Archive for August, 2011
On the way back from North Berwick RC regatta this weekend Chippy McNish stopped over at South Queensferry to help resurrect a traditional race between South and North Queensferry.
On Sunday afternoon a crew from Queensferry RC, in Ferry Lass, and a composite crew from Royal West & Queensferry RC, in Chippy McNish, raced from the Hawes Pier, under the rail bridge, on the South side to the old railway pier on the North. The event formed part of a Harbour Day Festival in the North and was being used to promote the formation of a rowing club on the North side.
Conditions were reminiscent of Anstruther’s regatta earlier this year, but still within the capabilities of the boats and crews. The safety cover provided by the South Queensferry RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was welcome as the current and wind against tide was generating very confused wave patterns. These varied from 1-5 feet and at times were coming from the West then the North West . The crossing took about 30-35mins and was won by Ferry Lass.
Burgers, coffee and cake were taken at the Harbour Festival to revive crews and coxes. St Ayles RC were in attendance to cheer on the crews, they had stopped over on their way back from North Berwick.
Lifeboat providing safety cover for the crossing South to North but was called away on business prior to the return crossing. The return was more direct as the boats headed for Port Edgar marina under the road bridge. The conditions had eased slightly due to the tide having turned but the crossing was still exciting.
Once the boats were safely back ashore at Queensferry RC the kettle was put on, the biscuit barrel opened and some of St Ayles RC also appeared with the remnants of the filled rolls from the tea tent at North Queensferry. We had a chat about the whole weekend and about planned non-racing activity for the winter months. It was a fantastic example of the friendliness and community spirit of the SCRA clubs.
Adam Graham, Royal West
Six different clubs took home the winners prizes from the eight races at the 2011 North Berwick Regatta. Nine clubs attended the regatta, with 12 St Ayles skiffs, each of which had been built within the community that they represented.
There were light winds for the event, but a swell gradually gathered from the East, giving some lively rowing conditions. The course was one of around two nautical miles, starting on a transit off Platcock Rocks, heading North to Craigleith Island, with the crews then rounding the island and surfing with the waves back towards a finish line just off the old pier at North Berwick harbour. The conditions were especially challenging at the North East corner of the Island, giving visiting crews a real taste of the sort of conditions that local crews often have to train in.
The first race of the day, for 35+ Men, went to the hosts’ neighbours, Cockenzie/ Port Seton, followed by Portobello and Anstruther. The Fifers from Anstruther then brought home line honours in the Women’s open category, a feat that they repeated in the women’s 35+ in the afternoon. The just failed to make it a fife female triple whammy when Portobello pipped Anstruther by one second in the Women 50+ category, with North Berwick coming third. The 50+ men event was won by the hosts North Berwick, leading in a crew of their clubmates in second place.
The Open Mens’ crew from Coigach, who row out of Achiltibuie on the Coigach peninsula in Wester Ross, simply outclassed the rest of what was a strong field in the Mens Open, coming accross the line in 18 minutes 47 seconds, half a minute ahead of Portobello, who had a similar gap over North Berwick in third place.
An invitation race, the Convenor’s cup, designed to encourage new entrants to St Ayles skiff coastal rowing was won by East Lothian Yacht Club, withDunbar coming second and Newhaven third. The win was popular with North Berwick Rowers, as the yacht club had given very generous support by way of facilities to assist in the organisation of the regatta, and had kindly cancelled their own club dinghy racing for the day allowing the rowing event to be held safely and efficiently over the course favoured by the visiting rowing crews.
The sun came out for the final race of the day, the Mixed Open category. Supporters were crowding onto all the vantage points on Platcock Rocks to welcome home the ten crews that raced in the category. They witnessed a very exciting finish, with the Portobello crew just holding off Coigach by around three feet. Both teams were given the time of 19:46, an increadably close and exciting finish after almost twenty minutes of racing, and a great way to round off an enjoyable and sociable days racing.
A documentary of the build of Madadh Ruadh was commisioned earlier this year by BBC Alba, and filmed by MacTV.
The programme makers visited several of the other Coastal Rowing clubs, including Anstruther and Portobello (where there happened to be gaelic speakers).
The hour long programme will be shown on Monday evening at 9pm – get your recorders programmed!
What you have all been waiting for…
Watching from the Umpiring launch, it was incredible to see the races within the race – Ullapool grabbing, and hanging on to that early lead to the very end against a very determined Porty attack, Boatie Blest keeping close, and then the battle between Cul Mor and the Coigach Lass for 4th place.
