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!

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Photos and report: Friederike and Stuart (Arran CRC)

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