Archives 2016 – part 5

Vote of thanks for our generous donors – posted 18 Sep 2016

The club wishes to thank the following local businesses, who kindly donated prizes for our regatta Tombola and Raffle:

  • Mannerstons Farm Shop and Cafe
  • New Hopetoun Gardens (Dougal Philip garden centre)
  • Hopetoun Farm Shop
  • Maurizio III Fish & Chips
  • Maurizio II Kebabs, Fish & Chips
  • Jitter Bean Cafe and Barista
  • Jeanette’s Cafe, Port Edgar
  • The Little Parlour Ice-Cream, Sweets and Souvenirs
  • Maid of the Forth, Inchcolm Ferry and River Cruises
  • Forth Belle Boat Tours
  • Queen’s Spice Tandoori Restaurant
  • Bamboo Chinese Restaurant
  • Chilli Waves Indian Tandoori Takeaway
  • The Boathouse Restaurant
  • The Terrace Health and Beauty at Ferryburn House
  • Words and Pictures Photography and Framer
  • G:Room Barber in the High Street
  • Ferry Barbers (behind the Health Centre)
  • Caledonia Scotia Kiltmakers
  • Joyce Paton Dressmaker
  • Newton Arms, Newton
  • Forth Reflection, self catering holiday accommodation

Tides for the coming week – posted 18 Sep 2016

Rachel reports: Now we have no evening rowing, I will list the daytime tides in the hope that we can gather a crew any of these fine days we have left!

Monday Sep 19th
10.39 —- 0.33m L
17.33 —- 6.17m H

Tuesday 20th
11.10 —- 0.50m L
18.20 —- 6.03m H

Wednesday 21st
11.49 —- 0.82m L
19.07 —- 5.79m H

Thursday 22nd
07.32 —- 5.73m H
12.36 —- 1.26m L

Friday 23rd
08.26 —- 5.4m H
13.38 —- 1.7 m L

Saturday 24th
09.27 —- 5.1H
15.06 —- 2.1 L

Sunday 25th
10.43 —- 4.9H
17.24 —- 2.2L

Good tides this week! Daytime rowing would be available PM at the beginning of the week, then either AM or PM Thursday/Friday. Perfect for social rowing Saturday (from 9am) and Sunday (from 1pm).

Winter fitness training – posted 23 Sep 2016

Those new to the club may not be aware that preparation for racing continues year-round! Contact Sharon Homan if you are keen to join the fray – she is hoping to organise a training session on Saturday mornings from 8 to 9am, light, wind and tide permitting and an 11.30am-12.30pm session on Sundays, again subject to wind and tide. We have rowed in rain, hail and snow before, so be prepared! Sharon has a mailing list of about 30 club members interested in training, let her know if you want to be included. During the summer months there’s a 7am Saturday session and also one on Wednesday evenings – and of course as ever, club members can organise an off-schedule session at any time provided they have an RP.

Sharon is also looking at indoor fitness training over the winter. The Kirkliston Leisure Centre offers high-energy “Bodyattack” interval training classes on Wednesdays 6.15pm to 7pm. There is also a class on Mondays from 6.45pm to 7.30pm. Another class to consider is “CXWORX”, a conditioning workout that focuses on the core muscles – Thursdays 7.30pm to 8pm for that.

Click here to watch a video of BodyAttack

Click here to watch a video of CXWORKX

And finally – don’t forget to stretch!!

Rory gets a crew limbered up at the Worlds

Tides for the week – posted 26 Sep 2016

Rachel reports: Tides are good for daytime rowing this week,but some spells of high winds are forecast. Saturday morning 9am tide is not good, so Social Rowing time will be 11.30am to await enough water.

Monday   September 26th
06.15 —- 1.76m L
12.01 —- 4.96m H

Tuesday 27th
07.21 —- 1.43m L
13.08 —- 5.2 m H

Wednesday 28th
08.13 —- 1.2 m L
14.03 —- 5.4 m H

Thursday 29th
08.56 —- 1.0 L
14.50 —- 5.6 H

Friday 30th
09.31 —- 0.9 L
15.29 —- 5.66 H

Saturday 1st October
09.56 —- 0.9L
16.04 —- 5.7 H     ROWING at 11.30am ( NO early training )

Sunday 2nd October
09.40 —- 0.9 L
16.36 —- 5.6 H

Riverside Regatta on the Clyde – posted 29 Sep 2016

The Maid ventured west on 25 September to join Galgael and Royal West in a row on the Clyde.

Maria writes: Many thanks to Anne F for organising this and to Mike B for towing the Maid to the Clyde. We had a wonderful day out and a great row up and down that empty river. What a privileged way to admire and enjoy the diverse architecture along the riverside and to share some of the history of the city… plenty of quiz material there, and great photo opportunities too. And who knows, we may have inspired others to start using this great waterway for leisure and pleasure again.

Thanks to all for a lovely outing!

First, the all-important cup of coffee – taken on board the Tall Ship!
Lots to see and admire along the way
Rowing in company with GalGael and Royal West
The tall ship Glenlee
Rowing in company
Sunshine on the Clyde
A fresh crew waiting on the dock
The Glenlee reflected on the Maritime Museum

Tides for the coming week – posted 3 Oct 2016

Rachel reports: What an amazing weekend on the water we have had! Tides and weather are looking good enough for lots of rowing opportunities for this coming week. Let’s make the best of it!!

