Archives 2013 – part 2

What next? Inchcolm, Worlds and more! – posted 25 Jun 2013 by Michael

It is going to be busy over the next few weeks.

On Sunday we will be joining with Queensferry Boat Club to make the trip to Inchcolm Island. The plan is for both Ferry Maid and Ferry Lass to make the trip. A number of members will also be making the trip on the sailing boats. This should be a great chance to build further ties within the boating community within Queensferry.

Next up are the world championships with less than two weeks to go! Ferry Lass will be lent to a visiting club from Portland and we hope that Oregon’s finest will find her to their liking.  Along with our usual evening sessions (please do come along for a go!) things are looking a bit hectic this month!

Rowing: an all weather sport?  – posted 30 Jun 2013 by Michael H

Today was to be our trip to Inchcolm. Unfortunately, the weather conditions were hazardous with predicted winds of 24mph. However, it was decided that even if we weren’t going to Inchcolm we would still get a row and both boats took to the water for training within the harbour.

With less than a week to go before “worlds” up in Ullapool it was decided that Ferry Maid required some minor repainting in places. Our final act of the day was to turn her over.

Training will be continuing throughout the week with our next rowing session at the usual time of 6PM on Tuesday.

Preparations for Worlds – posted 3 Jul 2013 by Michael H

The emails have been flying through the ether lately as the club prepares for Worlds.

The first preparation of note was acquiring a second road trailer so that both boats would be able to make the trip. We are most grateful to Portobello for lending a trailer to us.

Ferry Maid received a new coat of paint.

In the meantime training has continued with several crews taking to the water most evenings.

You could say that Worlds is causing some excitement!

Rowing will occur as usual on Thursday evening at the usual time of 6pm. For the duration of worlds there will be no weekend or weekday rowing at Port Edgar. Normal rowing sessions will recommence on Tuesday the 16th.

Worlds begins – posted 6 Jul 2013 by Michael H

Over the course of today, tomorrow (and throughout the week) the valiant rowers of Queensferry Rowing Club will be making the trip up to Ullapool. You will be pleased to know that we will try and post updates from Ullapool throughout the week.

Worlds will be the largest ever gathering of St Ayles Skiffs, with some 32 boats taking part. We will be lending Ferry Lass to the Rosie crew from Portland, Oregon. Several other international teams are also making the trip from the Netherlands to as far afield as the USA and Australia.

One boat of particular note is “Sephira” a St Ayles Skiff which has been turned into a floating musical instrument. Even more impressive is that it is the first St Ayles skiff from another continent to visit Scotland!

For those of you who aren’t constantly checking the 5-day forecast – Ullapool should be catching some sunshine!

The Musical Ark

Worlds day 1 – posted 7 Jul 2013 By Michael H

Both boats have arrived safely at Ullapool along with the majority of those attending, including three of the rowers from Oregon who will be rowing in Ferry Lass. The weather is stunning and we are all enjoying the heat!

The scenery is impressive and should be quite the backdrop to an exciting week of rowing.

Worlds day 2 – posted 8 Jul 2013 by Michael H

Today was a day of celebration. A mass of St Ayles skiffs taking to the water to mark the beginning of the largest assembly of skiffs ever to congregate. It was a chance for rowers from across the world to get the celebration started.

Worlds was officially opened by Princess Anne as, one after another, the skiff fleet rowed in front of her. It was wondrous to behold the fleet saluting in unison.

Today was also the first time our friends from Oregon got to row Ferry Lass. They rowed admirably.

The evenings festivities included a welcoming Ceilidh. Let’s hope that we aren’t too tired for the long distance course tomorrow, after stripping our willows!

Worlds day 3 – posted 9 Jul 2013 by Michael H

Today was to be the long distance race (or social row) between Ullapool and Ardmair, a distance of approximately 7.5km, approximately the same as the distance between Port Edgar and Inchcolm. The plan was for two crews from Queensferry to row there, and for one Queensferry team and the Portland Oregon team to row on the return journey, after a picnic.

Unfortunately, a dense fog descended, severely affecting visibility. We were also fighting against some strong waves and the tide. We were informed, via the radio, that the decision had been made to shorten the course as conditions would be unsafe around the headland. As such, all the skiffs made the return voyage to Ullapool, significantly faster than the outward trip!

It was, of course, disappointing for our friends from Portland that their return trip was cancelled. But, there should be plenty of rowing to go around over the course of Worlds.

It was a chance to explore Ullapool more closely this afternoon, as the sun brightened. Our over-sixties team took advantage of the sunshine for a training session. Among the crew was John Watson, a great friend of the club and builder of Ferry Lass.

