Traditionally built boat is set for launch in Moray

Skiff is ready for Saturday’s launch ceremony

The culmination of a year long traditional boat building effort by a Moray community arrives this weekend when the region’s first Skiff ‘Tarbh Uisge’ is launched.

Established in August last year, the Burghead Coastal Rowing Club set out to reintroduce the tradition of coastal rowing to Moray.

The club was formed as part of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project, involving first the building of a boat by hand, using traditional timber to create a 22-foot St Ayles Skiff.

Having built the boat members must then use it to row both for recreational and competitive purposes. As well as the Burghead effort the project has seen similar boats established along the coastline at Ardersier, Portsoy and Avoch.

The launch of Targh Uisge – Gaelic for water bull – takes place at Burghead Harbour at 1pm on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for the Burghead club said: “The Scottish Coastal Rowing Project aims to promote and encourage the sharing of traditional skills, encouraging healthy exercise, whilst making use of the wonderful coastline we live alongside and bringing communities together.

“Over the past year a group of willing volunteers from Burghead and the surrounding area have been busy fundraising, boat building and raising awareness of this great project.

“Everyone is very welcome to come along and help us celebrate the launch of Tarbh Uisge.

“Tea, coffee, soup and cakes will be available from our newly constructed boatshed, part funded through FLAG funding and Peter Graham & Associates LLP Chartered Surveyors.

“The club understands that this is to be the first traditional boat launched at Burghead in approximately 150 years – a truly historic occasion!”

Following Saturday’s launch there will be rowing on a regular bases from the harbour with the club issuing an open invitation to any wishing to participate.

The club spokeswoman added: “Members do not need any expensive equipment to get involved, just an enthusiasm to try something new, get fit and make new friends.

“We would like to thank local organisations and businesses for their support in this project – Scotmid, Elgin Rotary, Baxters Foundation, Mary Salmond Trust, Hendersons Ltd and Tennants (Elgin).”

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