Sunny Saturday
Sunny Sunday

Monday 3rd October
10.06 — 0.88m L.
17.05 — 5.58m H

Tuesday 4h October
10.34 — 1.0 L
17.37 — 5.5m H

Wednesday 5th October
10.58 — 1.2m L
18.13 — 5.39 m H

Thursday 6th October
11.21— 1.43
18.52 — 5.2 H

Friday 7th  October
11.51 — 1.6 mL
19.33 — 5.04m H

Saturday 8th October
08.03 — 4.9 m H
12.30 — 2.0 L

Sunday 9th October
13.19 — 2.4L
21..06 — 4.7H

Club agm – new faces on the committee – posted 9 Oct 2016

As you will know, the club’s agm was held recently, and resulted in some changes to the committee line-up. The officers and members are now as follows:

  • Captain: Donna Martin
  • Vice-captain: Rachel Holburn
  • Secretary: Peter Locke
  • Treasurer: Marion McDowall
  • Members: Anne Flannery, John Howell, Rory McIntyre, Maria van Dalen, Anne Purcell, Louise Innes, Keith Thomson

Captain’s report on the past year – posted 9 Oct 2016

At the recent agm Donna presented her report on the year’s events and some thoughts on the future. Here it is, with a few added illustrations:

It has been a very busy year for the club, with many social and competitive events taking place.  One of our highlights during December 2015 was the delivery of a Craigies Christmas Hamper, below.  The couple who received the hamper had limited mobility during the closure of the Forth Road Bridge and were extremely grateful to us for the delivery. Thanks to Mark Meredith, we enjoyed great PR from a variety of journalists and we were even interviewed!  Front page splash in the Edinburgh Evening News – good PR exposure indeed.

A low point in 2016 was of course the loss of Andy Jarvis.  Sadly, Andy passed away in July this year and many of you lost a good friend in his passing.  Andy was a great mentor and friend.  His funeral was well attended by the majority of Clubs in Scotland, with an oar salute, organised by Peter.  It was so kind to have the support of all the Skiff Community in Andy’s passing.  He lives on with us of course, the garden ornaments in the shed are a testament to that….

Equipment & Boat Shed

Having spoken with Russell Aitken recently he advised the following concerning the future of our shed: “We have an application lodged with the Coastal Communities Fund for a Big Lottery grant to build new toilets, showers, changing facilities and meeting space for groups based at the marina. The proposed new building would be situated on the footprint which covers the existing changing facilities, classrooms and also the rowing club. I hope to have an indication sometime in October as to whether we have been taken forward to the second stage of the selection process. As soon as I hear from the CCF I will contact all of the tenants that are likely to be affected.  If we are successful, the grant would be awarded around May 2017”

There is a meeting on Thursday 6th October with BTS who will be responsible for marketing the Marina – all tenants are invited to attend, from 4.30pm at Down the Hatch. Rachel & I will be attending.

There were a few changes to Ferry Maid this year, with the addition of footstraps, plus of course the ongoing maintenance carried out by our team during the winter of 2015 that is so necessary. Thank you to everyone who gave their time for this to happen.

We have also purchased a new launching trolley from Karitek. With everyone giving their time on a voluntary basis, it is sometimes not possible to get things done quickly.  However going forward we are looking to put a rota in place for those who do have the time to help out, to get the jobs done.

We have had lots of feedback on oars.  The red sleeved oars were reduced significantly in the circumference of the handles which has enabled all of us to enjoy using them.   Due to the changes made this year, with our new off-set seating, the paddles have not been suitable to use.  However good feedback from all Rowers has shown that we are much happier plus the changes have allowed us to hone our techniques and we are still continuing to do so.  The foot straps and plates have been welcomed by the majority of Members.

Rowing Sessions

Sharon has made an excellent job of arranging training over the winter period and throughout the year.  The results of this have shown at Regattas where were are gaining medals (bronze on several occasions for our over 60s ladies who have worked hard training together) has now paid off.    Sharon continues to use doodle polls which engages everyone to log their interest in sessions and allows her to form interested crews, week on week.

Competitive Events

Ullapool was our first Regatta of the season on 29/29th May – a fantastic weekend was had by all, and Andy & Anne Jarvis were with us too.  It did show that we needed to work harder on timings and racing starts, which helped to review what training was necessary, going forward.  As always, a fabulous event plus the sun shone!

Troon – 4th June was well attended and this year conditions were favourable for us plus we came first, second and third in a number of races.  The Mixed 65+ crew, pictured below, secured gold!

Musselburgh 18/6 – Rowing of the Marches around 8 skiffs took to the water, was a super event with a 5km row in Company from Musselburgh beach.  Followed by a bbq and large bonfire on the beach.  This was the first year Eskmuthe had decided to run this event, mirroring the Riding of the Marches parades etc., which takes place in the town to celebrate this historic event.

Portsoy 25/26th June – not enough interest this year from our Members, so we didn’t attend

Broughty Ferry 2nd July – part of East Coast Sailing Week, every Queensferry rower came home with at least one medal, all bronze. Everyone commented on the whole event as being very well run with good information given to all Clubs on arrival, some ideas we can adopt going forward.

WORLDS – Strangford Lough 25-31st July:   This was a fantastic experience for our Club.  With 44 teams competing from as far as Canada & Tasmania the week long event was well supported by everyone… Dundrum won the event, they are a local club located close to Strangford Lough and have only been going for around a year!  We managed to get into three finals:  Womens 60+, Womens 50+, pictured below, and Mixed 60+ and while no medals were achieved, we did come very close and we should be very proud of our efforts.  Overall we came in 22 out of 44 clubs in the World.  A great achievement indeed.  Stamina was good with all our rowers, again this showed that continued training had indeed paid off.

