Coastal Rowing News

SCRA Annual General Meeting 2017 Agenda

Scottish Coastal Rowing - October 19, 2017 - 14:07

SCRA Notice of AGM 2017 Final

Notice of AGM 2017

SCRA AGM Saturday 28th October 2017

Scottish Coastal Rowing Association AGM

28h October 2017

6.00 p.m. start (Coffee/tea & biccies available from 5.30 p.m.)

Location: Loch Tummel Sailing Club Clubhouse


  1. Apologies

  2. Minutes of Last Meeting (SCRA AGM 29th October 2016)

  3. Matters Arising

  4. Treasurer’s Report

  5. Convener’s Report

  6. Election of Officers and Committee

  7. RowingTheWaves Project Update

  8. Skiffieworlds 2019

  9. Oars Group Report

  10. Any Other Business

– Racing Incidents

Election of Officers and Committee:

We have received a nomination from St Ayles CRC for Shona Muirhead to join us on the Committee.

We take this opportunity to pass on our thanks Richard Wemyss who is standing down.


The AGM is a meeting of clubs.

 We can only guarantee space for two representatives per club.

 Anyone speaking at the AGM is speaking on behalf of and as instructed by their clubs.

 It is therefore helpful if clubs have discussed any of the issues that are going to arise in advance of the AGM.

SCRA Annual General Meeting – Minutes October 2016

Scottish Coastal Rowing - October 19, 2017 - 13:35

SCRA AGM 2016 Minutes


AGM 29.10.2016

At the Loch Tummel Sailing Club

At 1735hrs

Clubs and Individual Members Present:

An Eathar; Anstruther; Avoch; Blakeney; Boatie Blest (P. S. & Cockenzie); Broughty Ferry; Bunillidh ; Carrick; Collieston; Crail; Cumbrae; Deveron; Dunbar ; Eastern ; Eskmuthe (Musselburgh); Firth of Clyde; Glasgow CRC ; Isle of Mull ; Isle of Seil RC; Kinghorn ; Langstone Cutters ; Newhaven ; North Berwick RC; Orkney ; Pittenweem; Portsoy; Rowporty (Portobello); Royal West of Scotland; South Queensferry; St. Andrews; Troon ; Ullapool CRC; Uist ; Wormit.


Findhorn CRC submitted apologies

Chanonry and Sutor Skiffies submitted apologies , Avoch appointed as proxy.

Minutes of the 2015 AGM

The Minutes from the 2015 AGM have been published and available for scrutiny – no hard copies available to circulate but these 2015 Minutes will be available on the website again shortly. These were proposed by Andrew Rendle and seconded by Topher Dawson and adopted.

Matters Arising:

There were no matters arising.

Treasurer’s Report:

Detailed accounts were tabled and the Treasurer spoke briefly to these.

Some specific points and explanations were raised and provided:

  • 53 Clubs and the finances in a healthy state
  • All our income comes from Club Membership Fees
  • Loch Insh Regatta Organisers Course cost SCRA £350;
  • Debit noted from AGM 2015 and sprint medals;
  • The 2015-16 accounts show purchase of a set of 16 inflatable race marks (some of which were used today) – these are available for clubs to hire
  • Insurance Costs .
  • Successful Cox Training event at Shawbost with trainers’ expenses.
  • SCRA provided the Worlds with £1000 seed money and £1600 for the purchase of medals. Skiffieworlds 2016 made a healthy profit (£3000) will be used as seed money for the next Worlds.
  • Balance at end September £3700
  • Subscriptions set at £60

The Accounts were subsequently formally approved.

Motion to be voted upon : “ To set the subscriptions to SCRA for 2016/2017 at £60 per club , with a rebate of £20 per club available to small clubs with less than 20 members”.

This motion was affirmed by concensus.

Convener’s Report:

The Convener summarised his report .

This has been a 6th Year of major growth with many new skiffs and several new clubs and continuing to grow with new friends and new events.

There are more than 50 members clubs and now 2500 to 3000 regular members – we are the Biggest Rowing Organisation in Scotland, rooted in coastal communities, from local friends and neighbours and supporting local and neighbour clubs.

This year we have to report the capsize of a skiff in a race – reported to the SCRA Committee – we are pleased to report that there were no ill effects to crew or the skiff – the incident was discussed by the committee and a Safety Note published. It had been an unusual event with unusual wind and tide and would not have happened had it not been a race. It highlighted the importance of pre-planning and assessment of risk, the importance of being prepared for a change in conditions.

An Incident Report was sent to the SCRA and the committee issued guidance.

The Second Skiffieworlds was a huge commitment by the organising committee with assistance from members of the SCRA Committee and was a very successful event and we offer thanks to those who looked after us. We acknowledge all those who helped as well as those who rowed.

