Coastal Rowing News

rowingthewaves – Shieldaig and Ullapool Surveys

Scottish Coastal Rowing - August 18, 2017 - 07:41
when things get confusing…

Because we like a challenge, we’re running two surveys simultaneously.

The first, is for Ullapool Regatta attendees, the second is for Shieldaig Regatta attendees.

What makes it worse is that the surveys include the same questions!

To help keep things clear, the surveys have different links, and different passwords:

for those who attended #Ullapool regatta in July the link is:   and the password is ‘rowing

for those who attended #Shieldaigregatta in August the link is:  and the password is ‘shieldaig

We would be very grateful if you would spare the time to complete the surveys – they should each take around 10 minutes to complete!

Thank you very much for your support with this – hopefully see you soon! Nina and Jen,

SCRA Picnic Loch Lomond 24 September 2017

Scottish Coastal Rowing - August 16, 2017 - 18:25

While some take the High Road, and others take the Low Road, we will be taking to the water to meet you at Luss on the Bonny Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond.

The day after Castle to Crane, we have the 2017 SCRA Picnic, which will be held on the beach at Luss on Loch Lomond between 1230 and 1345 on Sunday 24 September.  We hope that many coastal rowers will migrate inland to enjoy the company which is being assembled.  It is a grand opportunity for those who prefer a life less competitive, for those who did not manage to get a seat in their club boats for C2C, and for those who have traveled a long way to row in Scotland, and rightly feel they should get as much rowing in as they can while they are in the area!

Luss, looking SE. Photo from Ian Mills

As illustrated by Ian Mills’ photos the Loch is a stunningly beautiful place which has to be explored by boat.  The Loch is the largest body of fresh water by surface area in Great Britain, so there is plenty of scope for exploration.

The SCRA picnic is self supported on the water and each crew is entirely responsible for getting themselves safely to the picnic site by water, and for that matter determining that their boat is suitable for the trip and the conditions are bearable by the crew.

Boats should launch at the Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway, Pier Road, Balloch G83 8QX (tel 01389 722030, Ch16 and Ch80).   A fee will be payable if the slip is used, but will not be payable if you are able to lift your boat off its trailer and carry it over onto the beach at Loch Lomond shores.  It is approximately 12km to row from there to Luss.

As an alternative, crews may wish to launch from the Balmaha Boatyard.  It would be worth arranging this in advance, and a fee will be payable.  Balmaha is around 7.5km row from Luss.  The Balmaha boatyard also hires out rowing boats for the day, again best arranged in advance.


Bring your own picnics, and impress other crews with your culinary excellence.  If you have forgotten the mayo there is a shop in Luss, and there are cafes for the purchase of hot drinks.  Non rowing friends can of course catch up with you in Luss which is just off the A82, and it is of course possible to change crews for the return journey, or indeed swap crew members with other clubs.

Meet on the beach North of the pier (leaving the pier clear for the ferry).  We should try to make a spectacle of a mass depart together at 1.45.


Be Aware of the Loch Lomond Bye-Laws, which include a chapter on navigation.

OS Map:  Landranger Sheet 56 covers the whole loch at 1:50000

Admiralty Chart:  5077, if you are lucky enough to find a copy, covers the Loch.

Loch Lomond Guide to Navigation:  This is the most useful resource, a series of chartlets with all the information you will need to navigate.  We are looking for it online, but have not found it.  Try ordering a copy by phoning the national park on 01389 722030

VHF:  Channel 9.  Keep a listening watch on this channel and use it to call other craft in the fleet


Most importantly, please make sure you make a good impression on behalf of all coastal rowers, and leave the beach and loch at least as pristine as you find it, or more pristine than you find it if it needs it.



Ullapool Survey by rowingthewaves

Scottish Coastal Rowing - August 15, 2017 - 20:09

Dear Ullapool regatta attendees!


We were hoping that you could spare 10-15 minutes to complete a short questionnaire about how much you spent attending the regatta. Please share with team members who also attended.

Don’t worry – this survey is entirely anonymous, and we do not ask for any personal information. We’re asking these questions because we are interested in the economic impact of hosting/attending a regatta.