North Berwick – 27th August North Berwick was a great day out.  Calm conditions awaited our arrival in the morning – unusual for North Berwick.  In the afternoon the Easterly wind proved a bit challenging for the afternoon racing.  Whilst we didn’t come away with any medals, it was as always an enjoyable experience.  However Eastern clashed with our boat on the 60+ race.  We did make our feelings quite clear to North Berwick that there should have been a disqualification for breaking SCRA rules of racing by Eastern, and this was noted.   As our sport grows, it is becoming clear that a few points regarding racing rules will have to be adhered to.

Queensferry Regatta – 10th September  A truly great day was had by everyone and very well attended by 11 Clubs, including Loch Broom and Kinghorn, this being their first Regatta.  Fantastic feedback received by all Clubs who said it showed we worked well together as a Club and all thoroughly enjoyed the ambience of the event.  Great weather helped too! We had a raffle and tombola, plus Andy’s ornaments to sell which greatly helped to help boost Club funds.  A fantastic response from local businesses who gave us 22 prizes in total – thank you again to everyone who helped make this happen.

The Womens 60+ was the first race of the day, with only five participants and it was very keenly contested. North Berwick took the honours in this race finishing ahead of Anstruther by eight seconds with Queensferry taking third place a further nine seconds behind.

The Mens Open was a thrilling race. It was clear that Queensferry and Anstruther were going to be close all the way round.  As they headed for the finish both teams were giving it their all with Anstruther getting across the line in a time of 9:05 with Queensferry coming in with a time of 9:11.

The day finished with Andy’s Race – a fitting tribute to Andy Jarvis this was a pick ‘n’ mix event. Anstruther boat won overall and each rower was given one of Andy’s ornaments, presented by Anne Jarvis.

Thanks to John Howell, we were able to obtain a RIB from PEYC and we provided the crew.  We also obtained an umpire boat and crew from Queensferry Sea Cadets. The Rotary Club provided the Race Tent Marquee plus helped to erect it.

North/South Challenge – Date TBA – Lucy Macauley advised that NQ could not muster a team together this year and this has meant we have had to postpone from 15th October to a date in November.  Lucy to advise how many people she will have available and dates to suit us all as soon as possible.

Non Competitive Events

Rachel and I attended the SCRA AGM at the end of October 2015 which was preceded by freshwater regional sprints with the South East Region, two of our novices won medals that day as they competed and won in the sprints, supported by puffer steamers which were a joy to behold on beautiful Loch Katrine.

In early November we decided to take Ferry Maid to the Union canal, left, launching at Philipstoun and rowing to Linlithgow, despite the rain pouring down on us, it was a very enjoyable event.  We all agreed that we should look to visit the Canal again.  It was an interesting experience trying to turn the boat in such narrow spaces.

We ran a coxes training day for six of our Rowers in February.  We will now be monitoring their progress via their own training log record, over the winter.  The training team have to confirm dates for training, going forward.  It was decided that October and March were the best months to hold classroom style training to suit everyone’s diaries.  A further day is to be planned for existing Coxes for some practical sessions to include use of the radio and its basic functions.  There will also be a date for new Coxes training, to be advised.  RP training dates to be advised soon for March 2017.

Ferry Lass enjoyed her fifth birthday this year on 17th April.  Some tea and cake was enjoyed in the shed where a few of the founder members joined us.

Peter Locke’s retiral row in May was a lively affair, not just tea and cakes to celebrate down at the shed, but a wild sea and choppy conditions proved a challenging retiral row too!

Peter and I gave a presentation to the Rotary Club SQ in April, as we had been invited by Stuart Ridge to attend.  We were warmly received and welcomed.  The Rotary members enjoyed our presentation and would like to invite us back at some stage. They also kindly donated £250 to help with transport costs for The Worlds.

We attended the Queensferry Heritage Trust Open Day in April at Rosebery Hall, where we engaged with many new people keen for QRC information.  Names and details were taken, followed up by ourselves and Lesley – everyone was invited down to row and meet other members.   We gained a few new members as a result.

We were approached by Alan Rankin & his colleague in April, who are intrepid adventurers and had chosen to re-enact Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped.  They walked, sailed and cycled around Scotland with their final leg of the journey being a row across the Forth (as per the book).  We rowed to North Queensferry and back to Port Edgar to collect them.  Alan & Willie completed the final distance by walking to Hawes Pier where their journey ended.

Another exciting event was with Channel 5 in April (courtesy of Len and Jenni Meldrum) who asked if they could use Ferry Maid to film us rowing across the Forth with their Presenter.  This will be shown on TV soon and includes the history surrounding the Ferrymen – historical evidence provided by Len.  They enjoyed filming a good strong row with ourselves.  Good PR for us – so thank you to Len and the History Group for making this happen.

The Flying Scotsman’s journey in May across the Forth Rail Bridge was a historic moment and a beautiful sight.  Joined of course by Ferry Maid (an evening outing) proudly adorned with a very large Saltire.  A “toot toot” from The Flying Scotsman was enjoyed by all in the boat as well as the crowds who had gathered in Queensferry to enjoy this amazing spectacle.

