Skiffs in the Air

Some great drone footage of skiffs ascending in the Falkirk Wheel, as steam boats from the Steam Boat Association go in the other direction. The Falkirk wheel is a modern marvel of engineering, linking the Union Canal and the Forth and Clyde Canal. It is the only rotating boat lift in the world. Thank you to Scottish Canals and to the Steam Boat Association.

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Broughty Ferry Boating Regatta Report 2019

Many thanks to Broughty Ferry Boating for the following report: We welcomed twelve clubs to Grassy Beach Avoch, Crail, Cromarty, Collieston, Eastern, Elie, Eskmuthe, North Berwick, Portsoy, Queensferry, Wormit plus our own two boats Arthur Nicoll and Brochty for Tay Sail.  It was great to see five clubs who hadn’t visited us before Avoch, Cromarty, Elie, Eskmuthe and Portsoy. Between rowers and their supporters we had over 300 people on the beach which created a brilliant atmosphere.

Unfortunately after a sunny week the weather had given up and we had a day of light rain and showers.  However, it made for great rowing conditions and as we all know a bit of rain won’t dampen Skiffie’s enthusiasm for a good race.

A flooding, strong Spring tide and a different course this year made for interesting, if not challenging, competition at times.

There were eleven races with results as follows:

60+ Mixed:  1st North Berwick 2nd Broughty Ferry   3rd Wormit

50+ Mixed:  1st Crail    2nd Eastern   3rd North Berwick

40+ Women: 1st North Berwick 2nd Broughty Ferry 3rd Avoch

50+ Men: 1st Eastern  2nd North Berwick 3rd Wormit

50+ Women:  1st North Berwick  2nd Eastern 3rd Crail

60+ Men:   1st Queensferry  2nd North Berwick 3rd Broughty Ferry

Open Mixed:  1st Tay Sail   2nd Broughty Ferry 3rd Eastern

40+ Mixed: 1st North Berwick   2nd Broughty Ferry 3rd Eastern

60+ Women:  1st Broughty Ferry   2nd Queensferry 3rd Tay Sail

Open Women:  1st Broughty Ferry  2nd North Berwick 3rd  Cromarty

Open Men:  1st North Berwick    2nd Broughty Ferry 3rd Eastern

Overall Winners were North Berwick with Broughty Ferry second and Eastern third.

Congratulations to all the rowers and supporters and thanks for making the event such a success.

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Ullapool Regatta Report 2019

This Friday and Saturday Ulapool’s annual regatta was held on Loch Broom. The weather was wet and wild on the Friday night when the Youth teams of Avoch, Cromarty, Orkney and Ullapool battled with big waves and strong winds. Orkney’s U17 Girls won their race and Avoch got two seconds but in the end Ullapool’s home teams prevailed in the Youth Trophy.

The following day it was still wet, but much calmer and in fact ideal rowing conditions. Cromarty claimed the first race, the Open Mixed, and this is a drone video of them first at the turn: 

Bunillidh took the 60+Women’s race and Shieldaig & Loch Torridon (SALT) put in a very strong performance to win the 60+Men’s race by 1 second from Coigach. Golspie won the 50+ Women by 3 seconds from Orkney with SALT a second behind. In fact the first 5 finishers crossed the line in 6 seconds.

The 50+ Men was won by Ullapool with a fast time of 12min. 19 seconds, followed by Coigach, Orkney, Cromarty, Bunillidh and Avoch all with sub 13 minute times. New club Nairn recorded a very creditable time of 13 min. 55 seconds.

Avoch took the 40+ Womens race, and Orkney the 40+ Mens. SALT won the 60+ Mixed a second ahead of Bunillidh and Orkney won the 50+Mixed convincingly. Avoch also took the 40+ Mixed.

The fastest time of the day was 12 min. 13 seconds from the Coigach Open Mens team, which had two Ullapool rowers Tom Grant and William Godding. Cromarty finished the day by winning the Open Women in a time of 13 min. 30 seconds.

Special mention to new clubs Nairn and Strathpeffer for their first appearance at Ullapool. We wish them well in the sport and hope they enjoy it as much as we do.

Overall winners of the Adult racing on points were Cromarty who beat the hosts by one point after a recount! Well done Cromarty!

Full Results -Adult

Full Results – Youth

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Princess Royal to Attend Skiffieworlds 2019

HRH The Princess Royal at the Opening of the St Ayles Skiff World Championships in 2013


We are delighted that HRH The Princess Royal is going to attend the opening day of the St Ayles Skiff World Championships on 8 July 2019. She kindly opened our first World Championships at Ullapool in 2013, so we will be welcoming her back to our world wide skiff community when she arrives in Stranraer. It will also be a welcome back from the hosts of Skiffieworlds 2019, Stranraer St Ayles Skiff Project, since she unveiled a plaque in May 2017 to mark the start of work on their boathouse.