For the rest of us, Ullapool’s award winning fish and chips beckoned – as did the pub!

This evening, I am sure that a number of us will be attending “The St Ayles Story”, a talk by Alec Jordan, the man responsible for fabricating all the St Ayles skiff kits within the UK. There will also be a talk about the Sephira, the musical boat from the Moravian Academy in Pennsylvania.

Worlds day 4 posted 10 Jul 2013 by Michael H

Ullapool was under a baking sun today at the start of racing proper. The under 17, under 19, over 50 and over 60s categories saw a number of races.

Ferry Lass was rowed to a bronze medal win by our friends from Portland, Oregon, in the over 60s women category. Congratulations to them!

For those of us between 20 and 49, today was a chance to become involved in other ways such as umpiring. Boats with motors are an unfamiliar experience to many skiffers, but they certainly provide a burst of speeeeeed!

Worlds day 5: Battle of the Titans – posted 11 Jul 2013 by Michael H

Everyone loves a Barbeque! But it would seem that the Queensferry and Portland rowers are bigger fans than most. As I type this the burgers are frying and the sausages are sizzling… and Andy and Siobhan are racing each other.

Today there were several races. The mixed open was great fun and we narrowly missed our on earning a spot in the final. Queensferry also competed in the Men’s 50+ final.

The weather continues to be uncharacteristically warm for Scotland.

Worlds day 6 – posted 12 Jul 2013 by Michael H

There were a number of finals today and Queensferry fought through some difficult heats to get to them. The woman’s 40+ and mixed 40+ finals were both contested by Queensferry taking 10th and 13th place respectively.

We were visited by a recreation of a traditional Viking boat  over from Denmark. The design taken from a Viking ship excavated 12 years ago.

The weather is a touch cooler, but is still remarkably pleasant for Scotland.

Worlds day 7: a week in review – posted 13 Jul 2013 by Michael H

The men’s and women’s opens were today. Although we rowed valiantly, we did not secure a place in the final by getting into the top 7 in our heat.

Now the racing has ended and the boats are on their trailers, ready for the long drive back to Queensferry. We will be making our way home early tomorrow. Our friends from Portland, Oregon, will also be heading down with us where club members will be offering them a bed for the night.

We want to express our most sincere congratulations to Ullapool, the SCRA and all those involved in running each and every day of the racing for hosting such a memorable event. We will take memories back home which will last a lifetime.

Queensferry Regatta 2013 – posted 13 Jul 2013 by Michael H

It is with great pleasure that Queensferry Rowing club announce our annual regatta will be held on the 31st of August 2013.

Registration will open on Monday at 9am.

Registration forms will be posted and places allocated on a strictly first come, first served basis.

We will be able to provide camping space for any clubs requiring it. There will be a Sunday social row if there’s sufficient interest.
Please click the image below to register.

Queensferry Regatta 2013: Apply Now! – posted 15 Jul 2013 by Michael H

Please find the entry form for the Queensferry Regatta 2013 below [link no longer active]. Places will be allocated on a first come. first served basis. Places are limited so please complete the form as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

Queensferry Regatta 2013: Apply Now! – posted 15 Jul 2013 by Michael Hutchison

Please find the entry form for the Queensferry Regatta 2013 below. Places will be allocated on a first come. first served basis. Places are limited so please complete the form as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

Worlds 2013: the video – posted 15 Jul 2013 by Michael Hutchison

For those of you who attended, I hope this will bring back some happy memories of worlds. For those who didn’t, here is a chance to see what you missed.
Ullapool put on a real show and set the standard of hospitality exceptionally high. They truly deserve our congratulations.

Article in the Scotsman – posted 17 Jul 2013 by Michael Hutchison

Many of you will have read the article in Monday’s Scotsman – several copies are currently floating around the shed. For those of you who haven’t, it gives a great insight into the community building aspects of our sport. You can read the full article here.

[Editor’s note: Couldn’t find the article Michael references, so here is a Guardian one from January 2013.]

Continuing our theme of worlds coverage, there has been plenty published by rowers from Queensferry and the other clubs who attended in the form of articles, pictures and videos. The main SCRA site links to the SCRA Flickr group and contains some real gems from many of the events we have attended.

Queensferry  15th in worlds rankings: full report – posted 19 Jul 2013 by Michael Hutchison

The first week of July saw all roads lead to Ullapool as the inaugural St Ayles Skiffs World Championships took place. St Ayles Skiffs are 22 foot long vessels that communities from around Scotland started building in 2009, with the Scottish Fisheries Museum launching the first boat in 2010. The Scottish fleet now has 50 boats dotted around the coast from the Firth of Forth up to Wick and down to Glasgow.

