She’s in !
Looking darned fetching in her bright blue and mahogany livery, the ‘Coigach Lass’ was piped down the slip at Old Dornie yesterday in calm, warm weather. The youngest Coigach lass in our local school, wee Mairead, had wetted the Lass’s prow with a good dram of malt whisky to a great cheer from the crowd and Al School blew a rousing tune on his pipes as Ron D, Ali Beag, Steve, Sam, myself, Iain, Ken, Nick and Andrew carried her down and let her hull kiss the sea for the first time!
Ah, but when she got on the water and the rowers, Steve, Ron D, Ali Beag, and I had sorted out the oars and cox Ken had settled himself into his comfy slatted perch at the stern, she slipped over the glassy, clear water like…like.. help me here……well, just like a very slippy, fast, steady skiff should. It felt great!
And after the first somewhat ceremonial turn round the bay, there was a line of folk waiting to grab one of the 5 lifejackets donated by one of our generous sponsors, Gaelforce of Inverness, …and just get out in the ‘Lass’ ! Bill W had brought his RIB round from Tanera and went way beyond the call of duty accompanying the ‘Lass’ as she took crew after crew out for a spin. He worked up a fair appetite though and was relieved of his safety boat efforts long enough to get one of Nick’s tasty, home-made burgers down the hatch. By 4.30 Sue and Elspeth had Hamish’s barbie going well, trays of donated food – cooked spineys and prawns, Hydroponic salad, scones and pancakes had appeared and the kids devoured their ice-creams and cake.
So many people to thank for incredible hard work; the countless favours; the jobs just quietly and thoughtfully done throughout the progress of the build; the support of all the well-wishers who dropped in during the build to see progress.
Ron D and Ali Beag ! What to say! Tireless and skilled workers on the build. What a superb job they have done- ever cheerful over many, many hours of hard, painstaking graft. And Steve of course, with his bottomless resource of tools, lovely touches of craftsmanship round the boat and the brilliant bespoke trailer he has made (with generous help from Brian C of Blairbuie) to fit the ‘Lass’ perfectly. Thanks also to Ron R for oars, and the Lass’s nameplates completed in lovely Celtic script, Ken L for help with the hull paintwork, Chris F-B, Iain M, Andrew Mac, and Chris P for photography. Got to thank Topher and Chris of the ‘ Ulla’ build in Ullapool who gave us so much of their time and advice (and top cake-age) throughout the build…. a better ‘opposition’ we could not wish for! Thanx guys. Your surprise arrival in your own skiff-licious beauty of a build, the ‘Ulla,’ helped to make our launch day really special. Bill W’s patience and his hard working safety boat was much appreciated as was Al School’s piping-in of the ‘Lass’ and Hamish kindly lending his barbie……feel guilty leaving it for him to pick up uncleaned after the evening’s partying… and thanks to little Mairead who threw a lucky dram at the boat to start the launch!
Thanks too, of course, to all the local businesses, local people and those folk with close connections to Coigach who contributed to the fundraising….. see past items and tabs at the top of the page. The ‘Lass’ would not be here without you all. And now the rowing starts! The first teams are off down to Anstruther this Friday to represent Coigach in the first ever Scottish Coastal Rowing event on Saturday. Wish us luck!The personal contacts of Steve H and Ron D have led to us being generously sponsored. And another local sponsor to be added to the list soon! These are/will be listed under the Sponsors Tab at the top of the page. Thanks sponsors! (A special word of thanks to the M & E Services guy who drove to Elgin and back to pick up the galvanised parts for the trailer so that it could be finished in time for the launch! ) And thanks Maureen and Anne Marie.. I pinched some of your lovely photos 🙂