We are interested in your individual costs – not group costs. For example, if you got a lift and paid £20 petrol money we only want to know about the £20, not what a whole tank would cost. Feel free to write down any additional bits of information in the comment boxes such as the additional costs of bringing children, towing the skiff…etc. Estimates are fine!

Here is the link to the survey:

Please contact us for the access password!

Please remember that this survey relates to ULLAPOOL REGATTA, 8th-9th of July, 2017.

If you have any queries about what we are doing you can contact us on twitter: @RowingTheWaves, on our project email: or you can email Jen directly:, information on the project can be found here;


Thank you very much for your support with this – hopefully see you soon!


Nina and Jen,

Broughty Ferry 2017 Regatta Results

Scottish Coastal Rowing - August 14, 2017 - 12:47

Grateful if someone could send them in!

Shieldaig Regatta and Fete Results

Scottish Coastal Rowing - August 14, 2017 - 12:35

A great turnout for one of our more remote and scenic regattas.  Well done to Avoch who narrowly beat Ullapool to win the overall points competition.  Great to see Lochcarron competing a the regatta, the first of many we hope, and welcome to all the other competing teams too.

There is a great wee bit of drone footage to be found on the Regatta facebook page.






Scottish Coastal Rowing - August 11, 2017 - 23:44

John Barraclough from Arran captured this image of Seabhag in Lamlash Bay.


Scottish Coastal Rowing - August 10, 2017 - 00:11

The Crail skiff Partan seen out on the water today.

1st Stranraer Regatta – Part of the South West Challenge 2017!

Scottish Coastal Rowing - August 1, 2017 - 14:16

Stranraer Water Sports Association is hosting its first regatta as part of the South West Challenge 2017 and Stranraer Oyster Festival – and you’re all invited!

The event will take place on 16th and 17th September with 8 race categories on Saturday and time-trial and novelty racing on Sunday. The Regatta is the third weekend of the jam-packed South West Challenge, with points awarded for performance and, more importantly, participation.

All this will take place during the festivities of the town’s Oyster Festival, with entertainment for all, from giant paella and wild food foraging to live music and surprise performances. The crew of the Oyster Boat, the Vital Spark, will be landing a catch from the floor of Loch Ryan.

There are a number of facilities on-site including catering, club space, secure boat storage, toilets and changing rooms. Caravan, camping, hotel and B&B information is available from organisers.

To register and for more details on the Regatta, email or call 07809363289.

More details can be found at and

If you’re entering the Stranraer Regatta and/or any other South West Challenge events this September, please find full details at and complete the short form here:

Ballantrae Smugglers Chase – 27th of August, starting at 2pm

Scottish Coastal Rowing - July 26, 2017 - 23:58

Ballantrae Smugglers Chase is a great event taking place on the 27th of August, starting at 2pm in the beautiful Ballantrae Bay just south of Girvan (West Scotland, South Ayrshire)

The La Malouine tall ship will be taking part and there will be races in many categories including a fun novelty race.

There will be catering on site, music and fun for families and all.

We would like to invite any rowing clubs who would be up for some exciting rowing celebrating Ballantrae’s unique smuggling history.

Contact email is: for any expressions of interest or queries.

Pride of the Solway Joins the Fleet

Scottish Coastal Rowing - July 16, 2017 - 15:58


Annan Harbour Action Group have launched their second St. Ayles skiff, “Pride of the Solway”, a sister ship for Pride of Annan. This boat build was begun in September 2016 and was finished last week with the final coat of paint being added to the oars. The boatbuilders usually met 3 times a week for a few hours each time and consisted of a number of AHAG members, students from Annan Academy and young adults being supported by Step Together, Dumfries.  Congratulations to all those involved and thanks to the funders, Dumfries and Galloway LEADER, Holywood Trust and Dumfries and Galloway Area Committee. The group are already moving on to the next build, which will be a Tammie Norrie, and are looking forward to welcoming skiffies to their forthcoming events on 22 and 23 July, being the Annan regatta on the Saturday, and a row in company to England for the Bell Ringer’s Raid on the Sunday.

Picture Credit:  William Richardson from the AHAG facebook page.

Youth Regatta Success at Largs

Scottish Coastal Rowing - July 15, 2017 - 23:30

The young rowers and the organisers of the Largs edition of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Youth Regatta series laughed in the face of  dreich scotch weather and ploughed on through the furrows and peaks of a starboard bow sea to complete their races on the Ayrshire coast today.  The hosts, Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club were joined by young skiffies from Prestwick, Queensferry, Deveron and North Berwick.