This was a huge effort and one of the reasons for retaining a 3 year cycle for the Worlds event , the others include that clubs put in a huge effort as well and fewer people have attended local events and regattas

The Convener made a presentation to the Cross Party Working Group on Marine Tourism and Recreational Boating at the Scottish Parliament. Those attending were impressed with the details of growth of Coastal Rowing and the facts that 53% of participants are female, 75% are new to marine activities and 90% are new to rowing.

The SCRA has representation on the CPWG and the convener and secretary attend meetings.

The Convener has held meetings with British Rowing and Scottish Rowing.

A new class has been introduced – the PICNIC Class which is hoped will further foster relations with boat builders – this is constitutionally part of what we do and may give greater opportunity for community boat builders to extend their range.

It has been a busy year – and next year?

Time to build your local events and let Sue know your dates and locations, this past year we have 4 events going on on the same day.

April, May and June would be months offering less cluttered schedules

We would look to building within your communities and bringing through rowers, South Queensferry have held a community rowing event.

Clubs may wish to travel to a couple of events further away and talk to the outlying island clubs.

Touring logs – get out as a club or join with other clubs.

Next Year, we will start the process for finding the location for next Worlds and will issue an invitation to clubs to submit a Note of Interest for their area, somewhere where fair and equal racing may be held with 12 to 15 lanes and a distance of 1 kilometre with a turn.

There were no questions and the Convener’s report was accepted.

Election of Officers and Committee.

The Convener wished to pass on thanks for the valuable work that Karen Burrows had done on the committee and in particular excellent work on the website.

Cameron Hughes had been co-opted to the committee to replace Karen and deal with publicity.

Thanks also to Audrey who is taking a break from the Committee.

The remaining members had expressed their willingness to continue and with no other nominations the committee positions were affirmed by the members

The following committee members were elected by affirmation:

Robbie Wightman (North Berwick) Convenor

Topher Dawson (Ullapool) Treasurer

Andrew Rendle (St Andrews)  Secretary

Ali Grant (RowPorty) Coaching Rep

Wendy Clements (Portsoy)

Stuart Mack (Boatie Blest)

Richard Wemyss (St Ayles Anstruther and SFM)

Cameron Hughes (FOCCR) (Publicity)

Sue Fenton (Isle of Seil)

Fergus Forsyth (Carrick)

Any further applications should be routed through the Secretary.

World Championships 2016 Survey Questionnaire

108 questionnaires sent out; 57 returned (not all SCRA clubs returned) 42 skiffs took part + folk from other clubs too.

Q1 If your club did not take part in the Worlds 2016 was it because of:

1. Cost 30%

2. Not enough people interested in going from the club 56%

3. Other reasons (like skiff not built yet, weddings!) 32%

Q2 How many coxes/rowers in your team?

>5    11%

6-10  11%

11-20 38%

21-30 14%

>31    20%

Q3 Were enough race categories offered?

Yes 89%

Pleas for more older categories viz over 70. and more for younger rowers

Q4 Was the race/type length suitable?

Yes 84%

Q5 Was the umpiring fair?

Yes 97%

Q6 did the venue fulfll the demands of the championship

8/10 was the average score 

Specific points sent back to Ireland washup

Q7 Expedition element (Strangford/Delamont) – should it be repeated?

Yes 95%

Q8 Were there enough social events?

Yes 70%

Q9 Continue three year cycle for worlds?

Yes 78%

Nos said two, four (to coincide with olympic years) or five years

Q10 was open-ended, asking for views for the future.

Formation of an International Association

  1. Other National Associations have been formed and these need to be in place prior to the setting up an International Association and hope to report on progress at the next AGM.

  2. The reasons for setting up the International Association have been reinforced this year and is essential to have and enforce a united set of world-wide measurement rules.

    Measurement Rules Update


Measurement Rules require to be review from time to time and the Committee sent out a request for observations from individuals in Scotland and international clubs.

From comments received, it was apparent that some rules required clarification – this has been issued with respect to the area of the rudder in the water and use of metal in oars.

It is likely that the rudder rule may be reviewed.

The onus has been on each club turning up to regattas with compliant skiffs and equipment – in such a situation the only recourse for the organisers would be to disqualify a non-compliant skiff which may have travelled some distance.

The 2017 Rules have been amended to allow organisers to impose time penalties as described in Rule 10.9.2 “Where a transgression of the measurement rules does not cause an immediate safety concern and the transgression cannot reasonably be rectified before the race starts , the referee may use their discretion to permit the crew to race, but shall impose a time penalty after the race is finished of 30 seconds per kilometre of distance raced.”

The recurring theme encountered during feedback from clubs and individuals has been the desire for there to be “a level playing field”.

When St Ayles Skiffs were first appeared the hull worked but the oars and oarlocks did not work. Builders spent some time and effort developing a wide range of solutions. This is a difficult situation for newcomer clubs to get used to.

