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Scottish Rowers take on Atlantic Challenge

Three young rowers from Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club (Largs) and Avoch Community Rowing Club are among five Scots selected for the Atlantic Challenge Great Britain Team.

Cameron Hughes (21), Iona Macaulay-Smith 16) and Erin Lambert (16) are currently in Portland for a final training camp with the GB squad before heading to Antrim for the Atlantic Challenge International contest, which runs from 21st-28th July. It will test their rowing, sailing, ropework and navigation skills across a series of events on Lough Neagh.

The team consists of five Scottish, five Welsh and ten English rowers and sailors aged 16-26 who will take on teams from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Basque Country, Russia, Indonesia, Canada and the USA. They train and compete in 38ft Bantry Bay Gigs with a total of 13 crew and 10 oars, with some events requiring the crew to transition from rowing to sailing mid-race, and vice versa.

The GB boat ‘Intégrité’ under sail

GB Head Coach, Gavin Sim, said: “The team has been put through their paces with an intensive final 10-day training programme in Portland, both on and off the water. With a mix of rowing and sailing backgrounds, everyone is able to learn from each other and improve their techniques to row and sail more efficiently. There has been a lot to get through but we have a brilliant team and can’t wait to get to Antrim”. Gavin is also a member of Burghead Coastal Rowing Club and took part in last year’s Castle To Crane race with them.

Best of luck to Cameron, Iona, Erin, Gavin and the rest of the GB Team!

Keep updated by following the Atlantic Challenge GB Team online:

Facebook – @AtlanticChallangeGB

Twitter – @AC_GreatBritain

Instagram – @AtlanticChallangeGB

Cameron’s Sponsors: Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association; 6 SCOTS (Army Reserve); Largs Yacht Haven.

Iona’s Sponsor’s: Fusion Marine; Skretting; Northern Marine Services; Scottish Sea Farms; Largs Yacht Haven.

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Ullapool 2018 Results

Well done to Ullapool CRC and their helpers from other clubs for once again running an excellent regatta.  27 clubs made the journey to be on the town’s beach for the weekend including several clubs who were there for the first time to experience Scotland’s leading regatta.  Furthest travelled were WSV Woudrichem from the Netherlands with West Side from Lewis and Orkney Coastal Rowing club also making ferry journeys to join the fun.  Results from the 3 days of racing were as follows:
















Eastern won the points competition, Ullapool were best local club, and Orkney were best new club.  There were excellent performances throughout the fleet, with crews working hard in very hot conditions on the Friday and Saturday, and slightly damp conditions on the Sunday.  The course is such that excellent coxing is rewarded with the turns being crucial when boats are close.  The umpires did an excellent job in guiding boats as to how to race safely and enjoyably.  Well done to all concerned.


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Information from HM Coastguard about your CG66 membership

Dear CG66 database member,

We are pleased to tell you that we have some exciting news about our voluntary safety identification scheme (currently CG66). In partnership with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), HM Coastguard will be introducing the world-leading RYA SafeTrx as our new official safety identification scheme.

RYA SafeTrx builds on the advantages of the CG66 scheme to assist HM Coastguard with Search and Rescue in UK territorial waters and it provides enhanced functionality if used together with the optional mobile app. RYA SafeTrx is free, and you do not need to be a member of the RYA to register. You can get more information about RYA SafeTrx here.

If you choose to register, there are two ways to do this:

You can enter your details via the RYA SafeTrx App, which can be downloaded from the Apple app store or Google Play.
If you do not wish to use the mobile app, there is an option to register your details online at

With RYA SafeTrx becoming our new official safety identification scheme, we will stop taking new registrations to CG66 on 11 July.

Existing data:

The information currently held on our CG66 database will be retained and used by our Search and Rescue (SAR) teams alongside the SafeTrx data for the next two years. If your information is no longer valid the best course of action is to register on SafeTrx as this will supersede information held on CG66.

CG66 data will continue to be held securely and not shared with any third parties or used for any other purpose other than for the MCA to carry out its SAR function.

