Strangford’s rowing boat ‘Strangfjorthr’ has claimed a prestigious trophy at the Ocean to City international coastal rowing race in Cork.
The vessel was praised as the best finished and most beautiful boat out of the 165 competitors.
The 22-foot St Ayles’ Skiff was built last year by and for the local community as part of the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership’s coastal rowing initiative and she is the pride of the village. She was named by local schoolchildren.
The build team was led by local boat-builder, Jeremy Duffin, and his loving care and attention to detail shows in every part of the wooden, traditionally styled boat. Its varnish coat shows off the grain of the wood and its quality finishes to good effect.
James Elliott, who was one of the Strangford five person rowing team in Cork said: “It was like being associated with a celebrity. Everywhere we went our boat received compliments – both in Cork and on the road there and back.”
Portaferry’s Gilpin and Dundrum’s Danny Buoy also travelled to Cork to compete and to add to the spectacle, which is an astonishing achievement in itself when you consider that the boats were built just over a year ago and many of the rowers had never rowed before last summer.
These boats and four other skiffs from Killyleagh, Ardglass, Kircubbin and Donaghadee will be battling it out along the Strangford Narrows for the coveted Narrows Challenge Trophy on Saturday 13 June and you can see them and even have a go at rowing from Strangford on Sunday 14 June as part of the Strangford Lough Festival 2015. www.strangfordlough.org