Loch Tummel Sailing Club invited the Skiff Community in May to join them at beautiful Loch Tummel for an Open Day event, allowing everyone who took part to try sailing or rowing, below.  This was a super event and a fantastic row with several other clubs including NQ. The highlight of the day was Marjorie and Robin taking to the water in a bright yellow inflatable kayak that looked very much like a large banana!  We will definitely be returning.

Forth Midsomer Challenge at Newhaven in June was a fun event involving skiffs, sailing boats, plus “runners” with batons – a day enjoyed by everyone and great bonding experience by the sounds of it!  This event has grown in popularity which is now in its third year, the aim was to get around 12 skiffs to join in the fun.

The Ferry Fair parade was well attended by our members and leaflets were distributed throughout to the throngs of happy crowds.  The sun shone on us and it made for a great day.  As a result we have gained a few new members (one being just 16).

We joined Glasgow Coastal Rowing Club for a social row on the Clyde, below, in company with Royal Tay – a glorious day with the sun shining down on us.  A super experience launching at Riverside Museum and rowing to Broomielaw Quay where we changed crews.

The Tweed row will be taking place on 16th October this year.

The Freshwater Sprints will be held at Loch Tummel on 29th October, followed by the SCRA agm, this will be attended by Rachel & Anne Flannery – a great day out guaranteed and many more categories this year.

Alan Meldrum Community Challenge

The Alan Meldrum Community Challenge did not go ahead this year.  Peter and others looked to recruit teams, but very few committed to training or were willing to beforehand.  We will prepare for this next year well in advance.

Sponsorship & Affiliation 

We secured funding from the Almond Neighbourhood Partnership Project of £1,500 towards a new launching trolley and life jackets.  The Rotary Club SQ also awarded us with £250 towards costs of towing to the Worlds.  We will continue to look for opportunities to secure funding, as from May 2017 we are not yet sure where we will be accommodated on the Marina.  We may need to pay more towards new Club premises.  A special thank you to PE Office who have been very kind allowing us to use pontoons for our Regatta and wherever needed especially during training sessions.

The affiliation with PEYC is going well, and the Yacht Club has been used both for committee meetings and our own Xmas party which proved very successful.  The affiliation provides us with access to the club house, booking/use of racing marks and booking/use of their committee boat and RIB.

Issues During 2016

The subscriptions/member forms trickled in slowly.  We “cut off” email contact with those, who after being asked if they had intentions of renewing, did not respond by August 2016.    The committee have looked at ways to improve this and we can expect some further streamlining to take place when we reach March 2017.  We now have PayPal option on our website to assist with prompt payments.

On a similar financial theme, the committee agreed a flat rate of 40p per mile for towing, on the understanding that if this did not cover the towers costs it would of course be topped up to ensure that nobody towing was left out of pocket.  There was also agreement that for those participating in Regattas from 1/7/16, the cost would be £5 per person to go towards towing costs, to be paid in advance or collected on the day.

The Future

It is important for the club to continue to maintain relationships with other organisations in the Marina, as well as locally, i.e. Rotary, QCCC, RNLI and other Community Groups.  This has been a focus for myself this year.  As a result, good relationships have and are being maintained.  The Rotary Club did indeed assist at our own Regatta and provided the Race Tent as well as helping to erect it.  It has been good for the club to be represented in discussions with other water users (e.g. JB Watersports who invited us to join in post event celebrations at their keel boat regatta in September and are keen to develop this further in 2017). We will continue to maintain links with local organisations too, where possible.

The website has gone from strength to strength thanks to Barbara who has done a fantastic job of not only making the website easier to navigate and more engaging, but has provided Newsletters for all of us to keep up to date with events and our activities, helping to engage new members further.  Our Calendar last year proved very successful and was welcomed by all Members.  Thank you to Marion and Barbara for their time in making the all-important photo selection.  So for those of you who are thinking of Xmas already – think QRC Calendars!  A good choice for those distant relatives to see what you all do on the water! – keep an eye on our website for further information.  If you would like to purchase Calendars we will of course have them available in the shed.

There has been an increased demand for expedition-type rowing.  We have visited Inchcolm, below, during the summer and Limekilns recently, as passage plans were designed and submitted to our Trainers for approval.

Training will continue over the winter months, and Sharon will be in touch with you to ask for your availability.  Remember we need more winning categories, so please think about attending our Regattas too – we would like more medals for 2017.

We now have Incident & Maintenance Logs in the shed for everyone to see and record as needed.

We are keen to get a rota in place for winter maintenance.  For those interested to help, there will be a sheet in the shed soon for those who would like to put themselves forward.  Our Training Team can liaise with those who can help get this started.

This has been a great year for the Club.  We will continue to strive to grow our Membership and look forward to everyone’s input for future event planning.

Tides for the forthcoming week – posted 9 Oct 2016

Rachel reports:  What a glorious week we have had: an exhilarating row to Hound Point on Thursday, and on Saturday and Sunday amazing October weather for rowing.

This coming week gives us good midweek tides for rowing any day, and social rowing at the weekend.

Monday 10th October
09.49 – 4.57m H —- 16.45 – 2.5m L

Tuesday 11th
05.13 – 2.15 m L —- 11.04 – 4.6 m H

Wednesday 12th
06.06 – 1.78  m L—- 12.22 – 4.9m H

Thursday 13th
06.53 – 1.4m L —- 13.18 – 5.3  m H

Friday 14th
07.39 – 1.0 m L —- 14.07 – 5.7 m H

Saturday 15th
08.26 – 0.7m L —- 14.53  – 6.0 m H    NO 8am TRAINING today.