The Coastguard will be able to access the RYA SafeTrx database and check boat records in exactly the same way as we do now with CG66. There is no requirement for existing users to remove or update their data in CG66. However if you do wish to remove your information from our existing CG66 database, please contact us at

Please do take the time to have a look at RYA SafeTrx and sign up to the app. It will only take a couple of minutes and could be invaluable to you in an emergency at sea.

To find out more about how the MCA look after personal data, your rights and how to contacts our data protection officer please go to

Thank you

HM Coastguard

Safer Lives, Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas

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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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Round Arran Relay Race

Fantastic achievement by Arran Coastal Rowing Club on their record breaking attempt to row around Arran in one day – the challenge is on!

Round Arran Relay 30th June 2018

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Second Arran Coastal Rowing Regatta, 16th – 17th June 2018

Saturday began early in the morning with a hive of activity in the pouring rain. As the last crews arrived on the first ferry, Lamlash Yacht Club was humming – gazebos going up, rowers welcomed with hot drinks, the course laid and the hard standing quickly filled up with a long row of skiffs: South Queensferry, St Ayles and Rowporty from the East Coast, the Clyde was represented by Stranraer (at their first ever regatta), Troon, FOCCR, Prestwick, Royal West, Renegade teaming up with Cumbrae and Arran’s northerly neighbour Islay. All races were over 1.5km with two port turns over two timed heats.

Saturday Races:   Despite the downpour and Holy Isle enveloped in mist, everyone was in good spirits and chatted with old friends and new, all the time crossing their fingers that the forecast for brighter weather later in the day would be proved right. By the time the first race started at 11 o’clock the rain had eased up and the Open Men got underway. After some tough racing, Arran won the gold by 3 seconds from Royal West, who took the silver, and Troon the bronze.

Next up was the Open Women. The Arran lasses kept tight on St Ayles’s heels but couldn’t manage to overtake the strong Anstruther crew and secured an impressive second place with Islay coming in third.

This was followed by the Mixed Novice race, which was won by Islay, who came in seventeen seconds ahead of South Queensferry, with Prestwick just a few seconds behind them.

The Open Mixed was the last race of the morning session before the officials on the water had a chance to warm up and get some lunch. By now the sun was ever more present and all the participants were drying off and enjoying the warmth. In a tightly contested fight in the second heat with a determined Royal West crew, Arran maintained their initial lead and managed to pull away on the home straight to a hard fought first place. FOCCR in the first heat got a good time and came second, pipping Royal West into third place by only five seconds.

 A magnificent team of volunteers put on a fantastic spread for lunch, which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone but soon it was time to get back to the oars, made easier by the blue sky and sunshine.

Starting the afternoon session was the Mixed 240+. As with the other races holding a line on the start was challenging due to a strong southerly wind. St Ayles were on top form and were quick to challenge Arran on the starboard side after the start. But the hosts managed to get ahead by the important first turn and were first over the finish line in their heat to cheers from the watching crowd. Troon, however, had an even better time in the first heat, snatching away the gold medal by one second, with St Ayles taking the bronze.

The following race was the Mixed Decades. Arran’s four got a substantial lead in their heat and came away with an impressive win in the fastest time of the day, with FOCCR second and Islay third.

The penultimate race of the day was the Mens 220+. Very strong Troon and Largs crews battled it out for first place, Troon eventually winning by a second, while Arran and Greenock fought valiantly on the home straight for third, the latter just managing to pull away and clinch the bronze, also by a second.

And last but not least was the Womens 220+ which was – not surprisingly – won by St Ayles with Islay and Rowporty winning their well deserved silver and bronze medals respectively with only 2 seconds in it.

Time to freshen up and gather for the prizegiving. Bathed in sunshine and with a backdrop of Holy Isle and the Arran skiffs sitting proudly on their double trailer, the table loaded with medals looked resplendent: gold, silver (handmade soap on the rope) and bronze (hand turned laburnum mini fenders). The winning crews also received some liquid gold with their medals – miniatures of Arran whisky, very kindly supplied by the distillery. And each participating club took home a handsome looking handmade rope fender.

The chair of Arran CRC, Cecilia Paul, announced the winning teams and to much joy and applause the well earned fruits of hard labour were presented to the smiling rowers. To round off the ceremony, the magnificent Arran Trophy, won last year by Troon CRC, was presented to the new winner by Troon’s Chairman Harry Risk. Everyone waited with baited breath for the announcement of the winning club, which when it came was met with a roar of applause: Arran CRC were the overall winners of the regatta and proudly accepted the trophy.

