RowAround Scotland 2020

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The Virtual RowAround was launched in Virtual Gretna last Wednesday. The first section’s virtual row begins on 4 April from Annan. see:

The section ‘pilots’ will be contacting clubs in their area, well in advance of their virtual row, and collecting information about the club and the skiffs, the rowers, photographs of landscapes you would have rowed through … audio files, videos, whatever. Be innovative!

We all need our dose of Vitamin Sea™️, virtually if we have to. Keep well!

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RowAround Scotland & Covid-19

Reluctantly, since the UK government advice last night, and discussion with Event Scotland, SCRA considers that the RowAround launch at Gretna and indeed, the RowAround itself, is ‘unnecessary social contact and travel.’

We will be setting up a ‘virtual RowAround’ with the same timings, as we will all need something to keep our interest and spirits up! The actual RowAround in real skiffs will be resumed as and when we can.

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Scottish Coastal Rowing and Covid 19: March 2020

The situation with regard to coronavirus is changing dramatically and quickly. Any advice from SCRA committee could become out of date very quickly. This post reflects the position at 16 March 2020. In deciding what to do in response to the pandemic, rowing clubs and individuals should follow the regularly updated advice of:

NHS Scotland “inform”

UK Government

The only SCRA organised event coming up is RowAround Scotland. We are going to have to adapt that to the current situation. Please stand by for further announcements with regard to that.

Clubs will need to review their own activities to minimise or eliminate risks to them, their members, and their wider community. Keeping some form of activity going, can of course bring enormous benefits to physical and mental health, even if the activity organised does not involve direct social contact.

It is hard to see how a regatta could still go ahead in line with the government advice at 16 March. It is not known how long the restrictions will apply, and the situation may improve before any of our scheduled club events take place. If clubs choose to cancel or postpone events, please ensure that a message is sent to SCRA, so that the events 2020 calendar can be updated.

Please do continue to do great things for your communities. Please also keep in touch with the wider coastal rowing community through the SCRA Facebook Group…. a welcome distraction in difficult times.

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2022 St Ayles Skiff World Championships – Invitations for Expressions of Interest

Clubs are invited to express interest in hosting the 2022 St Ayles Skiff World Championships by emailing the Secretary at with Club Name and Worlds 2022 in the title.
SASI St Ayles Skiff World Championships 2022
Host Criteria

Thank you for your enquiry and expression of interest in hosting the St Ayles Skiff World Championships 2022.
The bidding process is still to be announced

The Host Criteria Basic Requirement is as follows:-

1. The course shall be on salt or brackish water, out and back to be about 2,000 metres (or slightly less) there shall be a minimum of 15 lanes spaced 20 metres apart
2. The host shall be able to work with local clubs and their national associations
3. There shall be sufficiently sheltered water that we can be confident of running the entire event over the week
4. There shall be sufficient facilities and infrastructure to launch, berth and recover between 50 and 100 skiffs
5. Access to a large covered space for opening and closing sessions
6. There shall be sufficient local mix of accommodation for 1,500 people (catered, self catering and camping etc)
7. The host shall be able to work with local clubs and their national associations to provide sufficient number of skiffs to lend to groups travelling from overseas
8. There shall be reasonable transport infrastructure
9. The site shall be easily accessible for people to come from overseas, with connecting transport readily available
10. The host will be required to programme for a weeks racing and fit in all the race categories within that week (Race categories to be confirmed later)
11. Basic regatta infrastructure shall be provided
12. The host must be able to provide sufficient facilities and boats for umpires, officials and safety officers for the supervision of races and to carry out safety duties
13. The Host shall be able to provide a suitable social programme throughout the event including daily catering and welfare facilities.
14. Readily accessible spectator areas and welfare facilities for competitors
15. Waiting club areas for secure storage of kit.

For further information please contact the Secretary St Ayles Skiff International – Andrew Rendle email with Club Name and Worlds 2022 in the title.

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SCRA Regatta Organiser Course 2020 Success

Over a March weekend group of 24 delegates gathered at the Eco centre in Kinghorn to discuss all the elements of how to run a safe and enjoyable regatta. The morning started with a quick meet and greet and launched straight into a story from Wendy Clements on how not to run a regatta with excerpts on various events which had happened at regattas over the years. There was a quick Q&A for the audience, just to check they were picking up on the points raised. We then went on the hear from Shona Muirhead about all the aspects of planning a regatta, through the prep beforehand to on the day, shoreside and waterside, and then the final clean up with publicity and reports. There was more information about communication and the Notice of Race by SCRA secretary Andrew Rendle….. a full morning followed by a welcome stop for some lunch. 

A group of people sitting at a wooden boat in a body of water

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Laying the first course

Feeling refreshed it was then back to the learning but with much more interaction from the delegates who had to think of the pros and cons of the different types of regatta courses and how this could affect their individual club events. Chris Mitchell from Kinghorn then gave advice on laying the course and how to ensure the buoys stayed where they are laid. 

The delegates were then split into 3 groups and in 45 minutes had to prepare their own mini regatta to be held the next day. No mean task, but the enthusiasm was fantastic and what they achieved was highly impressive.

A group of people standing in the grass

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Coxes Briefing…. for one of the three regattas

Sunday started early, with some preparing the boats, others the buoys and the rest plotting where the buoys were to be laid. Each team then gave their coxes briefing, ran their regatta with the other two teams racing against each other. There was a prize giving at the end. Although short and quite intense, it was a great practice run for all the delegates and many issues were highlighted which they could learn from. Many were given the opportunity to try things they had never done before and a few have certainly found their calling.

Regatta Organisers on Kinghord Loch. Pic Eleanor Collier (SCR FB Group)

The final debrief allowed everyone to feedback and all agree that the venue was perfect for this event and a huge thanks was given to the Eco Centre and the Kinghorn club for their help and along with Elie, for lending their boats to allow the regatta to be run.

Andrew Rendle has created a Google Group for all the delegates so they can share information from the event and help each other as they prepare for their own events. Anyone who attended but hasn’t received an invitation please contact

Thank you to all those who were involved in organising the course through Scottish Coastal Rowing Association. Everyone will benefit from this course, not just the 24 delegates who attended, but all those who enjoy the new and repeat regattas on the SCRA Calendar of events. Please do ensure that your own regattas are on the list.

Please remember after your regatta to send the results (preferably with some photos and a report) for publication on this website, a permanent record of all those who attended or have an interest in our sport.

“Great course, really enjoyed meeting everyone. Thank you to all involved, including the catering staff! “

” Excellent course. Thankyou SCRA and Kinghorn. Great company. “

“It was lovely to meet you… & so many other friendly folk. Really appreciated the time & effort put into the course & its effortless delivery! “

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Passage Planning for Expeditions course

Comparing traditional and electronic hand held flares
The upcycled feather banner, and the microplastics trawl

Course participants from all corners of Scotland, and Bristol, braved the elements to attend the course on the Isle of Seil. Force 8 gales and power cuts did not stop the learning although we almost got blown away when having a photo call on the slate berm by Easdale Bay. As well as learning about planning, tides, charts, communications etc, we had an inspiring first hand account of three very different long distance voyages. Luckily the power came back on in time for the slide show! RowAround’s boffin-in-residence gave an enthusiastic introduction to the microplastics trawling project which will take place as part of RowAround Scotland 2020.

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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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