last day of SkiffieWorlds to make a contribution – the $12,000 fills a big hole in Michael s costs but doesn’t cover all by quite a long way – just go to the Musical Ark kickstarter page and follow the simple instructions.

Thanks again to everyone.

Todays Times (Sat 6th July) carries an excellent article by Maxwell MacLeod on SkiffieWorlds – featuring illustrations of some of our members.

The Skiffies that caught on in a jiffy gather for regatta

Apologies to Mike for any embarrassment caused, the image search was rather rushed and time precluded the proper courtesies – with hindsight there was this snap of  local wordsmith, gentleman boatbuilder, pilot, fisherman and general bon viveur that should, perhaps, have been used instead. When all is said and done if he hadn’t conceived the Ullapool build syndicate would we be holding the Worlds next week? So ultimately it’s all thanks to Adrian. I think all who share this sense of gratitude and spot Ade during the week should escort him into the nearest watering hole and expunge the debt by plying him with the national beverage.

A couple of sessions related to film making – what’s that got to do with Skiffing? – go along on Thursday evening and you may be surprised.



go to ‘What’s On’/ for more detail on both sessions

Poster L v4

Skiffies coming to Ullapool will need to raid their piggy banks – when the centerfold guide to the multicoloured SkiffieWorld fleet  appeared on facebook there were a few comments asking for tea towels, T shirts and posters. The T shirts and tea towels are in the too difficult category when there is only a week to go before the mayhem begins. Posters though are slightly easier to produce at short notice. A quick exchange of views between the print production team and some burning of midnight oil produced a design, a bit of tweaking and we were there – almost.  Some angst was induced by one of the multiple owning boat clubs who declared they were bringing the other boat to the one we had guessed at – a few more hours of work implementing the change and the job was finished. Upload the file to the printers and they will be here in time for the Worlds.

Printed at A2 on satin finish quality paper we think  they will make excellent wall decoration and should prove popular at £3 a pop. We will do these mail order after the worlds if anybody is interested and if we have any left, obviously with a postage and packing (they will be sent rolled in a poster tube) charge to reflect our extra costs. If you want a protective poster tube at the worlds then that will be an extra £1 – until they run out.

The Peugeot 107 that is being raffled in aid of the SkiffieWorlds funds has arrived in Ullapool. Generously sponsored by The Seaforth and Ken’s Garage, Kildary, it (or is it a ‘she’) has been placed on display outside the Seaforth for locals and visitors to examine at their leisure.

All this redness for only £5!!

Rowing Club members will be around during the week to take your money so if you haven’t already bought your ticket(s) or want to buy more just pop along and make sure of your chance to win a very red brand new car worth over £9,000 for a very reasonable £5. If there is no Club Member on ‘duty’ then pop into the Seaforth where they will be happy to sell you tickets.

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The local Rowing Clubs are preparing a major happening with the Worlds which is bringing a lot of people (and hopefully money) into the Village, unfortunately this size of event can’t be run on a shoestring so we need every spare penny to help cover the significant outlay already committed to. Your contribution will help make SkiffieWorlds a week to remember so don’t miss out, drop by the Seaforth and buy a ticket or three.  We are very grateful to all those that have already given so generously.

Don’t forget to come along and watch the draw in the big tent on Saturday 13th July just before Skipinnish get going. You could be the lucky one driving away in your new car.

We were delighted to hear last night that our entrants from the Netherlands, the WSV Woudrichem Rowers, have launched their Skiff – GROOT & grut 1. A short video of the maiden voyage was posted and it can be seen from a quick view that any thoughts that our European visitors are coming for the scenery and craic should be quickly discarded. These folk know what they are doing – this was their first outing in a St Ayles, how good are they going to get after a fortnight of intensive training?

Congratulations from Ullapool Coastal Rowers on what looks like a very nice build – we look forward to welcoming GROOT & grut to our local waters in a couple of weeks time.

That leaves Wick and a rumored Port Seton rocket ship to be splashed – cutting it fine chaps!

Entrants Listed

The list of 32 confirmed entrants is now available.

Shortly after cancelling the bespoke map OS produced an offer we couldn’t refuse – essentially fractionally more expensive leaving no margin but with no minimum order number so a round of emails to those who expressed interest resulted in a changed order placed Wednesday 12th June evening, with delivery achieved on  Saturday 16th June. Impressive service by any standards.  To those who confirmed their order many thanks, to those who wished they had –  I produced a limited number speculatively, first come first served. Collection and Payment (£13.99 per map) at the Worlds.

The biggest gathering of skiff crews before the Worlds will be at Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival on the 22nd and 23rd of June. On the Saturday night there is a social event in the Tattie Shed where the lane draws for the Worlds will take place in front of the assembled company.

