Anster Regatta 2017

A beachful of skiffs from St Andrews; Boatie Blest; Newburgh; Eastern; The FOCCRs; Royal West; North Berwick; Portsoy; and Brunillidh (Helmsdale) descended on Anstruther last weekend for the St Ayles Rowing Club’s Regatta on Saturday 6th May. After days and days of North Easterlies blowing large swells into the Firth of Forth, the weather remained consistent and gave visiting rowers a glimpse of coastal rowing conditions we enjoy in the East.

Racing was held outside the Harbour in a straight West to East transect from the Billowness back to Anster Harbour. The first race was the Men’s Open, with Eastern leading the field by 10 seconds, followed by North Berwick, and Helmsdale. The Women’s Open followed however deteriorating conditions led to the race being postponed. Time for Plan B!

A second coxes briefing relayed Plan B; a 2 skiff chase course within the Harbour which involved racing around the outside of a set of buoys. Races were now fast – all recorded less than 3 minutes – and it tested the Coxswain’s skills manoeuvring around the buoys as every marginal gain counted. The fastest time of the day came from Boatie’s Mixed 40+ who got round in 2:03!

Races were now fully in view of the beach, and the support for each skiffs was felt as they raced past the beach. With changes to the racing schedule, the Women’s Open was conducted at lunchtime; the top three places were dominated by Firth of Forth clubs, with Anster 1st, Eastern 2nd, and North Berwick 3rd. Sadly we ran out of time to hold the ‘Andy’ race, but it was clear to see the spirit of Andy was visible in the mixed club crews racing.

Table: Results

Men’s Open Women’s Open Mix 60 Women’s 50 Mix 40
1 Eastern 3.54 1 Anster 2.21 1 N Berwick 2.25 1 Anster 2.32 1 Port Seton 2.03
2 N Berwick 4.04 2 Eastern 2.25 2 FOCCRs 2.27 2 Port Seton 2.36 2 N Berwick 2.11
3 Helmsdale 4.16 3 N Berwick 2.28 3 Anster 2.28 3=Eastern, 2.40  N Berwick 3= Eastern, 2.18
Mix Open Mix 50 Men’s Decades Mix Novice Mix Decades
1 Port Seton 2.09 1 Anster 2.15 1 N Berwick 2.13 1 Port Seton 2.23 1 Port Seton 2.16
2 Eastern 2.15 2 Port Seton 2.19 2 Newburgh 2.14 2 Portsoy 2.34 2 N Berwick 2.23
3 Anster 2.18 3= Eastern, 2.21

St Andrews

3 Helmsdale 2.16 3 Newburgh 2.38 3 Eastern 2.27

After the races clubs then put their effort into winning the “trophy worth tugging for” (unknown, 2017) in the beach Tug O’War. Tough contests were fought, but Helmsdale showed their brawn to win with ease.

At Prize-giving medals were spread out amongst all the clubs, and shortly after the party started!

On behalf of St Ayles Rowing Club, we’d like to thank everyone who supported us on the day and the clubs who came from so far and near. It’s the rowers that make regattas fun and special – we look to more friendly-competitive encounters over the 2017 regatta season!

St Ayles Rowing Club (website)

St Ayles Rowing Club (Facebook)

Allan Robertson’s amazing photos (Flickr)

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Skiffie Festival at Strangford Lough 21-23 July 2017

Newry Mourne and Down District Council have agreed to provide the infrastructure for another Skiffie event on Strangford Lough at Delamont Park,  from 21-23 July 2017.  Visiting Clubs are warmly invited to join in this weekend of racing, but should register interest quickly, as the entry is going to be capped at 20 skiffs.  The racing will be on the same course as skiffieworlds 2016, but will be limited to the middle 10 lanes.  There will be a range of categories and the weekend will be filled with lots of local food, music and craic.

Please contact to register your clubs interest and for further information including assistance with ferry costs to Northern Ireland (T&C apply the Club must be able to enter teams for most of the races which must include a youth team).  Please provide Club name, a contact name, telephone number and email address at this stage if interested.




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Loch Sunart “Raid” 10 and 11 June 2017

Isle of Mull Coastal Rowing Club, in combination with Western Isles Yacht Club, are planning a weekend expedition from Tobermory to Strontian at the head of Loch Sunart to raise funds for the RNLI and Have Fun. It will be a row in company rather than a race. A number of members’ yachts will accompany the skiffs. Provisional timings are:

Saturday 10th  Dep Tobermory 11:00 Arr Strontian 5:00 ish

Sunday 11th Dep Strontian 10:00 Arr Tobermory 5:00 ish

For mainland boats there is the option to launch in Loch Sunart (on the north side at Salen or Laga Bay)  to join in and so as to avoid the logistics of getting to and from Mull.  Various accommodation options are available in Strontian including a well-appointed campsite. It is planned to offer “have a go” sessions and/or impromptu races in Strontian, and there will be some form of social event on the Saturday evening.  Isle of Mull’s John Addy says “Loch Sunart is a beautiful place to row. It is a relatively sheltered sea loch so there is a good chance we will successfully get to Strontian and back as planned. If the weather conspires against us, we will organise an alternative row.”   Any coastal rowing clubs interested in coming along please contact John Addy:  addyjmox”at”

Image from TIBA facebook page.

