With a heavy heart we have decided to cancel our regatta, due to be held on Saturday 29th August.  We’re still looking forward to the day that we can welcome you all to North Berwick, whenever that can be, and hope that it won’t be too far away!
Clive Drewitt, NBRC Secretary, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Photo: Steve Thomson
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Tuesday last week I welcomed 8 Eyemouth rowers to have a wee row in our skiff John b and try out our oars.

 I first met Alison when escorting the Eyemouth gala queen from St. Abbs and enjoying their hospitality in a party afterwards.
 
 We borrowed their boat Seabreeze for a month or so in 2012 , after St. Baldred was damaged in the big storm.
 
 We had a lovely couple of hours in and out the bay, along the west passage and out to the Craig. They were amazed at how many puffin puddles we had. And thoroughly enjoyed rowing the John B. The sun shone for us to have a wee picnic on the beach after, supported by the lovely Tracy and Claire. 
So lovely to also be presented with a gorgeous bunch of flowers on my return home.
 
 
Then on Saturday the 3 amigos set forth with St. Baldred in tow on another bright warm day. Picking up an eastern lass (Patsy) on our merry way to anster where St. B. was first launched on 28 May 2010.  This was the first getting together of skiffs and with the paint still drying and a space hopper for a Cox seat, the fun began. Six merry starter clubs, porty, boatie, Coigach, Ulla, anster and NB, a lot of oar thrashing and racing fun started off our amazing life changing sport for many communities.
 
 
So launching at anster with a stash of pies and cakes, we rowed down to Pittenweem to hand over our St. Baldred pilgrim token to St. Killian, a fifteen foot high puppet, which was then carried all up the coast. The Pittenweem skiff then delivered the wreath to fruitful with the soon to be Cellardyke queen, Ellie Deas. Rowing back up the coast practicing our lay back , trail oars and recover to be used later...there was mention of the red mist descending on more than one boat  but a lovely long rythmatic stroke took us back to anster to retrieve the bishop and St. Ayles chaps aboard the home skiffs
 
We managed to grab a stow away (Lynn) as has been history for us from NBRC on the east Neuk side. The wind and waves having got up and with our stowaway, we needed a handicap system to see who benefitted. Three oars on each Fife boat with a passenger..
 
Onto Cellardyke and our practiced moves, an empty harbour of boats, the music bellowed out and cheers from a few hundred towns folks. The crowning of Ellie and throwing our oars in salute. Before 50 volunteers set off confetti flares , very striking against cobalt skies. Back on up to lay the wreath and model boats in commemoration of all those who'd lost their lives at sea.
 
 
The water was certainly whipping up as we returned to anster again where Crail were just changing crews to row back up the coast on training. The day was polished off the toasties in the sun before getting back to NB again. 
 
Very proud to have been involved and such an amazing day. Richard from anster, put in a huge amount of work to get this all working seamlessly. And to our Robbie for getting us all together.
 
Jacque Turner

Ingredients:

  • Venue – ideally a place of obscurity but somewhere competitors will talk fondly of for years
  • Crew – preferably one you know – include a cox with a loud encouraging voice
  • Motivation – Finals to make, Medals to win
  • Enthusiasm – for winter circuits, freezing cold water at launch and dealing with NE spring winds – you will need buckets of this throughout the winter and the lead up to the championships
  • Training – over 4 Million metres on Club ergos, add gym and personal machines if that is easier or if you don’t want to deal with the pain cave or torture terrace
  • Planning – know your lane, and know how you are going to execute the race
  • Strength – this is both mental and physical – do not underestimate the amount you will need of the former
  • Confidence – believe in the training you have done
  • Support – from fellow club members, Family and Friends, and on occasion from your fellow competitors
  • Boat – 150kg – but just to be safe add 400g
  • Oars – long and heavy, short and lighter – you choose – but bring 20 just in case
  • Rudder – make sure it is down – coxes please touch it as little as possible
  • Fun – know when to pick up a drink, have a laugh and dominate the dancefloor

…and a pinch of luck from the weather gods.

Method:

Take all of the above, mix well, spread evenly across the Club and you are close to being the best Club at the Championships – fourth best to be exact and second best in Scotland.

If you have read updates from other Clubs or you spoke to anyone at the Worlds you will know that the standard of competition is rising all the time and the margins are smaller than ever. So, to make finals with an increasingly bigger field of competitors (there were 57 Clubs in attendance at Stranraer) is an accomplishment on its own. Those who go and win medals (or narrowly miss out) – well you guys are up there as the best or close to the best in the World, and to those who didn’t win medals – you have made the start line, taken your chance and that is to be applauded also – you are within the top 15 Skiffie rowing crews in the World. 

