A Look Ahead to the Scottish Coastal Rowing Season 2020


Wishing you all a happy new year and a happy new rowing Season. And it all kicks off fairly soon with two events in January: The Nairn Coastal Rowing Club River Regatta takes place on 11 January and will see 9 local clubs from the North East Region getting together for a series of races. Also in January in Fife the Kinghorn Frostbite Regatta is back again on 19 January, with six clubs squeezing into the tiny Kinghorn Loch for an early season get together.

Kinghorn Frostbite Regatta

The great variety of regattas and events makes Scottish Coastal Rowing so enjoyable. We try to list them all on our 2020 Events Guide, so do refer to that when planning your year ahead, and please make sure that your own events are included in it as soon as possible so that others can set the dates aside, and can plan other events around them to avoid local clashes. Finally it is great for the outside world to see just how much SCRA and its clubs put on for the benefit of communities around Scotland and beyond. There are already over 30 events listed around our coast. Something for everyone and more besides. We are delighted to be supporting and supported by Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.

There is no Skiffieworlds in 2020, which gives an opportunity for clubs to spread their wings and go to other new regattas. Lets all try to bring in new rowers, and encourage them to take part in regattas.

There is of course a major event going on throughout 2020: RowAround Scotland. The aim with that event is to join up every one of our 70+ SCRA clubs. It is an event for everyone to take part in. Keep up with progress on the RowAround website, and contact your local Section Pilot to ensure that your club is included. There are some special sections on the RowAround, which are not on the circular route. Some of these special sections are also on the events calendar, including Loch Lomond, Loch Katrine, the Lowland Canals for the Falkirk Flotilla, Firth of Tay and of course Castle to Crane which takes place on 19 September. Castle to Crane is open to all classes of fixed seat coastal rowing boat, and we hope to welcome many visitors from around UK, Ireland and mainland Europe in Cornish Pilot gigs, Celtic Longboats, Shetland Yoals, Harkers Yard Gigs, East Coast skiffs….. it is what floats our boat.

Castle to Crane

Every region has its own events on the Events page already, perhaps with more to come. The Western Isles is one of the biggest growth areas in Scottish Coastal Rowing with seven groups already involved and at least one ore skiff in build. So far we have Lochboisdale Harbour Regatta on 22/23 May; Stornoway Rowing Club Regatta on 29/30 May, and Isle of Harris Festival of the Sea on 1 August.

Eskmuthe Regatta
Eskmuthe Regatta Start Line

The South East has Newhaven’s Forth Midsummer Challenge on 13 June, Eastern Leading a long distance route challenge around the Forth, the F120, Queensferry Regatta and on 22 August, and North Berwick Regatta on 29 August. Fife meantime has a new event at Kinghorn on 15/16 August, in tribute to the Miners who built and raced their own boats in the area, and gave some of the inspiration to the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project. There are events listed in the North East for Portsoy, Cromarty, Avoch, Broughty Ferry and Golspie. The South West has Stranraer’s multi lane regatta on 18/19 July as well as events at Royal West, Arran, Troon, Prestwick, Largs and Dumbarton. The Bell Ringers’ Raid makes a comeback to Annan. South West clubs are either the busiest or the best organised in getting their events into the diary.

North West and Argyll have events lined up at Sheildaig, Orkney and Loch Awe so far. Hopefully more to come. The big Ullapool Multilane regatta is already oversubscribed.

Skiffieworlds2013 at Ullapool

Please do let us know when and where the events are going to be so that we can get them onto the calendar. It is great that so many clubs are holding regattas. We are a growing sport, and we need to make sure their are events for all the new clubs and new members to take part in. We are so big that there is little prospect of getting all the clubs together, apart from perhaps at Castle to Crane. Our new clubs and new members will welcome small events for local clubs, and should hopefully be organising such events too. Some of our popular regattas are already oversubscribed or restricted now to invitations to local clubs. SCRA is holding an Regatta Organiser Course at Kinghorn on 7 and 8 March. Get that into your diary if you would like to improve your regatta or start a new one that others can attend.

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