The St Ayles skiff coastal rowing world championship brought personal bests, international agreements, record entries, a proposal of marriage and a footfall of around 30,000 people to Stranraer, as SkiffieWorlds 2019 took to the waters of Loch Ryan.
The week long international sporting event saw 700 crews of coastal rowers and 55 community built boats descend on Stranraer, with crews travelling from as far as Australia, South Africa, Canada, Tasmania, the USA and mainland Europe to take part.
Dundrum Coastal Rowing Club, from County Down in Northern Ireland, retained their World Champion title, after placing top of the points table, with nearby Sketrick a close runner up. Top Scottish clubs Eastern and North Berwick placed 3rd and 4th overall, while top international club WSV Woudrichem from the Netherlands placed joint 5th.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Loch Ryan proved to be the perfect stage for the Stranraer SkiffieWorlds 2019 with a fantastic turnout, both from local spectators and competitors from across the globe. We were delighted to see HRH The Princess Royal adding some further excitement to an already fantastic event. Congratulations to all the crews involved, in particular, Dundrum Coastal Rowing Club for retaining their title as well as Eastern and North Berwick for their respective 3rd and 4th place finishes, putting Scotland on the leaderboard.”
Wendi Cuffe Project Manager for SkiffieWorlds 2019 said: “It’s just so awesome to see all the beautiful boats on Loch Ryan, the beach lined with club gazebos and to see thousands and thousands of people enjoying themselves – the park was packed as more and more people travelled to Stranraer over the course of the week to experience SkiffieWorlds. The feedback from competitors has been absolutely incredible and the potential of Loch Ryan and Stranraer to become an international water sports destination should now be obvious to everyone.
“For too long Stranraer has been talked down and Loch Ryan hasn’t shown its full potential, but we have the opportunity, now, to unlock that incredible potential. This is one of the most accessible, sheltered and unspoilt sea lochs in Scotland, and its proximity to the town gives events like this an opportunity to be driven by the local community and benefit the local economy. It’s a coming together of local people and local businesses with the stunning natural amphitheatre of Loch Ryan that makes Stranraer the perfect stage for water based sports development.”
Councillor Adam Wilson, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Events Champion said: “Stranraer and Loch Ryan proved to be a stunning backdrop for SkiffieWorlds 2019. There was real energy and excitement for the event and that was demonstrated by the high number of visitors who flocked to Stranraer. The Council invests in major events to create memorable experiences for local people and attract new visitors to our beautiful region, which brings benefit to the regional economy. Thanks to the hard work and skill of the Stranraer Water Sports Association we have achieved all of that last week through Skiffieworlds 2019.”