In areas where St Ayles skiffs are rowed by Gig rowers – there is some criticism about there being a confusing and dismaying level of different equipment, in other areas carbon-fibre oars and plastic swivels are used, whereas in general we build oars ourselves.

It is proper for us to explore something that is similar for all and that is why we are putting forward the resolution for a group to be formed to draw on experience and knowledge to consult and come up with a solution to be adopted .

Contributions were invited from the floor.

Crail – worries about standardisation – different motions in different parts of the country

Eastern – would like to have a dialogue

BF – standardising gives fair playing field

Dunbar – reluctant to change – query on transitional arrangements

Crail – no advantage with one particular design – no wish to standardise

Mike Gilbert – does not matter as long as it remains traditional, support guidance for new clubs going forward.

Eskmuthe – confusing – trialling this coming year seems ambitious.

Some clubs will be asked to carry out the trials and exemption certificates will be granted during the development phase.

Troon – concern that standardisation will not take into account different sea and weather conditions.

Portsoy – Is it possible to standardise on 1 or 2 options? Will be up to the development group.

Boatie Blest – who choses the International Committee?

= drawn from Scottish and International Associations.

TD – commence with large email group in different places – possibly reconvene technical issues group – a small group to take issue forward.

Troon – is there an option for the status quo?

Motion to be voted upon:-

“ St.Ayles skiffs have a great variety of oars and oarlock systems and feedback to the committee on balance shows a desire to move toward a more tightly specified design so that all rowers are competing with the same effective equipment. We propose that an international group be set up, to consult widely and propose a common design for oars and oarlock, to be trialled over the 2017 season with a view to reporting on any recommendations (including any recommendations for any transitional arrangements) to National Associations by October 2017.

Votes cast in favour of the motion 27

Votes cast against the motion 9

Avoch cast proxy votes on behalf of Chanonry and Sutor Skiffies

The Committee will move towards setting up an International group to to report back in 2017.

Any Other Competent Business:

Professor Nina Laurie (St Andrews) was introduced to the members and a brief outline given on a Post-Doctoral Research Project “Rowing the Waves” which focuses on the impacts of Coastal Rowing on community development in Scotland.

No other competent business had been notified.

The meeting closed at 1900.

Andrew Rendle

Secretary SCRA 2016 AGM Minutes

SCRA Safety Notice #3: “Racing Incidents”

Scottish Coastal Rowing - October 18, 2017 - 21:12

During the course of 2017 the SCRA committee has received several reports of incidents during St Ayles skiff racing where there has been contact between skiffs or, at least as worryingly, contact between the oars of one crew and the rowers in another crew.      They have occurred in a number of venues and race types.  For example crews in races where each have their own turning buoy have managed to collide when one is coming out of the turn and one is going in, and crews in round the island style races have collided when one chooses an inside line that was not there.

No serious injuries have been reported, but everyone should be working together to try to reduce these types of incidents.  Such incidents damage the reputation of the sport, as well as potentially causing serious injury and damaging equipment.

Specific recommendations arising out of the incidents as reported are as follows:

Race Organisers
  • Ensure that crews are going to be sufficiently spaced out at the turn.  If sharing a single buoy, ensure that there is sufficient length of course (at least 1km) before the turn to allow the field to thin out.  If each crew has their own buoy ensure that the buoys are sufficiently spread out (at least 20m, but more would be good) to allow crews to turn.
  • Ensure any conditions that will affect the line taken by crews are highlighted in the coxes briefing, including describing how they might change during the day.  If the wind or tidal conditions do change significantly, consider briefing coxes over the radio before the start of later races.
  • Umpires should ensure that they are well positioned at points where racing incidents are most likely to occur.
  • Ensure that you are able to communicate clearly with crews.  This may be by radio, by using a loud hailer or by using the human voice, if you can get close enough.  Order the cox to acknowledge receipt of the communication.  Clear communication is key to ensuring the safety of crews.
  • Intervene in every situation where safety is compromised.   Use your authority to prevent collisions if at all possible.
  • If a hull to hull collision takes place, or a collision between oar and a crew member takes place, one or both of the crews should be disqualified from the race.    As crews come to expect this, we anticipate that fewer collisions or near misses will occur.
  • Lesser penalties, such as a 360 turn, can be used to mark infringements that do not result in such contact.
Coxes and Crews
  • It is everyone’s responsibility to avoid a collision.  Everyone starting a race must accept that avoiding collision is more important than that crew’s own placing in the race.
  • Coxes have to build up their experience in races.  If a crew has an inexperienced cox, they must be sure to be supportive of them, and provide guidance to them where necessary.  The cox however remains the steersman and skipper of their boat. Their crew must obey orders of the coxswain, and the coxswain is the main communicator with other crews and with officials.
  • In multi buoy turning races, the crews should do a tight turn, and complete that turn before setting off again on a new course.


