WHITEHEAD Coastal Rowing Club are sea-sing the day with two new boats thanks to help from the local community and funding from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
The club’s first two boats were officially named Golden Dawn and Kittiwake by the Mayor at a special fun day attended by club members, local supporters and fellow rowing clubs.
Council also provided funding for oars and a trailer to help transport the new boats.
Mayor Cllr Maureen Morrow praised the club saying: “This club has formed to strengthen community relations as well as make use of this world renowned Antrim coastline.
“This equipment will not only enable the club to continue but grow from strength to strength. It’s an honour to launch these new boats and wish the club, and local community many more happy memories and success for the future.”
WCRC started rowing in early 2018 and officially formed a new club in January 2019. The club now has 60 members but is currently using rowing boats borrowed from other clubs.
Chris Livingstone from Whitehead Rowing Club said: “We’re really excited to have our first two boats for the club.
“To date we’ve rowed Banba and Largy Maid, generously loaned by the Irish Coastal Rowing Federation and Carnlough Rowing Club, so to now have our own vessels is fantastic.
“Kittiwake is a St Ayles skiff, the national class for coastal rowing in Scotland, also rowed in Co. Down. It was built in Carrickfergus Marina from a kit bought by the council to encourage community boat building so it’s great to see it being put to good use in the local area.
“Golden Dawn is a yawl, a class of coastal rowing boat used by clubs across Ireland. It’s already been sea-tested and raced on the Antrim Coast this summer enjoying victory in Glenarm and has ventured as far as Dingle in Co. Kerry for the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships. We’re now the only club currently rowing both yawls and skiffs.”
The name Golden Dawn will be well known to those who live in Whitehead. It was the name of a café that once stood at the site of the new club and created many fond memories for anyone who came to the area in the 1960’s.
The café sold the usual coastal fayre – with the essentials including ice cream and chips – throughout the summer months, alongside souvenirs, buckets and spades. They hired boats which toured the local shores and many will now continue to make memories of a different kind in whitehead’s Golden Dawn.
For more information on Whitehead Coastal Rowing Club go to Twitter/Facebook @Whiteheadrowers or E: Wcoastalrowinghonsec@gmail.com
For details on what funding opportunities are available through Mid and East Antrim Borough Council head to www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/grants