It would be easy to go through the days of Worlds and rhyme off the results and call out those who have medalled, but in short, we got through heats, in some cases repechages and made every final of every race we entered and came away with 7 Medals – 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 4 Bronze. We can take real pride in this achievement. It’s simple to underestimate this accomplishment and focus on the medal counts, but it is better summed up by looking at the 50+ Mixed race which demonstrates the real spirit of what we do. This race was won by Golspie and it is hard to put into words the emotion that was seen on the beach after their win. Everyone from all Clubs were elated for them that day, as their Club had won a Gold, and a medal which clearly meant a lot to them all. It was proper lump-in-the-throat stuff, and that’s what it is all about.  The perfect recipe of camaraderie, perseverance and true sportsmanship. 

Well done everyone for cooking up a great Skiffie World Championships in Stranraer 2019!

Race

Stranraer 2019 Position

60+ Women

3

60+ Men

9

60+ Mix

4

50+ Women

15

50+ Men

8

50+ Mix

12

40+ Women

3

40+ Men

3

40+ Mix

2

Open Women

7

Open Men

1

Open Mix A

1

Open Mix B

6

u40 Men

3

u40 Women

4

World Champions

  • Mens Open – Dave Davidson, Ian Baird, Clive Rooney, John Irvine, Alice Everett
  • Mixed Open – Alice Everett, Ian Baird, Clive Rooney, Millie Scott, Lizzie Cowan

Silver Medallists

  • 40+ Mix – Lou Presslie, Dave Davidson, Laura Cram, John Irvine, Jacque Turner

Bronze Medallists

  • 60+ Women – Meg Ennis, Issy Anderson, Sarah Whitely, Anne Hume, Phil Robertson
  • 40+ Women – Lou Presslie, Laura Cram, Jo Drewitt, Claire Simpson, Dave Davidson
  • 40+ Men – Ross McKinney, John Irvine, John Sanderson, Robbie Wightman, Lou Presslie
  • u40 Men – Gareth Walker, Clive Rooney, Ian Baird, Gregor Davidson, Alice Everett
  • u19 Women – Kirsty Cram – who rowed for Avoch

 

The sun shone at Royal West on Saturday, just like it always does!

Seven clubs enjoyed a day of close racing and catching up with friends from afar. Royal West promised us a relaxed regatta, and so it was – but no-one took it easy on the water. Our Womens’ Open crew came second to Anstruther by 0.34s – and that was the story for much of the day. Anstruther took home most of the medals, winning 4 of the seven races, but a consistently strong performance by North Berwick crews meant that we shared the honours with equal points overall. Every stroke counted!

NBRC and Anstruther have won this regatta for the last six years, and this was a great end to the day. Thanks to Royal West for making us all so welcome and running a super regatta!

And bragging rights… go to the old boys, with the fastest time of the day, bringing home gold in the Mens 50+. <Smug Mode On>

Did I mention fastest time of the day already? Really? Did I? Oh.

 

Clive.

 

Broughty Ferry Regatta was one we had pencilled in as a good warmup prior to the Worlds in July....a triangular course of 2.3KM had been set. The first leg took the boats into the middle of  the Tay where a strengthening incoming tide challenged coxes to pick a smart course to avoid being swept upriver.

Twelve clubs were represented with some travelling a long way from the North (Cromarty, Avoch, Portsoy, Colliestion) as well as some familiar rivals like Eastern (or “Western” if you rightly consider North Berwick as your point of reference…then again that would make us Berwick, and the other town South Berwick….what a tangled web, it may be too late to pursue this. :-(  ) and strong crews from the host club ….we brought a squad of 21 to compete in 10 of the 11 races…..missing only a 60+ ladies crew.

But not having a  60+ ladies crew was never going to stop our club legend, Issy, from bagging a brace of medals, she and the Mixed 60+ crew, stormed to a win on the first race of the day. That set the precedent for further wins in the Women’s 40+, Women’s 50+, Mixed 40+ and Men’s Open….backed up by Silver in Men’s 50+, Men’s 60+ and Women’s open and Bronze in Mixed 50+.

The regatta was superbly hosted by Broughty the on the water racing was well marshalled, catering was top notch, and the medals were fabulous, what a great day out. 

 

David Davidson