Everyone organising or taking part in a race should be familiar with the SCRA Rules of Racing which are there to promote safety as well as fairness.  We need informed and confident umpires, and would urge all skiffies to consider going on an SCRA Umpire Course, to help improve the quality of all our races.


Congestion at a Turn. Photo by Steve Thomson



Procession of Boats and Races at Newport, Fife

Scottish Coastal Rowing - October 16, 2017 - 14:38

News just in from the Fife Herald of Thursday 20 September 1868:

The regatta season of the Newport Amateur Rowing Club was brought to a very satisfactory close on Saturday afternoon by a procession of boats from Newport to Balmerino, four miles up the river, and what are called the procession or consolation races were pulled off by the boats in returning down. For once the Rowing Club was favoured with glorious weather. The afternoon was everything the heart of the keenest boater could desire. There was hardly a breath of wind, and the surface of the water was smooth and unruffled. The boats began to muster to the east the steamboat pier at Newport between two and three o’clock, and by the latter hour everything was readiness for start. The flag-boat Cruiser took position a little to the east of the Old Pier, and the procession led by the Commodore in the Fiery Cross, moved round the flag-boat in beautiful style. The procession started off at a pretty smart pace, and some of the crews had no time to fall asleep in keeping the line. After passing the steamboat pier, the Tay Ferry steamer Forfarshire, with a large number of passengers on board sailed past the rear the procession, and then steamed up to Balmerino. The sight of the boats as they skirted the shore unbroken line was very fine. When the leading boat made a swerve to either side, all the rest of the boats did the same, and the sinuosities thus made caused the boats to look like a long gaudily coloured sea serpent ” screwing” its way up the water. At least so thought a highly imaginative rower on board one of the boats, and he affected to pity his companions who were so prosaic that they could not realise or appreciate his novel idea. After a delightful pull of fifty minutes, the boats arrived at Balmerino in the order in which they started, not single hitch or break having occurred in the procession. The boats having been drawn up on the beech or moored at the pier, drawing for places was proceeded with; and after short rest several of the crews started down the river to be ” in at the death.”

SCRA Coxing Courses- Next one 4/5 November 2017

Scottish Coastal Rowing - October 13, 2017 - 09:51


The next SCRA cox training course will be held on the Moray Firth (probably Buckie) on the 4th and 5th of Nov.  There will be theory based sessions and (weather permitting) on the water sessions too.  Each day will be approximately 1000-1600. 

If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please contact either Stuart Mack or Ali Grant  by  email.  Places are limited. Closing date is the 29th Oct (AGM).  

No Motion for Standard Oar at SCRA AGM 2017

Scottish Coastal Rowing - October 11, 2017 - 11:14

Having taken extensive advice and very much appreciating the amount of work that a group of skiffies have put into researching oar and oarlock design, the SCRA committee have decided not to move further towards a standard system at this stage.  Below is the explanation for this decision, and some useful knowledge that has come out of this research.  Although not coming up with a standard design to be adopted by all, it has been a useful and worthwhile process, and we must thank all those involved.


Over the winter of 2016/17 and during the 2017 season an international group of oar enthusiasts researched oar and oarlock design as it applies to the St Ayles Skiff.  We sent clubs a survey and published the results, which indicated overwhelming support for all timber oars and a desire not to go to stainless and plastic gates.  We then set about gathering detailed information on the best oars in the class. We measured their length, section, stiffness, weight, balance force and gearing.

There were three strands to the research, which were oar blades, oarlock systems and oar shafts.

The oar blade research was to see if spoon blades offered a competitive advantage, and over a season the conclusion is that they do not appear to offer any advantage and can in some situations be hard to extract in waves. Although it was an interesting experiment it was not in the end worth pursuing and the SCRA committee is not bringing forward a motion to allow spoons.

All the oarlock systems currently in use in the class and in other boats were examined, and assessed for simplicity, low maintenance, low friction and accuracy of pitch. The most commonly used system, pin and plate, has wear and pitch problems, and some of the alternatives which use a wooden gate are hard to make. Don Currie of New Zealand has made a simple system similar to pin and plate which is much quieter and wears less. I have also made a system which rests the weight of the oar on top of a ball ended pin and has no contact at all between the oar and the gunwale. Both are legal under the present rules, if used with a wooden pin. Plastic (acetal) pins were tried and found to be smooth and hard wearing, but if used with systems which do not rest the oar weight on the pin they can pop out of their tapered holes. The SCRA committee is not recommending allowing them for racing although they can of course be used for training.