We hope that The Princess Royal will be pleased to see the growth in our sport in Stranraer and worldwide. We have a record entry for Skiffieworlds, with over 700 crews due to take part. The championships have more than doubled in size since she last attended.

Chair of the organising committee Wendi Cuffe explains:

“We are thrilled to have such a high entry for the SkiffieWorlds and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming The Princess Royal to Stranraer….  Loch Ryan is the perfect stage for coastal rowing, and watersports in general, and we were delighted to be asked to host this major international event.  We can’t wait to introduce the world of St Ayles skiff rowers to Stranraer and our beautiful loch.”

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Welcome to Enflaeda, Skiff 184

Congratulations to Alnmouth Community Rowing, on the launch of their second skiff, Enflaeda. She sports a green hull, and a red sheer strake with yellow trim.

As sister for Pride of Aln. Good luck to all her rowers, and see you at Stranraer in the summer.

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A (very) Brief Note on the History of Rowing on the Tay

From a chance meeting with the Commodore of Royal Tay Yacht Club (formed 1874), who mentioned that his parents met though rowing on the Tay. His father was a member of Broughty Ferry Boating Club and his mother was a member of Dundee Corinthians Rowing Club. Regattas of the time also featured Wormit Boating Club.

According to a set of notes found on a facebook page “Dundee Corinthian Boat Club Memories”, Dundee Boating Club was formed in 1890 with a regatta first held in 1894, Dundee Co-op Rowing Club was formed in 1871, the same year as Broughty Ferry and Monifieth Rowing Club. Dundee Corinthian Boating Club itself is described as being formed in 1923/24 with a committee with the surnames Davie, Glass, Sidden, Duncan, Sutherland, and Henderson (secretary). Broughty Ferry Boating Club is also shown as established in 1923-24.

Jolly boat “Sprite” from Royal West – a similar type to those rowed on the Tay

Some of the boats used were Jolly Boats of the type used by Royal West in the Castle to Crane race. The jolly boats were around 25 feet long with a lower freeboard than a St Ayles Skiff but also rowed by four rowers sitting one at each station, with a cox steering and commanding. One of the boats, previously owned by Wormit Boating Club and now owned by a consortium or rowers down in Richmond-on-Thames is raced from time to time at the Great River Race. A Broughty Ferry Boat was transferred via Portobello to Royal West of Scotland Boat Club at Greenock. Single sculls and pairs also featured in races in the past.

We know there are at least 4 of the original wooden rowing boats stored on the Fife side of the Tay, in Newport and Wormit. One of them (Argo built in 1924 by Salters for Newport Rowing Club) is currently being refurbished in Richmond with the intention of her coming back to the Tay.

Cover photo from the Dundee Corinthians Memories Facebook Page.

With the exception of the Coble Boat Racing at Newburgh (first recorded race in 1880, and hard, hard racing still held at an annual championships), rowing racing died out all together on the Tay in the sixties or seventies. We are of course delighted that it has been brought back through the growth of the St Ayles skiff and the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association. Broughty Ferry Boating is a branch of the Royal Tay Yacht Club, and their luxury boat shed storing two St Ayles Skiffs is built on the site of the old Broughty Ferry Boating Club sheds. Wormit Boating Club had continued on as a sailing club, but reintroduced rowing and now has 2 St Ayles Skiffs. Newburgh Rowing Club also has 2 St Ayles skiffs, and there is going to be a Perth Rowing Club launching a skiff from near the Friarton Bridge.

We would love to be able to publish a longer article about the History of Rowing on the Tay. Please get in touch if you could research and write it. In the meantime anyone interested in history of rowing in Scotland should purchase the Old Clyde Pullers, which is a history of 14 rowing clubs in Inverclyde, a stretch of coast where only one rowing club survives. “Pulling” is where each crew member has one “sweep” oar. “Rowing” was historically used to describe a rower with 2 oars….. what is now referred to in racing as “sculling”.

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Broughty Ferry Regatta 2019 – Results

A full report to follow , hopefully, if someone will write it and send in a few photos. In the meantime thank you to Brougthy for organising a great regatta. It was great to see them joined by fellow North East Region Rowers from Cromarty, Avoch, Portsoy and Collieston, as well as Fife clubs Elie, Crail and Wormit, and SE clubs, Queensferry, Eskmuthe, North Berwick and Eastern. Results below.

Queensferry, Winners of Men 60+ at Broughty Ferry Regatta 2019

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FOCCR Regatta at Largs 2019

FOCCR regatta had an extra twist this year, with a run/ row/ cycle/ row triathlon. This was won by a strong Royal West Team that completed the 5 km run, Row to the island,  17km cycle and row back to Largs in a very impressive 1hr 20 mins. Closely followed home by Troon in 1 hr 25 min and Prestwick in 1 hr 29 min:

1 Royal West     
2. Troon
3 Prestwick
4. Arran
5 FOCCR
6 Carrick
7 Renegade
8 Cumbrae


Duncan Winning Challenge (Non Scoring)

In stiffening conditions this long race of mixed-up crews was won by Troon with Arran following them home and Renegade coming in 3rd.

