Great River Race – The full results

There were only 10 St Ayles racing on Saturday, with one using plastic oars so not counted for the GRR Trophy for the fastest St Ayles.

What that plastic oared skiff from Dartmouth did was to be first boat over the line by a margin of 2 minutes and 41 seconds in 2:32:52. The WSV Woudrichem Vet mens skiff was the next St Ayles over the line at 2:36:16, coming 2nd in the Veterans 4s, and winning the Jordan Boats Trophy for the GRR St Ayles competitors.

Third skiff in was Woudrichem’s mixed crew in 2:40:50, winning the Mixed crew trophy.

All the St Ayles results here.



Felton Flyer




Groot & Grut




Groot & Grut






St Ayles Rowing Club


St Ayles




Groot & Grut


St Andrews


Sandbay Century


St Andrews


Blue Bay


Kings Lynn CRC


Ouse Rewet


Kings Lynn CRC


Lynn Rewet


Though the Dartmouth crew were racing with the plastic oars which would disqualify them from normal competition, I have included their result here as a St Ayles crossing the line first, and by such a significant margin brings the skiff to the forefront of the huge crowds in London. It was also an excellent effort from Dartmouth in one of our boats that deserves to be commended.

St Ayles RC deserve a big mention as just before the start their rudder was attacked by a mooring buoy chain which snapped off its business end. The crew rowed the whole distance with cox Babs using a paddle as a steering oar.

Also worth mentioning were the thunderstorms which affected the race, shortly before the leaders arrived at the finish. These were of the intensity associated with tropical storms – fortunately the worst of these lasted only a few minutes rather than the hours or days being experienced in the Caribbean. Rowing in those conditions is not fun, though it could be said that Scottish Rowers are well used to rowing in torrential rain!

I spent the afternoon with Bonnie from Langstone Adventure rowing on the river bank, talking to potential St Ayles customers from Australia and South Africa as well as the owner of a kit in Kuwait (supplied from Australia), as well as numerous people from the Thames and its Estuary. Hopefully next year we will see a bigger entry. The success of the St Ayles on Saturday will help.

Alec Jordan

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Woudrichem Glory at Great River Race

Congratulations to Dutch St Ayles skiff club WSV Woudrichem, who had a very successful day at the Great River Race.  There were five Dutch St Ayles rowing at the event, four from Woudrichem and one from Heusden.  Woudrichem’s “Groot & Grut 3”, rowed by “Martin’s Dream Team” came in second in the Men 40+ category,  in a time of 2:36:16.

However in the mixed category Woudrichem went one better in “Groot & Grut 2” with team “Rowmotion” coming in as best mixed crew at the Great River Race on handicap in a time of 2:40:50.

We will post a link to the full results of the Great River Race 2017 as soon as it becomes available, and will advise which crew has been given the trophy for fastest St Ayles, which is awarded on age and gender handicap.



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Queensferry Crossing Royal Opening Monday 4 September 2017

There was a short notification period for this event but when the brief details were posted on the SCRA web site the notifications from Clubs wishing to attend came flooding in! Initially the Flotilla Manager, Rob Thomson asked that each pair of skiffs should be accompanied by a motor boat. It was politely pointed out to him that we had managed the 2014 Golden Anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge without such extensive cover and he relented allowing us to be escorted by Queensferry’s John Howell and his crew in the committee boat ‘Faithful’

Clubs arrived in good time and enjoyed a cuppa and a bacon roll at our shed prior to taking to the water before 10.00am in time to join our column at 10.30am. We had a total of 17 skiffs from pairs, Queensferry and North Queensferry, North Berwick, Eskmouthe, Golspie, and single skiffs from Kinghorn, Dunbar, Collieston, Portobello,

Newhaven, Troon and finally albeit a tad late a big well done to Eastern who rowed up from Portobello and joined the Flotilla in time for the big opening then rowed back after the event. I never saw them but was made aware that they were there. Well done!

After some mild jostling, we joined our column led by White Wing from the Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther. It was good to have a blether with Dave from the Fyfie early in the morning. The mood was buoyant and the skiffs were magnificent in their column and on the signal when the Queen cut the ribbon we hoisted oars and made a great deal of noise with the rest of the flotilla. This mwas followed by the fly past of the Red Arrows. Always an attraction.

