We are a rowing club involved in recreational and competitive rowing and are a member of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association which has grown rapidly since 2009 with many clubs around Scotland and across the World. Most of our rowing is done in the St Ayles Skiff which is a seaworthy, clinker built, fixed seat rowing boat, for four rowers and a cox. We have three of these which were built, and are maintained, by members of the club.
- We offer local on-water activities to suit a variety of preferences, ranging from race training to pleasure and social rowing. Members also enjoy opportunities to participate in regattas and other events throughout Scotland and occasionally further afield.
- We construct and maintain our own boats and equipment; membership will afford you access to skilled amateurs who can teach you rewarding boat building and maintenance skills.
- We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of competence and safety in coastal rowing; members are encouraged to develop valuable skills in boat handling and seamanship and continue the rich nautical heritage of North Berwick.
Row Porty and Eastern's Regatta Saturday 20th May 2023
It was an early morning start for Blackadder, as she headed along the coast to Portobello beach for the first time in 4 years, for the combined Row Porty and Eastern Regatta. Enthusiastic rowers followed on, to be greeted by this huge expanse of soft golden sand, something we’re not quite used to in North Berwick at the moment! The tide was far out on arrival, no wind, and the presence of a low mist hovering over the sea all day created an eerie calmness. With 7 clubs competing, including Ullapool who had travelled the furthest, this 2k race involved rowing 1km eastwards parallel to the beach, around a buoy on starboard, and then powering back westwards for 1km to the finish line. Not for the faint hearted!
Our first race was the Men’s 200+, who successfully took gold, what a start to the day! This was followed by the Women’s 200+, which took a turn of events after crossing the finish line in third place, when they found out Eastern had been disqualified for turning on the wrong side of their buoy. So our ladies accepted a lovely silver medal! The third race of the day was the Men’s Open who brought home a Gold medal with a clear win. Racing took a short break as there was a protest on organised by “Surfers Against Sewage”. Many people gathered on the beach to protest to keep our waters clean and fresh.
The afternoons racing kicked off with the Women’s Open, who’s impeccable timing and determination whilst in 2nd place at the buoy turn against Eastern, gained a powerful distance in the final stretch to win Gold. It’s always a tough race against Eastern, who broke a pin in the last 500m. The Mixed Decades followed with another Gold medal and a novice now no longer a novice! Well done to Saartje. Next up was the Mixed Open, another competitive race with Eastern only 4 seconds behind them so another Gold. Meanwhile, the waiting crews were preparing themselves for the anticipated blindfold race, in which we came first. A lot of hilarity and shouting from the coxes could be heard “in, in, in..” during this 1km race, starting at the buoys. The final race of the day was Andy’s race, where club boats are used with their own coxes but have random crew from different clubs. A great way to try a different skiff.
In buzzing Portobello, cafes and vans are plentiful along the promenade, so cakes, ice-creams and strong coffees were never in short supply and certainly boosted energy levels throughout the day. And I’m sure Tilly and Maisie (doggie support duo) had their fair share too, especially with the ice cream!
Many thanks to Row Porty and Eastern for pulling together a great regatta. You couldn’t have picked a better day for the conditions, the medals were beautifully made miniature oars. I think NB now have their deserved fair share..enough to row to the Bass Rock perhaps!?
A big thank you also to the Drewitts for towing Blackadder there and back! Anyone ready for another regatta?
More photos of the day can be found here
Port Seton Regatta 6th May 2023
Seven teams headed along to the first regatta of the season at Port Seton this weekend. It was overcast and misty much of the day with rain showers and even a bit of thunder to add some drama to the racing!
There were some worried faces on arrival at the lack of water in the harbour but within a couple of hours, and just about on schedule, the tide came in and there was enough water for racing to kick off.
The races were short and fast with boats navigating around two buoys at opposite ends of the harbours. The fastest two crews in each category qualified for the final.
Well done to all the crews who competed, it was a day of fast and furious racing! The Mixed Open A crew started the medal tally for North Berwick with a silver in their incredibly close final against Port Seton’s Boatie Blest crew. The Mixed Open B and the Women's Over 40 crews brought home gold, both battling against Eastern in their finals and the Men's Open crew also triumphed to win gold against Boatie Blest. The Women's Open crew got silver in their close fought final against Boatie Blest and 2 bronze medals for the Women's 50+ and Mixed 50+. The best results though were three of our novice rowers winning Gold, meaning they are no longer novices! Fantastic, well done Jess Ivy, Jen Wilson and Robert Eckhart.
It was a great start to the regatta season with Port Seton putting on a brilliant spread of food, cake and refreshments, keeping us all going throughout the day. The medals were lovely, made from the old keel of their boat and some local coal. Thanks to all the members who towed, packed, set up, put away, filmed and photographed the day! Check out the photos of the regatta on Flickr and videos on YouTube.
Blackadder Back on the Water
The Boat Maintenance Team at NB Rowing Club have been busy over the spring repainting and varnishing Blackadder ready for the 2023 rowing season. After sanding and painting the hull, the fixtures and fittings were given a bit of TLC and the new cushions strapped in.
Blackadder was the third boat to be built in North Berwick and was launched in May 2014. She was named after John Blackadder, a 17th century outspoken preacher who was imprisoned on the Bass Rock. His gravestone is in Old St Andrews Kirk graveyard in Kirkports.
The small children in this photo have all grown up and learnt to row as part of the rowing family.
North Berwick Rowing Club is extremely grateful to North Berwick Trust for their grant which supported the purchase of the cushions and a set of new oars. This will help us continue support the recreational and competitive rowing that is enjoyed by our wide demographic of rowers (ages 14 - 80)!
Trades Cup 2023
On Sunday 16 April nine new crews took part in the Trades Cup. This event, organised by North Berwick Rowing Club, gives people who have never rowed before the opportunity to practise under the supervision of an experienced cox before competing against each other. Ages in the teams ranged from 15 to 82 years old showing that rowing is a popular activity for all ages. The races took place at North Berwick’s Elcho Green where participants, club members and spectators enjoyed surprisingly balmy weather, refreshments and fierce competition on the water.
Club Captain, Millie Lowe, presented the Trades Cup trophy to the winning team East Rock Strokers who were the overall winners on the day. Since the event five new members have joined the club. North Berwick Rowing Club has a busy weekly programme of rowing options that members are free to sign up. Non members are very welcome to Try Rowing or can make contact with the club via the website.
More photos can be viewed here.
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