Category Archives: Racing rowing and paddling

A harbour stroll: Porthleven

Porthleven – read about this fishing port near Helston in Cornwall here. As you may have realised, we’ve got our Internet back after a trying 51 days without a telephone service.

PS – The mediaeval wall paintings showing a sailing ship and a mermaid complete with a mirror and St Christoper walking through water are in the parish church at the nearby village of Breage. It’s well worth a look if you’re passing by.

 

 

Bantry Bay yoles and the Atlantic Challenge

ATLANTIC CHALLENGE TEASER from Betel Studio on Vimeo.

Thanks to legendary boat designer François Vivier for spotting this one!

Every two year Atlantic Challenge International sponsors a friendly contest of seamanship in Bantry Bay gigs. They are held in a different host country each time. The events began in 1986, when gigs from France and the USA competed under the Statue of Liberty – now 12 nations and involved and 55 Bantry Bay gigs have been built worldwide.

The gigs are wooden replicas of late 18th century longboats, and are modelled after an existing original gig left behind in Bantry Bay Ireland by the invading French fleet of 1796,. The boats are said to have exhilarating performance.

Read more here: Atlanticchallenge.org.

National Historic Ships annual photographic competition 2014

Once again, National Historic Ships UK is running its annual photography competition for this year, and offering a range of equipment and cash prizes to be won.

There are categories for all ages, including one for young photographers under 18.

Entries must be in by the 31 August – the collection above represent some of the judges’ favourites submitted so far this month.

To enter in any of the competition categories, fill in an online entry form and upload your images to the National Historic Ships UK competition webpage at www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk.

There are rules and so on to check on the site also, as well as a handy web gizmo to enable photographers to identify historic ships that local to them and which might provide suitable subjects. (I think non-photographers will find that interesting too!)

Still more, the site has a set of tips for photographers working with marine topics – and one of them says that you deon’t have to have a special camera and that you’re more likely to have a small camera with you when the moment arises. So I guess my little Panasonic will do.

By the way, I’m not a judge but I’m going off the very processed multi-exposure shots we’ve seen so often in recent years, and – bravo! – I’m delighted to see that the judges’ favourites submitted so far during April don’t fall into that category.

PS – The Marsh Awards for volunteers - National Historic Ships is also calling for nominations of volunteers for the Marsh awards, which recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the conservation or operation of historic vessels in the UK.

There is an overall prize of £1,000 to be won for the Marsh Volunteer Award, and £500 for the young volunteer of the year, which is available to nominees aged 25 or under. Both prizes are donated by the Marsh Christian Trust.

Both awards will be presented at our National Historic Ships UK Awards Ceremony, being held in October on HQS Wellington.

Last year’s winners included James Dulson and George Collinson, who have volunteered for a number of years at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool, helping to conserve historic vessels including Edmund Gardner, and Isabelle Law who has volunteered as crew on the ferry Glenachulish for the past five years despite having only recently turned 16 years old.

The closing date for nomination is 31 August. Read what to do and about the Marsh awards here.

 

Barge rowing on the Thames

I didn’t know the sport of barge rowing or ‘driving’ even existed until I read about the 2014 Thames Historic Barge Rowing Event on The Liquid Highway. It’s being held on the 28th June and if the YouTube above is anything to go by, it’ll be quite a spectacle.

The racers have a Facebook page offering information, photos and films.

2013 Skiffie Worlds featured in Water Craft magazine

WCraft102Cover

Read the nice feature about Scottish Coastal Rowing’s Skiffie Worlds event by Kathy Mansfield recently published by Watercraft magazine here.

Lyme Regis to be the new home of Bantry Bay gig Intégrité

IMG_6836 copy

Lyme Regis is to be the home of the 38ft Bantry Bay gig that represents Great Britain in the two-yearly Atlantic Challenge.

In addition to the Atlantic Challenge, Intégrité will also take part in a new venture, Atlantic Challenge England.

The sail and oar-powered boat was built by the late John Kerr, boat builder and founder of Atlantic Challenge GB, in his workshop in Llandysul, West Wales in 1992.

Real greyhounds of the sea, the Bantry Bay gigs are wooden replicas of late 18th century longboats, and are modelled on an existing original gig left behind in Bantry Bay, Ireland by the invading French fleet of 1796 – if, like me, you don’t remember the story of the French attempt to invade Ireland in that era, there’s a page of information at the Wikipedia.

Some 55 of the boats have been built, often by communities.

Taking care of Intégrité and racing her is to be  sister project of the town’s Gig Club, an will have its own committee who will undertake fundraising and oversee the storage, maintenance and management of the gig in partnership with Lyme Regis Development Trust. I understand local boat builder Gail McGarva is very much involved, and that the project is also supported by the Lyme Regis harbour master.

A promotional video for the St Ayles skiffs

It looks smashing – read more about the boats here.

I should warn, though, that you may need to turn the sound down if the music isn’t to your taste. I’d say it was shangalanging guitars and agonised bellowing, and that it doesn’t seem to go well with a timeless activity in a timeless-looking and beautifully crafted boat. Fans would say it was Mumford and Sons. I don’t get it, but I don’t really do popular culture…