By Amy Woolvett
The needed ingredients seem to be there; water, a town with a history of boat building, a drive for a community project and a desire to develop fitness and skill.
Local boat builder Paul Gartside and Rev. Ed Trevors are teaming together to introduce skiff racing into the community with the Shelburne Church Skiff group.
The plan is to introduce an opportunity for a group of interested people to get together to build a four-oared skiff based on a dory model. The skiff would need to be rowed by a crew of five.
Gartside has already designed the plans for the skiff and is offering it to the project for use.
He had been hearing stories of races overseas and felt the same opportunity could be made here.
“It’s a neat thing to do,” he said. He liked the social aspect as well as the organized exercise. It could be interesting for people to learn some basic boat-building skills along the way considering the strong history of boat-builders in the area he explained. “We will have to build one and see what happens.”
Rev. Trevors recognizing a great community project was enthusiastic about getting it off the ground, something the Anglican Church decided to provide the funding to get started.
“We have all the ingredients,” said Trevors. “A perfect harbour, marine history and a desire to keep fit.”
Some of the well-known boat builders in the area are on board with the project and hope to chip in their expertise during what is expected to be a 400-hour build.
The plans have been devised and the challenge issued, all that is needed is interested people who will want to be a part of the project first building and then learning to row the boat.
Eventually it is hoped another interested group will come in and build with the expectation that skiff racing will grow in the community.
“I know it works out there,” said Gartside. “The question is will it work here.”