Archive for July, 2012
RowPorty welcomed coastal rowing clubs from all over Scotland to their regatta on 28 July 2012. Fife boats were out in force, with newly Launched “Glide” from Newburgh made her regatta debut, along with ”Partan” from Crail and “Fisher Lass” from Pittenweem. “St Margarets Hope” from North Queensferry was also crewed up for some of the racing at what was the second regatta for the Club at the North end of the Forth Bridge. A crew of visitors from the Clyde were also in attendance, with members of Troon Coastal Rowing Club working together with Royal West of Scotland Boat Club to produce a couple of composite crews.
The front end of the racing was dominated by a very strong Coigach team, who made sure that the long trip down from Achiltibuie was worthwhile. They won the first three races of the day, including open men and open women, before Boatie Blest Coastal Rowing Club and Choir from Cockenzie and Port Seton got a win on the board from their women in the 40+ category. Coigach won both the 50+ categories and held off a strong challenge from North Berwick in the 40+ Men category. The roles were reversed in the Mixed open where there was exciting racing between the first and third buoys, with North Berwick managing to pull ahead and get the clear water round the buoy, which they were unwilling to give up on the haul back to the beach. North Berwick were awarded a win in the mixed 60+ category and Coigach for the 240+ combined age crew (a category in which Queensferry were able to put out a crew including their 82 year old powerhouse!
In all the racing there were close battles for the remaining positions with crews working hard all the way back in to the dramatic beach finish. Special mention to Newburgh on their debut, who managed a creditable fourth in the mens open despite breaking an oar at the third mark.
Photos by Alec Jordan. We will post a link to the full results as soon as they are available online.
Five Scottish Coastal Rowing Clubs took up an invitation from the Dalriada Festival to enjoy an international fixture at Glenarm in Antrim, Northern Ireland. The Kingdom of Dalriada united parts of Northern Ireland and Western Scotland and the aim of the festival is to revive that link. In the week leading up to the regatta there was Scots and Irish music, an international shinty/ hurling match and a combined Highland/ Celtic games.
The local clubs attending were from the Antrim Coastal Rowing Association and comprised Glenarm, Cairndhu, Carnlough, and Foyle. St Ayles Rowing Club from Anstruther, RowPorty from the city of Edinburgh, Boatie Blest from Cockenzie and Port Seton, Royal West from Greenock and North Berwick made up the Scottish Contingent. Very sadly Carrick Coastal Rowing Club withdrew because they had suffered a bereavement shortly before the event. Those attending send the club and family their condolences.
The Antrim clubs were racing 25 feet Universal Boats, an Irish class with low sleek lines. a long waterline and carbon fibre oars, which were considerably faster than the St Ayles skiffs. Realistically therefore the two classes, although starting at the same time, were racing against their own class! Dalriada had separate prizes for the two classes, and we are pleased to be able to say that every Scottish Club came home with some medals.
The first race was a 7km time trial round Glenarm Bay and the Black Rock. Crews were set off at 1 minute intervals. North Berwick, Royal West and Boatie Blest boats had mixed crews, with North Berwick winning the gold for the fastest time. Portobello rowed over as a mens crew, and the Anstruther boat was crewed by their determined ladies.
In the afternoon the crews were treated to sprint races. The course had 12 lanes, each with their own turning buoy, as well a starting buoy with a handle for the cox to hold onto until the gun. The 12 start buoys are all on risers coming from a single leaded rope. Similarly the turning buoys, in 12 separate colours, are also on risers from a single leaded rope. The two ropes are laid parallel, 400m apart to give a tight 800m race course. A great system which Scottish Clubs may wish to consider adopting.
The sprint racing was close, very close. It was also quite difficult to call, except at the turn and the finish. Finish line technology was in use, with every finish filmed to make sure the finish was called correctly. For the skiffs Portobello won the ladies race, before North Berwick brought home line honours in the Mens race (with James from Glenarm, who had taken up rowing three weeks before, doing a sterling job in the bow seat). In the mixed race North Berwick, Portobello and Boatie Blest all finished within a boat length, with the RowPorty crew just pipping the others to the line. RowPorty were also represented by an under 18 Crew in the Junior sprint.
The social side will stay on tour, but suffice to say everyone had a great time. The rowers took part in a parade through the town, with some wearing sweaty rowing kit, and others wearing fancy dress.
All photos from the Dalriada Festival Facebook page, with thanks. We were all very grateful to our hosts for putting on a great event and being so welcoming.
The Mid Argyll Rowing Club (formerly the Rollicking Rowing Club) launched ‘Uisge’ on the 31st May 2012. She was built by ‘The Trust’ in Inverclyde and looks fantastic with an all white hull. It was a quiet event which involved a bottle of Whyte and Mackay, six willing bodies and a calm and welcoming sea. Since the launch numbers have been growing and we have been busy rowing each Thursday in Loch Gilp.