After the Queen drove over the new crossing to the sound of horns, klaxons and cheering the lead vessel gave the order to disperse to home ports and there was the usual wonderful camaraderie of helping each other off the water and loading boats back onto trailers. Back to the shed to avoid the heavy rain but who cared now! Some enjoyed a hog roast roll courtesy of Port Edgar Yacht Club. There was evidence of some skiffs having enjoyed a bottle of fizz although I was told it was found floating in the Forth!

An historic event and our skiffs and our wonderful sport were to the fore and gave such a good account of ourselves. I want to thank you all for your participation, your enthusiasm and your friendship.  Thank you to Rob Thompson for organising the event.

Please visit our web site and look at the many photos on the flickr page taken by our snapper, Barbara Agnew. Thanks Barbara.


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Nith Navigation Race: Notice of Race

We have another busy weekend of rowing events ahead, including the Exciseman’s chase on Saturday and the Nith Navigation Race on Sunday.  There is still space to join the Nith, and all crews taking part should note the details in the:

Nith Navigation Race 10th September 2017-  Notice of Race



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St Ayles Skiffs at the Great River Race

The Great River Race is a fantastic spectacle, with hunners of fixed seat rowing boats riding the tide from the Docks up to Richmond on the River Thames in London.  Every year there are some St Ayles skiffs taking part, and Jordan Boats has presented a trophy for them to race for.  The trophy is given to the fastest St Ayles on handicap,  rather than simply being the fastest over the course, so that neither age not gender will be a barrier to a crew winning it.

The Trophy is currently in the hands of Dutch club WSV Woudrichem, who have every intention or retaining it.  The club is sending three crews, one made up of juniors, one of men and one mixed crew.   A second Dutch Club, Heusden will also be sending a skiff. The two skiffs based at Langstone in Hampshire, Bella and Bonnie, will also be there as will Lynn Rewet and Ouse Rewet from Kings Lynn in Norfolk.

Fife is sending down three crews, two from St Andrews Coastal Rowing Club and one from St Ayles Rowing Club of Anstruther.  Given the links with the rowing the waves project, SCRA have received a letter of support for St Andrews Coastal Rowing Club from the Director of the Royal Geographical Society, Dr Rita Gardner!  She wishes St Andrews well for the race, and goes on to give advice that all crews should follow:

“The Society has a long tradition of supporting expeditions that enhance our understanding of our physical and human environments.  I would like to encourage all the participants to share the geographical stories of the riverscapes they pass through, while rowing the thirty one mile stretch of the River Thames from Millwall to Teddington, when they return, tired, but with a greater sense of wonder for this magnificent river and the city it meanders through.”

We will publish a link to the Great River Race Results 2017 as soon as they are available.


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Avoch Youth Regatta 2017

Avoch will be hosting the last youth regatta of the season on the 21st October.  If you wish to attend please send email to and a full race schedule will be sent to you.  Avoch will even be having a couple of adult races on the day to give the young ones a rest .

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Great Tyne Row 2017

Good luck to the St Ayles skiffs taking part in the Great Tyne Row tomorrow.  “Harry Clasper” from Gateshead Coastal Rowing Club and “Skiff John B” from North Berwick Rowing club will be going head to head in the mixed category, starting at 1pm.     They will be joined by two Celtic Longboats from Porthmadog, and three Whitby Gigs from Scarborough ARC, which should all give them some pretty tricky opposition in the fixed seat coxed fours.

The Great Tyne Row is a 25 km race,  downstream on the River Tyne, starting at Newburn, passing through Newcastle city centre, and finishing in the salt water of Tynemouth.  The rest of the 34 entries are sliding seat boats, including Gateshead’s adapted Northeaster Dory, which is being rowed by a single sculler, but with a cox (since all boats in the event require a cox, for understandable safety reasons.)

We will link to Results of the Great Tyne Row 2017 as soon as they are available.




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Ballantrae Smugglers 2017

A message from Ballantrae Smugglers festival, posted on the SCR Facebook Group:

Another great “Ballantrae Smugglers’ Chase at Ballantrae Bay yesterday afternoon with the tall ship La Malouine in attendance. We had more boats on the water than last year and more rowers so we were delighted. The overall winners of the Smugglers’ Chase trophy were the Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club for the second year running. Thanks from the Ballantrae Smugglers’ Festival to Anett of Carrick for working with us before the event to plan it and Henry for commentating on the day.
If any crews have pictures their supporters took we would be interested to see them. Please feel free to post them on the Ballantrae Smugglers’ Facebook page.  Watch out for the event next year and come and join us.


