Fingal Rowing Club New Skiff Blessing in Balbriggan

August 31, 2021 0

Fingal Rowing Club was delighted to welcome their new traditional handcrafted skiff which was funded by the allocation of a Sports Capital Grant in 2017 as well as club fundraising efforts. There is a long proud history of these boats along the East Coast of Ireland. The club now has a fleet of four traditional handcrafted skiffs, our oldest being over 43 years old, which was discovered abandoned and restored by our members.  

The club is now based in Balbriggan since earlier this year, we have been warmly welcomed in the community and lots of interest from new members in the local area.  

Fingal Rowing Club is the 10th rowing club within the East Coast Rowing Council. It is a community-based and volunteer-driven organization, dedicated to developing young people and adults in the art and sport of rowing by creating an environment that challenges, inspires and teaches teamwork, sportsmanship, athleticism and camaraderie through competitive and recreational opportunities.

In order to meet our mission and provide services in our community, we rely on the generosity and support of both individuals and businesses alike.

Irish East Coast Rowing

Coastal rowing is undertaken by crews of four with one sweep oar each, and a coxswain. The boats are wooden clinker-built skiffs. Clinker built skiffs were once one of the most numerous type of working craft found along the eastern seaboard of Ireland.

Skiff racing has its origins in the trade of hobbling. Hobblers were freelance pilots, and competition was strong to be the first to lay claim to the approaching ships. Not only did the successful hobblers receive payment to pilot the ships into port but their employing would also be awarded the contract a loading/unloading those ships whilst in port.

The skiffs worked between Lambay Island just north of Dublin Bay and Wicklow Head, where they required considerable skill on behalf of the oarsmen. The long tradition of this style of coastal rowing is now carried on through the rowing clubs affiliated to East Coast Rowing Council. These clubs can be found around the old Dublin pilot stations of Ringsend and East Wall in Dublin Port, Dun Laoghaire, Dalkey, Bray, Greystones, Wicklow, Arklow.

On September 25th, Fingal Rowing Club will be hosting the 19km Lambay Challenge Race from Rush to Lambay. The gruelling challenge is kindly sponsored by Lambay Whiskey and Keoghs Crisps. The club, in partnership with Fingal County Council Sports Office and Rowing Ireland, recently hosted the very successful HEROutdoors Day on 14th August when we welcomed over 45 women keen to try out our sport.