Fresh Water Sprints

On Saturday 25th October 2014 the last regatta of the year will be the annual Freshwater Sprints.

This year they will take place at the beautiful Loch Insh Watersports, near Aviemore.  For a change the events will be raced by regional teams, rather than individual clubs.  This should allow rowers from more clubs to take part, as we were at maximum capacity in terms of skiffs last year.  The Regional teams will be chosen  by the Regional Captains, contact your local SCRA member for more information (South West-  Adam Graham,  South East –  Stuart Mack,  Fife and Angus-  Barbara Elliot,  North –  Topher Dawson/ Wendy Clements, Argyll/ Rest of World-  Sue Fenton). Each region will be allowed to bring two skiffs.


Categories will be as follows;

  1. Open:   Men, Women, Mixed
  2. Open Second Crews: Men, Women, Mixed
  3. Intermediate: Men, Women, Mixed
  4. Novice: Men, women
  5. 40+ : Men, Women, Mixed
  6. 55+ : Men, Women, Mixed
  7. Under 19: Boys, Girls
  8. Mixed Decades


We will need Umpires and Safety boat drivers with their PB2  certificate. If you are able to help please contact Adam Graham (SCRA Clyde/SouthWest).  adam_graham<at>

The regatta will be followed by the SCRA AGM, on site, in Insh Hall itself. This is a good chance to meet with other clubs, and of course every club rep who turns up for the AGM will be able to get a row for their region!  See separate posts for the agenda of the AGM.

The Watersports Centre has a stunning location, great café, restaurant, bar and in view of that latter point, it also has bunkhouse accommodation and chalets. So, why not make a day / night of it? A bed for the night works out cheaper if a few folk bunch together and book a dorm, which come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s some examples;


1 x 3 bed dorm @ £ 71.50

1 x 4 bed dorm @ £ 82.50

There are also 5 bed dorms.   So, under £25 a bed for the dorms and includes tea / coffee making facilities and continental brekkie. Ideal if a few folk want to group together.

With all those categories, there’s space for lots of rowers of any experience and this is generally a nice, social gathering.

Please contact the centre to book your accommodation.  Loch Insh, Kincraig, Kingussie, Inverness-shire, PH21 1NU T: +44 (0) 1540 651 272 | E:


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SCRA AGM 25th. October 2014

[Update 22.10.14: three AOCB items previewed in separate post]

[Update 13.10.14:  Draft Minutes of 2013 AGM now available, see link below]


Scottish Coastal Rowing Association

Notice of Annual General Meeting


25 October 2014,

5.30 p.m.

At the  Insh Hall, Loch Insh Water Sports and Outdoor Activities Centre  (location)


  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes  of Last Meeting  (pdf available from Dropbox)
  3. Matters Arising
  4. Convenor’s Report
  5. Treasurers  Report
  6. Membership Fee:  Proposed to Remain at £60 per member organisation
  7. Election of Officers and Committee
  8. Amendments to Clauses in Constitution (Paper Apart)
  9. Any  Other Business



Each member club may be represented by up to two delegates at the meeting, one of whom will be delegated to cast any vote on behalf of that club.  Any such representative speaking at the meeting will be deemed to be speaking on behalf of their club, with that club’s  authority.

Election of Officers and Committee:

Existing committee members offering themselves for re-election are:

  • Robbie Wightman (Convenor);
  • Topher Dawson (Treasurer);
  • Peter Ashe  (Secretary);
  • Ali Grant (Rowporty) (coaching programme development)
  • Stuart Mack (Boatie Blest/Portsoy);
  • Wendy Clements (Portsoy)
  • Sue Fenton (Seil)
  • David Todd (Scottish Fisheries Museum).

Adam Graham (T&D) and Barbara Elliot (Anstruther) are standing down.

Please pass any alternative nominations to the Secretary ( ) by 12th. October.  Informally we have tried to maintain a geographical spread among committee members as well as avoiding having more than two members of the Committee from any one Club.  We would therefore particularly welcome nominations for the South West and Fife/Angus.

