by Kenny Boag
Featured photos: SkiffieWorlds2019
The SkiffieWorlds 2019 take place in Stranraer this summer and the organisers have received a massive cash injection to help fund the event.
SkiffieWorlds is the World Championship for the St Ayles Skiff class of coastal rowing boat. The Championships are held every three years. Ullapool in North West Scotland hosted the inaugural championship in 2013, and SkiffieWorlds 2016 was held at Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.
The SkiffieWorlds will be a colourful and friendly celebration of coastal rowing. Up to 1000 competitors of all ages from countries such as New Zealand, Canada, United States, Tasmania and many European countries will visit the West of Scotland this summer in what promises to be the biggest SkiffieWorld championships yet.
The week-long festival will be a fun packed week of racing, social rowing, community activities, family trips, an artisan market, craft stalls and an array of entertainment all involving local organisations, businesses and the whole Stranraer community.
The competition received a boost in funding last week with investment from Event Scotland and SSE Community Fund. Event Scotland have pledged £22,500 for the purpose of supporting an enhanced on shore festival element for visitors and increased marketing and PR activity. With SSE Community Fund chipping in £25,000 to help fund the festival.
EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors.
SSE is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work:
“We understand we must contribute positively to this society by being an active contributor to the communities that we are part of”
Organiser Wendi Cuffe said:
“The funding will make such a difference. It will help with the marketing and allow us to bring in more entertainment other than the rowing”
Event organiser Wendi Cuffe on funding.
The funding is a huge boost to the event and organiser Wendi Cuffe is hoping to secure more investors over the coming months and she is hoping that Dumfries and Galloway council will also back the festival.
Some local residents are excited about the event and are looking forward to the town having a buzz around it. The town of Stranraer has struggled in recent years to attract tourists. When the ferry company Stena Line decided to up sticks and move to Cairnryan it left a void on the town. With the SkiffieWorlds coming and the recent success of Stranrer Oyster Festival the town is up and coming and making a name for itself with tourists from all over the world.
Local resident Fiona Jamieson:
“I believe that this event will be massive for the town of Stranraer. From what I have heard the bed and breakfasts and hotels are fully booked, the town will be buzzing that week with people from all over the world. I for one am really looking forward to the festival. As a mother of one, I am excited to see what will be there for the kids and it promises to be a great week”
The festival will take place in Stranraer between 7th – 14th July.
Both SSE and Event Scotland were unavailable to comment on the festival.