Alec Ohnstad of Mid Argyll RC said “Interest has been amazing since her launch at the end of May, there have been a lot of folk out on the water in some fantastic weather.”
The regular Thursday rowing has been supplemented by a weekend away to the Tarbert Traditional Boat Festival (all those 14 miles south) where Uisge competed in her first rather chaotic rowing race and all who attended had a great time.
Alec further commented “Our big push for the pupils will come during the new term in August.”
Iain Sinclair has been coaching his heart out for his up-and-coming assessment.
Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club skiff Ulla travelled with a skeleton crew to take up an invitation from Stornoway CRC to take part in the Sail Stornoway rowing sprints at the Hebridean Festival.
Bev and Kathleen on arriving in Stornoway with Ulla managed to aquire 3 lady sailors from Ullapool who just happened to be over with their yacht. After a play about honing race skills they met up with Sandy Macdonald of Stornoway Coastal Rowing Club, who put together a crew from those islanders not already working at the Festival to race in local skiff Madadh Ruadh . Competition came down to a couple of timed sprints, Ulla winning both of these.
Kathleen tells us “It was a glorious sunny day with the Lewis Castle and Hebridean Festival as a backdrop. Although the Programme schedule was from 10am til 11.30am we didnt get off the water til 5.30pm having taken several locals out, experienced and beginners. ” Proceedings came to a close after Madadh Ruadh breaking 2 oars in a closely run race against a stag party crew.
Sandy MacDonald posted on Ulla’s facebook page “It was a fantastic day! Thank you so much for taking Ulla over. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you all and rowing with and in Ulla, she is a gorgeous boat and a pleasure to row. Your visit has spurred quite a bit of interest and there is definite talk about us repaying the visit in August. We just need to make some oars! ”
The first St Ayles with a River Tay home took to the water this evening. Glide was built by a group of young men under the guidance of Sam Marshall.
She is expecting to be racing very shortly with her crew of experienced rowers. Prior to the formation of the SCRA, Newburgh and Royal West were the only surviving coastal rowing clubs on the Scottish mainland. Existing St Ayles crews can expect some very strong competition from these rowers once they are used to rowing a light boat with a single oar.
The club has already purchased a second kit which they expect to complete early next year.
Press Report in Fife Today
Some professional photos from Portsoy 2012 can be found here . Some of these photos will be published in “Wooden Boat” and “Watercraft” magazines shortly. They were taken by Kathy Mansfield, who has done much to promote Scottish Coastal Rowing with publication of some of her great action shots. Images can be purchased through Kathy’s website: http://www.kathymansfieldphotos.com/
As well as the launch of first Tay Skiff this weekend there are 6 SCRA clubs attending the Dalriada Festival Regatta in Glenarm on the Antrim Coast. Crews from St. Ayles RC and Porty have already set off to be followed on Friday by North Berwick RC, Port Seton & Cockenzie, Royal West & Carrick CRC.
There will be full report with photos next week on our return.
Don’t forget Porty’s regatta on the weekend of 28th & 29th July.
Sam Marshall has been in touch to say that the first of the Newburgh skiffs will be launched this Saturday 21 July at 6pm at the slip at Newburgh.
We’ll look forward to seeing this first Tay Skiff launched; hopefully the first of many.
Mens open crews beware – Newburgh will provide some very stiff competition. If you did not know already, Newburgh is the home to the World Coble Boat Championships which are held every summer. Rowing these heavy workboats provides the summer training for Newburgh Rugby Club.
St Ayles skiffs have made forays onto fresh water, or at least brackish water already, with gatherings at for instance Whittader reservoir, and on the Rivers Tweed and Tay. However a group seeking to build a boat with a home port away from the sea is a new development (not counting Gosforth, who tend to take their skiff to the sea for use!). Scotland does of course have some pretty massive lochs, which can throw up their own challenges and a significant wave or two. These lochs also have communities around them which will appreciate the community effort of working together to build a boat, row it, and look after it.
An article appeared in “The Villagers” a community paper covering the communities around Lochs Voil, Lubnaig and Earn, asking if anyone would be interested in building and using a St Ayles skiff in the area. A group has now been established around the village of Balquidder, with a view to starting a community skiff building project on the shores of Loch Voil. The group would love to welcome others interested in becoming involved in the project. In the first instance please contact Fearghas Mckay by e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Queensferry are in the process of building a second St Ayles Skiff, but are now finished with their building frame and moulds. Peter Locke from the club has been in touch to say that they would be delighted to pass these on to another community that could make use of them. Queensferry have no plans at this time to build a third skiff but may ask that anyone using their frame offers it to yet another new club once they are finished with it.
If you are interested please contact Peter: email@example.com