Any  Other Business

Matters to be added to the agenda under “Any Other Business” must be submitted in writing to the secretary by 19 October 2014.   Any business not submitted in this way will not be discussed at the meeting.

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Cruising Along ~ SCRA Cruising Log Competition 2014

Please remember to write up some of your social uses of your coastal rowing boats.  An award is made for a log of a journey undertaken by members of an SCRA Club.  Last year the award was made to Seil Coastal Rowing Club for a cruise around Seil and Luing  and the year before jointly to logs from Boatie Blest (for a cruise on inland water ways) St Ayles Anstruther for Elsie’s adventures round the Forth.


There is a bit of an explanation of what is needed in an earlier post.   Please send your entries, or a link to where they can be found on the web, to Peter Ashe : by 17 October 2014.  

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Two More Skiffs Launched in Northern Ireland

Down Coastal Rowing Club’s project in and around Starngford Lough is going from strength to strength, and with the launch of two more St Ayles skiffs this weekend there will be five skiffs available to take part in the inaugural “Narrow’s Challenge” at the mouth of the Lough next weekend.  Racing will be from Castleward, Strangford, and everyone is welcome to enjoy the spectacle, which is expected to run from about 10am through to 4pm.




Strangford’s Boat ‘Strangfjordr’, pictured above, is varnished outside.  Donagahdee have named their new community built skiff  (pictured below) ” Ramharry” which is the Viking term for “rough and strong”.  Pictures by Bernie Brown Copyright is held by Bernie Brown bbphotographic +44 (0) 7831 164371 .  More pictures and information on the Down Coastal Rowing Club facebook page, from which we have been kindly allowed to take these images.  Good luck to all those in both communities, and also to all those involved in the Narrows Challenge.





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Great River Race Results 2014

Well done to the St Ayles skiffs and their crews that completed the Great River Race in London.  All came in at under 3 hours for the 21 mile course, with newly launched  Groot and Grut 2 being the fastest St Ayles skiff, coming 34th overall.  Provisional results are found here, and a report from Blakeney, who took both Bluejacket and Hoi Larntan, can be found on the CRA Blakeney website.

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Nith Navigation Race Report 2014

Royal West attended the Nith Navigation Race in two boats, and were joined by North Berwick, Troon, North Queensferry and Carrick.  The race is a six mile journey up the River Nith from Glencaple up to White Sands in Dumfries town centre.  Crews enjoyed the delights of the Caerlaverock Tearoom on Glencaple pier as they watched the tidal bore moving up the river.  There was a bit or drizzle as the crews boated, but the water conditions were flat with a decent tidal current helping the crews up the river.

Starting and finishing duties were performed by the Cornet and the Cornet Lass, who lead out Dumfries Common Ridings.

Nith cornet

North Berwick’s double scull Speedwell was first off the start, with crews joining in at 30 second intervals for the time trial event.  As it was the last boat to start was the fastest over the course on the day.  Royal West’s class 2 Jolly Boat “Sprite” was built 120 years ago, and this was her first race for around 15 years.  She is longer and sleeker than the St Ayles skiffs, which perhaps thrive in slightly livelier conditions.  As it was Sprite managed to overhaul all the other boats on the course, apart from the North Queensferry Skiff.  Sprite completed the course in 43 minutes and 15 seconds, a new record for the course, and was recorded as reaching a (tidally assisted) top speed of 9.8 miles per hour.

