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Passage Planning Course 2020

The entrance to Cuan Sound, between the islands of Seil and Luing. This is the view that the delegates will have from the SCRA’s Passage Planning for Expeditions training this weekend! A useful reminder to them all as to why it is worthwhile taking into account weather conditions, tidal gates and sea state when planning a passage. Thirty four members of SCRA clubs are attending the course, and they in turn will use and pass on their knowledge and skills to others in the Scottish Coastal Rowing Community….. another great benefit of your club’s SCRA membership.

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The Fixed Seat Conference

Representatives from a variety of bodies from around Great Britain and Ireland with a passion for coastal rowing in fixed seat boats, had a very welcoming and productive meeting in Greenock at The Fixed Seat Conference on 8th and 9th February 2020. We looked at ways in which we could learn from each other’s experiences and share that experience within our own organisations.

Fixed Seat Organisations Brought Together

We discussed safety matters including recent incident reports. We had group discussions about rules of racing, competition frameworks, technique (including why there may be differences in techniques depending on the characteristics of the different boats that we use) and how to balance the competitive and the social demands of our sport.

It was a very worthwhile session and we can each take back to our own organisations how much we have in common, including the challenges that face us.

All those present were representatives of bodies which, amongst other things, act as Class associations for at least one class of rowing boat (as SCRA does for the St Ayles skiff). The Fixed Seat Conference has been asked to develop a handicap system to be applied when boats of these various classes happen to be racing in the same race. We were unable to complete that work and develop a “Greenock Yardstick”, but will hope to work towards that in the future. We will follow up this post with a note about the various class associations which we now recognise.

The Fixed Seat Conference will meet again before the end of the year. If you represent a class association for a fixed seat class that has not yet been invited, please contact the secretary of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association.

Thanks go to Royal West of Scotland Amateur Boat Club for their kind hospitality, and to all the attendees, some of whom had fairly difficult travel over fair distances in difficult weather conditions.

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Last Call for Regatta Organiser Course

We already have 25 delegates from a variety of clubs signed up for the Regatta Organiser Course on 7 and 8 March. The course is held at Kinghorn Loch, allowing those on the course to organise and report on their very own events before the end of the weekend. If you would like to join them, please contact SCRA secretary Andrew Rendle by Monday 17 February.

With numbers of participants and clubs continuing to grow, we are very keen to have more events on our calendar. Events do not need to be big to be very much appreciated, and we hope that the course will give newer and smaller clubs the confidence to put on new events. It is also about helping to improve the quality of all events and ensuring that they are all safe, fair and enjoyable, so those who have already been involved in events are most welcome and will be able to share their experiences with the others.

What do delegates think of SCRA Regatta Organisers Courses?

A big thank you to all the people who helped make this event a great weekend. It was a very informative, useful and enjoyable weekend.


Absolutely. Eskmuthe, one of the newer kids on the block, learnt loads and Gillian and I were bowled over by everyone’s enthusiasm and friendliness. Quite a community. Thank you


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Avoch Regatta

Entries now open. Spaces will be decided by ballot if necessary. The club write:

Entries are now open for Avoch regatta 2020. If you are interested in attending please send details to our club email . All club names will be drawn from a hat, but priority will be given to 7 NE region clubs we have 13 places in total . Our race format is going to be a bit different this year
Under 17’s (1km) Girls, Boys and Mixed
Under45’s Men, Women and Mixed
Over 45’s Men, Women and Mixed
Novice U 45 Mixed
Novice O 45 Mixed
Decades Men , Women and Mixed
230+ Men, Women and Mixed
We thought we would mix things up a little bit.
Please have all entries in before the 29th Feb, names will be drawn on the 1st of March and clubs will be notified the week of the 2nd march.
We are looking forward seeing everyone in the forth coming season.

Laura and Kathy Avoch Community Rowing Club

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Ocean to City, Cork, 6 June 2020

Always a great race that many crews from Scotland have travelled to an enjoyed before, with some trophies but more importantly much fun. Early bird discounts available!

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South Skye and Lochalsh Open Day 8 February 2020

One of the gaps in our coastal spread of St Ayles Skiffs is being filled with the launch of Saucy Mary by the South Skye and Lochalsh Coastal Rowing Club. They are inviting everyone to come along and find out about the club at Dornie Village hall on 8 February.