Sunday 16th
09.14 – 0.5 m L —- 15.38 – 6.2 m H

We can have a later start on Saturday, with Peter’s bacon rolls from 9.30am. Then we can be ready for rowing once the tide is up the slip.

Ferry Lass stars in Channel 5 documentary – posted 13 Oct 2016

Len reports: Back in April this year Channel 5 were planning  a series of six x 1 hour programs on Britain’s Greatest Bridges – including the Forth Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing.

Channel 5 contacted “The Briggers” – the team that did the research for the book by that name about the men that built the Forth Bridge. The Briggers are Jenni Meldrum, Frank Hay, Jim Walker and myself

Somehow … over a drink in the Hawes … they were persuaded  – don’t know how ??!!?? that it would be best if they put their presenter Rob Bell in a skiff so that he could row himself under the bridge and see it  close up for himself.

They liked that idea and so we duly ended up  getting him out in the boat. There was a tiny clip on TV this week, part of a trailer for the series, showing him in Ferry Lass rowing under the bridge  …. thanks to all who helped with that.

The first episode is about the Forth Bridge and is on this Friday, Channel 5, 9pm to 10pm. The series is called Britain’s Greatest Bridges. TV stuff about it states:-

Engineer Rob Bell sets out on a journey to discover how six of Britain’s most stunning bridges were designed and built. Completed in 1890, the Forth Bridge now carries around 200 trains every day. The last of the great Victorian engineering triumphs, it has grown to symbolise Scotland as much as Edinburgh Castle, bagpipes or kilts. But, as Rob learns, this incredible engineering achievement was born from the tragedy of the 1879 Tay Bridge disaster, and 73 deaths were connected with its construction and immediate aftermath.

The episode will be repeated on Saturday at 10.30pm, and again on Saturday 21 October at 3.10am.

Presenter Rob Bell with cox Peter and crew Len, Donna and Rachel
Rob rowing in the Lass
The film crew aboard a RIB


And… action!

Later on, the film crew visited Inchgarvie along with Len, who took this picture:

Certain ladies in the club  pronounced the presenter to be “very fit” and immediately tried to recruit him into joining the club. Apparently last year he completed seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. He has a Master’s degree in Engineering and also speaks French!!  Click here to read more about Rob.

Tides for the forthcoming week – posted 17 Oct 2016

Rachel reports: The tides this week are looking interesting. Some very high highs and some very low lows, but no problem for midweek rowing and perfect for weekend rowing.

Monday 17th October
09.51 —- 0.36m L        16.23 — 6.30 H

Tuesday 18th
10.26 — 0.42m L.        17.10 —- 6.26m H

Wednesday 19th
10.53 —- 0.63 m L.       17.58 —- 6.10 m H

Thursday 20th
11.31 — 0.97 m L.       18.47 —- 5.84 m H

Friday 21st
07.14 —- 5.70 m H         12.19 —– 1.42m L

Saturday 22nd
08.09 —- 5.4m H.          13.23 —– 1.9m L

Sunday 23rd
09.11 —- 5.1 H.            14.47 —– 2.3 m L

Social rowing sessions are 9am on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday. One row has already been organised for Tuesday afternoon and another is in the offing for Weds/Thurs.

Tweed Row report – posted 17 Oct 2016

Rachel reports: We had a happy band of 15 rowers and followers set off for Berwick-upon-Tweed on Sunday, for the annual Tweed row and picnic at Paxton House.

Louise was our tower and Ferry Maid left about 10am, with a few cars following. After the appalling rain on Saturday we had hopes for better weather Sunday. Eleven skiffs — six from Northumberland and five Scottish — arrived at the Tweed docks all in quick succession, everyone readily helping to lift and move skiffs onto the beach launching area. The water level wasn’t quite at the height needed, but by the time everyone was sorted and had admired the smart English skiffs, discussed pegs/oars/floorboards/bow seats etc etc, the rain had started and launching went ahead. We had six crew,our ‘extra’ in the bow on the beanbag, with picnic bags underneath. The upstream rowers were Donna, Anne F, Rachel, Cherry, Louise and Rory.

It is always a lovely sight, a succession of skiffs rowing under bridges. This was not a race, so we could take it easy, admire the surroundings and have some banter with fellow rowers as we got wetter and wetter!! The row to Paxton is 9.656km (six miles) and the estimation was about two hours up and less on return after high tide.

One of the best viewpoints is the bridge on the A1 and Peter, Gabe and Lorna were there to wave to us as we approached.

Apparently there were another three of our followers sitting in their car in the carpark close by who decided it was too wet to get out and watch us!!? [Note from Barbara: This is true. The rain was drumming down and to our shame we chickened out.]

It was wet, we swapped places on the boat a few times, but we still got wetter! We spotted herons and plenty wildlife to keep us happy. We were under the two hours to get to Paxton, and the remaining ‘dry’ people were there to welcome us: Barbara, George and Jean. The Northumberland crews had vans and unloaded gas canisters and BBQ equipment and had a great social gathering. Then the sun came out !! so all was well .

Our return crew were: Donna, Mel, Maria, Lorna, Anne P and Gabe. Before the return they had a row further up the river, as did a few of the skiffs, to the famous ‘Chain Bridge’ which spans Scotland and England.  Completed in 1820, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at that time.

They had a very pleasant row in the sun, and Maria told us they passed a seal who had just caught a salmon and was chomping on it with great gusto. Cox was asked to turn around to allow them to get photos, but  the lady was not for turning!! Safety first.?

