Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage hosted a reception at the Millbrook Lodge Hotel, Ballynahinch, to celebrate the success of local Skiffie teams at the St Ayles Skiffie Rowing World Championships in July.
At the Championships, which took place in Kortgene in the Netherlands, Dundrum Coastal Rowing Club obtained the top accolade for the third time, while Strangford, Killyleagh, Ardglass and Sketrick also performed excellently, securing positions in the top 15 in the World Championships.
Representatives from all five rowing clubs attended the reception on Thursday 25 August and speaking about their achievements, Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said, “I am delighted to host this reception to celebrate and congratulate each of our local rowing clubs in their recent World Championship success. Given the fact that the Skiffie World Championships has only been held four times since 2013, it is an incredible record for Dundrum Coastal Rowing Club to have won for a third time and for each of the other clubs to be ranked within the top 15 positions in the Championships.”
The Down Coastal Rowing Association was set up in 2014 by the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership working with PSNI to revive traditional boatbuilding and costal rowing as part of a wider effort to regenerate communities through their maritime heritage. The revival of this sport has been hugely popular with community boats being built and new clubs being established.
Sketrick Rowing Club, which formed six years ago, has competed in the last three World Championships, they were awarded second position behind Dundrum. Strangford Rowing Club had the youngest competition cox competing at the event alongside team members aged between 12 to 76 years old!
Killyleagh Rowing Club enjoyed championship success while forming some composite teams with Sketrick Coastal Rowing Club, and newly formed Ardglass Rowing Club took part in the Championships for the first time with their boat ‘Ardglass Lass’.
Chairperson, Cllr Michael Savage continued, “County Down has become recognised as an important centre for coastal rowing and this is very much a community-based activity. The success of all the teams is a testament to each member of the team’s dedication and commitment.”