RowAround Scotland: The Special Sections

This is a call for help from SCRA clubs to achieve full coverage for RowAround Scotland. RowAround Scotland is an event that we want every SCRA and St Ayles Skiff club to take part in. It really is for everyone. We need clubs to take on special sections, side expeditions and freshwater lochs. We have Section Leaders working on passage plans for the coastal sections which in the broadest sense looks like this:

RowAround Scotland – Circum Route

However the observant amongst you will note that the main route does not go past the front doors/ harbour entrances of all SCRA member clubs. This is for practical and safety reasons and definitely does not mean that SCRA puts any less value on any single club or group of clubs. We want to treat everyone equally. Regardless of whether you are in a city centre or on a remote archipaelego or for that matter on an inland Loch, we want your club to be involved in everything we do, and specifically we want you to be involved in RowAround Scotland. We also want to bring the expedition to new waters, perhaps not yet blessed with a local St Ayles skiff club. Clubs will be anxious to know how they can help to achieve this!

Well firstly, some of the section leaders have already been appointed for our non-linear sections. So for instance we are very much hoping that in the Western Isles, all clubs will contribute to help SCRA’s Western Isles’ Rep Anna MacKenzie ensure that there is full and enthusiastic involvement in joining up the Outer Hebrides clubs, and passing the baton around the islands.

Other Island clubs might not be joined in to the route, often because of the nature of the passage to the nearest clubs. So for instance Islay, Arran and Tiree will be asked to organise some sort of passage event on or around their own islands. If weather and safety planning does permit, it would be great if these clubs could join up with the the path of the circular route, but it is not necessary…… exploring their own home waters, perhaps with guests, will be appreciated just the same and will be logged on the interactive map.

Some clubs are up an estuary or inlet, and it might not be possible to build in a full up and back journey onto the main route. We are therefore asking that some “side expeditions” be organised to join up with the roundabout route. They will be recorded on the interactive map, and will not need to be done at the same time as the circular route. The appointed section leaders may be in touch with others about these additions. One example is on the Clyde. A few months after a baton has been passed round the lower Clyde, the event will return to Greenock, and in September a baton will go from Greenock (where Royal West reside) to Dumbarton (there is a new club going to be formed in Dumbarton), where it will join Castle to Crane in order to reach Glasgow Coastal Rowing Club at Kelvin Harbour. We are looking at whether it could then go from there right up to the head of navigation of the Clyde, some 5km upstream from Glasgow Green. Other side expeditions may include on the Tay to Perth, or on the Forth to Stirling or a wee visit to the Kyle of Sutherland. Plenty of scope. If you have an idea along these lines, contact your local section leader in the first instance. As we say no need for the timing necessarily to coincide… we can add these side expeditions to the map at any time. It is good to know about them though, so that we can try to ensure that these activities don’t clash with each other. That will ensure that we have a baton available for them.

Cruising up the River Clyde during Castle to Crane Race (pic: Steve Thomson)

Finally we want to tick off as many of our Freshwater Lochs and other waters as we can. We already have clubs on some of these lochs, and other lochs are already built into the plans. So plans are already afoot to include Loch Awe, Loch Tay, Loch Lomond, St Mary’s Loch, Loch Tummel, and some canals (Forth and Clyde, Union and Crinan). However that still leaves around 30,000 freshwater lochs to choose from, the 30 biggest of which are listed on an earlier post! If your club would like to participate by bagging one of these lochs (preferably by logging the length), please get in touch with SCRA Convenor. Each new loch conquered will be recorded on the interactive map. Please though do get in touch with your plans as soon as possible and we will tell you if someone else already has a plan for that particular loch. Remember there may be other Year of Coastal Waters 2020 events planned for that Loch, and it might be a good idea to co-ordinate activities, eg see the Autumn of Endurance on Loch Ken. We are happy enough for you to start this part of the Challenge from 1 January 2020. The event as a whole will finish at the SCRA AGM at Loch Tummel, so anything achieved must be logged before 24 October 2020.

Cruising on Loch Shiel , one of 30,000 freshwater lochs in Scotland. Photo Jon Gerrard

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