We were all there to wave to them at a couple of the bridges. It was a quicker return and the skiffs were all out the water and packed up in a flash, many hands!! A very pleasant social gathering indeed.

Our sodden  beanbag was deposited in the skip in the carpark, so if the ‘elves’ are reading this,we really do need a wee bow seat. ? ?

Click here to view the Flickr album of photos from the day. Anyone with photos to share can either post them on Facebook or email them to Barbara.

From one extreme….
…. to another!

Tides for the coming week – posted 24 Oct 2016

Rachel reports: The tides are all suitable during the week for some mid week rowing, hopefully the weather keeps holding.

Monday 24th October
10.27—- 4.89 H.
16.56 —- 2.39 L

Tuesday 25th
11.41—- 4.49 H
18.19—- 2.20 L

Wednesday 26th
06.57—- 1.53 L
12.45—- 5.13 H

Thursday 27th
07.47 —- 1.35 L
13.38 —- 5.33 H

Friday 28th
08.28 —- 1.23 L
14.24 —- 5.48 H

Saturday 29th
09.01 —- 1.17 m L     NO 8am training, but social rowing from 9am as normal to await water.
15.03 —- 5.57 H

Sunday 30th — clocks have gone back !
08.16—- 1.1 L
14.38 —- 5.6 H

Tides for the week ahead – posted 31 Oct 2016

Rachel reports: There is another good week ahead for tides and weather. We are now back on Greenwich Mean Time as we head towards winter.

Monday 31st October
07.58 —- 1.03 m L.
15.08 —- 5.60 m H

Tuesday 1st November
08.33 —- 1.01m L
15.38 —- 5.58 m H

Wednesday 2nd
09.06 —- 1.09 L
16.11 —-,5.53 H

Thursday 3rd
09.32 —- 1.24 L
16.47 —- 5.44 H

Friday 4th
09.56 — 1.43 L
17.25 —- 5.30 H

Saturday 5th
10.27 — 1.65 L
18.06 — 5.1 H

Sunday 6th
11.05 —- 1.9 L
18.50 —- 4.9 H

Report on a fantastic day at the SCRA Freshwater Sprints – posted 31 Oct 2016

Rachel writes:  Several of us left Queensferry and places around, in the dark, very early on Saturday morning. Destination was up A9 to reach Loch Tummel. We as a club had been there in the early spring  for an event, and had marvelled at the beauty of the sailing club’s location. Daylight and sunshine gave us a stunning drive along the North shore of the loch,to turn on to the south shore for our event, the last SCRA event of the season.

At the Freshwater Sprints we race in regional teams – we are South East, along with Musselburgh, Portobello, Port Seton and North Berwick. How good is that! We were rowing with, rather than against, North Berwick!! The other regions are North West, North East, South West, and Fife & Angus. We were hoping to retain our winning status from last year.

There was a good turn-out from far and wide, all talking about the amazing setting, perfect weather and the big welcome from the Loch Tummel Sailing Club, who were our hosts for the day, with enough food for an army!

As racing started, it became apparent our biggest worry were going to be North East, Broughty Ferry, Portsoy, Collieston and Avoch being the clubs involved. As Queensferry rowers, we were scattered in various races, with our fellow regional rowers. Our points were going well, until the Under-19 Men’s and Women’s races. Our region had no entry in these categories. This is where North East gained ten points – they came with the teenagers from Avoch and Portsoy!!

However, as a club Queensferry did well: we had a few firsts, with medals for Rachel  (Women’s Open), Louise & Irina (Novice Women) and Gabe (Men’s Intermediate). That’s three more people off our novice list!!

The winners! Gabe, Louise, Irina and Rachel

Keith, Len and Mel also rowed in Isle of Seil’s ‘Selkie’ for North West, who struggled to have enough rowers. I coxed in Selkie for them also, all points going to North West. Peter took part in a very energetic long distance race, going further down the loch.

Overall results
North East —- winners
South East — 6 points behind!
Fife and Angus
North West
South West

Lesson for the day for us as a club was to continue our aim to engage our local youth in our sport. Perhaps by next season we too can have a youth team in regattas! We spent over eight hours standing by the loch in the best of company and participating in a sport common to us all. The ethos of coastal rowing was evident.

Peter and I then attended the AGM along with two representatives from each club present, plus Orkney, Blakeney and Felton Flyers. A good turnout.

Chairman Robbie Wightman gave us a few statistics:

  • 53 clubs
  • 2500 – 3000 members
  • 53% women
  • 75% new to marina activities
  • 95% new to rowing.

He encouraged us to continue our attendance at regattas; to travel further afield now to club regattas, eg the isles; to use the winter season for expeditions and keep touring logs; and to keep building within our local communities. He quoted Queensferry as an example!!

The main vote of the meeting was for an international group to be set up, to consult widely and propose a common design for oars/oarlocks,to be trialled in 2017. The motion was carried 27 for to nine against.

The route to Loch Tummel Sailing Club. There’s also a very narrow, winding route along the south shore. Well worth a visit!

More photos in the Flickr album.

Tides for the week ahead – posted 7 Nov 2016

Rachel reports: The tides for this coming week give us leeway for rowing at any time .