A fantastic day, with superb organisation from UCRC. Names of those who didn’t enjoy easily the day could be written on the back of a postage stamp.
Lots more pictures from Chris Perkins on Flickr
I have been asked to compile next year’s Regatta Calender in advance of the Annual General Meeting in October. Can you please forward to me, at the email address below, any dates that you have been considering.
I am primarily drawing up a calender of events where all member clubs of the Association are invited. If there are internal club events, invitation only events, cruises or skiff related social gatherings send these to me also and I will show these in a separate column for publicity purposes.
Ideally could do with the following information by 18th October:
- Start time if possible (State of the tide may be defining this)
- Club hosting the event
- Type of racing planned (Straight sprint event, short buoy turning event(500-1000m), long buoy turning event(1000-2000m), long distance race (2000m+))
The last piece of information above is useful for crews to be able to prepare themselves for the appropriate form of racing.
I would emphasis that no club’s events will be included within the finished version of the calender, or publicised on the Association’s website, unless they have paid their subscription to the Association.
Royal West has been asked to look at hosting the SCRA AGM on the weekend of 28th / 29th October. To make the trip all the way to the wilds of Greenock more worthwhile we thought a weekend of other rowing based activities might be of interest. Please read through the draft proposal below and come back to me if you or your club is interested.
Meet and greet. We have a music night in the clubhouse on the last Friday of the month where members offer up a song or some form of entertainment
Saturday during the day
Coaching workshops with Royal West coaches and possibly some visiting experts in coxing and coaching. May have Scottish Rowing’s adaptive co-ordinator willing to speak as well as Scottish Rowing Umpires who are RW members.
Guest speakers to tell some expedition stories from Royal West trips up the West Coast in the ’60, ’70 & ’80 (have a guy lined up that did Greenock to Skye and back, his crew also made an attempt to get to St. Kilda.) Some social interaction
Regatta symposium and/or Protecting Vulnerable Groups course
Scottish Coastal Rowing Association AGM
We will have more than enough boats if we can get afloat on the Saturday. If we cannot then we have covered demo space downstairs and comfortable lecture space upstairs.
People can do Frid-Sunday, Sunday pm only or anything in between, however much they want. It would make the long trek from Ullapool or Dunbar more worthwhile.
We can look at accommodation, catering, etc.
Please come back to me with feedback, if enough people are interested I will start to arrange speakers, coaches, catering etc.
Millport, on the beautiful Isle of Cumbrae in the Clyde Estuary, saw the launch of the latest addition to the Scottish St. Ayles Skiff fleet last Friday evening. Cumbrae was launched in front of an excited crowd of boat builders and well wishers. As you can see from the photos below she is resplendent with her White hull and Saltire Blue sheer strake.
The Blue theme continues internally, which makes for a striking appearance.
She was raced in anger for the first time on Saturday afternoon during an impromptu regatta. Chippy McNish from Royal West and Gobhancroit from Galgeal were in attendance. The racing included two long races from Newton Beach out between The Eileans and back to Newton Beach, the first won by Chippy McNish and the second by Cumbrae. After a short break for refreshment there were then a couple of sprint races just off Newton Beach to please the spectators. These were both won by Chippy McNish, with a spirited crew in Cumbrae coming in second.
Chippy McNish was presented with a shield for having won the most races on the day.
There are a very small number of people on Cumbrae involved in using the skiff but hopefully with some encouragement from local clubs on the Clyde, and the possibility that a club will be formed at Tignabruaich this week, their numbers will grow. It is a fantastic venue for a regatta with a sandy beach, direct access camping facilities, the town and all the professional safety cover provided by Cumbrae Watersports Centre.
We are all looking forward to next year’s event already.
Sumner High School, in the US State of Maine, a public grade 9 – 12 High School, have launched their St Ayles skiff at the Maine Boats Homes & Harbors Show About 10 students were in the class that built the skiff. The instructors were also fairly new to boat building, their boat building experienced being limited to kayaks.
The welding class students (why do we not have welding classes in Scottish schools?) built the cradle and the pintles and gudgeons. The students are now kicking their heels, waiting for five other schools in the area to finish their builds, so that they can enjoy some friendly competition. Perhaps they should build another one themselves to guarantee that!
More photos from Hewes and Co: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.249962135023805.61654.138957102790976&l=174dee1607
Find Ullapool results here: http://ullcoastrow.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/race-results.pdf
Report and photos to follow (hopefully).