North Berwick Regatta 2018 Report and Results

Conditions made for a variety of challenges throughout the North Berwick Rowing Club regatta.  The course is a challenging one, from a start line off Platcock Rocks (challenging enough in itself for the coxes and the starters when up to 14 boats are getting in line on a free start), out to Craiglieth Island (“The Craig”), a steep sided rock about 1 km off the town, round the island and then back the 1km to the finish line.  The out, round and back course means that crews will inevitably experience a range of conditions as they vie for a good position.  This year, at the start of the day, it looked like conditions were going to be a bit too challenging, with white horses driven in by a strong North Westerly wind.  With a dangerous, steep clapotis to the North and West of the Craig, the decision was reluctantly taken to shorten the course.  Crews for the Men and Women 50+ races were asked to row out to the South side of the Craig, and were lined up and sent off in split waves on a straight line 1km sprint from there to the finish.    As you would expect the shorter course led to tight gaps, with Eastern winning the mens race by 3 seconds, and Crail winning the women’s race by 2 seconds.

There was a great turn out of clubs for the last big regatta of the season.  All four East Lothian clubs (North Berwick, Dunbar, Eskmuthe and Boatie Blest) attended, and were joined by RowPorty, Eastern, and Queensferry from further west along the Lothian coast.  Crail and St Andrews were down to represent Fife.  Clubs that had travelled from further afield included  Ullapool and Coigach from the North West (who combined forces to provide a “Lions” team), and, from the North East,  Broughty Ferry and Collieston (who were attending the regatta for the first time).  Arran were the only overseas club to attend, and brought with them one or two athletes from other Clyde clubs.  Finally the hosts were delighted to welcome Alnmouth who had made the trip up from the Northumbrian coast.

Conditions improved, and with a drop and slight shift in the wind, the alarming jabble with its pinnacles and vertical drop offs  subsided, and the chief umpire advised that the full and testing round the island course could be used.  The 40+ Men’s and women’s races were therefore the first to go off round the full course.  As with most of the races North Berwick were represented by two crews using different boats.  The first of these in Skiff John B led the fleet round the rock, and pulled away from close challengers Eastern over the last quarter.  Boatie Blest took the bronze with a close battle for fourth place between the Lions, Broughty Ferry and Arran being nipped by the Lions with six seconds separating those three crews.

The women’s 40 + was the closest finish of the day.  Broughty Ferry lead North Berwick round the rock, but the hosts chased the Taysiders down relentlessly in the cross sea from the Craig back to shore.  The crews were side by side into the line and it was close enough that the point of the stroke that the crews were on was probably all that differentiated them on the line.  Broughty Ferry took the line honours by less than a second.

The Mixed Open had the biggest field of the day, with 14 of the 15 skiffs taking part, including all three of the North Berwick’s St Ayles skiffs, and both the Ullapool/ Coigach skiffs.  It was won by one of the North Berwick boats.  The next category was the Novice and Fresher’s race where all rowers were either in their first year of rowing or had never won a race before. The rowers in the Boatie Blest crew were delighted to lose their novice status.  Forty rowers took part in this race, showing that there is still plenty of development going on in our sport.  Collieston, Eskmuthe and Broughty all had a close race further down the field.  Well done to all the rowers for pitting themselves against each other in what might be considered to be the most challenging course in the rowing calendar.

The more mature rowers were catered for in the mixed 240+ …  giving an average age for the rowers of at least 60.  This was one of the hardest and closest races.  Eastern crossed with a lead of 11 seconds, but second place Crail had only only one second over Broughty Ferry in third and five seconds over North Berwick in fourth.  The hosts were delighted that Alnmouth, having travelled up from Northumberland got this chance to complete the full course, having entered the shortened races earlier in the day.

Three crews entered the Under 19 race, which was held over the shortened course.  Ullapool and Coigach Lions took line honours,  definitely making their long road trip worthwhile.  The winners of the Mixed 45+ were much closer to home, North Berwick romping home with the biggest winning margin of the day.  An excellent days racing was rounded off by Eastern winning a double in the open categories, ahead of Coigach and Ullapool in the men’s race and just holding off a massive effort by Crail in the women’s race who chased the all the way back from the island and were denied by just one second.

All told a fantastic day of fun, friendship and endurance.  The cakes were great, the sponsors generous, the medals were recycled from the large quantities of wood which were washed up on the Lothian shore earlier in the year, and the visiting clubs were all thanked for the effort they had made to attend.