Monday 7th November
07.25 —- 4.84m H
11.55 —- 2.23 m L

Tuesday 8th
08.19 —- 4.75 m H
13.04 —- 2.49 m L

Wednesday 9th
09.24 — 4.78 m H
16.08 —- 2.26 m L

Thursday 10th
10.36 —- 4.99 m H
17.00 —- 1.92 m L

Friday 11th
11.40 —- 5.33 m H
17.48 —- 1.55m L

Saturday 12th
06.17 —- 1.07 m L
12.34 —- 5.68 m H

Sunday 13th
07.08 —- 0.8 m L
13.25 —- 6.0 m H

The weather may be cold, but as Donal’s photo shows, it’s also clear

Have a good week — a chilly one, but we can get used to that again!!

Low morning tides feature in the week ahead -posted 14 Nov 2016

Rachel reports: The tides this week have some lows in the mornings,so midweek rowing will be best from  late mornings.

Monday 14th November
08.01 —- 0.63 m L
14.14 —- 6.18 m H

Tuesday 15th
08.48 —- 0.6 m L
15.03 —- 6.3 m H

Wednesday 16th
09.30 — 0.6 m L
15.51 — 6.2 m H

Thursday 17th
10.04 —- 0.8 m L
16.40 —- 6.1 m H

Friday 18th
10.27 — 1.1 m L
17.30 —- 5.9 m H

Saturday 19th
05.59 —- 5.8 m H
11.08 —- 1.5 m L

Sunday 20th
12.04 —- 1.9 m L
19.17 —- 5.3 m H

Seal pup on the tyre barrier! Photo by Lorna B

Ferry Maid’s launch – a blast from the past – posted 17 Nov 2016

Club secretary Peter Locke writes: 24 November is the fourth anniversary of the launch of Ferry Maid. I think it is good to remember these special occasions in our Club’s history. Some of the newer members will be seeing this video below for the first time and as one of the founder members I would like once again to thank all those who were involved in the procurement, build and launch of Ferry Maid and for all the dedication that went into the success.

I would also make mention of the ongoing labour of love by those who work on maintaining our skiffs and equipment every year. We have a great team!

Tides for the week ahead – posted 20 Nov 2016

Rachel reports: There are no issues with tides for the next week.So there is the availability to get out with a crew any day. Some ‘fresh’ bright spells are forecast. There is already a ‘special ladies row’ arranged for Thursday at 11.30am.

Monday 21st November
07.52 —- 5.13m H.
13.13 —- 2.22m L

Tuesday 22nd
08.58 —- 4.91m H.
14.35 —- 2.43m L

Wednesday 23rd
10.07 —- 4.87m H.
16.34 —- 2.39m L

Thursday 24th
11.10 —- 4.96m H
17.39 — 2.19m L

Friday 25th
06.11 —- 1.66m L.
12.05 —- 5.12m H

Saturday 26th
06.53 —- 1.56m L.
12.52 —- 5.28m H

Sunday 27th
07.24 —- 1.5m L.
13.34 —- 5.4m H

Maid’s frosty fourth – posted 24 Nov 2016

As previously noted, today was the fourth anniversary of Ferry Maid’s launch in 2012. It was also a Significant Birthday for a club member, so a row was duly organised — complete with balloons, presents, cake and champagne. It was seriously cold, but nonetheless a perfect rowing day, with bright sunshine, plenty of water and no wind.

We popped in to Queensferry Harbour to wave to Sheena, who named the Maid in the 2012 launch ceremony. She came down to the harbour to say hello and was invited to join the crew at the shed for champers.

Sheena, on the harbour wall, chats with the crew

Evidence of how perishingly cold it was

2017 calendar now available – posted 24 Nov 2016

We have had 100 calendars printed, of which about 40 have been pre-ordered. So do not delay – get yours now. They are better quality than this year’s effort, with heavier paper and more room for noting down all those regattas. Lots of photos of the boats in action and at rest, several from the Worlds. At £7 each, a perfect gift for your nearest and dearest. Remember, your purchase will help fund the upkeep of our beloved boats and their oars, plus the trolleys, lifejackets, radios etc etc – all those things we take for granted but which must be paid for.

There are also a few of Andy’s garden ornaments still available – yours for a donation to the club. Some very charming squirrels as well as a selection of gnomes and toadstools. These sturdy, beautifully painted critters have already raised hundreds of pounds for QRC.


Tides for the coming week – posted 27 Nov 2016

Rachel reports: We have had a great November week with  some stunning weather for a good few rows – pictured is a special one on Thursday, celebrating one rower’s Significant Birthday, and also the fourth birthday of the Ferry Maid. Perfect conditions that day! One blip in the week was some fog/mist for a brief spell on Saturday, which unfortunately cancelled training. Now as we move into December, the tides are suiting us again this coming week.

Monday 28th November
06.52 —- 1.35m L.     14.11 —- 5.49mH

Tuesday 29th
07.29 —- 1.22m L.     14.44 —- 5.5m H

Wednesday 30th
08.08 —- 1.16mL.     15.17 —- 5.6 m H

Thursday 1st December
08.44 —- 1.2 m L.     15.52 —- 5..6 m H

Friday 2nd
09.15 —- 1.3m L.     16.27 —- 5.5 m H

Saturday 3rd
09.42 —- 1.4 m L.     17.06 —- 5.4 m H

Sunday 4th
10.11 —- 1.5m L.     17.46 —- 5.2 m H

A grand day out – to Limekilns – posted 28 Nov 2016

Cherry reports: Louise had previously  researched and created a passage plan for a rowing excursion to Limekilns and appealed for a crew to go over on Saturday 26th November.

Fog having lifted we (Louise, Barbara, Rachel H, Ann P and I) slithered down the icey slipway and departed in the Ferry Maid – forward to row at around 11.25am.