Lanes will be drawn from a hat for each heat of races which require heats, and for finals of races which do not require heats. For the finals of the larger races, lanes will not be drawn but the lane order will be : Winner of Heat 1 in lane 1. Winner of Heat 2 in lane 2. Winner of Heat 3 in lane 3. 2nd in Heat 1  in lane 4. 2nd in Heat 2 in lane 5. 2nd in Heat 3 in lane 6 and so on.

Lane 1 is nearest to the beach so in the races with heats, the fastest boats will be closest to the spectators, and the likely top three boats will be well in view. Having the fastest boats at the right hand side of the course will also mean that they are less likely to meet slower boats as they come out of the turns, and the top contenders will be close enough to see each other. This promises to provide a thrilling finish to these hotly contested categories.

June art activities

Sephira, the Musical Ark, is coming to Loch Broom. Michael Brolly and her crew have taken on a huge financial commitment to join us in Ullapool in July. If you approve of their ambition and appreciate their efforts why not have a look at the Musical Ark Kickstarter page, watch their promo video and pledge a donation to help with the costs of Sephira’s journey. More about the Kickstarter funding concept is here – it is enabling the fulfilment of dreams and dreams don’t come much bigger than bringing a Skiff that is also an instrument to Scotland to play to the Whales. So make your pledge now – no money changes hands until the end date and then only if the target is reached – let’s help Michael exceed that target!

End of June update – The total pledged has just passed the halfway mark of the target $12,000 with only 13 pledging days left (remember – if the target amount is not reached nothing gets paid) so come on Skiffies, we know you are all frantically busy preparing for the Worlds but please find five minutes to pop into the kickstarter page and show your support of Michael Brolly’s brave initiative to bring Sephira to the Worlds – word has it that she is in Scotland and will be unveiled in Ullapool soon. It doesn’t matter how little you pledge (minimum $1) but please get pledging.

If all the Scottish Skiffies were to pledge $10, the cost of a couple of pints, then Michael’s target would soon be reached – it would be an excellent way to show that the community spirit which has been so evident within clubs extends to Skiffies everywhere. Fast  forward to when the Worlds may be held outside Scotland – we might be looking at similar funding appeals.

Please pass the news around – the more who know about this remarkable project the more likely the funding target will be reached.

Thank you

16-07-11 1126.

Calling all pipers and drummers.


World’s Pipe Band needs YOU!


Alison of Achiltibuie Bagpipe Specialists is forming, for one week only, the SkiffieWorlds Pipe Band.  We have a good number of local pipers and drummers but would love to field an expanded version for The Worlds Week. We are sure the local pipe band would be up for loaning some drums so if you fancy being part of the Worlds Music let Alison know of your talents and get onboard. Either get in touch with Alison direct at “Alison(at)bagpipespecialists.com” (substituting (at)with @) or fill in the contact form below. You may also contact Alison through  Facebook

The planned programme contains nothing too difficult. The attached file is one being used for Lorient this year – just ignore the Lorient specific stuff and view the tunes. If you are up for it give Alison a shout!

File for Massed Band Tunes

Anybody who has followed the link to Sephira,  The Musical Ark, on the entrants page  will have been aware of the efforts by Michael Brolly  and the Moravian Academy of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania  to bring their unique version of the St Ayles Skiff to grace SkiffieWorlds in July.


We were delighted to have our hopes confirmed today with the news that ‘Sephira’ starts her long journey across the Atlantic next week – no, she isn’t being rowed the whole way, it would give an unfair training advantage to her crew(s) 😉 .

484485_369007653199310_151368332_n shapeimage_2

Sephira has been fitted with a set of strings stretched from her magnificent carved dragon’s head prow to her stern which are then played by stroking with hands encased in special gloves to create ‘Whalesong’. It is hoped that by playing music in a suitable tonal range humanity may be able to start communicating with our fellow mammals in the Oceans we love to row on.  Let’s hope that no genetic memory survives in the local whale population of the hull form of the boats that used to be so active in Whale hunting not that far North of Loch Broom! The St Ayles will bear quite a strong resemblance albeit somewhat shorter.

We hope that Sephira will give a number of  ‘performances’ when not actively racing on Loch Broom.  We also hope that we can persuade Michael Brolly to give us a few words on the background and building of this lovely craft during the ‘talks’ evening on Tuesday 9th July, more on that nearer the date.


For much more on ‘Sephira’ and her journey to Loch Broom please visit and like their facebook page. If you approve of their ambition why not have a look at the Musical Ark Kickstarter page  and pledge a donation to help with the costs of Sephira’s journey.  In the meantime here is a taster of joys to come.

A bit more background detail can be found in the The Morning Call article.

And, on home ground, the  BBC have noticed the imminent arrival.

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