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Two More Skiffs Join the Scottish Fleet in Lewis and Cullen

A warm Scottish Rowing welcome to two more skiffs launched recently.

“Swift”(number 152 on the register)  has been launched at Cullen Sea School on the Moray Firth.  She joins sister ship “Mairi”.  She was given her name by by the Head of Cullen Primary School, Mrs Moyra Hendry.  Pupils at the Primary School had suggested 90 different names for the skiff.

Cullen Sea School now moves on to an exciting new project, as six S5 pupils from Buckie High School enrol to build another skiff.

“Florence” (Number 153 on the register)  has joined the growing Western Isles fleet on Lewis.   She is built and operated by RowFlo,  a group of friends who enjoy Skiff rowing. Their aim is to provide a facility for organised rowing sessions with like-minded people, improving  fitness, developing rowing and boat handling skills, and making new friends along the way.  No prior experience is required, whether a novice or an experienced rower, all will be made welcome.



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Enter the Castle to Crane Race 2017


Entries are rolling in for the first long distance rowing challenge of its type ever  to be held in Scotland.  Castle to Crane is a 13 mile challenge race.  Competitors start at stunning Dumbarton Castle and race up the River Clyde into Glasgow City Centre, passing impressive scenery, industrial heritage and modern commerce along the way.  Castle to Crane is part of GalGael’s “Clydebuilt Fesitval”, and there will be a festival welcome when the crews return from the finish at the Finnieston Crane to the festival hub at the Riverside Museum and Tall Ship.

The event takes place on 23 September 2017, with a ceilidh in the evening and a picnic on Loch Lomond the following day for crews who just can’t bear to go home.

Enter online now at the Clydebuilt Website.  Entries cost £20 per rower, with an option to buy ceilidh tickets and t shirts.  The first 30 clubs to enter will be eligible for the Early Bird trophy…… so far we have entries from 20 clubs (27 boats and rising).   Early entry is much appreciated by the organisers as it will help with their planning and logistics and boosts their own enthusiasm, so please do get your entries in soon to make their day.   The race will be capped at 100 boats.

We really welcome a diversity of classes.  Crews must ensure that their boats are seaworthy for the potential conditions, but entries will be accepted from any fixed seat coxed boat powered by at least four oars.  So far we have entries from two impressive rowing ships (Tarbert’s longship and Galgael’s Birlinn), from the first of hopefully many six oared Shetland Yoals and six oared Cornish Pilot Gigs, from smaller craft rowed either as double sculls or randan, and from the four rower St Ayles skiffs.

We hope to see you there, check out the Frequently Asked Questions for more information, and start getting the miles in!





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North Berwick Host Second SCRA Youth Circuit Regatta

With the North Circuit having had a successful start with Deveron and Portsoy’s Junior Regatta in April, the Southern SCRA Youth Regatta Circuit got underway with North Berwick hosting their first ever Junior Rowing Regatta on Sunday 18 June.  Deveron Coastal Rowing Club made an impressive day trip from Banff with 11 Junior rowers and a support squad.  Firth of Clyde made the trip through from Largs with a small squad which they supplemented with others from the beach.  Eastern attended with a full squad including Fife’s only representative guesting fro

m Crail, and the hosts made up the contingent.  So there were four boats on the start of each race, and a special thanks must go to Boatie Blest, who attended without their Juniors who were not free, but with a skiff and coxwains to support the Deveron squad!



The race format was split.  Firstly we had four boats lining up for drag races of around 500m, starting half way out to Craiglieth Island and racing towards North Berwick harbour.  There was a race each for boys and for girls, and then two mixed crew races.  Results were as follows:


Race 1st 2nd 3rd
Girls North Berwick Eastern Deveron
Boys Firth of Clyde Deveron North Berwick
Mixed 1 Deveron North Berwick Eastern
Mixed 2 North Berwick Eastern Deveron

Following the sprints there were  short pursuit races.  Two crews raced at a  time, each racing the same clockwise course, but starting on opposites sides, facing opposite directions.  Each raced from the start finish line to a turning mark, crossed each other again whilst racing through the line to the other turning mark, before giving it their all to get back to the finish line.  This was for mixed crews.  Eastern won the first heat, with Deveron winning the second.  The crews stayed on the water before the final, which was the last race of the day and saw the visitors from Deveron prevailing.

Race Crews Winner
Semi Final 1 Eastern vs Firth of Clyde Eastern
Semi Final 2 Deveron vs St Baldred Deveron
Final Deveron vs Eastern Deveron
See the North Berwick RC report, and the photos on their Flikr Stream  for more of Ian’s photos and others.
The next regatta on the junior series will be part of the Ullapool Regatta on 8/9 July, where categories are offered in U17, U19 in Boys, Girls and mixed.  The next on the southern circuit will be at Largs on 15 July (entries to ASAP) .  Entries will be welcome from all clubs for these events, so please do encourage and facilitate your youngsters taking part.
All photos from Ian Mills.


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Skiffs at Semaine du Golfe 2017

Hugh MacKenzie photographed these skiffs at the Semaine du Golfe at Morbihan, Brittany. The skiffs “Fisher Lass” from Pittenweem and “Hannah More” from Bristol were cheating the feocious tides by staying in the shallows and scraping the rocks.  It looks like a lovely place to be, in challenging waters, amongst thousands of other small boats powered by sail and oar.

