QRC Youth Regatta on Saturday

It’s all systems go for Saturday’s big event: the club’s first ever Youth Regatta. Crews are coming from all over: from Strangford and Killyleagh in Northern Ireland, Deveron in the north-east, the Firth of Clyde in the west, Elie in Fife and Eastern in, well, the east.

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The medals made their way to Port Edgar by skiff on Thursday evening

The coxes’ briefing is 0930hrs, and the races start at 1030hrs and continue at (hopefully) 45 min intervals. There are seven races:
1. Mixed Under 17
2. Mixed Under 19
3. Boys Under 17
4. Girls Under 17 1330hrs
5. Boys Under 19
6. Girls Under 19
7. Pick n’ Mix (Andy-style race)

The course is a straight 1km. Boats will row from the marina pontoons to a line about 200m west of Hawes Pier and race to our main Regatta finish line.

All club members are urged to come along to lend a hand, and to cheer our young rowers on. As with the main Regatta there will be a catering operation in the shed – contributions of filled rolls, home baking etc are all welcome. Come and support this our first Queensferry Youth Regatta!

Four of QRC’s world class young rowers took bronze at Stranraer in July

Tides for the week of 2 to 8 September

Dónal writes: I hope everyone at Portsoy had a great time despite the cancellation of rowing on Saturday. Good luck to everyone taking part in our inaugural Youth Regatta this coming Saturday, I’ll be expecting a lot of medals to stay with us ?

Monday 2nd September
High: 0532- 6.3m; Low: 1143 – 0.1m; High: 1756 – 6.2m; Low: 2344 – 0.7m

Tuesday 3rd September
High: 0621 – 6.2m; Low: 1217 – 0.4m; High:  1844 – 6m

Wednesday 4th September
High: 0709 – 6m; Low: 1245 – 0.8m; High: 1931 – 5.7 m

Thursday 5th September
High: 0759 – 5.6m; Low: 1320 – 1.3m; High: 2020 – 5.3m

Friday 6th September
High: 0852 – 5.2m; Low: 1412 – 1.8m; High: 2114 – 4.9m

Saturday 7th September
High: 0955 – 4.9m; Low: 1528 – 2.2m; High: 2220 – 4.7m  Youth Regatta

Sunday 8th September
High: 1110 – 4.7m; Low: 1742 – 2.4m; High: 2337 – 4.6 m

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Why the racing at Portsoy was called off on Saturday! Photo by Rachel

“The Beast in the East” – North Berwick regatta report

Tracey writes: The Beast in the East… Well, the North Berwick regatta to be precise…

The day was here. Pleasantly pleasing the sun was out and conditions looked, I am told, unusually well on the water.

Setting up on the beach

To be frank you can’t judge a place until you’ve seen it or rowed it! What am I referring to is the now infamous Craigleith Island and the part it plays in the North Berwick Regatta! Sitting there firmly – well it is volcanic lava rock which can be used in curling stones apparently, as you curlers will be aware. A bird sanctuary it may well be, but oh what stories to tell on a coastal rowing regatta day! We were reliably informed from the commentary over the speaker system (more on that later), that this is one of the longest St Ayles skiff coastal rowing regatta courses.


The day commenced following the Coxswains’ brief by the mens 50+ race, which from the shore appeared to be a close, hard contest on the straight trip home, with Queensferry amongst the main field. Apparently a 360 penalty was awarded to a team who shall remain nameless (not Queensferry) unsure why? Queensferry was a commendable 6th place.

Men’s 50+

Next was the Women’s 50+ which was not without its drama! We began well, but soon became the filling of a sandwich on the approach to Craigleith, with boats either side, resulted in clashing of oars. Requests for more water were raised quite loudly, but received no attention. Despite a jamming of an oar under one of the boats, we were then requested to ‘go to port’ over the radio – but there was no water there either, as we remained the filling in a sandwich or perhaps a baguette at this stage.  We were coxed out of our position with little umpire intervention (it has been quoted –they must have nipped away for an Alandas ice-cream… other ice creams are available). Eventually one of the boats was advised on a number of occasions to stop rowing and had become entangled in the other half of the sandwich/baguette, so we managed to slip away! This however had cost us time and we had to try to catch the rest of the field. However on a positive note we survived to row other races, safely!

Women’s 50+, photo by North Berwick Rowing Club

The races continued, and the sun and heat intensified up to an impressive 24 to 25 degrees. The running commentary throughout the day was highly entertaining, Saint and Greavsie style AKA Ian Baird and Clive Rooney (North Berwick rowers). During the rowing there was an interlude when we were informed that three swimmers were approaching the beach who had set off that morning from Elie across the water! We were encouraged, and a number of us went down to the water’s edge to congratulate them to be informed it was all ‘just for fun’. Ten miles!

Back to yet more rowing dramas! As the Mixed Novice race set off the tide was going out and rocks were to be avoided east of the beach. However the rudder was applied and next we came to a sudden halt with the rudder coming loose. A quick examination revealed a gudgeon was out! A rapid repair with a makeshift hammer -also known as the anchor – and use of a tent peg to straighten a bent pinion (forgive me if I have the incorrect names of the parts) and we were good to go navigating around the rest of the rocks to the start line.