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Newly Benign North Berwick

North Berwick is going to lose its reputation as a wild place to race, as for the second year running conditions were forgiving, with a 10-14 mph south westerly wind, and sunshine throughout the day.  The racing itself however was tough as ever, on what is one of the longest courses in the regular regatta circuit.  The race from the start off Platcock Rocks, round the island of Craigleith and back towards the harbour gives a variety of conditions, with a side wind at times, a rolling tailwind down the back of the island, a steep headwind on the east side as the prevailing breeze curls round the rock, and a long stretch with a the wind to port on the return, making roughly 3km of mixed pain and pleasure.


There were 16 skiffs taking part in the races, three of which were from the host club.  NB were delighted to be joined by all three of the other East Lothian clubs: Eskmuthe, Boatie Blest and Sunny Dunbar.  Other clubs had travelled much further with Coigach coming down from their Achiltibuie base, and Islay doing the ferry trip for their weekend visit.  Fifers were out in force from Crail, St Andrews and Anstruther.  The South East contingent was completed by the presence of Eastern, RowPorty and Queensferry, with Royal West of Scotland Boat Club joining us from the Clyde.  Broughty Ferry made up the compliment and started off the day in impressive style with a victory in the Men’s 50+, traditionally seen as a sacrificial event to test the waters.  As it was, the good conditions made for a very close race with the Taysiders only just holding off the challenge of Boatie Blest, with Coigach coming in just seven seconds behind the winners to take third.

Broughty’s win was followed by a series of victories for hosts North Berwick, who took the stones of glory in the women’s 50+, mens and women’s 40+, mixed open and novice.  In the women’s 40+ the win came despite getting caught on a trailing creel end close to the rock.  Broughty found themselves sitting on a rock when they tried to cut inside the stranded North Berwick crew ending their chances of being amongst the medals.  The mixed open brought the closest racing of the day for medal positions, with Broughty taking the silver, followed by Eastern and Boatie, all within three seconds of each other over the 18 minute course.

In the novice Queensferry were lunging for the line when the hosts nicked it off them.  Only two of the North Berwick boats completed the course with the third suffering an oar breakage in the first three strokes.  It was great to see 10 crews of novices taking to the start line, so well done to the rowers of Eastern, RowPorty, Dunbar, Eskmouthe, Boatie and Islay who took part.  All did well in what was a challenging first race for many.   Welcome to our sport, and we hope you get yourselves along to other regattas soon to try to lose the novice status.

The 60+ crews were sent round the full course, after last years not very successful experiment with a single buoy turn handicap.  Dunbar managed to hold off Broughty to take the bronze behind NB and Eastern.  Eastern also won the Under 19 race.  Crail got their best result of the day in the mixed 45+ with a silver ahead of Eastern but behind North Berwick.   Eastern finished the day with wins in both the Men’s and Women’s open.  In the men’s Coigach got their silver by a second ahead of the hosts, with St Ayles taking the silver ahead of Boatie in the Women’s.

For full results from North Berwick with times click here.  

All photos on this post by Steve Thompson.  Look for a picture of your favourite crew on the North Berwick Rowing Club Flickr Page.

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Queensferry Crossing Opening Ceremony – Flotilla 1030 – 1215 Monday 4 September 2017

Flotilla Joining Form 2017

Some of you have expressed an interest in the Opening of the new Queensferry Crossing. Attached is a Joining Proforma for the event if you wish to attend. I want to stress that this is not a Queensferry Rowing Club Event but I am happy to do a bit of coordinating for those of you who wish to take part. The organiser initially asked that a power boat should attend each pair of skiffs but he has now relented. He asks that we have power boat cover and the skiffs stay in fairly close formation.

Basic details I have are that it will be a truncated version of the 2014 50th Anniversary Flotilla just circumnavigating the new crossing 2 or 3 times dependant on weather and number of participants.
Timings will be dictated by the arrival of the Royal Party as the flotilla will be providing a salute as the ribbon is cut and then providing the backdrop to the flypast of the Red Arrows. Vessels should be in the vicinity (afloat) of Port Edgar no later than 1045hrs. High water is 1441hrs.
Visiting skiffs will need to pay the £10.00 launch fee to Port Edgar. If you intend to join us will you please let me know.
Kind regards,
Peter Locke

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