Pride of the Solway Joins the Fleet


Annan Harbour Action Group have launched their second St. Ayles skiff, “Pride of the Solway”, a sister ship for Pride of Annan. This boat build was begun in September 2016 and was finished last week with the final coat of paint being added to the oars. The boatbuilders usually met 3 times a week for a few hours each time and consisted of a number of AHAG members, students from Annan Academy and young adults being supported by Step Together, Dumfries.  Congratulations to all those involved and thanks to the funders, Dumfries and Galloway LEADER, Holywood Trust and Dumfries and Galloway Area Committee. The group are already moving on to the next build, which will be a Tammie Norrie, and are looking forward to welcoming skiffies to their forthcoming events on 22 and 23 July, being the Annan regatta on the Saturday, and a row in company to England for the Bell Ringer’s Raid on the Sunday.

Picture Credit:  William Richardson from the AHAG facebook page.

No Comments

The Shieldaig Regatta 12 August 2017

No Comments

Youth Regatta Success at Largs

The young rowers and the organisers of the Largs edition of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Youth Regatta series laughed in the face of  dreich scotch weather and ploughed on through the furrows and peaks of a starboard bow sea to complete their races on the Ayrshire coast today.  The hosts, Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club were joined by young skiffies from Prestwick, Queensferry, Deveron and North Berwick.

Conditions were challenging, but it was a challenge that the crews were up to.  The first two races were held over a longer course.  Firstly for boys and then for girls.  As the photos below, all by Robert Dawson, show the waves were of a height and length which gave the rowing experience the full four dimensions (up down, in and out, round about and a bit wet).  After lunch the course was shortened considerably, to all fit within more sheltered water in the lee of slipways, and the four mixed races were won by a full variety of clubs.




FOCCRS took care to thank their  supporters (Saturn SailsBosun’s TableEuroyachtsFlamingo Yacht ChartersLargs Chandlers Ltd and DDZ Marine for sponsoring the fantastic medals from Revolv3d Limited and to Tiny Shiny Things . A massive thanks to all the hardy FOCCRs who came together to deliver the event with the support of Largs Sailing Club who lent some (runaway) marks and a RIB for the day, as well as providing lunch and a well-utilised warm and dry clubhouse used as a hub. We are all looking forward to the Firth of Clyde Regatta on the 2 September.  Many of the club regattas over the summer will feature junior events of some sort or another.  The next SCRA Youth Series events are at Eastern ARC (Portobello Beach) on 16 September and at Avoch for the Northern Circuit on 21 October.


No Comments

Ullapool Regatta 2017

Ullapool Regatta 2017 Report

This year Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club welcomed clubs from all over Scotland and Strangford from Northern Ireland, 23 in all. As well as longer established clubs we were glad to meet newcomers Gourdon, Lochinver, and Golspie who won the Best New Club award.

Six of the clubs fielded youth teams as part of the 6 Youth Regattas this year in Scotland, and we are excited to see this section of the sport growing. Deveron (based in Banff) brought a large team, as did the home side, plus Avoch, Portsoy, Strangford and Eastern. Ullapool won the Youth prize for a series of strong performances and credit goes to them and their coaches.

Saturday saw the 60+, 50+ and youth age groups compete, with the day’s fastest time set by North Berwick’s 60+ Men at 12 minutes 47.6 seconds. The day turned a bit wet and gusty towards the end but it did not stop the racing. North Berwick dominated the adult results with wins in the 50+ Women, 60+ Men and 60+ Women. Broughty Ferry took the 60+ Mixed and Coigach the 50+ Mixed, with Ullapool the victors in the 50+ Men.

Five hardy teams contested the 250m sprints along the shore, with Boatie Blest winning the plate for the fastest time.

Then about 300 rowers descended on the High School for a well earned meal, drinks, and dancing to former pupil Rory Matheson and his band. This cunning plan by UCRC to wear out the opposition with drink and dancing worked splendidly, and the ceilidh was voted a great success.

Sunday brought a welcome easing of the wind and dry weather with occasional sunshine, and the street and beach became very busy with locals, rowers and visitors enjoying the day. The loch was also busy, with a cruise liner, helicopters, safety boats, umpire boats, spectator boats, 5 Flying 15’s, 23 skiffs and a couple of drones.

Boatie Blest stormed to victory in the 40+ Men and the 40+ Mixed, with Coigach taking the Open A Mixed and the Open A Men by a big margin. Their Open A Men time was 12 minutes 16.5 seconds, the fastest time of the weekend. North Berwick took the 40+ Womens’ race. St Andrews won the Open B Men and Ullapool took the Open B Women. The overall regatta results are on our website and Facebook page, but the first three places went to Ullapool, North Berwick and Coigach.

Unfortunately the cruise ship took so long to raise its anchor at its scheduled departure time, that the race timetable which had kept close to time all day, slipped by 10 minutes. As we operate between ferry times this meant that the last race, the Open B Mixed, had to be cancelled. We were disappointed to have to do this but the alternative is ending up in the propellers of the ferry!