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New Belfast St Ayles Skiff

Belfast in Maine that is.

The skiff was built by the local alternative High School and is being donated to non-profit organisation “Come Boating” on Belfast waterfront, who will make sure she gets used.

More information here:

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Porty Regatta Fun 2017

Skiffs from around the Firth of Forth gathered on Portobello beach on Saturday 10th June for their (almost) annual Regatta.  Furthest away was St Andrews, but also in attendance were St Ayles (Anster), Boatie Blest (C&PS), Dunbar, Eastern, Eskmuthe, Newhaven and North Berwick.  It started off with gazebos being used for rain and ended up with them being used to escape the lovely sunshine.  With the tide incoming, the races kicked off with the Novice category and the gold medal going to a delighted and worthy Eskmuthe team.

This was followed by the three 60+ categories, winners being North Berwick in the women’s and men’s race with Anstruther claiming gold for the mixed 60 category.  Before the lunchbreak and with the tide making the course slightly longer each race it was time for the 45+ men’s race.  This was won again by North Berwick but after the break the 45+ women’s gold went to Anstruther and the 45 + mixed gold going to Eastern.

The final ‘serious’ racing was the hotly contested open categories.  Triumphant men were Boatie Blest and women were Anstruther, with Boatie Blest also taking the mixed open category.





There was then an ‘inter-club’ race where Andy Jarvis was commemorated by the rowers in true Andy style.  Four members from each club were assigned a different skiff to undertake the penultimate race of the day.  The winning team rowed to victory in ‘Sandbay Century’ the skiff belonging to  St Andrews club with rowers from North Berwick, Eastern, Eskmuthe and St Andrews.

Finally there was a relay race, involving an individual painted fish.  Anything can happen during this, and usually does as it involves two crews racing one leg each, changing on the beach after the first leg, along with lifejackets and a “quick” spin round of the skiff and then the second leg which after hitting the beach, the cox had to race up to the prom wall, with the painted fish, to claim the prize.

Boatie Blest were the victors and received the Bendit cup.  Jonathan Bendit was the founder member of Portobello Sailing & Kayaking Club and the cup was presented by his eldest son, Sam. The race was sponsored by the Espy pub.

Results can be seen here, overall joint winners of the day being St Ayles and North Berwick (not counting inter-club points):

Thanks to all at Rowporty and PSKC for being excellent hosts, again keeping everyone fuelled with fabulous filled rolls, soup and cakes to die for.  Special thanks to the beachmasters who stood all day with the finish lines waist deep in the sea – much appreciated!

Thanks to all for the photos used (Bruce and Karen Dryburgh, VF Photography and Eskmuthe photographer)

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Australian St Ayles Fleet Boosted at Snowy River

Marlo Coastal Rowing launched ‘Da Mirrie Dancer’ on the Snowy River, Marlo, Australia.  Thanks to Andrea Coath for sharing these photos on the Scottish Coastal Rowing Facebook Group.  Isn’t it amazing how these Australians keep rowing right through the middle of winter!  The St Ayles Community Rowing Assoc of Australia have their own website.  Well done Marlo, what a bute.

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Bonnie Makes Debut in Venice

Quite a spectacular place for a debutante to take her bow.  Here Bonnie is spotted by photographer Jon Gerrard, as she makes her way through Venice in the Voga Longa.  Bonnie is Langstone Cutters‘ second St Ayles skiff.

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Events to Enjoy at Dunbar and Solway

Two fun events for your diaries. Firstly, and up soon, we have the Dunbar muster on 24 June.  The day also marks the opening of the new Harbour renovations, so a great atmosphere and a few celebrations and crowds to cheer skiffies on at the end of the civic week, The life boat crew will  be demonstrating and a fun day for all the family of games and picnic relaxing on white sands at the light house is in order.  Here is hoping Sunny Dunny lives up to its reputation and brings the sunshine as it usually does. All are welcome…..just let Dunbar Coastal Rowing Club know if you want to bring a boat. 🙂 Sat 24th June from 11am

The Annan weekend features a programme of races on Saturday 22nd July (10.00 – 15.00) and a Cruise in Company across the Solway Firth to Cumbria on Sunday 23rd July (11.45 – 15.15), re-enacting the Bell Raid and taking time for a picnic/pub lunch in England. For the regatta three different options for courses are available and the organisers will make their selection based on weather conditions; all are around 1.5 miles long.  The Bell Ringer flotilla will proceed down the river in company with  safety boats before crossing the Solway Firth, almost along the line of the former Caledonian railway viaduct. It will rendezvous on the Cumbrian coast with the children and community of Bowness-on-Solway where the Bell Raid will be commemorated. Bowness is the western terminus of Hadrian’s Wall Path.  Crews can change for the run back to Annan.

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Welcome Maighdean Charrainn

Loch Carron community officially launched skiff no 150 “Maighdean Charrainn” on Saturday 27th May 2017.  She was named by Mr MacPherson at a ceremony on the shore after being piped along Main Street.

Welcome to the world of Scottish Coastal Rowing, hope to see you all on the water soon.

Thanks to Peter Barr for the photographs.


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