For full results of the 2018 North Berwick Regatta, with every time for every crew in every race, click on this link.

Photos Steve Thomson.  Pick your favourite from the day from the NBRC Flickr page.

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Eskmuthe was blessed with mild, dry weather for its first ‘proper’ regatta since 2015 on the Back Sands in Musselburgh. [The Rowing of the Marches took place as part of the historic boundary-marking ceremony Riding of the Marches in 2016 and last year was just too busy].

Clubs came from near and far – RowPorty and Eastern rowed the 15-20 minutes along the coast, while Islay made the massive trip from off the west coast, which was much appreciated.

Islay put in a very strong showing, but it was two local clubs, Eastern and North Berwick, who contested the places and took home the majority of the medals. Eastern took first place in every event they entered, with North Berwick second in all those races. RowPorty took home the gold in the Novice race, with Islay second.

Newhaven, who came with just five rowers, came 3rd from 7 in the blindfold race, a great achievement as each rower took part in several of the races, which were just over 1km. [The rowers were blindfolded, but not the cox, just for the record].

The best time was recorded in the Men’s Open, with Eastern coming home in a superb 6m, 8.61 secs, while the 220-plus race was the most hotly contested. Eastern won in 6m 38.43 seconds, but only three seconds separated the next three boats, with North Berwick just pipping Islay and home club Eskmuthe.

Kinghorn had their best finish in the Mix-up relay, coming 3rd, behind, yes, Eastern and North Berwick. Rowers from every club took home crocheted mussel-shell medals for their part in the race, apart from Newhaven. Their rowers were understandably too exhausted to take part, but they provided a cox to allow 56 different rowers (and 7 coxes) to participate in the final race of the day.

Eskmuthe would like to thank everyone for taking part in such a good spirit and hope everyone enjoyed the friendly regatta in The Honest Toun.

The club would also like to thank all members who were involved in the months of planning and organising, which paid off with a great day. See you again next year – or maybe in 2020!


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Nith Navigation Race and Bell Ringers’ Raid

The 2018 Nith Navigation Race was held on the same weekend as the Bell Ringers Raid, making a south west double.


On the Nith, the race was extended a bit this year, starting from Carsethorn, giving a 10 mile race.  It was combined with a long running sail and oar race over the same course.   Conditions were perfect.   Among the St Ayles skiffs,  Alnmouth came First covering the course into Dumfries town centre in a time of 2hrs 07min.   Annan were second in 2 hours 22 minutes.  On arrival in Dumfries they were met with a festival with demonstrations, live music and of course food and a lot of arty crafty stuff going on.


The sun also shone on Annan’s Bell ringers raid to England with Firth of Clyde rowing from Annan waterfoot to the beach at Bowness in an amazing 20 mins returning in 29 mins.  It is great news that  Bowness have now decided to build their own skiff as they want to be involved in the rowing as well.

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St Ayles Skiff For Sale

For Sale
“Living The Dream”

Skiff ‘Living the Dream’ is now for sale.

  • Launched 16th September 2017
  • SCRA boat register number 157
  • Kit number UK 092
  • 1,3687 hours to build over 3.5 years
  • Logged 15 hours & 1 Regatta rowing time
  • Best quality Phosphor Bronze fittings on rudder
  • Six oars in total
  • Oars use the latest “ New Zealand” method of location
  • Seats “stretched” to maximise room between rowers
  • Adjustable foot rests suitable to take straps
  • Hempel paint system throughout

Skiff is in excellent condition and ready

It was a retirement present and project .

Boats & oars only.  No Trailer.  No Cover.

Buyer to collect.

For further information, please contact and details will be forwarded to the sellers.

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Shieldaig Regatta 2018 – Report and Results

Thank you to our correspondent Janene Waudby (and to Steve Carter for the photos and video) for this report from the very well received Shieldaig Regatta:

Shieldaig hosted its 4th annual regatta on Saturday 11 August.   With the race being held on the same date as the fete, we faced a low tide this year which reduced the start line to 11 teams.

We had a competitive field featuring Avoch, Boatie Blest, Cromarty, Findhorn, Golspie, Locharron, Queensferry, St Andrews, Sutors Skiffies, Ullapool and the home team.  The  conditions were perfect with flat waters and a light breeze to keep the midgies at bay.  The picturesque course starts in front of the village, after which the fleet sprint 560m to converge at a turning mark at the far end of Shieldaig Island.    The skiffs then disappear into the “dark side” around the back of the Island, holding spectators in suspense, before emerging for a sprint finish to the beach.   The racing was tight and the usual ‘argy bargy’ at the first mark was mainly avoided with some excellent umpiring.

