Alnmouth rowers reach the World Championship final

 Some of the boats awaiting the next race.  Pride of Aln is in the centre
Some of the boats awaiting the next race. Pride of Aln is in the centre

Members of the Alnmouth Community Rowing group have returned from taking part in the St Ayles Skiff World Championships for the first time.

The event was held in the beautiful surroundings of Strangford Lough in County Down, Northern Ireland, and attracted more than 40 clubs.

The Alnmouth Community Rowing Over 50's finalists being congratulated by a rower from another club.

The Alnmouth Community Rowing Over 50's finalists being congratulated by a rower from another club.

Many clubs came from Scotland, the home of the St Ayles skiff concept, but there were also crews from as far afield as the Netherlands, Tasmania, Canada and the USA.

A total of nine rowers from Alnmouth Community Rowing took the skiff ‘Pride of Aln’ to fly the flag for Northumberland.

As well as the rowing and competition the week allowed plenty of time to explore the beautiful Mourne Mountains, the historic city of Belfast and the local food, drink and music.

Races were held over a two-kilometre course with a single turn in the middle.

The course was wide enough for a maximum of 15 boats to enter any race with each boat rowing in a lane that was just 20 metres wide.

The very best crews could manage the whole course in a little under 12 minutes, which is close to the maximum speed possible in a St Ayles skiff.

The Alnmouth team went to the competition with the rather modest ambition not to come last in any race, a target they achieved.

In the Over 50’s Mixed Crew class, a total of 36 boats were entered into three heats.

The Alnmouth crew came third in their heat and made it through to the final.

An exhausted crew came home delighted with their achievements and are already thinking about the next World Championship in three years time.