NewsNovember 10, 2013
An overcast, cold November day in the Huon saw the St Ayles Skiff crew on “Imagine” head off for the 30km voyage into Port Cygnet.
On board were the “Women On Water” members who had also been the builders of the skiff.
The “jabble”(wild water) that started around the Port Huon fish farms, was well controlled as the crew aimed for the destination half-way point at Petcheys Bay for a quick crew change.
Bullock and Brabazon Points were rounded and the safe, quiet waters of Petcheys Bay were a welcome sight for the changeover.
The new rowers headed into worsening weather with turbulent swells and rain, but undeterred, manoeuvred around Beaupre Point before heading into the relative safety of Drip Beach.
There, some of the Cygnet community members boarded to complete the final leg of the five-hour journey into the Cygnet Sailing Club.
A new St Ayles Skiff is being built in Cygnet and community members are looking forward to a week of trying out Franklin’s “Imagine”.
It was a memorable trip for all, with new crews set to row back to Franklin next week. “Imagine” will then be available for teaching Franklin Primary School children “On the Water” skills.
Rowing is part of the heritage of the Huon, so it was a welcome sight to have the 1923-built King Billy Pine boat “Gemma”, (owned and skippered by John Walduck), an important part of the neighbourly adventure.
October 14, 2013
Picture this – gliding sleekly along the Huon River from Franklin within spectacular scenery, in synchronised exercise aboard long and aerodynamically slim rowboats, enjoying the exercise and fun as part of a coordinated team.
“Women on Water” are looking for two new crews of ladies to take on the challenge and learn to scull. The last two courses are due to run over summer, commencing with a free “Come and Try” day on October 28 at 6pm.
Five courses have already been completed through “Women On Water” in 2012, with the backing of the Huon Rowing Club. Under the guidance of experienced coach Tim Brown, crews of ladies now row regularly as Huon Club members and even competed in their first Masters Regatta at Lake Barrington in April. The ladies entered single, double and quad rowing events, which was quite an achievement.
To find out more or join in, phone Jane on 62663224 or 0400717140 to book in.
The first “Come and Try” day, December 2011
The St Ayles Skiff “Imagine” is getting ready for the summer season with time trials on the Huon. Over a 2km course, crews of five will battle against time as preparation for the Swiftsure Regatta in December.
The course is based on the St Ayles Skiff World Championships in Ullapool with a 1km outward journey, turn and 1km home stretch. The previous best from the crew that competed in Ullapool was 15minutes, with some of the International clubs on Loch Broom achieving just over 13 minutes to win the events.
The Huon River at Franklin will hopefully offer less “jabble” (wild water), but crews have to battle all the elements. This is a leadup to future regattas and other events proposed within the wonderful Huon Valley environment.
On October 25, anyone interested in joining or having an input into “Women on Water” should meet at the Living Boat Trust at 6pm to discuss (amongst other things) a calendar of events, such as a proposed long row to Cygnet in the next few weeks.
The construction of a second St Ayles Skiff in Cygnet is progressing well so the voyage over to Port Cygnet would promote and reinforce community interaction. Rowing is part of the heritage of Huon Valley communities.
For further information, phone Jane on 62663224
The 2km course on Loch Broom in Ullapool – note the green and yellow Tasmanian flag.
August 10, 2013
Ullapool, Scotland. Franklin, Tasmania. The two are now well-acquainted.
In 2009 a new arrival in the small town of Franklin on the Huon River was impressed by her change of environment, after choosing a different lifestyle to that offered by the mainland. Rowing was an option to enjoy the river surroundings, a standout feature of the town. Rowing friends were needed.
In 2011, the rowing friends applied for a health grant to learn how to scull, sail, row and build a wooden boat that could be used by the community. Calling themselves “Women On Water”, over eighty participants from the Huon Valley joined in.
The building of the St Ayles Skiff was on the recommendation of supervising boatbuilder Peter Laidlaw, who had heard of its community background. It is an achievement of respected designer Ian Outred and is based on wooden fishing boats that formed the backbone of Scottish coastal villages historically. More recently, around 100 communities in the world have built, rowed and joined in on the interest created.
At Franklin on December 8, 2012, the launch of the first St Ayles Skiff in Australia, made a wonderful statement. The name chosen for the Skiff – “Imagine”- represented ideas that have become opportunities.
In February 2013, “Women On Water” retraced a part of Tasmanian heritage by rowing the St Ayles Skiff on “Tawe Nunnugah”, a 200km journey from Cockle Creek to Hobart for the Wooden Boat Festival. Another milestone was created. Five months later a team participated in 12 events at the inaugural World Championships in Ullapool. Entering women’s, mixed and men’s teams, “Women On Water” grew to “People On Water”.
From small beginnings, big things have grown. Cygnet community is about to commence building a St Ayles Skiff. Taroona start their project in September, mainland Australia has three in progress and New Zealand, ten. Tasmania is aiming to offer the first St Ayles Skiff Regatta in conjunction with the Wooden Boat Festival in 2015. The potential for other groups and individuals to be involved is there.
Ullapool in 2013 is a sure sign of community spirit and interaction. For individuals, especially in a technological world, it is about personal challenges outdoors, support, encouragement, fun, health and well-being for a wide age range. And about heritage in the form of wooden boats.
More pictures from the Ullapool team…
July 22, 2013
The cooler weather has seen WoW activities ease off a little, but not by much. The ladies are still rowing every Friday, rain, hail or shine, or all three, which is usually the case.
Last Friday the ladies went out in a strong and blustery north-westerly. As the wind increased, with some very strong gusts, some of those those in the grebes had quite an adventure getting back as the wind seemed to determined to blow us away from the jetty. Just as some of us were facing the distinct possibility of having to put in somewhere down river, the wind eased and we all made it safely back.
While it was a good reminder that you have to be respect the weather conditions when boating, it was also valuable experience having to row strongly and strategically. I think we all learned something from it and some even found it quite fun to have a bit of an adventure.
The previous Friday was more relaxed as a full crew in Imagine hoisted the little lug sail for a pleasant and quick sail down to south Franklin, then rowed back against the current and wind, for a good workout.
Not all of our activities are on the water of course. Work has been continuing in the shed on Friday after rowing with progress being made on Syrah under the guidance of John Young. More on that coming soon. The women have also been doing some maintenance jobs on Imagine as well as other boats in the ever growing LBT fleet.
Recently some of the WoW women took the opportunity to attend a stone carving workshop at the LBT shed. The tutor was Dave Barclay who has been helping at the shed while on holiday from Victoria. It was a highly enjoyable day and all participants proudly took home a lovely rock scultpure and enthusiasm for doing more.
The Ullapool crew are due back in Tassie soon and further news should be forthcoming. Meanwhile for the latest news check out https://sites.google.com/a/rforster.org/lbt/about-us/latest-pictures-and-news/wowgetstheroyaltreatment
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