Conditions were challenging, but it was a challenge that the crews were up to.  The first two races were held over a longer course.  Firstly for boys and then for girls.  As the photos below, all by Robert Dawson, show the waves were of a height and length which gave the rowing experience the full four dimensions (up down, in and out, round about and a bit wet).  After lunch the course was shortened considerably, to all fit within more sheltered water in the lee of slipways, and the four mixed races were won by a full variety of clubs.




FOCCRS took care to thank their  supporters (Saturn SailsBosun’s TableEuroyachtsFlamingo Yacht ChartersLargs Chandlers Ltd and DDZ Marine for sponsoring the fantastic medals from Revolv3d Limited and to Tiny Shiny Things . A massive thanks to all the hardy FOCCRs who came together to deliver the event with the support of Largs Sailing Club who lent some (runaway) marks and a RIB for the day, as well as providing lunch and a well-utilised warm and dry clubhouse used as a hub. We are all looking forward to the Firth of Clyde Regatta on the 2 September.  Many of the club regattas over the summer will feature junior events of some sort or another.  The next SCRA Youth Series events are at Eastern ARC (Portobello Beach) on 16 September and at Avoch for the Northern Circuit on 21 October.


Ullapool Regatta 2017

Scottish Coastal Rowing - July 14, 2017 - 16:53

Ullapool Regatta 2017 Report

This year Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club welcomed clubs from all over Scotland and Strangford from Northern Ireland, 23 in all. As well as longer established clubs we were glad to meet newcomers Gourdon, Lochinver, and Golspie who won the Best New Club award.

Six of the clubs fielded youth teams as part of the 6 Youth Regattas this year in Scotland, and we are excited to see this section of the sport growing. Deveron (based in Banff) brought a large team, as did the home side, plus Avoch, Portsoy, Strangford and Eastern. Ullapool won the Youth prize for a series of strong performances and credit goes to them and their coaches.

Saturday saw the 60+, 50+ and youth age groups compete, with the day’s fastest time set by North Berwick’s 60+ Men at 12 minutes 47.6 seconds. The day turned a bit wet and gusty towards the end but it did not stop the racing. North Berwick dominated the adult results with wins in the 50+ Women, 60+ Men and 60+ Women. Broughty Ferry took the 60+ Mixed and Coigach the 50+ Mixed, with Ullapool the victors in the 50+ Men.

Five hardy teams contested the 250m sprints along the shore, with Boatie Blest winning the plate for the fastest time.

Then about 300 rowers descended on the High School for a well earned meal, drinks, and dancing to former pupil Rory Matheson and his band. This cunning plan by UCRC to wear out the opposition with drink and dancing worked splendidly, and the ceilidh was voted a great success.

Sunday brought a welcome easing of the wind and dry weather with occasional sunshine, and the street and beach became very busy with locals, rowers and visitors enjoying the day. The loch was also busy, with a cruise liner, helicopters, safety boats, umpire boats, spectator boats, 5 Flying 15’s, 23 skiffs and a couple of drones.

Boatie Blest stormed to victory in the 40+ Men and the 40+ Mixed, with Coigach taking the Open A Mixed and the Open A Men by a big margin. Their Open A Men time was 12 minutes 16.5 seconds, the fastest time of the weekend. North Berwick took the 40+ Womens’ race. St Andrews won the Open B Men and Ullapool took the Open B Women. The overall regatta results are on our website and Facebook page, but the first three places went to Ullapool, North Berwick and Coigach.

Unfortunately the cruise ship took so long to raise its anchor at its scheduled departure time, that the race timetable which had kept close to time all day, slipped by 10 minutes. As we operate between ferry times this meant that the last race, the Open B Mixed, had to be cancelled. We were disappointed to have to do this but the alternative is ending up in the propellers of the ferry!

UCRC thanks all the visiting clubs for their help in umpiring, their effort and enthusiasm, and looks forward to next year.

