Skiff Racing on Loch Muick

Entries are invited to a unique event on Saturday 18th June – racing on Loch Muick, Balmoral Estate, Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire. The thinking behind this event is threefold …
• Provide a focus for charity fundraising for the Williams Syndrome Foundation and British Heart Foundation. No entry fee, but any donations welcome.
• Stimulate interest in skiff rowing on Scotland’s inland waters, by enabling local Deeside crews to race alongside visiting established clubs.
• Enjoy the excitement of competitive skiff racing in a beautiful freshwater location.
The Races…
• Over the length of the Loch in outward and return legs (each leg approx. 2.5km) with crew changes between legs.
• Expect to run around 8 legs in the day
• Usual multi-class arrangements. Details dependent on composition of visiting crews.
• Each visiting club is requested to provide a cox and accommodate local Deeside novice teams in two of the legs. (The Mull skiff will be there for the preceding week to provide practice and training for the local teams).
• An event will be held on the Saturday evening – probably in Ballater.
All SCRA affiliated clubs are invited to register their interest in participating.  A formal Notice of Race will be issued closer to the event and once there is an indication of the clubs planning to take part. For practical and logistic reasons, numbers of participating skiffs may need to be limited, so please get in touch sooner rather than later if your club is interested. Contact: John Addy;
The support of Balmoral Estate for this event is gratefully acknowledged.

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New Skiff and Regatta for Iona

Plans are in hand to build a St Ayles Skiff on Iona and to support the initiative and give local teams the opportunity to have a go at rowing, a series of skiff races are planned during Gala Fortnight at the end of July. Organised jointly by Iona boatbuilders and Isle of Mull Coastal Rowing, races will be held in the Sound of Iona Saturday 30th July.
Entries are invited from clubs affiliated to the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association. For practical reasons, the number of visiting skiffs will need to be limited, so if your club is interested in going along, please get in touch as soon as possible.
Visiting skiffs should aim to get to Iona by the evening of Friday 29th. One of the Mull skiffs will be there from Thursday 28th and a social row is planned for Sunday 31st for those able to stay. On Saturday there will be a barbeque with local produce and in the evening a ceilidh in the village hall. As accommodation on Iona is usually fully booked months in advance, camping is likely to be the best option for visiting crews.
A formal Notice of Race will be issued in due course. In the meantime, if you have any queries or would like to express interest in participating, please contact John Addy at

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More New Coxes Trained in Ayrshire

On the weekend of 19th-20th March, Carrick Coastal Rowing Club organized and hosted a well attended and extremely informative SCRA Coxing Course for coastal rowing clubs in Ayrshire. On the Saturday morning, 15 members from Arran, Carrick, Cumbrae, Girvan, Firth of Clyde, Prestwick and Troon met at Dolphin House in the stunning grounds of Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast.

The two very experienced instructors, Ali Grant (Portobello) and Barbara Elliot (Anstruther), shared their knowledge in an interesting, lively and interactive way with mostly inexperienced coxes. Saturday was given over to theory and, although it lasted from 11am to 5pm, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed and playful style of learning and the day flew by. One could really see what a difference it makes when Powerpoint is banished and how effective interactive learning can be (thanks Ali for all the creative and imaginative props).

It was not only cox’s tasks and responsibilities which were covered, but also a wide range of topics which are of importance to the whole crew, such as boat and crew safety, common terminology, launching environments and conditions, racing rules, the basics of VHF radio usage and much more. The delightful sight of Babs demonstrating with a model skiff and five Barbie dolls brought a smile to many faces and won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

On the Sunday, everybody was really eager to go out and practice what they had learnt the day before. The weather god smiled on the participants, who had ideal conditions for their outing in Maidens harbour: sunshine and a sea as flat as a millpond. Three Skiffs from Carrick, Troon and Irvine we available, so Ali, Barbara and Fergus Forsyth (Carrick) went on board as passengers and supervised the other crew members, who all coxed and rowed and had loads of fun building up their confidence in steering and guiding the crew. All of the would-be coxes soon noticed if their commands were clear and precise – or not!
All of the participants would like to extend a very big thank you to Ali, Babs and to Fergus, Henry and the team at Dolphin House for an excellently run and led course in an easy-going, friendly and enjoyable atmosphere. If you have the chance, don’t miss the next one!

