Local shoreline may see return of the racers

INTER-community coastal rowing competitions may again become a fixture on the Leven and Neuk shorelines.

The idea is the brain child of Alec Jordan who wants to see villages face each other in the Forth as part of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project.

The venture, which is being supported by Anstruther's Fisheries Museum, was launched on Saturday when the prototype boat that Alec is proposing will be used, the St Ayles Skiff, was lowered into the sea.

Each boat would be bought in kit form and built before it was ready to race.

"What we're hoping for is syndicates of people to get together from across the villages and take on a boat and form a team," Alec told the Mail.

"The RNLI at Anstruther have already said that they'd like to build a boat and we're hopeful that we'll get a race between Anstruther and North Berwick organised for sometime next year.

"In England similar races using boats known as Pilot Gigs are a big deal and attract crowds of thousands."

The cost of buying a completed boat would be around 10,000 but building it from the plywood kit would cost an estimated 3000.

Each kit will be produced by Jordan Boats at Alec's workshop in Leven before being built up and completed by the vessel's own team.

It would fit four racers plus a cox.

It's hoped that if interest is substantial enough then some teams may be trained in time for the summer gala season.

Up until the 1960s there was a huge interest in boating among the mining communities who would hold their own regattas.

For further details visit www.scottishcoastalrowing.org.