UCRC thanks all the visiting clubs for their help in umpiring, their effort and enthusiasm, and looks forward to next year.

Ullapool Regatta 2017 scores and ranking-1

2017RegattaFinalTimesPositions – Ulla



No Comments

Skiff Tow to Skiffie Strangford Lough Festival 21-23 July

Thinking of attending this event and still to sort out transporting your skiff. A double St Ayles trailer is heading for the event from SW Scotland and there is space for one skiff- to make arrangements contact Geoff Turner at

No Comments

Queensferry Rowing Club Regatta 19 August 2017 – Notice of Race

Queensferry Rowing Club Regatta 2017 Notice of Race

No Comments

NEW – South West Challenge 2017!

Clubs are invited to attend a new series of regattas in Scotland’s South West this September.

Starting with Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club’s fifth Largs Regatta on Saturday 2nd September, clubs will take to the water for 500m straight sprints with a variety of categories. A social row round the beautiful Isle of Cumbrae is then planned on Sunday.

The following Saturday sees Carrick Coastal Rowing Club’s 8km Exciseman’s Chase take place down the coast at Maidens, followed by some short sprints and a barbeque. Clubs then head across to Glencaple, where they will begin the six-mile Nith Navigation race to Dumfries on Sunday.

Next up, is a weekend of time trial races at Stranraer Water Sports Association’s first-ever regatta, coinciding with the Stranraer Oyster Festival.

The finale takes place on Saturday 23rd September at Castle to Crane, Scotland’s biggest open water rowing race – set to be the biggest-ever gathering of St Ayles Skiffs. Clubs who have already been drawn will then compete for the Glasgow Cup Glasgow Coastal Rowing Club’s second Regatta. Others are welcome to join a picnic and row on Loch Lomond, where many other Castle to Crane competitors will be gathering.

The South West Challenge trophy is a beautiful salver, six engraved whisky glasses and of course a bottle of malt. The winning club will be awarded a Quaich – the  Scottish drinking cup of friendship – to retain.

Tall Ship ‘La Malouine’ will be in attendance at all four venues with limited berths available to book via Roy Kerr ( – Saturday night fun guaranteed!

We’re delighted that Dutch and Northern Irish Skiffs will be joining local clubs for the challenge – but we’re keen for more to enter! All you need to do is complete the short form here:

No Comments

A whole weekend racing in Portsoy?

With Scottish Coastal Rowing, a few waves and changeable weather is what we love to row in.  To keep us all on our toes, we had it all at Portsoy at the weekend, in abundance.  Alongside the 14 skiffs who attended, Anstruther, Avoch, Portsoy, Broughty Ferry, North Berwick, Boatie Blest, Collieston, Burghead,  Queensferry, Orkney, Cullen Sea School, Cattterline/Gourdon, Findhorn, Deveron and SW (Galgael, FOCCRS combo) we were joined by 5 Shetland yoals from Burra, Bigton, Lerwick and Spangalang and Rinansey from Orkney to battle it out on the Moray Firth.

The racing kicked off with the triangular course outside the harbour turning 2 buoys before returning to the harbour for vitory.  First out were the Men’s Open 2K which was won by Boatie Blest in the fastest time of 11.46, the first yoal (Hadd At from Shetland) coming in at 11.55.  It was then the Women’s Open 2K where North Berwick’s winning time was 12.55 and the again the first Shetland yowl was Hadd At with a time of 13.10.  Special mention to the Portsoy skiffettes who came in 3rd position behind Anstruther!


It was then time for the sprint course which was run directly out from the harbour, in heats of 3 at a time out round a port turn buoy back into the harbour mouth.  Mixed 60+ was  the first category and this was won by Broughty Ferry in a final time of 5.oo, followed by Anstruther and Queensferry.  The mixed novices then managed to complete their races with Anstruther skiff winning in a time of 5.23.  By the time the Mixed 40+ had started running the heats, the weather stopped play.  Racing was then called off for the day with the situation being assessed on the Sunday morning.

Alas and a lack, it was not to be on Sunday with the wind changing direction to the North, conditions were just too wild for racing.  The presentations then took place with medals for gold, silver and bronze positions and Anstruther retained the overall trophy for another year.

Full results are here:  Portsoy Results 2017


Special thanks to Helen who was The Chief for all things skiff racing, ably assisted by the various loons and quines who helped out over the weekend.  Again the hospitality was superb, with soup, teas coffees etc all being provided at the Boatshed.  Timekeepers and beach marshalls all getting a huge thanks from all rowers, who do appreciate all their work.  Next year we WILL get 2 lovely days of calm water and no wind…………………. problem is – we would HATE that!


Photo thanks to Patsy Bain, Bruce Dryburgh and Allan Robertson.

No Comments

First Skiff Rowing Regatta on Arran, 24th/25th June 2017

Arran Coastal Rowing Club (ACRC) hosted its first regatta on Saturday, 24th June at Lamlash Yacht Club, followed by a social row around Holy Isle on Sunday.

photo by Nick and Marbeth,

photo by Nick and Marbeth, Mixed Clubs Race

ACRC wanted to start relatively small so six clubs from the Firth of Clyde area were invited to Arran for the weekend event: FOCCR, Troon, Prestwick, Girvan, Carrick and Cumbrae. Some participants arrived on the Friday so there was much friendly chat on the roof terrace of the pub in the evening.

