We do like it rough at NB ! The sun shone and the wind certainly blew.
White horses and big side waves to the Craig, a nice bit of clapotis then settle in for a breather in the good water round the back...and steel your selves for the wall of wind and final sprint for home.
More than one club commented that this is what coastal rowing is all about and our experience of these conditions certainly paid off.
Some great wins for us in the Mens 40 plus, Mixed 60s, ladies 50s , Mixed open, a 1 and 2 in the Mixed Over 45s and end epic battle in the Mens Open coming from behind to take a last gasp win beating Coigach by a second.
Thanks to all the clubs for making a fantastic day and and to everyone here who put massive time and effort making it a success.
The west coast is notoriously rainy throughout the year. At NBRC we prepare ourselves for whatever the elements throw at us. However, 20 of our members were pleasantly surprised when arriving at Greenock on the 9th August for the Royal West regatta, to be bathed in warm sunshine with only a slight hint of a breeze. The majestic backdrop of the Lomond Hills and the little town of Helensburgh across the Clyde provided a magnificent setting. Conditions were indeed perfect after the atrocious monsoon-type weather of last year's event. It was a great start to the day. We thought that it couldn't get any better but of course it did!
Crews from Anstruther, Firth of Clyde, Troon, Carrick, Royal West and amazingly enough Bristol attended. Hats off to Bristol - a reasonably new club - for making the 8-hour journey to Inverclyde.
The course was a 2000m triangular course (750 x 750 x 500) with a floating start. Sandy, and Saskia made excellent baton runners. In these types of races, every second counts and the 20m dash from the starter to SJB was crucial. The process was repeated at the end of the race with a taxing sprint from the boat back to the starter.
In the first race of the day, our open women's crew were narrowly beaten into second place by a competent Anstruther crew. In the next race, the open men also took second place to Anstruther after an extremely hard-fought race.
In all, NBRC won gold in 5 out of nine races. Our 40+ mixed crew performed brilliantly with the best time of the day in 11 minutes and 10 seconds. Well done Jo, Clive, Medium and Sheena and cox Issy for a great race. The 40+ men's crew also took home gold in a remarkable time of 11 minutes and 14 seconds. It was gold too for the 55+ women, the 55+ men AND 55+ mixed crews (a time of 11.28) who proved their stamina and prowess in keenly contested events.
As well as achieving the fastest time of the day, NBRC won the regatta on points beating our main rivals Anstruther.
Our coxes too should be given some praise. A special thanks to Dave, Clive, Phil, Issy and Jacque for their cajoling and encouragement.
Our sincere thanks too to Adam and his team for their organisational skills and to the safety boat crew and caterers who worked so hard to make the day possible. Lastly, a massive thanks to whoever provided such exceptional weather. It made all the difference.
Saturday 1st August saw a small group of NBRC members head along the coast to Musselburgh to take part in Eskmuthe Rowing Club's second skiff regatta. Other clubs present were Port Seton, Row Porty and some representatives of Amble Rowing Club who were using one of Eskmuthe's boats.
The racing kicked off in the early afternoon. The course was a race out for 500m to a line of buoys and then back again to the beach with each club having their own lane for the duration of the racing. Whilst the start of the races was fairly sheltered, by the time the boats got out to the buoys the cross wind became an important factor, making for some interesting buoy turns! The first race, the mixed open, was won by Port Seton in Boatie Lodge with Skiff John B coming in second. Port Seton won again in the mixed women's race with Skiff John B coming in third. Special mention has to go to Norma and Sheena who rowed in consecutive races. The third race, the mixed men, saw North Berwick get their first and only win of the afternoon by 0.9 of a second from Port Seton. The heavens opened during the course of the Decades race, which was won by Port Seton with Skiff John B coming in second. The weather had really deteriorated by this point so everyone decamped to the warmth of the yacht club in the hope that conditions would improve. Eventually it was decided that one more race would go ahead, the pick and mix. Following the pattern of the afternoon, the race was won by Boatie Lodge with one rower from Port Seton and Amble and two from North Berwick.
Following the racing there was a tug of war competition with teams of four men and three women from each of the various clubs. Despite our best efforts North Berwick were beaten in the final by Row Porty.
Everyone from Eskmuthe Rowing Club was very friendly and welcoming, especially the three young girls who manned the refreshments stall and were fantastic at selling their produce. Add to that a few beautiful medals made from left over wood from the building of Eskmuthe's new boat, Steedie Falconer, and I can safely say a great afternoon was had by all.
Eighteen members of NBRC made the journey to Loch Broom for the Ullapool Regatta on the weekend of Friday 10th July.
Unusually there was a little rain this year (ahem!), but our spirits were not dampened, and as ever, we rowed, partied, celebrated, and all the things that make rowing fun.
The complete results can be found on the SCRA website, but to summarise (thanks to Elisa)-
•Our Ladies’ 50+ brought home the gold, winning by an impressive 22 second margin – the best win of the whole event!
•Our Men's 50+ made an epic comeback, going from last to third place after getting caught on the start line (a problem that affected quite a few clubs throughout the event)
•Our Men's Open team rowed the WHOLE 2 km without a rudder after it got tangled on the start line; despite rowing a good bit further than the course required them to, they finished in 6th out of 16 places, and did what was probably the best buoy turn of the regatta!
•The 40+ Men came 2nd out of 16. 50+ Men came 3rd. Mixed Open, 40+ Women and 50+ Mixed all came 4th. Mixed 40+ did a respectable 6th.
•Our juniors did very well too and were real ambassadors for NBRC, joining and being joined by other young rowers in under 19 and under 17 teams.
•We came 4th overall out of the 20 clubs competing! I think that qualifies as a resounding success!
Friday’s entertainment was an interesting mix of music, the highlight being a band “Hunter and the Bear”
Saturday was the Ceilidh, the usual fantastic epic.
Our thanks go to everyone at Ullapool for organising and hosting such a fine event.
A final quote from one of our rowers - “Well done to all the rowers that came to Ullapool, rowed, beat other teams, got beaten and were still able to enjoy it.”
It epitomises what Coastal Rowing is all about, and the spirit of our sport.
A Midsummer Night’s Row – By Alan B., Cameron, Clive, Elisa, Finlay R., Issy, Jo, Karen, Mel and Sheena
“Four oars will quickly steep themselves in night;
Four rowers will quickly dream away the time;
And then the skiff, like to a silver bow
New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.”
Those five lines set the scene for our Summer Solstice adventure on the 21st June 2015. At 3.30am ten not-too-awake NBRC members met at the Dinghy Park to prepare Skiff John B. and Blackadder for the club’s first ever Midsummer Night’s Row.
At exactly 4.00am the two boats left the sleepy shelter of North Berwick harbour and headed towards the Craig. A guillemot nearly joined Skiff John B.’s crew, but decided at the last second that it wasn’t up for this kind of morning exercise and took off without a glance back. On the “dark side” of the Craig, two enchanted crews watched the sun rise through a layer of clouds and felt the mystery of summer approaching.
The fearless journey of the Don Quixotes continued into the teeth of a building sea. The intrepid wanderers sought shelter in the lee of the Lamb and, after a fiery exchange of views with a lobster pot, the boats rafted and rode to a single anchor.
After feasting on Manna and honey wine (okay, coffee and cakes) our heroes were ushered by the winds back towards the safety of their homeland. After defeating a final tempest on rounding the Craig on the last leg of the journey, the expedition made it safely back to shore.
It was 6.00am, and the town was still sound asleep.
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