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Community Spirit Revived

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Six Clyde clubs (Royal West, Galgael, Cumbrae, Troon, Carrick and Girvan) gathered at Maidens Harbour on a rather grey and overcast Saturday. However spirits were high and oars at the ready.

This was the inaugural meeting for Carrick Coastal’s running of the Exciseman’s Chase, over eight kilometres, around the foot of CulzeanCastle on the Ayrshire coast. We were delighted to have the company of our neighbours, near and far. Boats were launched in the harbour and after a briefing at 1230 the “second” crew began their walk through the grounds of Culzean estate, carrying the contraband. Meanwhile, just after 1300 the boats left at two minute intervals, heading north to GasHouseBay to rendezvous with their team-mates.

The skiffs were pushed along by a moderate swell and following wind, everyone making good time. After a swift turnaround on the beach there ensued a hard and keenly fought return leg. As the crews pulled into harbour and after a short dash to the timekeeper, bottle in hand, the clock stopped.


The results were as follows:


Club Start time Culzean arrival Culzean departure Finish time Lap times(mins) Overall time Overall position

Royal West

1:15pm 1:44pm 1:47pm 2:22pm 29/35 1h:7m 1
Galgael 1:17pm 1:50pm 1:54pm 2:32pm 33/38 1h:15m 4
Cumbrae 1:19pm 1:54pm 1:55pm 2:32pm 35/37 1h:13m 3
Carrick 1:21pm 1:56pm 1:57pm 2:33pm 35/36 1h:12m 2
Troon 1:23pm 1:55pm 1:56pm 2:46pm 32/50 1h:23m 5
Girvan 1:27pm 2:04pm 2:06pm 3:01pm 37/55 1h:34m 6


With all safely returned, hospitality of beer and burgers was enjoyed and presentations made. Each crew received a commemorative certificate and bottle of malt whisky.

Royal West were awarded the Exciseman’s Quaich and were worthy winners.

Our sincere thanks goes out to all who participated, including the visiting teams, Maidens Harbour Trust, Carrick Round Table and many other individuals who made this a truly community event.

We hope this will be the first of a regular feature on the SCRA calendar.

Fergus Forsyth


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North American match at Mystic

The WoodenBoat Show at Mystic once again hosted the North American St Ayles Championship, this year in weather condition more reminiscent of the Scottish East coast.  Low cloud and very fine drizzle – but warm!

Renbrook Navy's crew on the millpond that was the Mystic River.

Renbrook Navy’s crew on the millpond that was the Mystic River.

With Lake Champlain and Moravian Academy attending the Worlds in Ullapool next week, the numbers were down, but no difference in the spirit of the meeting.

The ladies and gentlemen of Picton Ontario took the ten hour drive through New England to attend with one crew to race their beautifully finished Sea Shadow and Renbrook Navy’s William Shipp was driven down in the morning of the race with two crews.  Renbrook are the closest to Mystic of all the North American clubs. To add a bit more to the event, the young men and women from Rocking the Boat in the Bronx also joined the regatta again.

The Picton crew familliarise themselves with the William Shipp

The Picton crew familliarise themselves with the William Shipp

Sea Shadow has been built with modern racing gates and is equipped with carbon fibre oars, while Willian Shipp has been built to the plans with home made wooden oars and kabes.  A great imbalance was forecast, so we decided that each heat and final would see the crews race once in the Shipp and once in Sea Shadow with the time added to give the winner.


While the initial expectation was that the crews rowing Sea Shadow would trounce the Shipp what we actually found was that the racing was very close, and the Shipp won nearly as many races as Sea Shadow.  Some very exciting races were watched by more spectators than we had last year; the possibility of multi-lane racing next year will help improve the spectator value.

The St Ayles spirit was evident – all the crews mixed and made friends, and hope to be able to put together another regatta before the end of the season.  The winning crew came from Rocking the Boat.  It is hoped that next year they will be attending with their own St Ayles.

The rowers celebrate after the competition.

The rowers celebrate after the competition.

Maybe a UK crew or two could make it to Mystic next year to join the fun!

We had a lot of interest in the St Ayles, and we will hope that at least some is translated into more skiffs being built in North America over the next few months.

Alec J


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An amazing day due at Troon, in June

David Sutherland writes:

The Troon Club would like to remind everyone that their Regatta is on Saturday 8th June at South Beach, Troon, from 9.45am.

If you intend participating, please let Club Secy David know a.s.a.p., preferably by sending in the entry form which was emailed to every Club, or by emailing or by ‘phone on 01292 311980.

Thanks to those already participating in the event – we will be in touch in the next few days.

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Ferry Sonnet to kiss the briny this Saturday

From North Queensferry, Lucie Macaulay writes

We’re launching our second skiff, Ferry Sonnet, on Saturday (11th May 2013) from 2.30-4.30  at North Queensferry Harbour.

All welcome to greet the new arrival! (though photos are promised too – yes please Lucie!)