As the others arrived on the Saturday morning, everyone enjoyed catching up with old faces and meeting new ones. The weather was thankfully kinder than forecast with a few occasional showers and some sunshine. Nevertheless, the rowers had to face quite challenging conditions for the eight scheduled races. Not only did they have to battle against the other crews for the medals, but they also had a stiff westerly wind to contend with.

Open Mixed: photo by Nick and Marbeth,

The races got going at 11am and were run over a 1.5 kilometre course with a water start and finish. For the start all skiffs were lined up outside the moorings in Lamlash Bay and two port turns allowed a long finish along the shore so the spectators could follow the progress and cheer their crews in. Wasn’t this worth the little inconvenience of port turns 🙂

Start of mixed Open- photo by Nick and Marbeth,

After the prize giving the evening ended with a well received BBQ with over 100 participants in Arran Yacht Club’s boatshed. The music mix was obviously just right as many folk were seen loosening up their sore rowing muscles on the dance floor.

And last but not least the results of the day:

Arran came third, Carrick second and the overall winner and dominant team of the day – with 5 wins in 8 races –  was Troon. Congratulations! To the delight of all winning crews, with their medals they each received an Arran Whisky miniature, kindly sponsored by the Isle of Arran Distillery. Each team was also given a handmade rope fender made by John Baraclough. The handsome trophy handed over to Troon was crafted by Steve Garraway, one of ACRC’s boat builders and club members. Click on this link for the full Arran-Regatta-results

Prizes: Photo credit David Ingham,


Troon Team with their Trophy: Photo Credit David Ingham,

An exciting weekend ended on Sunday with a social row of about 12 km around Holy Isle, which sits at the entrance to Lamlash Bay. Some parts were a bit lumpy but all crews seemed to enjoy their row around this iconic island. The two Cumbrae youngsters who rowed the first half deserve a special mention. It was a pleasure watching the future of coastal rowing – what a great row the Cumbrae crew had with their kids.

Prestwick heading round Holy Island David Ingham,

ACRC would like to thank everybody who helped to make the weekend happen – their sponsors, club members and families, the Arran Yacht Club, everybody in the safety & umpire RIBs and the wonderful starter boat, the Arran Rose, the photographers and, of course, all participating clubs, their families and groupies.  As everyone left after lunch, tired and happy, there was much talk of meetings at other regattas this year and perhaps another Arran regatta next year…

Report filed very promptly by Friederike Lorenzen, Secretary, ACRC, our new favourite Rowing Club secretary.  Many more great photos here and here.

No Comments

Oars across the Sea – A Visit to O.A.R.S Nelson, New Zealand            

Oars across the Sea – a trip with O.A.R.S Nelson

At the end of last year I was planning a touring trip to New Zealand for February and March this year. As a member of St Andrews Coastal Rowing club, when I go away I am keen to be involved in Skiff rowing, and generally being on the water elsewhere. I wrote to NZ St Ayles Skiff Coastal Rowing in the hope of hooking up with fellow coastal rowers and share their experiences. Steve Cranch of NZ St Ayles Skiff Coastal Rowing quickly responded with contacts.

Our trip would include being with friends at Nelson and I wrote to Denis Moriarty of Ocean Adventure Rowing Skiffs Nelson – O.A.R.S Nelson. Nelson is ideally located at the top of the South Island, near the Abel Tasman Park. Denis made contact and welcomed me with enthusiasm for St Ayles Skiff rowing. He explained that O.A.R.S Nelson was a group of active enthusiasts who have been rowing a borrowed boat for the last few months and had recently built their own Skiff called ‘Toroa’ ( te reo Maori for Albatross). Denis had obtained the kit through a friend in NZ coastal rowing – Auckland, who had a couple of surplus kits available from their boat building programme. Auckland had built 8 Skiffs and have a very active rowing fleet. I asked Denis about the name and he explained ‘we called it Albatross (Toroa) because we see it doing a little bit of long distance wandering where we can take our time and slow the pace right right down.- which is not difficult when you’re rowing’.

Denis and Russell – his friend and co-builder of ‘Toroa’, have found the boat to be a great catalyst for friendship and community building, attracting interest where ever they go. They have been on a range of rowing challenges and raids.


Nelson has an enviable reputation as the sunniest region in New Zealand. We arrived on a glorious hot day, and were warmly greeted by Denis, his wife Sue, daughter Emma and friend Russell and his wife Jocelyn, at Denis’s home for refreshments. It was fabulous to get rowing with O.A.R.S Nelson, from the harbour, taking in the river and sharing experiences along our journey and heart-warming to encounter the community spirit of St Ayles Skiff rowing down under in New Zealand.

Thank you very much for the opportunity O.A.R.S Nelson, remember to come and see us and hop in our boats when you venture to Scotland!




No Comments