aaa aaaa aaaaa aaaaaa

Photos and report: Friederike and Stuart (Arran CRC)

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Perth to Wormit: Touring the Tay


Perth Sailing Club: The Grand Depart  (pic:  Julia Garret)

Perth Sailing Club: The Grand Depart  (pic, Julia Garritt, SCR Facebook Page)

Rowers from Troon, St Andrews, Newburgh, Pittenweem, Broughty Ferry and Queensferry  joined hosts Wormit on a row down the tidal River Tay from Perth to Wormit.  The crews stopped off in Newburgh for crew changes and Balmerino for coffee and cake. Broughty Ferry even rowed home from the finish.  A great way to spend Easter Sunday.

arrival at Wormit

Arrival at Wormit (pic Louise Innes, SCR Facebook Page)

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The Second Annual Shieldaig Regatta 6 August 2016

Following the successful staging of the inaugural Shieldaig Regatta, entries are open for this years regatta to take place on Saturday 6th August.

The regatta is staged over 5 around the island races over a distance of just under 2km. Races comprise Men and Women’s Decades, Mixed Gender Open and Men and Women’s Open- with the overall regatta Champions decided by a cumulative points total after the 5 races.

The regatta is the centrepiece of the villages fete weekend, with Live music, beer tent, seafood, BBQs and various other events happening throughout the day and culminating in an open air street ceilidh on the seafront.

This years event is restricted to 10 boats and entries should be made to

All being well the village will have their own skiff for the event.  Their skiff build is well underway with the aim of being on the start line by the 6th August.  Good luck with that.



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Deveron Launch Day at Banff Harbour

Saturday 19th March saw the launch of Deveron Coastal Rowing club, which was formed in October 2015 with the aim of working alongside Banff Academy to encourage the pupils and members of the wider community to take up rowing. The club’s skiff, Banac, was built by senior pupils within the academy with the help of Vice Chairman, Pete Banks.


With a couple of members having attended the SCRA’s recent regatta organiser’s course, Deveron CRC hosted their first regatta at Banff harbour with great enthusiasm.

Conditions were not ideal…


Although dry, the wind was from the north, making the sea a bit exciting, but all 6 parties agreed to go ahead. The club would like to give a big thanks to Portsoy CRC, Avoch Community rowing club, St Andrews CRC, Findochty WSC and Burghead CRC who all attended, braved the conditions and provided much support and help.


The day consisted of 4 races, Mens open, Womens open, Mixed and mixed club, with a mixture of experienced and new junior rowers taking part. The atmosphere and enthusiasm from the clubs spurred the Deveron pupils on and the day was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Between the races there was soup and home bakes within the Banff Sailing Club house, which went down a treat on a chilly day.  Afterwards around 10 people had their first taster row in a skiff.

The course was approximately 1km, with the boats rowing leisurely across the bay to MacDuff harbour to the start.  Lining up was challenging, but chief umpire Roisin kept everyone in order – an admirable performance for her first attempt at the role! The racing was at times exciting, with second place in the women’s open being too close to call

The results from the day are as follows with medals for the first and second places.

Mens open Womens open Mixed Mixed club

(Boat Name)

1st St Andrews




St Andrews


Soy Quine

7.32 mins

2nd(=) Portsoy


Portsoy and St Andrew





7.42 mins

3rd Avoch




Sandbay Century


4th Findochty







10.18 mins

5th Deveron







The club would like to say a big thank you for everyone’s support and attendance and can’t wait to attend and support other clubs regattas. Special thanks go to the pupils who attended and participated.


Photos: Allan Robertson Photography

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New Skiffs on the Bristol Channel?

All Aboard Watersports took their skiff Edward Colston down to Lydney in Gloucestershire to for a demonstration row yesterday.

Keen rower Sue Llewellyn and amateur boatbuilder Steve Brown have teamed up to start a skiff build at Lydney. Yesterday saw a good number of people turn out in a biting north-easterly wind reminiscent of Fife to watch the Bristol boat go through its paces on the Severn Estuary.
About thirty people added their names to the interest sheets, so the next stage will be a meeting at Lydney Yacht Club on Thursday 14th April at 7 for 7.30pm to listen to Alec Jordan present the story of the St Ayles, and plan how to move forward.

