Skiffies return after two-year absence

Skiffies return after two-year absence

3 August 2022

DOWN Coastal Rowing Association’s first ‘Skiffiefest’ since the Covid 19 pandemic was held at Delamont Country Park, near Killyleagh, at the weekend and it proved to be a resounding success.

The event was opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Co Down, Gawn Rowan Hamilton on Friday evening.

Local MLAs Patrick Brown and Harry Harvey were in attendance together with Cllrs Terry Andrews, Cadogan Enright, David Lee-Surginor and Robert Burgess.

A flotilla of skiffs then rowed from Killyleagh to the pontoon at Delamont.

Council chairman Michael Savage was able to attend the festival on Sunday and met many of the volunteers and rowers from local clubs, as well as visitors from Scotland.

The local clubs came from Portavogie and Donaghadee to the north of the Ards down to Ardglass and Dundrum in the south with Portaferry and Strangford in between, not forgetting Sketrick and Killyleagh to the west of the lough. 

The competition took place over two days on the Delamont course which accommodated a maximum of 14 skiffs in a multitude of categories. 

Dundrum were overall winners and retained the Narrows Challenge Trophy. 

A new trophy was introduced this year for the club with the best overall performing female rowers.

The Moyna Tyson Rose Bowl Trophy was donated by Moyna Tyson from Dundrum. She was a junior officer in the WRVNS stationed at HMS Caroline in Belfast in the 1950s.

In 1953 with a crew of Wrens rowing a Whaler they competed against the might of the Royal Navy on the Thames and won.

The new trophy was won at Skiffiefest by ladies from Dundrum.

Afterwards Dougie Marr, chairman of Down Coastal Rowing Association, said: “We must heartily thank Newry Mourne and Down Council for the outstanding support they have given to make the festival possible.

“Help and encouragement came from officers, councillors and from staff, not least those at Delamont Country Park.

“Thanks also to SportNI for their continuing support for provision of land and water based activities.  Safety was managed by DCRA volunteers in tandem with Safer Waters, HM Coastguard and the RNLI.”

He added: “Such a sporting event would not take place without the efforts of many individuals and groups who came together to organise and put on this great event. As always, we are in indebted to our volunteers from the clubs and their circles of friends.”

Overall results: 1st Dundrum, Danny Buoy; joint 2nd Sketrick, Knotty Lass, and Strangford, Strangfjordr; 4th Ardglass, Ardglass Lass; 5th Killyleagh, Skart; 6th Killyleagh, Gocean; 7th Strangford, Sea Swallow; 8th Dundrum, Mystic Wave; 9th Donaghadee, Ramharry; 10th Sketrick, Knotty Lass; joint 11th Ardglass, The Governor, and Portavogie, Roon Roak; 13th Portaferry, Gilpin; 14th - Ayr Renegade, Arapaho.