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31st January RaiD Update

posted Jan 31, 2013, 8:15 PM by Richard Forster   [ updated Jan 31, 2013, 9:19 PM ]

The voyage from Recherche Bay to Hobart has commenced!

Over 30 wooden boats gathered at the most southern point of Australia to begin the 197km journey into Sullivan’s Cove in Hobart, to participate in the Wooden Boat Festival in Waterman’s Dock from February 8 to 11.

There they will join a flotilla of boats from all over the world to celebrate the beauty and appeal of wooden boats and the adventure, endurability and romance of water travel.

A St Ayles Skiff is participating for the first time, along with a crew of Huon Valley women who constructed the 22-foot boat. Due to a resurgence in the popularity of wooden boat use in Scottish coastal communities, an Ian Outred-designed St Ayles Skiff has opened up opportunities for other groups from around the world to join in.

On the first day of “The Raid” the Skiff crew of five experienced the joys of joining in with other aquatic life – a seal playfully rolling in the silky-grey ocean, a whale splashing on the horizon. Meeting and chatting to local fishermen on the open sea, whose catches included a 30kg tuna, highlighted the experiences of the journey. The crew were also able to experience rowing in large swells, then after a historic visit to the French Garden near Catamaran (circa 1792) they used the buffeting winds to sail, as other explorers have done. A simple sail is an option for the Skiff crews as a break from the physical demands of rowing.

Challenges are also part of the journey, with rain, wind and harsh and soft conditions a part of the variety the crews will experience along the way. Day 2 takes the boats to Southport, and after the Southport Regatta the next day, the group push on to Dover.

Jane Johnson