What a wonderful weekend, the hardy-and you had to be in thoroughly inclement conditions- dozen North Berwick skiffies did their team, town, county and country incredibly proud, securing podium places in several categories. It wouldn’t be a regatta without plenty of drama on and off the water, near clashes of oars at turning bouys and interesting conversations were overheard from the umpire boats. “Can we meet on the beach for a private chat” was one such comment, leaving those who had crossed the finishing line biting their nails, in anticipation of a DQ! This was Ullapool however and the hosts were generous and kind and as delighted to be hosting a regatta, as we were to attend. North Berwick came 2nd equal overall, inextricably linked with Eastern (Easter Berwick?)however an extra point or two might have been gained, had two of the 60+ ladies not been “poached” to make up a composite crew- They know who they are and will remain nameless.
The racing was challenging, on Saturday there was a strong wind and lively loch, on Sunday flat calm, but with constant rain and visibility coming and going. Buoy turns, it would be fair to say, are still a work in progress and there were one or two incidents, when manoeuvring out of fairly tight spaces, but the rowing was terrific fun, highly successful and the team pulled together with excellent camaraderie. Sadly our gazebo was found in an intimate embrace with a give way sign, after a night of strong winds. Our hosts, who happened to be passing early in the morning were able to scaffold it, well done them! Plan B a requirement for the Netherlands! Wind, rain, babies (Luka is simply adorable- a teeny rower in the making), puppies, cake-lots of cake, climbing over walls whilst over-refreshed and unable to walk the extra 100m or so back to the tents, soggy feet and bottoms and a delightful Sunday morning row across a flat Loch Broom before the rain are all happy happy memories of a delightful weekend in the best of company, with the best of hosts. Bring on July 2023.
More pictures of the day can be found here
What a great day - mild, dry and lots of sunny smiles even before the sun came out and added to the lovely friendly ambience. Lots of good cheer around, old friends meeting up, all helped by the copious supply of wonderful food and drinks supplied, (the cakes get a particular thumbs up from me). The unofficial Club dog Maisie added a fluffy dynamic to the day.
What initially looked like a straightforward anti clockwise rectangular course around 4 buoys on the River Tay, showed an interesting element as time went on, as the preferred positions and routes changed during the day for each set of crews when the tide changed from incoming, to slack, to outgoing. In the last race of the day, the NB crew and one other felt the pain of being in the lane furthest from the shoreline where the tidal flow against them was the strongest.
This regatta was also an opportunity for some of the Worlds’ crews to compete together against stiff opposition. As a newbie to racing myself the sight of this was quite awesome. The Juniors were fantastic (well done) and the newbies did hold their heads up coming a respectable fifth (with one male in their crew whereas all others had two males). Many congratulations to all.
Our overall place at the end of a good day was second out of 12 Clubs. Brilliant - Well done all North Berwick crews. Broughty Ferry were overall first - Well done.
Great day. Looking forward to the next one now.
More pictures from the day can be found here
The 22-23 April weekend saw 12 St Ayle’s Skiffs (Avoch, Arran, FOCCR, Appin, Prestwick, North Berwick, Loch Awe, Renegade, Row Porty, St Andrews, Chanonry, Royal Northern) descend on Loch Awe for a weekend of exploration culminating in a 15-mile race from Dalavich village to Taychreggan hotel and back. Representing North Berwick were the all-female dream team of Jo, Vik, Lyndsay, Ann and Jess.
The weather was gloriously sunny the entire weekend. On the pre-race day (Saturday), we all got acclimatised to our cosy hobbit-like accommodation (camping pods on the hilly shore of the Loch). Lyndsay, Ann and Jess donned our wet suits and did a spot of stand up paddleboarding. Ann even went swimming (on purpose!), which was very impressive as despite the gorgeous sunshine, the water was baltic! The hosts had put on a self-guided tour itinerary for us to enjoy at our leisure. Clive, Lyndsay, Ann, Vik and Jess rowed away the afternoon exploring the tiny islands of the loch.
We saw a wee grave site on one of our island stops, a beautiful ruined castle (which the more intrepid crew members – Clive - scaled for super views of the Loch) and rounded it all off with a sea eagle sighting! The evening activities included a jolly ceilidh, carbo-loading thanks to the super catering put on (& beer is a carb right?) and reasonably early nights for the NB crew.
Sunday, race day, factor 30+ was meticulously applied, snacks sorted, much faffing accomplished, and at around 10am ish all 12 skiffs were out on the water and ready to go! Lyndsay took the first turn at coxing, Jo in stroke and we set off. Some nimble coxing saw us overtake Arran early on and we settled into a comfortable rhythm overtaking Porty a little later. Jo and Lyndsay swapped the coxing half-way through, and we arrived at Taychreggan, the halfway stop in 4th place (pew pew!).
The timer was stopped, toilets used, blisters inventoried, teas, coffees, lemon cake, scones, bananas ingested (on lawns that gave off prosecco and afternoon cream tea vibes) and off we went again, this time with Vik as cox. Some crews swapped their entire team at this point - not us though! We shuffled the crew a bit with Ann at stroke now keeping a very nice and steady pace. The wind was behind us on the way back to Dalavich and it was all very civilised with Vik revving us up for a cheeky sprinting finish.
Very happy faces all around! We came 5th overall with a time of 3:04:34 (1st were Avoch in 2:52:48, 4th Prestwick in 3:04:34). But, if we were into counting such things (which of course we are), we were the first all-female crew to finish and second place for a crew of 5 (no swapsies at halfway, Avoch also had no subs). Overall, it was a magnificent weekend with a fantastic crew, brilliant hosts and friendly Skiffie community.
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