Now it was time for fun – the bar opened and the evening’s entertainment began with a much praised BBQ. Once everyone had had their fill, the winners of the raffle were announced and the party started, the Yacht Club resounding to a great selection of music from DJ Steve while dancing, singing, chatting and drinking went on until late at night.

“Hamilton Rock Challenge”:  Sunday morning saw the rowers congregating again for a hard fought 6km race around Hamilton Rock and after the presentation of the medals and a fine, new trophy to the strong FOCCR crew, the clubs departed, tired but in good spirits.

A big thank you from Arran The Arran CRC committee would like to send their heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful and friendly rowers who came from far and wide to take part and to the whole club and their families and friends for working tirelessly to make this event thoroughly enjoyable for all.

Clickity click here for full results.

Photos courtesy of Dave Ingham – Arran Photography –


arran coastal rowers

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Black Isle Regatta 2018: The Results

The village of Cromarty, at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth was the venue for this year’s Black Isle Regatta.  The regatta is organised jointly by Avoch CRC (the Skiffties) and Cromarty CRC, with significant contribution from the wider local community.  Those who arrived on the Friday were treated to a spectacular acrobatic display by a small pod of dolphins 100m off shore from the beachside campsite.  The welcome from the dolphins was really reflected in the welcome extended over the whole weekend by the skiffies and townsfolk of Cromarty.

Youth Race Underway with resting rigs in the background. Photo: JJ Wallace.

There was an impressive turn out of Skiffs and Clubs.  North Berwick and Eastern had travelled up from the South East and joined a very strong northern contingent.  Host clubs Cromarty and Avoch were joined by fellow black islers Soutars Skiffies.  From the North we had Golspie, Bunilidh and Orkney, with Coigach, Lochcarron and Ullapool coming over from the North West.  The south shore of the Moray Firth supplied crews from Findhorn, Portsoy, Burghead, and Deveron.    In addition to the club teams a spare skiff was supplied for a “Rest of the World” team, made up of those who were looking for a row, including for instance a few Broughty Ferry rowers who had washed up on the shore.

Click Here for Full Results

The regatta was a feature of the Northern Circuit of the SCRA Youth Series.  A full programme of six youth races was offered, with boys, girls and mixed categories in both under 19 and under 17 age groups.  The youth races were on an out and back course parallel to the shore.  Up to eight crews raced in each of the categories, a very pleasing sight for those who promote the youth series.

The weather was moist on the Saturday, but cleared nicely for the open air midsummer dance entertainment on the Saturday night, and was very pleasant on the Sunday.

The course was triangular for the adult races, with a longer leg to the first bouy and an overall course length of 2250m.  Strong tides run out the the Soutars, and tidal conditions varied considerably between races, keeping coxes guessing with regard to the best line.  Getting to the first bouy in a position to make a clear turn was key, although especially midfleet there was overtaking between the two turns and on the last leg.  Good coxing was rewarded (as long as the rowers did their bit!) and there were disqualifications for some boats at the turn where their coxes had not managed to comply fully with the turning rule in the SCRA rules of racing.  Just as a reminder while you are here, we have published useful guidance on the rule in the past.


Turning the First Buoy was key. Photo JJ Wallace

photo: JJ Wallace

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Inchcolm Trip June 2018

Rowing for fun.

Kinghorn Coastal Rowing Club


Sport is so often just about winners and losers. But it doesn’t have to be competition for people to get huge satisfaction and enjoyment out of taking part.

That’s what over one hundred rowers and helpers from around Fife, the Forth and the Tay, found as they spent Sunday rowing their St Ayles Skiffs from Kinghorn to Inchcolm Island and back.

Kinghorn Coastal Rowing Club hosted the event for which there were no prizes, no crossing the line first, no disappointment at following the fleet, just the delight of rowing in company with ‘skiffies’ from around Fife and beyond.

