Archives 2016 – part 1

New Year!!!! – posted 1 Jan 2016

Best wishes to all club members – let’s make 2016 a year to remember! We were off to a cracking start with today’s Loony Dook row. Both boats were out in good conditions (cold and just breezy enough to make it interesting) and we were joined by North Queensferry. The Dookers were out in force, plunging in to the beat of samba drums in the usual mad variety of costumes. If anyone has photos to share via the website, please email them to bjagnew [at] Here are a few phone pix from the day:

All three boats in action – photo by Glasgow visitor Andrew Rose-Miller
Mike resplendent in his bunnet
Sharon and John G enjoy the spectacle
North Queensferry rowed over to join in the fun
Several kayakers were also having a great day
Hundreds of dookers braved the cold

More Loony Dook photos

posted 3 Jan 2016, 15:36 by Queensferry Rowing

Maria and Ruth H sent in their best shots from the day … click on the image for the larger size. The whole collection so far can be seen here: Loony Dook row 2016. Lesley has posted some photos from the shore on the QRC Facebook page.

Maria had an excellent view from the cox’s seat
Cheery waves from the Lass’s crew: Mike coxing, John G, Sharon, Barbara, Ruth H, Keith
Another shot from Maria,with the RNLI rib in shot as well as NQ and the Lass
Crew of the Maid: Donna, Mel, Ruth and Tansy, plus George and Kieran just about visible!
Ruth H captured the view from the Lass
North Queensferry coming alongside
Ruth also snapped the Lass getting a wash as the Maid came ashore in the background
And the boat stripped and clean, ready to be ‘put to bed’

Flickr album – Loony Dook 2016

Queensferry Crossing video – posted 6 Jan 2016

The bridge builders have compiled a video of progress over 2015, featuring speeded-up footage of construction and some great aerial views. There are bound to be some skiffs in there, kudos to anyone who can spot one!

Tides, fitness and the tyre barrier – posted 6 Jan 2016

Tides for the coming weekend suit us just fine.

Saturday 9 January
07.25am.   Low 1.28
14.22pm.   High 5.58

Sunday 10 January
08.06am.   Low 1.1
15.04pm.   High 5.72

Fitness training 

Sharon is hoping to kick-start the fitness training again, next Wednesday, 13th January, at Queensferry Recreation Centre at 6.30pm. The cost will be roughly £3 per session or less if we get more people. Please email Sharon on if you would like to come along and she will add you to the email list.

Port Edgar’s tyre barrier

Graham reports that as of Wednesday afternoon the tyre barrier, or most of it anyway, is stranded on the slipway. Apparently problems with moorings etc. It was being dealt with when seen but it is very effectively blocking any boat launch at present. Graham will try and find out on Thursday what they hope to do with it and when. Obviously PE will have to resolve the problem but it might take a few days, we will keep you posted.

Tyre barrier latest – posted 7 Jan 2016

Tony took this photo on Thursday, so fingers crossed for a trouble-free launch on Saturday morning.

A welcome lift – posted 9 Jan 2016

A thick fog blanketing the firth on Saturday morning lifted enough to allow the Maid to venture out twice – and in the first crew was our newest recruit, Sandra. She enjoyed her experience despite the biting cold, and says she will be a regular on Saturday mornings. North Queensferry were also out and shared their tin of chocolates with the second crew – fear not, all the wrappers were cleared away!

Keith, Sharon, John G, Lesley and Mike

The cold may be a blessing given the number of seaweed-encrusted tyres piled up alongside the slip and shore! A marine botanist would find the variety interesting. The barrier moorings are marked with buoys and work will no doubt get under way replacing it.


Skiffie Worlds on the web – posted 10 Jan 2016

Bookmark this one and check regularly for updates: Strangford Lough & Lecale Partnership website

Bravo to the three crews who enjoyed a bracing row on Sunday – at least the teaming rain kept the boats relatively clean! We were joined by Louise and Alyson from North Queensferry for the day, which involved a lot of too-ing and fro-ing as trainee coxes practised their buoy turns.