Ullapool Regatta 2017 scores and ranking-1

2017RegattaFinalTimesPositions – Ulla



Skiff Tow to Skiffie Strangford Lough Festival 21-23 July

Scottish Coastal Rowing - July 11, 2017 - 19:53

Thinking of attending this event and still to sort out transporting your skiff. A double St Ayles trailer is heading for the event from SW Scotland and there is space for one skiff- to make arrangements contact Geoff Turner at

NEW – South West Challenge 2017!

Scottish Coastal Rowing - June 30, 2017 - 15:27

Clubs are invited to attend a new series of regattas in Scotland’s South West this September.

Starting with Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club’s fifth Largs Regatta on Saturday 2nd September, clubs will take to the water for 500m straight sprints with a variety of categories. A social row round the beautiful Isle of Cumbrae is then planned on Sunday.

The following Saturday sees Carrick Coastal Rowing Club’s 8km Exciseman’s Chase take place down the coast at Maidens, followed by some short sprints and a barbeque. Clubs then head across to Glencaple, where they will begin the six-mile Nith Navigation race to Dumfries on Sunday.

Next up, clubs head westwards for a weekend of time trial races at Stranraer Water Sports Association’s first-ever regatta, coinciding with the Stranraer Oyster Festival.

The finale takes place on Saturday 23rd September at Castle to Crane, Scotland’s biggest open water rowing race – set to be the biggest-ever gathering of St Ayles Skiffs. Clubs who have already been drawn will then compete for the Glasgow Cup Glasgow Coastal Rowing Club’s second Regatta. Others are welcome to join a picnic and row on Loch Lomond, where many other Castle to Crane competitors will be gathering.

Tall Ship ‘La Malouine’ will be in attendance at all four venues with limited berths available to book via Roy Kerr ( – Saturday night fun guaranteed!

We’re delighted that Dutch and Northern Irish Skiffs will be joining local clubs for the challenge – but we’re keen for more to enter! All you need to do is complete the short form here:

A whole weekend racing in Portsoy?

Scottish Coastal Rowing - June 27, 2017 - 16:05

With Scottish Coastal Rowing, a few waves and changeable weather is what we love to row in.  To keep us all on our toes, we had it all at Portsoy at the weekend, in abundance.  Alongside the 14 skiffs who attended, Anstruther, Avoch, Portsoy, Broughty Ferry, North Berwick, Boatie Blest, Collieston, Burghead,  Queensferry, Orkney, Cullen Sea School, Cattterline/Gourdon, Findhorn, Deveron and SW (Galgael, FOCCRS combo) we were joined by 5 Shetland yoals from Burra, Bigton, Lerwick and Spangalang and Rinansey from Orkney to battle it out on the Moray Firth.

The racing kicked off with the triangular course outside the harbour turning 2 buoys before returning to the harbour for vitory.  First out were the Men’s Open 2K which was won by Boatie Blest in the fastest time of 11.46, the first yoal (Hadd At from Shetland) coming in at 11.55.  It was then the Women’s Open 2K where North Berwick’s winning time was 12.55 and the again the first Shetland yowl was Hadd At with a time of 13.10.  Special mention to the Portsoy skiffettes who came in 3rd position behind Anstruther!


It was then time for the sprint course which was run directly out from the harbour, in heats of 3 at a time out round a port turn buoy back into the harbour mouth.  Mixed 60+ was  the first category and this was won by Broughty Ferry in a final time of 5.oo, followed by Anstruther and Queensferry.  The mixed novices then managed to complete their races with Anstruther skiff winning in a time of 5.23.  By the time the Mixed 40+ had started running the heats, the weather stopped play.  Racing was then called off for the day with the situation being assessed on the Sunday morning.

Alas and a lack, it was not to be on Sunday with the wind changing direction to the North, conditions were just too wild for racing.  The presentations then took place with medals for gold, silver and bronze positions and Anstruther retained the overall trophy for another year.

Full results are here:  Portsoy Results 2017


Special thanks to Helen who was The Chief for all things skiff racing, ably assisted by the various loons and quines who helped out over the weekend.  Again the hospitality was superb, with soup, teas coffees etc all being provided at the Boatshed.  Timekeepers and beach marshalls all getting a huge thanks from all rowers, who do appreciate all their work.  Next year we WILL get 2 lovely days of calm water and no wind…………………. problem is – we would HATE that!


Photo thanks to Patsy Bain, Bruce Dryburgh and Allan Robertson.

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