David and I had a lot of fun as volunteer timers during the St Ayles Skiff Regatta in Franklin over the weekend of 8 and 9 February. There were rowing teams from Franklin, Cygnet, Taroona, New Zealand, as far away as Scotland, and even a team of Iranian refugees from South Australia. They were rowing in a variety of in 1km and 2km women's, men's and mixed races. It was very competitive, tiring and so much fun. It was clear the organisers had put in many months of very hard work to make the weekend run so smoothly.
There were so many highlights - the 'French Connection' team of ladies from Castle Forbes Bay in their striking red berets and navy-and-white striped shirts who just about scooped the pool; and the over 70s men's race, who were up against a 'youth' team of fit young rowing lads... who came last! The old blokes on the other hand were amazing. Hats off to them.
Saturday evening's corporate challenge event of 250 metre races proved very entertaining, with many teams dressing up for the occasion. David's karate class had a team and they looked great in their white uniforms! The day ended with balladeer Hairyman singing of whaling, whores and rum as the light faded over the Huon. We collapsed into bed at the end of the weekend, and we weren't the ones who rowed many kilometers over the weekend.
The St Ayles Skiff movement is an amazing story, starting only in 2009 and now with around 200 community-built boats in various countries. Wonder where the next regatta will be held... I reckon New Zealand will be a likely contender.
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