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In Praise of Club Regattas

Scottish Coastal Rowing Regattas are fun and sociable, and we would love to see more rowers being able to enjoy competitive events in our sport. It is not the be all and end all of course, and social rows (including massive ones going all the way round Scotland) are great and bring much enjoyment. However club regattas are the glue that holds our large community together, they are where we meet and learn from folk in other clubs, they are where many members of our own club can travel together, watch and cheer on each other, they are where we can play host to friends old and new, they are where we can find out how effective we are at moving our boats through the water, they are where we can have fun, where we test ourselves, where we reinforce the importance of working together, and where we can show off our sport to others.

Turning Buoy at Port Seton Boatie Blest Regatta

We are all in favour of regattas and would like to encourage more clubs to organise them, more club members to be involved in running them, and would like to help improve the quality of all the regattas that are already on the circuit. For all these reasons SCRA is organising a Regatta Organisers Course on 7 and 8 March 2020 in Kinghorn, Fife, and you are warmly invited to attend. There is plenty to learn from the experienced regatta organisers that will be there, and you can be sure they will be learning from each other and sharing in the enthusiasm.

Events do not need to be on the scale of Skiffieworlds or Castle to Crane. The first ever St Ayles Skiff regatta featured six boats and was a huge success. A very well appreciated event can be organised using only 2 or 3 boats. So do please give it a go, get a date in the diary and invite other clubs along. See the previous post for details of how to sign up for the Regatta Organisers Course.

Umpires Having a Laugh
Finish Line in Dumfries
Communities Together at Portsoy
Shieldaig Regatta
Seil Regatta: Remember to Share your Results
Eskmuthe Regatta
Eskmuthe Regatta Start Line

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Cork: Ocean to City – 6 June 2020

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Celebrating Community Spirit with RowAround Scotland 2020

We are all looking forward to our community effort to row all the way around Scotland during 2020 to celebrate 10 Years of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association. The project is supported by Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters. Two beautiful batons have been created to pass travel round with the rowers, and have recently been named as “Community” and “Spirit”.

Thanks to all those who contributed ideas for names for the two batons – almost 80 pairs of names were suggested. But the committee felt that ‘Community’ and ‘Spirit’ was so appropriate for this particular ambitious endeavour, and indeed, to the whole of the Scottish Coastal Rowing project. We hope that you agree!

Sue Fenton, Event Director, RowAround Scotland

The initial idea of design and a hybrid of material for the baton of wood / resin with a model encased within came from Richard Wemyss.

Shona Muirhead of the SCRA committee explains “The batons are made in sections, the first being the blue and white resin mix to form the sea. The pewter skiff was cast and placed in the centre and encased in clear resin. The batons were then handed over to Colin Muirhead who added on the sections of black walnut and oak which were to be the handle sections. The parts were assembled together and turned on a lathe to give to the finished shape which was then all polished before being passed over to BlackRoseDesigns who laser engraved the names onto the batons.”

SCRA and RowAround Scotland logos were added on the ends of the baton to complete the craftwork. We think they are beautiful, and are sure that rowers will be very proud as they hand them from club to club, skiff to skiff, community to community in RowAround Scotland 2020. Thank you to all involved in creating and naming batons “Community” and “Spirit”.

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Subs Due: Help Us Keep Up the Good Work

Introducing our New Treasurer, Wendy Clements:

For those of you who don’t know me, I was one of the founding members of the Portsoy Skiffettes (now Portsoy Coastal Rowing Club), a group of women who got together to build the very pink Soy Quine, launched back in March 2013, just in time to join the first SkiffieWorlds in Ullapool. I joined the SCRA committee as representative for the North East Region in 2014. Just before the November 2019 AGM,  I volunteered to take over the role of treasurer, to help Topher free up some time for his new duties in SASI, the international organisation. I had forgotten that RowAround could make 2020 a somewhat more complicated year, but I am sure I will soon get the hang of it!
Currently 32 of our possible 100 clubs have paid their subs for the year to the AGM in October 2020. Thank you to those clubs who have made prompt payment. I realise some clubs have been holding out, until they had clarity over where they should send their payments. However, if your club has not yet paid, I would really appreciate it if you would do so as soon as possible. The rate has been held at £60, with a concession of £40 for small clubs (with under 20 members). 
Payment can be made either by a cheque made out to the SCRA and posted to the address in the link, or by BACS to Scottish Coastal Rowing Association,(details in the link). If you choose this way to pay please label your payment with the name of your club, and email me to tell me you have done it. Click on the link to be reminded of some of the great things that we achieve as a community because of your (fairly modest) subscriptions.

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