Also, birthday wishes to Keith – the crew birled around 360 degrees in his honour, and sang Happy Birthday. Not at the same time…

Sign up for the Worlds! – posted 12 Jan 2016

Donna has asked if everyone could confirm to her directly on  whether you intend to participate in the World Championships, at Strangford Lough, Co Down, 25-30 July 2016.  From the list in the shed, it would appear there are around 10 club members who have booked accommodation at this stage.

For further details please visit the Skiffieworlds tab on the SCRA website, where you will find full information regarding booking accommodation and the event.

Donna needs a firm list of who has committed to booking accommodation or will be intending to do so, as she has to submit our racing categories within the next week, so please confirm whether you will attend or not by Friday 15th January. (It is advisable to book accommodation asap, if you’re interested in going.)

We will of course be looking at training and getting this started for the Worlds and our forthcoming regattas throughout the year. There are sheets now up in the shed for each regatta (thank you Marion). Please feel free to put your name down for any regatta that may be of interest. Everyone is invited to participate. There are novice categories, which encourage new members to join in and get some racing experience. A highly enjoyable day is had by everyone at all regattas,  and they allow us to learn about and build on relationships with other clubs.

Further news on the Worlds: Richard has advised that there’s a discount available on Stena Line ferries to Northern Ireland.
To get the discount you must book as follows: Go to, select the ‘EVENTS’ option, then enter your name and the event number 7YJ16.

Those travelling will have the option of booking economy, flexi or premium motorist fares (terms and conditions vary for each) and the prices shown will include the agreed discount.  Discount is not given on any extras booked, ie cabins, meals, etc.  The discount is available on all Stena Line Irish sea routes. Stena also currently offers caravans/trailers up to 8m long to travel free of charge on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday on the Cairnryan-Belfast route (subject to availability). This could change, so booking early is recommended to avoid disappointment.

How to Row – posted 12 Jan 2016

Thanks to Dónal for spotting this on the SCRA website:

The notes on style, from the 1937 edition of the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship, are good too. Highlights include:

  • Straight Back: … erect but not stiff … swinging from the loins only at the hips and not from any point in the middle of his back as a secondary pivot.  [this] eases the respiratory organs by opening the chest cage.
  • Swing: … The time occupied coming forward should be the body’s rest; an erect head and open chest will enable the heart and lungs to work freely and easily.  Any tendency to rush the swing must be checked …  As the body swings the hands should be at the same time stretching and reaching out as if constantly striving to touch something which is as constantly evading them.
  • Use of the Arms:  The arms must be straight when swinging back.  They must be considered as merely connecting rods between the body and oar.  The use of the biceps in rowing should be discouraged, as the [rower] who finishes [their] stroke by the aid of the biceps infallably dog ears [their] elbows and sticks them out at right angles to [their] ribs, giving a weak as well as a cramped and ugly finish … It is important that the oar should be pulled into the chest and not the chest up to the oar.  This latter will certainly shorten the stroke prematurely, and spoil the rhythm of the swing.
  • Hanging at the Chest:  The oar must not hang at the chest. The hands must come away quickly, otherwise it will be necessary to rush forward in the swing to make up lost ground. This spoils the swing and taxes the endurance of the [rower] …

The SCRA notes that while the technique is the same, today we usually wear some clothes while rowing.

Weekend tides – posted 12 Jan 2016

Our run of “good” tides continues for 16-17 January, so rowing sessions will be at the usual times of 9am Sat and 1pm Sun:

Saturday: 06.58 High 5.2
12.45 Low 1.5

Sunday: 13.46 Low 1.8  (manageable)
20.17 High 5.0

Dónal will be there on Saturday and Rachel both days.

Quick note from Tony: there have been complaints about people parking too close to our shed, causing obstruction. Please leave cars in the car park or the designated spots by the main marina building.