Said Phil Godding, Chair of Kinghorn’s Club, “Skiff racing can be very exciting and attract huge interest. But rowers in this event told me it was good for once not to have the tension and edge of a competition. Instead it was just great to relax and enjoy being out on the water off the beautiful Fife coast in company with other rowers and clubs.”

Twelve boats took to the water in Kinghorn Bay from nine clubs from Fisherrow, Portobello, Newhaven, South Queensferry, Kinghorn, Pittenweem, Anstruther, St Andrews and Wormit.

Kinghorn and Burntisland Sailing Clubs joined in and provided support boats, whilst local business Calypso Marine ferried rowers out to Inchcolm from Aberdour and back so as many people as possible could have their turn in rowing these community built boats.

Inchcolm trip 2018 PR


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Comply with the St Ayles Skiff Measurement Rules

Carbon Oars with Spoon Blades…… not permitted in racing. (Photo credit, 2010, Peter Nisbet, SCRA Flickr)

It is always the right time  to remind all users and builders of St Ayles skiffs of the importance of complying with the St Ayles Skiff measurement Rules.  The rules apply in any event where you are racing with other St Ayles skiffs from other clubs or groups.  As part of our community, other skiff rowers will expect you to at least try to comply with the rules to achieve a fair comparison between crews.  This applies worldwide and in every event where you might meet skiffs from other clubs, including for the avoidance of doubt multi class events such as the Great River Race, Castle to Crane and Ocean to City.

As the international class association, we are conscious that the rules of some events may not specify anything with regard to complying with measurement rules, and that therefore that event may not apply a sanction, other than the disappointment of other members of our world wide St Ayles skiff community.  Therefore the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association will apply a sanction where groups have not made an attempt to comply with the measurement rules.  As the transgressor is effectively saying that they do not require to comply with the spirit and rules of our community, they will not be allowed to take part in events organised for or by our community.  Specifically, entries will not be accepted from any such group for Skiffieworlds or for Castle to Crane,  and we would encourage all St Ayles skiff event organisers to adopt a similar stance.

[Note:  Any reasonable adaptation to allow a rower with disabilities to compete equally is excused from the measurement rules, while  that rower is competing.   Any such adaptation will be individual to the individual rower.  If in doubt about this exception, and how it should apply to you or one of your members, please e mail the secretary of SCRA. ]

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Broughty Ferry Regatta 2nd June 2018

SCRA Report – Broughty Ferry Boating Regatta 2018


Broughty Ferry Boating Regatta

2 June 2018

After the early morning haar disappeared the sun came out for a great day of competitive rowing. Visiting clubs were Collieston, Easter, Newburgh, North Berwick, Boatie Blest, South Queensferry, Wormit and two home boats Broughty Ferry Boating in Arthur Nicoll and Tay Sail in Brochty.

This was a 2.5K course with approximately 130 rowers competing. A busy day on Grassy Beach with a great buzz and lots of friendly banter.

There were twelve races in total including, everyone’s favourite, Andy’s Race with results as follows:

60+ Mixed 1st Broughty Ferry 2nd Wormit 3rd Queensferry

50+ Mixed 1st Boatie Blest 2nd North Berwick 3rd Eastern

40+ Women 1st North Berwick 2nd Broughty Ferry 3rd Eastern

50+ Men 1st Boatie Blest 2nd Collieston 3rd North Berwick

50+ Women 1st North Berwick 2nd Boatie Blest 3rd Wormit

60+ Men 1st Broughty Ferry 2nd Wormit 3rd Queensferry

Mixed Open 1st North Berwick 2nd Broughty Ferry 3rd Tay Sail

Mixed 40+ 1st North Berwick 2nd Eastern 3rd Boatie Blest

60+ Women 1st Broughty Ferry 2nd Eastern 3rd Wormit

Open Women 1st Broughty Ferry 2nd North Berwick 3rd Wormit

Open Men 1st North Berwick 2nd Eastern 3rd Broughty Ferry

Andy’s Race 1st Broughty Ferry 2nd Newburgh 3rd Boatie Blest

(There were no points from Andy’s Race towards overall points)

Overall Winners were North Berwick with Broughty Ferry second and Boatie Blest third.

Well done to all the clubs who participated and not forgetting all their supporters. All in all an excellent day!!

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