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SCRA Coaches weekend

Next weekend the UKCC Level 2 qualified coaches, and trainee coaches, are having a workshop day on Saturday at Castle Semple Loch in Renfrewshire. They are going to review and discuss coaching, with some practical work on the loch too.

Some of the coaches will be staying on into the Sunday and we would invite any interested clubs to get in touch if they want to bring a boat and crews to an informal coaching session on the Sunday afternoon. There is no fee for this but we might ask you to donate to Castle Semple Rowing Club for use of their clubroom and facilities. Ali Grant is also intent on having a BBQ so best bring some raw meat and buns.

You can get in touch with myself at secretary(at) or Ali Grant coaching(at)

Adam Graham
Training & Development

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UKCC Level 2 Fixed Seat Rowing Coaches Course

Royal West was the venue again this year for the British Rowing accredited coaches course held over the last two weekends. A tutor from Welsh Rowing ran the course on behalf of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association. It was attended by members of coastal rowing clubs from Mid-Argyll, Portsoy, Pittenweem, Cockenzie & Port Seton and Galgael.

All the participants passed this initial phase of thier course and return to thier clubs to prepare for an external assessment in the coming months. Following a year of hard work and preparation, and on completion of this course, GalGael plan to start rowing on the Clyde from Kelvin Harbour at the SV Glenlee this Wednesday.

The SCRA would like to thank all at Royal West for thier assistance in facilitating this course. All the participants expressed thanks for the hospitality shown to them by Royal West members during the course.

Adam Graham
Training & Development

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Anyone for a 15-mile row around Lochalsh? – It’s on May 25th.

we’ve just been contacted by Alex MacKenzie, the Commodore of the Plockton Small Boat Sailing Club, with a very nice invitation.

We regularly organise rowing races at sea for our fleet of 4 oared, wooden boats and would like to invite any of your members to take part in an amazing event we’re putting on in May.

We’re organising a sponsored row (it’ll be a bit of a race as well!!) from Eilean Donan castle at Dornie to Duncraig Castle at Plockton on May 25th. The course is around 15 miles around Lochalsh. Taking in Loch Duich, Loch Alsh and Loch Carron. There will be a BBQ and Bar at the end of the race and a dance in the evening so lots of entertainment!

We would love to have the chance to row with your boats at our event or at other events you are organising.

For a peek at what sort of boats are on the water at Plockton, do have a look at this earlier SCRA post. And here’s a note on their Open Day in 2011

Please contact Alex direct, if you’d be interested in a row through such wonderful scenery! He’s on alex <at>

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The Reel Stramash play SV Glenlee event 16 March

In case you had not heard the group booked for the forthcoming St. Ayles Skiff World Champs event on the SV Glenlee is The Reel Stramash.

They are a Scottish ceilidh band based in Glasgow, perfect for weddings, graduations, corporate events or any other function. Offering an upbeat and energetic performance, The Reel Stramash will have everyone up on their feet and dancing the night away. Fresh to the ceilidh scene, their approach is breathing life into functions up and down the country.

The Reel Stramash are like no other, entertaining audiences with their lively approach to traditional ceilidh music. Their expertise as musicians helps to create a sound that you cannot resist dancing to, their uniqueness coming from the infectious energy and enthusiasm that they bring to every event. With the members of the band having performed everywhere from Cameron House in Scotland to Cologne in Germany, you can rest assured that The Reel Stramash is more than capable of producing a top performance.

There is still a chance to get on the Guest List by contacting Barbara Elliot at St. Ayles RC

Look forward to seeing you on The Tall Ship on Saturday.

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Troon Regatta (08th June): call for interest

TROON CRC cordially invite all Coastal Rowing Clubs to take part in their first Regatta on Saturday 8th June 2013.

As you’ll already have read on this website, the plan is to attract the largest number of skiffs yet seen in one place on the Clyde as this is the first event in the Clyde area. The Regatta will be held on and around Troon South Beach, close to the town centre. If you know this shore, you’ll be happy to hear that the tide will be “up” for the event and so will all the members of our Club who look forward to welcoming you to Troon! We expect to begin the race programme from between 10 –11am and will finish up mid-late afternoon.

This is a preliminary call for interest from participants. Once we hear from you, we will respond with an email “flyer” about the event, with all the detailed information, and an email application form to print out and forward to the Club. The Troon Club has set an entry fee of £10 per boat which we would like to receive with the completed application form (at this second stage).

Initial interest, please, to the Club Secretary, David Sutherland, on by 31 March 2013. This will be acknowledged as described.



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UKCC Level 2 Fixed Seat Rowing Coaches Course 2013

The Scottish Coastal Rowing Association is pleased to announce that a British Rowing run and UK Coaching Council approved course for Fixed Seat Rowing Coaches will be run at Royal West in Greenock in April. The Official Course notice is attached to this message, the application form will be emailed to those who express an interest.

Please post the Course Notice on your club website and in your clubhouses, and circulate to members..

The Association is eager to see a good geographical spread of coaches so every club should consider this opportunity.

Please note that as we have to confirm numbers to British Rowing later this month we need forms and deposits in by 20th February.


Adam Graham

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