1. Troon
2. Arran
3. Renegade
4. Royal West
5. Prestwick
6. Cumbrae
7. FOCCR
8. Carrick


SPRINTS 
A series of keenly contested 500m sprints in increasing challenging choppy waters completed the Fun Regatta.

Open Men Final
1  Arran 
2  Troon
3  Prestwick
4  Royal West

Open Women Final
1  Arran
2 Prestwick
3 Troon
4  FOCCR

Open Mixed Final
1  Royal West
2  Troon
3  Prestwick
4  FOCCR 

The battle for the points winner was very close right up to the last race but having placed in the top 3 in every race, Troon ran out worthy winners with 36 points. Arran close on the heels with 33 points and just behind in joint 3rd place with 32 points was Prestwick and Royal West.

A Regatta competed in great spirit and with warm sun,  an increasingly fresh breeze and stiff seas…it was a pleasure to host away teams in these great conditions.  We look forward to turning the tables on some of you in the near future.

Points Totals
1  Troon  36 pts      2  Arran   33 pts       3= Prestwick 32 pts  3= Royal West 32 pts  5  FOCCR 29 pts 6   Cumbrae 9 pts 7  Renegade 6 pts *  8  Carrick 3 pts *
* were not able to competed in all events.

‘  HASTE YE BACK ‘ 

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Worlds: brush up on the rules – Categories

We are all looking forward to Skiffieworlds, which will be taking place in Stranraer in July. All the racing is held under the SCRA Rules of Racing. All club captains, coxes, coaches and rowers should take some time to familiarise themselves with these rules. We keep them short so that they will be read by all, and the answers to many of the FAQs that we receive are found in them. We are getting quite a few queries with regard to age and gender categories. The following explanations are to help you with understanding the rules.

Remember that age is the age on the first day of the regatta (rule 5.4.1)

Mix 280 + This category is calculated by adding the years of all the rowers (not including the cox) so that the total is 280 or above . This is full years only and cannot be calculated by adding months e.g. 69 years 4 months – this is not allowed, only the 69 years is included.

For other categories all rowers must be in that age category and not an average eg in the Women 50 + category, all rowers must be 50 or over.

Gender: Long before the recent controversy in other sports, we came to the view that as a community sport the gender of a rower is defined by the gender in which they live in their community (rule 5.5). We trust club captains on this, and will be very disappointed if that trust is ever abused.

Mixed Categories: In a mixed race there must be at least 2 female rowers and at least one male rower. The remaining seat may be taken by a rower of any gender or none.

Mens Races: There have, at other regattas, been women rowing in mens’ races to make up crews but we would prefer, this being a World Championships, that all clubs endeavour to have a full crew of men in the mens’ categories. There are generally rowers who are available from other clubs who will be willing to help a crew who may be in need. If the crew are unable to get a full crew then the umpire can make the decision on allowing a woman to row in the crew to ensure that the rest of the crew do not miss out on a race.

Mixed “B” Category: No one who is racing in the Mixed “A” category as a rower can row in the Mixed “B” category.

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57 Clubs Heading to Skiffieworlds

There is a record entry for the 2019 Edition of the World Championships for the St Ayles skiff. Six Hundred and ninety three crews from fifty seven clubs have entered the event. Please check that your club appears on this list, if you are expecting it to (If not please get in touch with the organisers straight away!). We look forward to welcoming all participants. There are entries from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Australia, Canada, United States and the Netherlands.

All Aboard Watersport Bristol
Alnmouth Community Rowing
Annan Harbour Action Group
Arran CRC
Avoch CRC
Ayle of Quinte Skiff Club – Canada
Boatie Blest
Broughty Ferry Boating
Bunillidh RC
Burghead CRC
Carrick CRC
Catterline CRC
Coigach CRC
Colliston Offshore RC
Crail RC
Craster CRC
Cromarty CRC
Cumbrae CRC
Deveron CRC
Dunbar CRC
Dundrum CRC
Eastern ACRC
EBO California (San Francisco, USA)
Elie RC
Eskmuthe Rowing Club
Findhorn CRC
Firth of Clyde RC
Glasgow CRC
Golspie RC
Gourdon CRC
Hippo CRC, Garlieston
Killyleagh CRC
Kinghorn CRC
KYC CRC
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, USA
Land van Altena, Netherlands
Living Boat Trust, Tasmania, Australia
North Berwick RC
North Queensferry CRC
Orkney RC
Portaferry CRC
Portsoy CRC
Queensferry CRC
Renegade
Row Porty
Royal West of Scotland ABC
Sketrick CRC
St Ayles Rowing Club, Anstruther
Strangford CRC
St Andrews CRC
Stranraer CRC
Troon CRC
Ullapool CRC
Whitehead CRC
Wormit Boating Club
WSV Woudrichem, Netherlands
Z.M.V. De Zuidwal, Netherlands

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