Skiffies from south of the Forth enjoyed a sociable day’s rowing on the River Tweed on Sunday 25 September 2011. Twelve skiffs joined the party, including two that were newly launched: “Grace” from Gosforth, and an as yet unnamed second skiff from Dunbar. Every club south of the Forth had at least one skiff at the event.
Skiff Armada on the Tweed
The crews mustered on the beach at Spittal, on the south side of the river close to the mouth, before launching and heading upriver under firstly the historic Berwick Bridge, built in 1620, then the Royal Berwick bridge, built in the 1920s. A few more strokes took the crews under the massive Royal Border Bridge, which takes the main East Coast Railway over its 28 arches.
This was a cruise not a race, and crews enjoyed being able to row alongside each other at something less than flat out pace. There was some quite strong rowing required at the narrows at Ord to stem the flow of the river, before it deepened again in the couple of hundred meters before the finish. Friends, families and relief crews met the boats at Paxton House, and helped to haul them up on the pebble beach beside the salmon cobles. Picnics were then shared, and the crews enjoyed the hospitality of Paxton House, the finest example of a palladian country house in Britain (more info at www.paxtonhouse.co.uk ).
After lunch the downstream crews enjoyed a slightly easier time of it, with a strong westerly wind helping the current to send them swiftly on their way. Thank you to Paul Ingram and Dunbar for the organisation, to Eyemouth for providing the safety boat, and to Paxton House for having us.
The boats attending were as follows:
Unnamed boat: Dunbar
The Volunteer: Dunbar
Puffin: St Abbs
Ferry Lass: Queensferry
Skiff John B: North Berwick
St Baldred: North Berwick
Boatie Rows: Cockenzie/ Port Seton
Boatie Blest: Cockenzie/ Port Seton
The Wee Michael: Newhaven