The oar shaft research found that as oars get longer they are increasingly hard to balance, leading to some oars being very hard to lift out of the water. This is very off putting to new rowers, especially smaller women and young people who we should be encouraging. Lead counterweights have been specifically banned in the rules, but it was found that by making the inboard section of the oars bulky and/or heavy hardwood, and by carefully tapering the outboard section and blade, and making them out of light softwoods, it is possible to make strong stiff oars which have less than 2.5kg unbalanced force at the handle. These oars are currently legal and are of a solid rectangular section, so fairly easy to make. By placing the pins for oars 2 and 3 in blocks glued to the inside of the gunwales and thus moving the pins inboard by about 70mm, it was possible to limit the length of those oars to 4.5m (14ft1.5inches) which helped to balance them.

In summary we know a lot more about current oars and what makes them good or bad to row with. We established that all current competitive clubs row at a gearing between 2.6 and 3.0 with most rowing around 2.8.

We have managed to find two better oarlock systems than the pin and plate. We have also developed an easily made design for a balanced oar shaft which takes less effort to row with, and does not need an expensive bought hollow shaft. This design has the number 1, 2 and 3 oars at 4.5m long with the 2 and 3 pins slightly inboard and stroke at 4.3m long.

If oars become longer than 4.5m it is increasingly hard to balance them and keep them stiff enough, although several successful clubs have oars as long as 5.2m (17ft).

We have not found any new features worth changing the rules for. There is a case for adopting a Standard Oar to make a more “level playing field” but it would be a political decision rather than a technical one and the SCRA committee (in its role as international class association) is not presently putting this forward.

Most of the plans and information are freely available at

For the real oar anoraks, the entire archive is at

Topher Dawson, October 2017.


“Go on, tell me all about your oars”



SCRA Umpire Course 27 October 2017

Scottish Coastal Rowing - October 9, 2017 - 08:09

Come and join the SCRA Umpire Course, and help to drive up the quality and fairness of our competitions.  The Course will take place on 27 October at Loch Tummel Sailing Club, from 5pm to 7pm.  Umpires can then practice their skills at the Freshwater sprints the next day (which will not preclude them from also racing).  If you would like to join the course please e mail .  Maximum numbers 15, so no more than three members from any one club.

Forty Five Miles in a Day – Celebrate December with Woudrichem round Altena

Scottish Coastal Rowing - October 5, 2017 - 23:06


We all love to row round our island, but how does that feel if your Island has a 45 mile circumference? Woudrichem have invited skiffies from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland as well as neightbours Heusden and Gorinchem  to join them to find out.  In December.  The event is a fundraiser for “Serious Request”.  The club have been in touch to tell us about the event:

What’s Serious Request?
Every year, a week before Christmas there is a national fund-raising for the Red Cross organized by radio 3FM. This year the money will be used to re-unite parents and children who lost each other in a war or a disaster. We will raise money by rowing for this charity.

What’s the challenge? We’ll row around the island Altena. 45 miles in one day! We row in relay so don’t be afraid you won’t make it.


8.00am start at Arkade WSV Woudrichem
5.30pm finish
5.30pm free dinner at our clubhouse Arkade
6.30pm visit to historic marina where all ships will be lit
8.00pm ‘Winter Wonder Woudrichem’ in town
10.00pm the clubhouse is open to party


We try to keep costs for rowers very low by having sponsors for lunch and dinner during the row tour. There is a tip jar for hiring the partyship.
We expect from each participant a minimum of €10 donation for charity.

Where to stay:
We can imagine UK participates fly in on Friday evening and return on Sunday (daytime or evening).
We arrange (free) staying with our rowing members like last time.
Our members will welcome you in their home where you can sleep and enjoy our hospitality. For diehards it’s always possible to stay on a campsite haha.

Want to take part in this spectacle challenge?
Enter now!
To enter this row tour, email with the subject line: Registration Serious Request 2017

Closing date for entries is 1th December!

If you have any questions, please email.


Glasgow Cup Runneth Over

Scottish Coastal Rowing - October 5, 2017 - 15:10

On a dreich September Weekend Sunday, nine clubs bravely turned out at Kelvin Harbour to race for the Glasgow Cup. Although many of their number were still aching from the rigours of 13 miles in the Castle to Crane race the previous day, crews from Anstruther, Boatie Blest, Carrick, Eastern, Dundrum, FOCCR,GCRC, Queensferry and Woudrichem were undaunted by the conditions and put on a wonderful display of rowing for the spectators on The Glenlee and on the quayside attending the excellent Clydebuilt Festival.


The 1500m Course began with an upriver leg keeping to the south side of the river, with the benefit of incoming tide, from The Glenlee to the Graving Docks. There a tight buoy turn to port led the skiffs across the river to carve a course around a second buoy, to be taken again to port, before fighting against the tide back to The Glenlee and the Finish Line.

Huge thanks are due to Colin of Anstruther on his RIB, not only providing safety cover, lifting and laying marks, but regularly clearing debris, much more efficiently than we saw at Henley, from the Course.

