Sun shines on Boat Festival, but it wouldn’t be Portsoy without a bit of swell!

After long weeks of preparation, the day finally dawned… The sun was shining, temperatures were hot, the breeze was gentle, the water looked flat calm… 14 teams from as far as Woudrichem and Strangford, as close as Cullen, as established as Anstruther and Port Seton, as newly formed as Lossie, gathered for the coxes briefing, then the racing began.

The day started with the 2km races, started in 2 waves, with about 1km to the single buoy turn, turned to port, then a gentle starboard turn to finish in the harbour mouth. First off were Men’s Open 2k. I know the optimum physique for a rower is about 7ft tall, with arms as long as gorillas, but the Dutch men were awesome! They are machines! And their time was truly impressive at 12minutes 54 seconds. (The distance may have been closer to 2.2km and the water, of course was not quite as flat calm as it looked from dry land!) The Anstruther women were also impressive finishing first in both the open and 60+, with the home team not far behind.

The sprints were in a slightly different format to previous years: the start was 750m out, with a straight run home, giving teams a chance to warm up, as well as avoiding congestion between the harbours. Four categories followed in quick succession, with only brief interludes to allow other craft in or out, but disappointingly, the swell was rising and reluctantly the last 2 races were postponed. Luckily it is the boat festival, so there were boats to visit, coracles to paddle or simply, beer to consume, in the sun, listening to the De Kinkels… A very pleasant way to spend an afternoon and evening.

The night seemed far too short… The sun rose again, but the wind had picked up significantly and was forecast to rise. Being off shore, the water wasn’t too bad close in, so the decision was taken to change all races to shorter (450m?) sprints, in 3 lanes, starting and finishing at the harbour mouth and to pack the races in as quickly as possible, to try and get everything finished for when the big boats would start to leave at high tide (around 3pm). And we have a Helen (Christie) to make sure it all happened and a superb beach marshaling team to get teams out in an orderly fashion. We were running ahead of schedule, with some close and exciting racing. Unfortunately the big boats were too, and we had to cut the much loved Andy race, but 17 categories were completed.

There followed some manic number crunching, before the prize giving at 3pm. At close of play on Saturday, Anstruther were in the lead on 57 points, closely followed by Portsoy and Woudrichem, with Avoch in 4th. Only 10 points separated the first 4 clubs…

Only points from the best 12 results counted, to even out the playing field for the smaller clubs. I should have realized the cut would hit Portsoy the hardest (note to self – rethink this for future regattas???) However, Anstruther were the clear winners and were very pleased to take home the trophy they had returned to me the previous morning. Woudrichem took second place, and Portsoy were very pleased with 3rd equal with Port Seton, overall.

Portsoy Results 2018

Everyone seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the weekend – the weather helped of course! There are too many people to thank personally – but you know who you are, especially everyone in the Portsoy club – the regatta is a great team effort.

Thank You


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