Rowing the St Ayles skiff has become a World phenomenon. Crews attending the first World Championships included three teams from the USA and teams from Tasmania, Australia and Woudrichem in the Netherlands.

Queensferry lent Ferry Lass to the team from the Wind and Oar Boat School in Portland, Oregon. By the end of the week, we had got to know them well and we hope to maintain ties with them going forward

Much of the attention during the week was given to a crew from the Moravian Academy in Pennsylvania. Their boat, the Sephira, is known as the Musical Ark. It is designed to have strings strung from the bow to the stern and be played as a musical instrument. They were hoping to to take the boat out on the open sea and attract whales by rubbing the strings with their fingers using rosin and gloves.

The Championships were opened by HRH Princess Anne on the Monday. All boats, starting with the overseas crews, rowed past a RIB in which Princess Anne was seated. After the row past, the crews then raised their oars in salute, as Princess Anne returned to shore.

The Tuesday was to be a 4 mile row to Ardmair point where we were to have a picnic. The crews did not reach their intended destination, as the weather closed in and visibility was poor, added to that there was a bit of a swell. The decision was taken that the boats should turn around and head home because it would have been too dangerous around the headland. Rowing home was much easier as the crews enjoyed the surf on the way back and what took an hour on the outward journey took half that coming back.

The racing started on Wednesday, a day which started off cloudy but that soon broke to give us a glorious day. Queensferry Rowing Club took part in the Men’s 60+ Final. They powered their way to a very credible fourth position behind Ullapool, North Berwick and Crail. They finished in a time of 13:57 just over a minute behind first place. The other race that Queensferry contested on the Wednesday was the Heat of the Men’s 50+ in which they finished fifth in a time of 13:42 thereby qualifying for the Final the following day.

Pride of Place must go to our friends from Wind and Oar of Portland, Oregon, who, using Ferry Lass, took Bronze in the Women’s 60+ as they finished behind North Berwick and Row Porty.

Thursday dawned bright and warm yet again, perfect conditions for rowing. The Men’s 50+ prepared for their Final but in a strong field they were not able to repeat what the Men’s 60+ had achieved as they finished at the back of the field. Thursday was also the day of the Mixed Open race, one which Queensferry Rowing Club had high hopes for. Despite their best efforts, they finished in eighth place, squeezed out by Royal West of Greenock. Wind and Oar in Ferry Lass took part in two Finals on the Thursday. These were the 50+ Mixed Final where they finished 13th and the Women’s 50+ Final where they were beaten to ninth place by their American rivals from Vermont.

Friday was primarily focused on races for the over 40s. One of the members of Queensferry Rowing Club, Sharon Homan raced in four races covering a distance of 8km. The first race of the day that Queensferry were involved in was the Men’s 40+ in which Queensferry finished ninth coming in ahead of North Queensferry. It was left for the Women of Queensferry to show the way, finishing in a respectable fifth position in the Women’s 40+ heat. In the mixed 40+ Queensferry reached another final, as we came in fourth two seconds behind Port Soy in their luminous pink boat.

The Women’s 40+ Final took place first and hopes were high that they could finish well, however there was a strong field and Queensferry finished 12th best in the World with Port Seton taking the Gold on this occasion. There was a quick turnaround for Ferry Maid as she was due out again for the Mixed 40+. Despite the best efforts of the crew they finished 13th of 14 ahead of Port Soy Skiffettes. Meanwhile, Wind and Oar took ninth place in their heat of the Women’s 40+ using Ferry Lass.

The final day of racing took place on the Saturday with Queensferry involved again, this time in the Women’s and Men’s Open races, two very competitive categories. Our Women’s Open team attempted to reach the Final but finished tenth ahead of Lake Champlain form Vermont and WSV Woudrichem from the Netherlands. In the following heat, Wind and Oar from Portland also came tenth as they beat Pittenweem and Troon.

The Men’s Open didn’t fare any better as, in changeable conditions, Queensferry could only finish a disappointing 11th of 12 ahead of Carrick. That turned out to be the last race that Queensferry were involved in, so it was left for us to enjoy the rest of the racing. With the racing over all that was left was for the rowers to let their hair down and enjoy the end of Championship Ceilidh.

So ended the inaugural World Championships, a week which will live long in the memory. The hospitality of the Ullapool people was amazing and the weather more than played its part in keeping everyone in a great mood. Queensferry returned happy with their performance as they finished 15th of 31 Clubs. We know that we have work to do if we are to challenge in the future.

Full results of all races and overall championship points can be found here. [Editor’s note: sadly the link no longer works.]

2013 – part 3