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Film Review: Whisky Galore at Portsoy

Film Review is a bit of a departure for this website, but we have to make an exception for the remake of the 1949 Ealing Comedy Whisky Galore.  The Islanders of Toddy are suffering a whisky drought during the second world war.  However a solution arrives by way of a wrecked freighter, and the task becomes one of retrieving a cargo, and then making use of it and storing it without interference from the authorities.  A gentle comedy where the star is of course the lovely village of Portsoy, which will be recognised by all those who have visited the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival and the skiff racing that takes place there.  The film has a variety of coastal rowing boats deployed, but if there is one criticism it would be that the film makers should have deployed the Portsoy skiffettes to row the boats for the actors, who demonstrate some pretty ropy timing and technique when rowing out at night to recover the cargo.  Other reviews are available.  The film also has locations at St Monans (Near Pittenweem and Anstruther), and is the lighthouse at St Abbs?  Whatever a pleasant night out with friends, which is not going to cause offence to anyone, except perhaps pompous Home Guard captains.  See it at cinemas this week.


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The Red Boat is Launched on Iona

A real beauty has emergeed from a shed on the Isle of Iona.  “The Red Boat” was launched by the community on Sunday.  The Red Boat is number 145 on the St Ayles Skiff Craft Register.

She was named by Norah Kirkpatrick, in front of a large gathering of islanders on a stunning day, with Iona looking its very best in tribute to the work of the community boat builders.  She was welcomed onto the water by a salute from a skiff of the neighbouring island of Mull.




Congratulations to all the skiffbuilders and to the community of Iona.  Welcome to Scottish Coastal Rowing and good luck in using your beautiful skiff.  All Photos from the Iona Boat Association Facebook Page.  More launches coming up shortly at Golspie and Lochcarron.

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Rowing The Waves at Anstruther Regatta 2017

Rowing The Waves at Anstruther Regatta 2017

Nina and Jen joined the assembled crews from Royal West , Newburgh , North Berwick, Eastern,  Portsoy ,Firth of Clyde ,  Bunillidh (Helmsdale) , Boatie Blest (Port Seton) and St Andrews together with individuals from Broughty Ferry, Queensferry and Pittenweem  for the Anstruther 2017 Regatta.

Wearing the corporate T-shirts, Nina and Jen were free to walk about, stop and chat and spread the word and talk to a good number of people about Rowing and the Project. The first ‘on the beach’ interviews also took place and were recorded with members from Port Seton – thanks guys.

The interchanges and positive feedback were exceedingly encouraging and Nina and Jen are looking forward to meeting up with folk individually and at forthcoming regattas. Thanks to everyone for their participation so far.

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Can you help get the folks in Stromness, Orkney on the Water?

Is there a St Ayles Skiff out there that is underused, unused, unloved or part completed to get them started and on the water in Stromness?
Andy Rendle

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Rowporty Regatta Saturday 10th June 2017

Portobello’s Coastal Rowing Club “Rowporty” will be holding a regatta on Saturday June 10th, on the beach at Portobello in front of its boatyard at the bottom of Bath Street. The community club has invited teams from around the Firth of Forth and the programme has been designed to provide fun events along with competitive racing and of course the customary legendary food and cake stall.
We can only take a limited number of boats on our busy beach and the regatta is almost full. If you’re interested in taking part contact Catherine Scott (email:
Or just come along to watch and enjoy a great day out at the beach!

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Glencoe Boat Club 14th May 2017 Push the Boat Out Event

Coastal Rowing Clubs are invited to take their skiff to the Glencoe Boat Club Push the Boat Out Event on the 14th May and let the public have a go.

Please see SCRA Event Calendar for contact details


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Queensferry Regatta Saturday 19 August 2017

Places for our Regatta on 19 August 2017 are fast filling up and we only have space left for two clubs. We can only accommodate 12 skiffs and so far we have 10 including our skiffs from North and South Queensferry.

St Andrews
Broughty Ferry

The first two takers with email to will secure a place! Full details will be sent out to participants in due course.

Kind regards,

Peter Locke
Secretary Queensferry Rowing Club

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