When it's just too windy, and dark to row on the water, we hit the gym for a Christmas race on the rowing machines...you would not believe how tired you can get within 4 minutes, but this was a fun event with lots of support for people of all abilities and experience followed by a couple of festive shandies in the pub.

Another trip to the West Coast for NBRC took us to Largs, home of the famous Nardini Ice Cream parlour and a very fine spot for rowing indeed. 

No wind was bad news for the many sailors that were on the water, but great news for us rowers to enjoy fast rowing in flat conditions. 

Our hosts, Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing club were having their second regatta, which was well attended by local clubs from the West Coast, and a couple of interlopers (ourselves and Anstruther) making the day trip over from the East Coast.


The racing was a mixture of 2k races around a single buoy turn and 500m straight line sprints. The 2K races take about 12 minutes, our mixed open crew held off Anstruther and the local boats to get our first win under the belt. Next up was our men’s crew, who won their heat, but that wasn’t enough to get a medal as the next heat went faster and first prize went to Royal West. Our ladies knew they’d have to row well to get ahead of Anstruther but it wasn’t to be and we were pushed into second place by the Queens of Fife. 

After lunch was a series of 500m sprints and NBRC came into its own, to be fair we’ve been doing this for 5 or 6 years now and most of the clubs were in their first year of racing, but it’s a race so we went our hardest! We took all but one of the sprints, which was great for us, but the races were all hard fought and we were blowing hard at the finish. The one sprint that eluded us was the juniors, but we put in a mixed crew including a couple of 13 year olds (Gregor and Kirsty) along with Heather (aged 15) and the experienced old head of Cameron (aged 18) and they made us all proud with their neat rowing style and they pushed the local crew all the way.

After all that we felt fish and chips at the famous Nardinis was well deserved.

Many thanks to Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club for a great regatta.

Taking time out from tending blistered bits of body to write up our report of an amazing weekend hosted by Islay Rowing Club. The mere fact of travelling by ferry lends an air of adventure to any expedition and this was no exception. We were treated to a most beautiful two hour cruise under blue skies from Kennacraig to Port Ellen in the south of Islay. Our accommodation for the next three days was “The Nest” a recently refurbished traditional Islay house which was just ideal. On Friday evening we made contact with our hosts in The Islay Hotel to run through the itinerary for the next couple of days. Racing was planned for Saturday and recreational rowing for Sunday, so an early night would have been a good idea!

Saturday dawned dampish( Hissing down with thunder and lightning!) but luckily the serious business of racing was planned for early evening so we took advantage of the time to stretch our legs on the path from Port Ellen to Ardbeg via Laphroaig and Lagavulin! It was amazing to stagger across so many famous names contained within so few square miles!

At 5 we donned our red gear and sallied forth to uphold the honour of NBRC. However, Islay Rowing Club had other plans and we put names in a hat to form teams taken from both clubs. This proved to be enormous fun and, as always, it was really interesting to see how other clubs set up their boats and to pick up tips from their style of rowing. We had ladies’, men’s and mixed racing in three of the five Islay skiffs: Lily Bheag, Bluebell and Bonnie Anne. Competition was fierce, and hugely enjoyed by all of us.

Fwd: Pics from islay
Fwd: Pics from islay

We rounded off the evening with a barbecue on the harbour side where huge amounts of Malteser cake were consumed by the author and friendships cemented.

To our utter delight, recreational rowing on Sunday seemed to involve rowing from one distillery to the next, sampling a range of Islay Malts as we went on our merry way!

Phil’s face was split from ear to ear by a huge cheesy grin which grew steadily wider as the day progressed! Against all the odds, we managed to row back to Port Ellen where the endless hospitality of our hosts saw us leaving the Islay Hotel each bearing a bottle of Islay Malt Whisky!

We had an unforgettable weekend and our thanks must go to Islay Rowing Club for their friendship and hospitality which epitomised the true spirit of Coastal Rowing.

Great day out at South Queensferry where the scenery and home baking are hard to beat Big up to the novice crew of Tracy, Mrs Medium, Ann and Clive who had to pull 16 stone of cox around and still win their race in a very competetive lineup. Placings for mixed , mens and ladies over 40 whilst our open ladies were a victim to some over zealous reading or lack of reading the rules by some of the younger clubs.

Order was restored by the imperious men's open crew romping home coxed by our delightful ladies captain putting the whippersnapper back in their box. There was a mix up race after but the author was stuffing his face with cake after a self imposed fast in the name of weight saving.



Thursday is ladies night at NBRC, in a rare window of calm during this weeks high winds, the ladies managed an outing on their regular Thursday night slot.  Ten of North Berwick Rowing Club's fairer sex headed east to Daisy Island at a steady pace.  Newbies joined some of the clubs more experienced rowers and no doubt were picking up tips on how to pull that oar and stay in time.  As the daylight is pretty much at it's maximum this month a couple of regatta crews were out after us so we didn't even have to put the boat away.  As Mel put it "it's like getting a train ride and not having to pay" .  Same again next week.  Happy Days.