Adam Graham, Umpire, kept a close eye on the observance of the letter and spirit of the SCRA Shared Buoy Turns Etiquette Reminder and had no incidents to report, which is very pleasing and of great credit to the competitors.

So, despite the dreadful weather, aching limbs and tiredness, hard competition in all categories gave the hardy supporters and spectators plenty to cheer about.

After a strenuous day, and six categories of racing, the worthy winners of the Glasgow Cup 2017 are Dundrum, who are thereby invited to return to the next staging of the event and defend their title.


Detailed results are available on the GCRC website.

Freshwater Sprints Notice of Race 2017

Scottish Coastal Rowing - October 2, 2017 - 14:40

Each year members of SCRA clubs gather at a fresh water venue to race together in the Freshwater sprints.  The regatta is held on the day of the SCRA AGM, and is raced between regional teams rather than individual clubs, in the hope that every club in the SCRA will be represented in their regional team, and will then also be represented at the AGM.

In 2017 we are returning to Loch Tummel sailing club, who have very kindly agreed to welcome us back after doing a fantastic job of hosting us in 2016.  If you would like to take part please make sure that you contact your regional captain, so they can slot you into the team.

Full details are in the Freshwater Sprints 2017 Notice of Race.

Freshwater Sprints 2017 are sponsored by Teal Trailers:



Waves at Prestwick Regatta

Scottish Coastal Rowing - October 2, 2017 - 14:27

There was a return to real coastal rowing, when Prestwick hosted their second Regatta.  The club launch off a fairly exposed beach, and clubs were treated to fairly brisk conditions and reasonably sizeable waves.  For the second year running Arran, who brought two skiffs with them, were overall champions.  Results here:

Notice of AGM 2017

Scottish Coastal Rowing - September 30, 2017 - 16:28

Notice of AGM 2017

SCRA AGM Saturday 28th October 2017

Scottish Coastal Rowing Association AGM
28h October 2017
6.00 p.m. start (Coffee/tea & biccies available from 5.30 p.m.)

Location: Loch Tummel Sailing Club Clubhouse

Draft Agenda
1. Apologies
2. Minutes of Last Meeting (SCRA AGM 29th October 2016)
3. Matters Arising
4. Treasurer’s Report
5. Convener’s Report
6. Election of Officers and Committee
7. Skiffieworlds 2019
8. Oars Group Report
9. Any Other Business
– items under this heading must be advised to the Secretary no later than the 17th October and must be submitted by clubs only. Any submissions under this category must be in the form of a motion.

Election of Officers and Committee:
Member Clubs shall send their nominations for the committee to the
Secretary by the 10th October 2017
Please pass suggestions for items for the Agenda to the Secretary by 17th October.

The AGM is a meeting of clubs.
We can only guarantee space for two representatives per club.
Anyone speaking at the AGM is speaking on behalf of and as instructed by their clubs.
It is therefore helpful if clubs have discussed any of the issues that are going to arise in advance of the AGM.

Calling Picnic Class Boats for the Freshwaters

Scottish Coastal Rowing - September 29, 2017 - 17:06

The main focus for the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association is and will remain the St Ayles Skiff, a class of rowing boat for four rowers and a cox  which has brought a great deal of pleasure to many who have built or rowed one.   However the recent Caslte to Crane race is a reminder that other boats are in the Scottish Coastal Rowing fleet and for the interest of skiffies and skiffbuilders  we will once again arrange races for  the SCRA “Picnic Class” of one rower skiff at the Freshwater Sprints.

The Picnic Class is a development class and a wide variety of craft will qualify under the class rules.  Essentially the constraints are that the boats should be “fixed seat” and no more than 5 meters long.  The rowlocks should be at the gunnel (no “outriggers”).   The beam should not be too narrow, both because a really narrow beam will mean that only peedie oars can be used, and also because insufficient beam will compromise stability, all entertainingly tested on the day by the “Stability test”.    More details can be found in the Picnic Class measurement rules .   Some boats that already exist will be deemed to meet the class rules even if they are outwith the exact measurements.  These include the  Royal West of Scotland Boat Club’s historic “Sixteens”, and rowporty’s Drakes.

There will be a race for Men and a race for Women in the Picnic Class at the 2017 Freshwater Sprints.  Races will be over a straight “drag race” type course of around 300 meters.  Competitors need to be members of an SCRA club  and all boats will require to have third party insurance in place for the event.

Closing date for entries for the picnic class races  is 21 October.  The Freshwaters are on 28 October.  We really hope that we get a number and variety of these one rower boats turning up, so get your entry in early.

See the Freshwater Sprints Notice of Race (published shortly) for more details.

See last years report from the picnic class races.

All photos by Jon Gerrard.

