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.

Row Porty Regatta May 2023
Click for album

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