Sea Kings fly-past – posted 14 Jan 2016

A group of (mostly) over-60s QRC members out for a row on a brilliantly sunny day today were lucky enough to witness something very special: a fly-past by three Royal Navy Sea King search and rescue helicopters from HMS Gannet. It was part of a farewell tour of Scotland the choppers were making (see the map below). The service was replaced on 1 January by a civilian team based at Prestwick Airport.

The BBC website has details and photos for those who didn’t catch the news broadcast:

Today’s rowing crew first spotted several emergency vehicles parked on the slipway at Hawes Pier, lights flashing. Soon a flare was belching bright orange smoke into the air, and the helicopters came thundering in from the west. They flew over the Forth Bridge in tight formation, making a stirring sight, before heading for Edinburgh, then across the country to Ayr, Prestwick and Troon. The trio had already flown as far north as Fort William, being saluted with flares across the Highlands and along the west coast.

Never mind the snow, let’s row!-posted 17 Jan 2016

Two crews were out for a sunny Sunday row, despite a layer of snow that lingered on through the afternoon. NQ’s Ferry Sonnet was also on the water.

John G rowed in both crews and says he really enjoyed himself. Keith is just visible over his shoulder, and that’s Stevie pointing out something interesting on the new bridge. Photos by Barbara.

Cox Mark may look laid-back here, but he gave the rowers some challenges, such as tossing the rudder overboard and then having the crew steer the boat back to pick it up by following his commands.

Finally, proof that there was actually snow on the ground, even after the row. The tap was frozen, that’s how cold it was!

Saturday row photos -posted 18 Jan 2016

Ruth caught a beautiful morning light gilding the bridge-to-be on 16 January. And note the snow on the hills! It was very cold, but a total of four crews had a great row.

From left: Sandra, John G, Louise and Dónal

Weekend tides -posted 22 Jan 2016

Saturday morning we may need to linger over bacon rolls and coffee if the water’s not quite up to the slip.

Saturday 23rd January
07.39am ——–  Low 0.65m
13.48pm ——— High 4.87m

Sunday 24th January
08.20am ——— Low 0.56m
14.28pm ——— High 5.02m

Do the limbo rock…- posted 23 Jan 2016

Ongoing work to repair Port Edgar’s tyre barrier has presented rowers with a whole new challenge – how loooow can you goooo?

There’s not just one rope to get under, there are two – the second is fixed to the pontoon, so there is a point where the rowers have almost no room for their oars between pontoon and tyres, plus are passing the mooring line over their heads! A helping hand was needed on the pontoon: here’s Peter giving his all.

All crew changes were done on the pontoon, adding another navigation challenge for crews.

In all, three crews went out on Saturday in very enjoyable conditions. Using a phone app, a race training course for the Worlds was mapped out – it’s a kilometre from the road bridge to the rail bridge in the middle of the firth. A good training run would then swing around Inchgarvie and head back to the road bridge.

The oars recently refurbished by Mike had their first outing and were voted good to use. Changing oars in the firth was quite exciting – no photos of that, sorry, everyone was a bit busy!

And finally, Ferry Lass comes ashore:

“Eat, sleep, row, repeat…”- posted 25 Jan 2016

Four British women have just completed a row across the Pacific Ocean – from San Francisco to Cairns – and they did it without a cox!! Their boat is 29ft long and is called Doris.

Photo: PA

BBC report with video
Another BBC report, with photos

“Along their epic journey they had to contend with a battering from a tropical storm, waves the height of houses and the approach of a humpback whale that surfaced just yards away from their boat.”

Their 9,200 mile journey has been filmed for a documentary. The Coxless Crew are raising funds for Breast Cancer Care and Walking with the Wounded; you can donate on their website.

Weekend tides, 30-31 January – posted 25 Jan 2016

Saturday 30 January
05.59am —- High 4.12m
11.59am —- Low 1.23m

We can work around this low tide, if we still have rowers out at that time. High winds forecast for the day, but that may change!