Weather for Ducks at SCRA Picnic

Scottish Coastal Rowing - September 25, 2017 - 21:31

Well done to the brave souls of Kinghorn and RowPorty who turned out in wet wet wet conditions for the SCRA picnic row on Loch Lomond.  The foul weather on top of blisters had been enough to put off most of the hardy rowers who had been taking part in Castle to Crane the day before.  Kinghorn bravely sent one crew on the long row from Balloch and after a crew swap the return crew had a slightly dryer row back.

Photos at Luss by Murdo Macleod.


SCRA Cruising Log Competition 2017- Call for Entries

Scottish Coastal Rowing - September 25, 2017 - 16:48

Rowing is not just about racing.  Plenty of skiffies enjoy getting out in the boat just for the sake of it, and for a bit of adventure with friends.  To encourage groups to share their experiences of this and to allow us all to learn from each other SCRA holds the SCRA Cruising Log competition each year.

Careful Packing is Important for any Expedition

We would like members of SCRA clubs who go on expeditions and adventures to record them in a cruising log and forward that on to us. Ideally we would like to log to be uploaded so that we can post a link to it from our website.  Logs should have some pictures or video as well as a written description of the voyage, giving details of launch and recovery sites, stop overs, and descriptions of the tidal streams and conditions.  We hope that others coming after can learn constructively so please do admit to your mistakes as well as saying what went well, and please also consider including an appendix with some thoughts on safety issues that you feel others would benefit from.

Closing date for entries this year will be 18 October 2017, but we would be delighted if you could send entries sooner than that to inspire others.  All expeditions must have taken place in the 12 months or so preceding the closing date.

The competition will be judged on how entertaining and informative the log is, rather than just how long or arduous the cruise is, so don’t be shy about recording your thoughts on a shortish jaunt.

All entries and enquiries to please.

It goes without saying that the crews taking part in this competition must take responsibility for their own safety, and ensure that their craft is seaworthy, appropriately equipped for the contemplated voyage, and that the planned voyage is within the competency of the crew. For inspiration read “Three Men in a Boat” by Jerome K Jerome, “Ice Bears and Kotic” by Peter Webb.:

The roll call of previous winners is as follows:

2012 (Joint)  Anstruther –  Elsie’s Adventures Round the Forth

2012 (Joint)  Boatie Blest  Union Canal

2013  Isle of Seil CRC  Bilderglug round Seil and Luing

2014  Boatie Blest   Voga Longa  European Tour

2015  North Edinburgh Rowing Club  Loch Shiel/ Jacobite Muster

2016 Isle of Mull CRC  Round Mull Row

Protected: Scotland’s Big Race: Castle to Crane 2017

Scottish Coastal Rowing - September 25, 2017 - 16:32

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Stranraer Regatta and Oyster Festival

Scottish Coastal Rowing - September 20, 2017 - 14:31

Stranraer Regatta Report 16th & 17th September 2017

Stranraer were proud to hold its first St. Ayles Skiff regatta. A small but special group of clubs made their way to the furthest south west corner of Scotland to the beautiful Loch Ryan as part of the South West challenge 2017. The regatta coincided with the inaugural Stranraer Oyster Festival which provided the opportunity for some interesting dance techniques to be observed at “the Bash” on Saturday night alongside 500 other locals and visitors.

Annan kindly brought 2 boats to enable extreme novice crews from Stranraer to “have a go”. Whilst the camaraderie and friendly intense rivalry was noted amongst the odd bit of crew sharing and minor category stretching to get more boats out for each race. Over 60 categories rapidly morphed down over 50, and youth to novice with consultation of the visiting teams.

Saturday was a pleasant relief from the gales of the days before but with still some short chop conditions (and least likely conditions to occur on Loch Ryan with our regular sheltered breezes from any other direction) of a due northerly 12 knot cool breeze. However, after bacon rolls, cups of tea at the Coxes briefing and some Boat House envy, Colin the local coast guard and beach assistant waded into the seas to help all the boats launch for the first race.

The first race started to set the scene with Boatie Blest (with help from St Ayles ladies) showing Killyleagh and Carrick the way and Sketrick just warming to the task in the races to come. By the time race 2 got under way clearly Sketrick had recovered from their long journey and were starting to get going with a close race for first with Boatie Blest coming a second only 5 seconds behind and Carrick in third and Killyleagh fourth. Sketrick and Carrick sat out the third race with not enough of the right kind of crew to convince the umpires they could take part, by now it became obvious that Stuart from Boatie Blest lives on the boat, when he wasn’t rowing he was coxing. Also, the deep technical discussions had started (which to the newbies of Stranraer was both fascinating and enlightening), “rowlocks or pins”, “blade length adjustment and gearing”, (Perhaps this coastal rowing thing has a bit more to it than just building a boat and going for a row ed? – so as Stranraer start to build their first skiff in their new boathouse next month lots of close-up photos started being taken!) Race four was a humdinger as the over 50 men took to the water and a ringer was spotted (Topher) in the Sketrick boat. The race was close and finally Sketrick held off the Boatie Blest challenge by only 5 seconds and the fastest time of the day at 13 minutes and 50 seconds.