The outward crossing, aided by the rising tide, took about 90 minutes and was very pleasant. The breeze from the west was light and although the air temperature was cold we kept reasonably warm with a steady pace and some rotations of coxing.  A wee swell here and there, the odd seal, a good look at the aircraft carrier and moored-up submarines added to the interest.

The band of cloud that obscured the sun lifted, as we kept clear of the reefs and approached the beach to the upstream side of the harbour.  Thanks to Louise’s impeccable timing we beached just as the tide was reaching its height, at about 1pm.  So, minimum hauling of the boat up the beach was required.  We secured her and hot-footed our way to the Sundial Cafe. Log-burning stove, friendly greeting, tasty soup and cake…

Alas the gift shop,  open as we passed by en route to the cafe, was closed for lunch as we headed back towards the shore so our  pounds remained in our pockets.

Minimal hauling of the Maid was required to get back on the water. The combination of falling tide, river flow and following wind (such as it was) saw us back at Port Edgar about 60 minutes later! We fairly glided along and as we neared the harbour it felt as if we could give the Forth Belle a run for her money! The evening light was radiant, intensifying the colour of the rail bridge, the yellow lichen on the breakwater wall and the reflections beneath and around the pontoons.


More photos here

It’s time to PARTY!! – posted 1 Dec 2016

Please let Marion know as soon as possible if you (and/or your significant other, friends, children, etc etc) are coming along to the grand QRC Christmas Party on Saturday 10th December at 7.30pm, at the Yacht Club, Port Edgar. We need to know numbers for catering, so email Marion on right away with your numbers. Speaking of catering, it will be a buffet provided by Down the Hatch this year, and anyone who’s eaten there can vouch for the quality. The cost – including the buffet – is £10 per head, and the bar will be open for you to buy drinks.

The organisers are also keen for people to donate nice things to be raffled off during the party. Rachel has baked one of her wonderful Christmas cakes for this, and there is also a bottle of Moet to be won.

(The image above may not reflect actual events on the night. But hey, you never know!)

The party is postponed until the new year – posted 5 Dec 2016

Donna writes: With everyone so busy at the moment which unfortunately means less of us can join our Xmas party on 10/12, we have decided to postpone the date until around the end of January instead, making it a “celebrate 2017” party night!

I’m waiting to see if PEYC can offer us some dates, however as we would need to know numbers for catering. Please can you reply to Marion McDowell direct and state your interest.
It would be good to have as many of us there as possible, so we are hoping the postponement will allow more members to join us.

In the meantime, please don’t forget there is a box of calendars in the shed – lots of lovely photos from 2016, only £7 each for a quality product, perfect Christmas gift for your nearest and dearest.

CHRISTMAS RAFFLE!!! Get your tickets now! – posted 6 Dec 2016

Rachel adds: This is our only fundraiser for the season. So, support our club funds, buy a raffle ticket or two and don’t forget to give your friends/ family a chance also?

PS the cake pictured is not the one you would win, it will be “classier”!!

Tide times for the week ahead – posted 12 Dec 2016

Rachel reports: We have some very low/very high tides this coming week, but nothing that gives us problems. There has been chat of mid-week rows – they were being discussed on Sunday!

Monday 12th December
06.52 —- 1.05 m. L     12.59 —- 5.8 m H

Tuesday 13th
07.49 —- 0.9 m L.        13.53 —- 6.0 m H

Wednesday 14th
08.40 —- 0.8 m L.       14.45 —- 6.1 m H

Thursday 15th
09.25 —- 0.8 m L.       15.36 —- 6.1 m H

Friday 16th
10.06 —- 0.9 m L.         16.25 —- 6.1 m H

Saturday 17th
10.44 —- 1.1 m L.          17.14 —- 5.9 m H

Sunday 18th
10.13 —- 1.4 m L.         18.05 —- 5.7 m H

As the tide is too low for the slip during Saturday session, we can do changeovers at the pontoon. We would hope to have a crew still around at about 11.30-40am to bring the boat back in.

Raffle tickets are selling fast – £1 a strip. Let Rachel know if you would like some and she can set them aside for you, to be paid for as and when.

The photo above was taken yesterday, Sunday 11 December. Fairly choppy conditions, and some interesting cloud formations. Here’s another photo, taken from the Road Bridge on Sunday 4 December. Spot the skiff! There is one there, coming back from a row over to Rosyth.

And here she is coming in to the harbour in the wake of a yacht:

Tides for the week leading up to Christmas – posted 19 Dec 2016

Rachel reports: Tides for this week are favourable, but perhaps the weather may not be. Some big winds are forecast later in the week.

Monday 19th December
11.36 am —- 1.7 m L.       18.55 —- 5.4 m H

Tuesday 20th
07.23 —- 5.2 mH.        12.19 —- 2.0 m L

Wednesday 21st
08.17 —- 4.9 m H.        13.18 —- 2.3 m L

Thursday 22nd
09.19 —- 4.8 m H.       14.34 —- 2.4 m L

Friday 23rd
10.23 —- 4.7 m H.        16.14 —- 2.4 m L

Saturday 24th
05.14 —- 2.0 m L.       11.21 —- 4.8 m H

Sunday 25th Christmas Day
06.04 —- 1.9 m L.       12.14 —- 5.0 m H.  NO Social rowing today

Happy Christmas everyone!! (Photo from last Christmas – when the Road Bridge was closed and QRC got on the telly with a delivery across the Firth.)

2017 – part 1