Sunday 31st January
12.41pm —- Low 1.47m
18.53pm —- High 3.97m

So, the usual times for the rowing sessions: from 9am Saturday and from 1pm Sunday.

Worth a watch… – posted 28 Jan 2016

“With its picturesque villages, abundant wildlife and spectacular views, Strangford Lough has been designated an area of outstanding natural beauty.”

Thanks to Rachel for spotting this. It’s a Vimeo video, about 10 minutes long, with spectacular aerial views of the lough.

East Coast Week rowing regatta – posted 28 Jan 2016

A tower has been confirmed for this event, to be held on 2 July by the Royal Tay Yacht Club, Broughty Ferry. (It’s a separate event from the Broughty rowing club’s own regatta, which is still on 4 June.) There’s a sign-up sheet in the shed.

Race categories are likely to be as follows (subject to change):
Women’s Open
Men’s Open
Men’s 45+
Women’s 60+
Decades Race
Mixed Open

Saturday morning’s row cancelled – posted 29 Jan 2016

Yes, sadly Storm Gertrude has put paid to rowing on Saturday 30 January. Sunday’s weather looks OK though, so rowing will go ahead from 1pm as normal.

As a consolation, here’s a film clip showing sea conditions today. (Warning: the language is a bit fruity – they are sailors!)

Calm between storms – posted 1 Feb 2016

Yes, in between storms Gertrude and Henry came a Sunday without wind/rain/sleet, and the shed was busy with rowers getting suited and booted. Three crews went out all told, and the newly adjusted Clenshaw oars got a good workout.

Cox Dónal took some photos of a very enjoyable afternoon’s rowing:

Weekend tides, 7-8 Feb -posted 2 Feb 2016

All looking good for rowing at the usual times, ie from 9am on Saturday and from 1pm on Sunday.

Saturday 6th February
06.32am —- low 1.11m
12.45pm —- high 4.37m.

Extra note: sunrise is at 07.58am… just a nice time for the 8am race training crew!!

Sunday 7th February
07.16am —- low 0.80m
13.27pm —- high 4.73m

At this point the weather looks quite amenable too – fingers crossed there’s no change.

Provisional schedule for Skiffieworlds – posted 5 Feb 2016

The week’s events are already taking shape and Queensferry’s oarsome crews are preparing to meet the challenge. Thanks to complex organising work by Sharon, the first training rows are taking place this weekend – 8am on Saturday (two crews) and 11am on Sunday (one crew).

This is a photo from Dundrum Coastal Rowing’s Icebreaker Challenge on Strangford Lough last month (Dundrum won the “Frozen Rollocks” trophy).

Sunday Feb 7: social rowing cancelled – posted 6 Feb 2016

Sadly the high winds forecast for Sunday afternoon have forced the cancellation of the 1.30pm social row. It will also be heaving down with rain. The crew due to go on a training row at 11am will still meet at the shed just in case conditions haven’t deteriorated too badly at that stage. We do need to get in practice for rough racing conditions after all!

Portsoy 2014

Saturday’s training rows were a great success and much enjoyed by both crews. Two social rowing crews also went out.

Tides for weekend of 13-14 Feb- posted 9 Feb 2016

Tides as follows this weekend, courtesy of Port Edgar’s new tide tables (and Donna):

Saturday        06.08: a high of 5.8m
11.14: a low of  1m
18.27: a high of 5.8m

Because of the timing and height (or lack of it) of low tide, the boats used for the 8am training rows are to be tied at pontoons. There will be a short window for social rowing, 9am-10.15am only;  Mark Meredith will be around to cox for that. Both boats are to remain tied at the pontoon for coxes’ training — they will be needed from 10.30am onwards.

Sunday           06.57: a high of 5.6m
11.59: a low of 1.3m
19.17: a high of 5.5m

Water should be high enough by 1pm – the minimum required to launch is 1.4m.  It may be that you have to wait for a little while, so time to socialise and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Happy Rowing!

2016 – part 2