Race five brought great excitement, you could nearly hear the whole of Stranraer stop to cheer their hapless brave Novice crew onto the water. The Stranraer Novice crew took to the water and were very proud to fight off Annan Novices to come a creditable 3rd, Alan Thompson had kindly coxed the Stranraer crew and repeated the favour the following day. It should be noted that Boatie Blest had finished so far in front that this was a moment when Stuart was seen on the shore, tea in hand watching the Stranraer team cross the line! (We have a lot to learn).


North from the beach to Ailsa Craig


Lunch break was well deserved and the chop was building and the drizzle decided to try and dampen the motivation of the crews, but to no avail. The final three races were going to be critical to who would lift the trophy. First the Men’s Open with Sketrick, Boatie Blest, Carrick and Killyleagh in that order, which tightened the top of the table going into the Women’s Open. But again, Boatie Blest put on a big performance followed by Carrick, Sketrick in third and Killyleagh fourth. As the last race loomed it was clear the calculators were out (although later perhaps not all coxes had read the race instructions fully to realise it was the best 5 to count!), Boatie looked like they had it in the bag and nobody could pass them but could Killyleagh catch Sketrick. It was again close racing but Boatie Blest stamped their authority again, Killyleagh did beat Sketrick on the water, but not enough to pull them up to second overall.

As the boats came off the water and the crews crawled on hand and knee up the beach, they could smell the burgers and sausages on Hugh Parkers BBQ, unsurprisingly many them found some alcohol too. Those staying conveniently on Roy’s clipper in the harbour rushed off for showers to cool down (really ed?) The prize giving came and went with discussions of the day, what had been and what could have been if only.


Boatie Blest with their prize

The Bash at the Castle hotel was the main event for the Oyster festival and many crews joined us for the party and were still seen dancing at midnight. Clearly the impending Sunday 5k “fun” duck race was but a training row for these well-tuned athletes.


Colin helping the boats with their Le Mans Starts on Sunday

Sunday dawned to light winds and a calm sea. The course was laid. The fun race started, each crew 2 minutes apart in reverse order of club results from the previous day. (“I like a good chase” was heard from a small Irish voice). The clock started on land with a crew member running 100yds down the front to a paddling pool full of plastic ducks. Once one had been collected they returned to their boat le Mans style starting from the beach and off to the furthest mark turning to Port. On to a second mark making a triangle turning also to Port. Finally, as they neared the shore again there was the “Super Duck” mark with a bag of Mars bars attached. Each crew stopped and collected a mars bar and finally returned to the shore and ran to the start with a duck and wrapper. To add some spice some special prizes were also on offer, “Best Duck Impressions”, “Most Notable Cox” and “Most Notable Teamwork”.


A happy Stranraer Crew after the 5k Duck Race

The results speak for themselves, again the friendship and camaraderie shone through as the Stranraer crew, a combination of the local coastguards and staff from Jewsons (who are supplying much of what Stranraer need to build their boats) could not start with the rest of the boats and was in fact ready to go after all the other boats were ashore. Not wanting to leave the novices out at sea by themselves several clubs reselected a second crew to re-do the whole race again!

Stranraer greatly enjoyed hosting the regatta and are now even more (was that possible?) excited about getting their own boats built ready to be competitive in 2018 and beyond. A huge thankyou to the skiff community for being so friendly and easy to host. An equally large thankyou to our large team of keen volunteers to made it all possible.

Uist St Ayles Skiff Living the Dream

Scottish Coastal Rowing - September 18, 2017 - 11:59

Bogadh ‘An Aisling Bheò’ ann an Loch nam Madadh, Uibhist a Tuath, an-dè.

Living the Dream from Uist launched to join the growing St Ayles skiff fleet in the Western Isles.  Photo from Liam Alastair Crouse, posted on Scottish Coastal Rowing Facebook Group.

Exciseman’s Chase 2017

Scottish Coastal Rowing - September 11, 2017 - 23:06
Pictures from Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club website.  The results from Saturday’s Exciseman’s chase were as follows: 1.Sketrick 34mins, 2= Killyleagh and Royal West 36 mins, 4= Carrick and Firth of Clyde 38 mins, 6= Cumbrae and Troon 39 mins, 8. Girvan 41 mins and 9. Preswick 44 mins. Due to heavy seas the race was shortened and kept within Maidens Bay  but otherwise followed the same format, with crew changes halfway. The day ended with a Hog Roast and other refreshments. Our largest turn-out yet was accompanied by great weather and all seemed to enjoy themselves.
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