Jolly boat "Sprite"

Jolly boat “Sprite”

Being pushed the whole way helped the North Queenserry Boat to a win in the St Ayles skiff class, and they were presented with a quaich to take home to Fife.  As ever the prizes for the event were fantastic, with a bottle of SCRA whisky for every finishing crew, and a selection of cheeses for the every crew, but special cheeses for the fastest overall crew and for the oldest crew to complete the course (Troon).  As a first, at the prizegiving barbeque, the first SCRA conker knockout championships was held, won by Susan Wilson from the local town of Annan, who have a skiff ready to go on the water, and hosted an excellent harbour festival event in May.

nith chippy


nith marion


Nith Carrick

Nith Troon

Nith Qferry



The full results are as follows:

Fastest Overall:  Sprite, Royal West of Scotland ABC (Class 2 Jollyboat)  43:15

St Ayles skiffs:

1st   North Queensferry      with a time of 45.30 mins
2nd  Royal West                   with a time of 47.15 mins
3rd   Carrick                          with a time of 47.45 mins
4th   Troon                             with a time of 50.00 mins
Coxed Double Sculls:
Speedwell, North Berwick RC,  with a time of 49.30
Most photos by Robert Dawson.  More photos on line.
Winner of the Golden Conker

Winner of the Golden Conker

Royal West at the Nith 2014

A big thankyou to the Nith Navigation Commissioners, and in particular Roy Kerr, for putting on a magnificent, welcoming event.

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Good Luck to St Ayles Skiffies in London

There are at least five St Ayles skiffs taking part in the Great River Race in London this weekend.  The Race is over a historic 21.6 mile course, up the River Thames from London Docklands, through the centre of London up to Ham in Surrey.    The field is made up of hundreds of fixed seat rowing boats, with a smattering of Dragon Boats thrown in.  Coigach are defending Champions in the mixed crew category, and will be returning again to test themselves against the course and the other crews.  WSV Woudrichem, who recently lauched the 100th St Ayles skiff to take to the water, will be taking part with all three of the Netherlands built St Ayles skiffs.  Norfolk club Blakeney are also expected to field a crew in one of their St Ayles skiffs.  Best of luck to all participants from Scottish Coastal Rowing.

photo: Chris Perkins


Regatta Dates for 2015 Please

The Scottish Coastal Rowing Association is starting to put together the regatta calendar for 2015.  Please could all clubs forward their proposed dates to Sue Fenton by e mail: .    The sooner we get these the better!

We will then add them to the draft calendar as Sue gets them.  The calendar will be publish shortly before the SCRA AGM at the end of October.  If known at this stage it would also be helpful to have a note of the nature of the event (eg Sprints, Long Distance, Expedition, Time Trial) and also which club or clubs are the principal organisers and what the first point of contact should be.  Perhaps an indication of maximum number of entrants would also assist.

Portsoy is on 4 and 5 July 2015, should that affect your decisions making.  It is recognised that we now have so many events that there will be clashes of dates.  That is great, because there are not many places that could accommodate all the skiffs turning up at the same time, and there are a lot of folk out there who want to enjoy the sociable pleasure of racing for their club.  However we should all work together to try to avoid clashes with others close by.  For this purpose we have defined geographic regions as follows, and would prefer to avoid a clash of dates within a region:


South East (The Border to South Queensferry)

Fife and Angus

North (which might be further split, as it is a pretty big area from Aberdeen, round the top and down to Ardnamurchan)

Argyll  (Including Mull and Islay)

South West (from Glasgow down to Annan)

Here is looking forward to another excellent year of meeting and racing with skiffies from all over in 2015.

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Wormit Launch “Catalina”

Wormit have launched their first St Ayles skiff, Catalina.  There is a full report on the Courier website.  The boat is named in honour of  the Norwegian flying boats which were stationed at nearby Woodhaven during the Second World War.





Rowing the Tweed for the Paxton Picnic


tweed bridge


Dunbar Coastal Rowing Club organised their fourth Tweed Row.  Crews set off from Spittal, and rowed the four or so miles up the River Tweed from its mouth, under the magnificent bridges in Berwick-upon-Tweed, to Paxton House for the Paxton Picnic.  Eyemouth and Amble attended with their St Ayles skiffs, and members of North Berwick Rowing Club took part with their Hanningfield Skiff.

Thank you to Christine Mincher for the illustrations.

tweed agnes

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