Boatie Blest took line honours for both the Men’s Decades and the Men’s Open and were worthy overall regatta champions.  Last year’s winners, Avoch won the Women’s Decades (only narrowly beating the home team to the local crowd’s delight) and come second overall.  Cromarty won the women’s open race and St Andrews won the Mixed Open Race.   Ullapool’s consistent performance across all categories gave them third place overall and the Shieldaig and Loch Torridon finished a creditable fourth place.

All teams enjoyed the great food and atmosphere provided by the fete, including the evening live music and ceilidh.   Due to the continuing good feedback from participants, we aim to increase the number of teams to host a slightly a larger regatta next year.   As ever, we extend a massive thank you to all teams and event sponsors for their support.  We look forward to welcoming teams in 2019.   Race results below.


A video of the racing can be viewed at with additional photos at, all courtesy of Steve  Carter.  The date for next year’s Shieldaig Regatta will be Saturday 10th August 2019

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The Busiest Ever Weekend for Coastal Rowers?

Coastal Rowers in Scotland were sharing the fun by attending at least five events over the last weekend.

In the South West, the Bell Ringer’s Raid took place.  The Raid is an event that crosses the astonishingly tidal waters on the Solway that separate Scotland and England.  Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club had the honour of ringing the bell this year, having crossed the waters in the fastest time ahead of two crews of local Annan Rowers.

Also in the South West, Cumbrae Coastal Rowing Club hosted the Cumbrae Regatta, welcoming crews from Renegade, Arran, Troon, Prestwick, Arran, Firth of Clyde and Pittenweem.   This included “Castle to Keep” a 13km event which many crews welcomed as a half distance warm up for the Castle to Crane Race in September.

In the North East Findochty Watersports Club hosted their Fun Day.  It was great to see Whitehills and Lossiemouth attending for the first time among the six boats.

Findochty Fun Day

Meanwhile in the South East Eskmuthe were welcoming Eastern, Row Porty, North Berwick, Kinghorn, Newhaven and Islay to their regatta.  Top marks for the Mussel shells used as medals at this Musselburgh event.

Finally in the North West the Shieldaig Regatta and Fete took place, racing round their Island on one of the most scenic courses known to Coastal Rowing, with 11 groups taking part.

So at least 31 clubs in action at events over the weekend.  Please do let us know if we have missed anyone! It would be much appreciated if full results and a brief report (with a few photos?) could be sent to SCRA so that they are recorded for posterity, so that everyone can be astonished by how much organising goes on, and perhaps so that sponsors can be properly thanked!  Well done everyone.

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Remember Ullapool Regatta 2018

Kate from Eskmuthe has a few photographs to share, here are three of them:





Full set here:

You might want to have a check to see images of your club. If you want any of the pictures in full resolution, just get in touch with Kate directly.  Thank you for sharing!

There’s also a rather good video from Steve Gourlay.

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Langstone Cutters – Havant Council – Get Up and Go

“Langstone Cutters Rowing Club working with Havant Borough Council to encourage 55+ people to Get Up and Go. Used Skiffs for an open day on coastal rowing. Over 30 people aged  from 55 to 83 came and rowed with us.. great fun…”


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Largs Regatta 14th July 2018

Huge congratulations to North Berwick who scooped first place at FOCCRs Largs Regatta.  They were pursued very closely by Royal West and Arran who took a closely fought 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Prestwick’s Skiff and the mixed crew were proud winners of the inaugural Duncan Winning Challenge which was a 3km return jaunt to Cumbrae.

The day was only made possible by the the great humour, rowing spirit and camaraderie of the visiting clubs so a massive thank you to Arran Coastal Rowing, Prestwick Coastalrowing Club, Royal West, North Berwick, Carrick Coastal Rowing Club, Renegade, Cumbrae, Troon, Stranraer and Queensferry for taking part in our regatta and being such good sports throughout the whole day.

A special mention must go to Queensferry who had rowed over a 100 miles from Oban to Largs the previous week and then took 4th place and to Stranraer who suffered a few Skiff related breakages but which didn’t seem to hinder them.
The FOCCRS look forward to seeing you all again..

Click here for full results including the heats.




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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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