All will be welcome; people from other nearby communities are also welcome to attend.

See also the Lydney Facebook page

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Blue Moon Lewis Launch 19 March 2016

blue moon

Congratulations to the community boat builders of the Staran Community Interest Company.  Good luck to the new rowers of Blue Moon Rowing Club.

We are geting a rush of new skiffs in time for the clocks going forward.  Next weekend sees the launch of Kings Lynn’s second skiff, as well as Amble’s Second Skiff.

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Regatta Organisers Meet to Improve Your Summer



Thirty Two regatta organisers met up at Loch Insh to discuss how to run a fair, enjoyable and safe regatta.  We heard eexcellent talks by Andrew Rendle (delivered by Clayton Hardisty) on pre-event communication, and in particular the benefits of a comprehensive and clear notice of race (see notes here).  Topher Dawson gave us a masterclass on setting up a course and laying marks (see notes here).  We heard from Robbie Wightman all about the worst regatta he had ever been to.   You can read the story of Auchenshuggle Regatta 2014 for yourself.  The regatta organisers would welcome your feedback on Auchenshuggle Regatta.  If you fill out the Auchenshuggle feedback form and include your  email, you will receive a free witty riposte in return.


A recurring theme was the need for good communication, right from the start of the regatta planning process, through the days racing, and even afterwards with the benefits of encouraging feedback from those who attend.



Having listened to all that the attendees were split into six groups, each group taking one type of race and presenting to the rest of the meeting the advantages and disadvantages of each race type, the type of water and group of skiffies it may be suitable for, and the special considerations which would have to be made.  The six race types were 1.  Time Trial  2.  “Drag Race”  (straight line, multi boat, no turn)  3.  Multi-Lane out and back (skiffieworlds type course) 4.  Round the Island  5.  Single Buoy Turn and 6.  Pursuit Circuit Races .  After considering the different race courses, the six groups became three, and each was tasked with organising a one hour regatta the next day.  The race types chosen were time trial, Pursuit and single buoy turn.  Innovation was required to make use of the resources we had.  As we only had one skiff available (thank your Broughty Ferry for bringing theirs) the time trial was an excellent choice of event type, and sixteen rowers got to take part in that event.  In order to practice organising the other regatta types we were able to subsitute Canadian canoes (thanks to our hosts Loch Insh Watersports Centre) for skiffs which in some ways was actually and advantage as we were able to run the regattas in a smaller space.01

The Water Sports centre was also able to supply us with our umpire pedalo……  we think this may be a first in Scottish Coastal Rowing.  Much fun was had by all hopefully to some educational benefit.  The SCRA subsidise the course because all skiffies will benefit from clubs having the confidence to put on events, and the ability to analyse and improve them.



Thanks to Sophia Sheppard for the pictures.

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Rowing of the Marches

This is a very special year for Eskmuthe as the town celebrates the Riding of the Marches – something that only happens every 21 years. And what’s even better is that, for the first time ever, they are going to do a Rowing of the Marches and would like all of you to help.


The Riding of the Marches marks the town’s land boundaries and the rowing event will mark the sea boundaries. This will involve an 8km row with some surprises thrown in. It will also be an evening event with a bonfire and party on the beach to add to the occasion.  As everyone enjoyed the flotilla of boats when the Cockenzie Towers came down, the hosts thought they would include other boats in the big row. They will also have smaller sprint races and things to do on the beach while the boats are away.


The event will take place from 5pm on Saturday 11 June and for anyone wanting to make a night of it they can offer places to leave the boats. They can also offer live music, beach games and lots of fun.


It would be great to add a new event to our Riding of the Marches tradition, which is believed to date back to the fifth century. So please go along, have a great time and make a little bit of history happen.


PS As the RoM involves an armour-clad  Town Champion and six other Principals dressed as a mixture of Witch Finder Generals and Elizabethans, Eskmuthe’s treasurer George wants to make dressing up optional. The only theme is fun!


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