Time to start planning out your rowing year ahead. We are looking forward to 2017 having more St Ayles skiff events in Scotland than any previous year. With our still expanding number of clubs we need more new events so that all the new St Ayles skiffs get used and our new community clubs have the opportunity to race. If you can build a skiff, you are capable of running a good event for others who have built a skiff! In years when there is a Skiffieworlds our experience is that there is a bit of a lull in clubs putting on new events and there is slightly less travelling to local events, as sitting crews concentrate on preparation for the worlds. One of the advantages of only holding the worlds every three years is that clubs own regattas can get established and flourish in the “in between” years. Not everyone is uber competitive, but taking part in local regattas is still very positive for all clubs, as it gets efficient use out of the boats that so much effort has been put into creating. Thirty or more rowers can use one club boat in the course of the day, and it is an excellent way to bring on rowers new to your club and give them a focus and a target to work towards.
So lets celebrate all the events that clubs are putting on…..what do we have coming up in 2017…………? Check the 2017 Events Tab for a list of what is available (and please be sure to e mail Sue with your own event dates as soon as they are set.) 2017 sees the welcome return of excellent venues to the calendar, as well as some brand new regattas making their first appearance.
In the North West Coigach regatta takes place on the holiday weekend of 20/21 May. The return of the well organised regatta (in a stunning location) is especially appreciated with so many new North West clubs developing. Hopefully we will see Shieldaig, Lochinver and Cape Wrath racing alongside Gareloch, Loch Ewe, Ullapool and others from the North West, as well as the visitors from further afield who enjoy spending time in the lovely waters around Coigach. Other North West regattas already in the calendar are Ullapool (8/9 July, the biggest and probably the best organised regatta on our circuit), Shawbost on Lewis (21-15 July) and Shieldaig (12 August).
Also making a welcome return, this time in the South East, we have Row Porty regatta at Portobello on 10 June. A very different venue from Coigach, reminding us of the great variety we can celebrate in Scottish Coastal Rowing. Racing takes place off the beach, where the denizens of the city of Edinburgh promenade on sunny Saturdays. Also in the South East we have entries in the calendar from Dunbar on 24 June, in the amphitheatre created by the three Bridges at Queensferry on 19 August and the wee voyages (at speed) around Craigleith Island at North Berwick on 26 August.
The first Scottish regatta on our 2017 calendar is in Anstruther in Fife on 6 May. Further up the east coast we have Broughty Ferry regatta on the Firth of Tay on 5th August. Marvel at the facilities available to that club, and enjoy the excellent baking (as we were urged to do at every regatta by Princess Anne, Skiffieworlds 2013). Further up into the North East another cradle of Scottish Coastal Rowing is the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy which takes place on 24 and 25 June 2017. This is quite a big gathering of skiffs (usually around 18 skiffs) hosted by Portsoy Coastal Rowing Club, but part of a large festival with around 20,000 spectators available for the rowing, so worth looking your best. It is usually real coastal rowing too, properly held in three dimensions. There is a new regatta and open day slated in for Cromarty on 22 July. Hopefully more regattas for the North East will be added to the calendar in the weeks ahead (congratulations to all those who have been well organised and got their 2017 events into the calendar before Christmas!)
In the South West we have the well established regatta at Troon (10 June) and a brand new regatta on the Isle of Arran on 24/25 June……. not to be confused with Annan in Dumfries and Galloway, which also has a new regatta on 22 July, as well as the established Bell Ringers Raid on 23 July. Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club will hold their main regatta at Largs on 2 September, and Carrick Coastal Rowing Club will hold the Exciseman’s chase and sprint races at Maidens Harbour on 9 September. Glasgow Coastal Rowing Club will hold the Glasgow Cup on 24 September.
Do support as many of your local regattas as you can, as well as travelling a distance to some outwith your region, to help ensure the diversity of these events. Make sure you buy cake and possibly beer to help to fund the activities that you are taking part in. Some of the events listed above will be limited in the number of skiffs or the number of clubs that they can accommodate, and some are invitation only, so it is worthwhile checking early doors that your club can attend. Keep checking the 2017 events tab, for other events being added. In particular we are expecting to be able to announce dates for some events focused mainly on Juniors. There will be a Northern SCRA Junior Circuit and a Southern SCRA Junior circuit of events organised by clubs, three in the North and three in the South.
Enjoy planning your clubs year ahead!