Mixed Novice, photo by North Berwick Rowing Club

During the race we kept up with the main group, although on the rear of Craigleith it was noted the waters had begun to swell more than the calmer morning races. A wave was caught and a crack was thought to be heard by some crew members, but we continued to battle through and in the end were putting a number of 10 hard sprint rows to keep a boat in our wake. We finished an admirable fifth position.

Mixed Open, photo by North Berwick Rowing Club

The 240+ racing crew also achieved the position of fifth, however we were disappointed to read the report sheet at the end of the races that this race was untimed.

Mixed 240+, photo by North Berwick Rowing Club

The Mens Open crew also had drama, with the breaking of the number 2 oar 200 metres into the race, and therefore had to withdraw disappointingly from the race. Yes you’ve guessed correctly that was the crack heard earlier!
With a changing of the whole set of oars the last race of the day Women’s Open, was delayed somewhat by the returning of the dinghies also racing further east. Another hard race and red faces returned to the beach. We Survived The Beast in the East!

It was, I must say, a great day. I’m sure folks will say we were lucky with the weather and the sun block was in use. It was a great team effort and the G&Ts were well deserved! The only big disappointment was the selling out of the Lobster!

I would like to finish by sharing a Chinese Proverb:

He who blames others has a long way to go on his journey
He who blames himself is halfway there
He who blames no-one has arrived.

Happy rowing guys!

Barbara adds: North Berwick Rowing Club have shared their photos from the day on their Flickr. Our own Flickr photos are here.

Click here to view the race results.

Tides for the week of 26 August to 1 September

Dónal writes: It’s hard to believe but we are in to September next Sunday, this year is flying in far too fast.

As you can see we are having difficulty with the tides this week. I have been advised that 1.75m will be enough to launch and recover the trolley for social rowing on Tuesday. It will have to be done with care though.

Pontoons will be needed for Saturday and we will get the numbers out before the weekend. Happy rowing!

Monday 26th August
0543—2.1 m L. 1134 — 4.8 m H. 1814 – 2.0 m L

Tuesday 27th August
0639 — 1.7 m L 1246 — 5.0 m H 1905 — 1.7 m H.

Wednesday 28th August
0735 — 1.3 m L 1347 — 5.4 m H. 1957 — 1.4 m L

Thursday 29th August
0833 — 0.9 m L 1442 — 5.8 m H. 2050 — 1.1 m L Off water by 1930

Friday 30th August
0931 — 0.5 m L. 1532 — 6.0 m H. 2140 — 0.8 m L

Saturday 31st August
1020 — 0.2 m L. 1421 — 6.2 m H. 2226 — 0.7 m L Pontoon needed early

Sunday 1st September
1104 — 0.1 m L. 1709 — 6.3 m H. 2307 — 0.6 m L

Louise coxes the Women’s 50+ crew – Marianne, Donna, Anne P and Tracey – to the finish line at North Berwick last Saturday.
Conditions were perfect – some fast times were recorded

Results from the regatta and more North Berwick photos


Shieldaig Regatta report

Maria writes: Friday the 9th of August, and after some rowers had unfortunately had to withdraw, nine of us braved the heavy rain conditions for the drive up to Shieldaig, Alistair with the Maid in tow. We were greatly cheered by his message at around 5 pm that the gazebo was up and the sun was shining!

With the skiffs securely parked up in the trailer park, the regatta warm-up event that evening in the village hall was well attended and one-pot food, drinks and a live band was only the beginning of great hospitality that would be on offer throughout the regatta.

On Saturday morning the conditions looked pretty windy,  but manageable. Skiffs were launched from the slip end on the village and some crews took advantage to row around the island that would be our course, on to the pebble beach in front on the grass area where the gazebos were pitched.

The 2km course was explained at the coxes briefing, as in previous years with a start between the island and the village, a mad dash northwards to the shared turning mark at the north end of the island, around the back of the island ( the “dark” side) and a final sprint to the finish line.

The only difference this year was that the shared turning buoy was moved 0.6 km northwards which should reduce the number of skiffs arriving at the same time at this turn, making it less fraught for the coxes and umpires alike…

Racing commenced at 13.00 hours, and as this regatta forms part of the village fete, the six races are interspersed with lovely activities like a pet show, best of six legs dog show, up the hill races, raffle prize tables, etc. Lovely street food is on offer with all seafood donated by local fishermen for fundraising.

Because most of our rowers apart from Jennifer were in their 60th year or over, we did not expect great results, but we sure enjoyed the glorious setting and races within a race. We came 9th out of 13 in the overall results, which was actually quite surprising, and a special mention can be made of the women’s 230+ who came 6th , after successfully overtaking a strong Avoch team just before the finish line. The Men 230+ also did well and came 7th in their race.

The skiffs were launched from the pebble beach, which became smaller and smaller as the tide came in, and scrambling over breakwater rocks before helping the crew out of their boat and the new rowers in, was at times tricky, and great skills were also shown by all our coxes during the day. We all helped each other, and in Andy’s spirit we accommodated requests from Kenny (Newhaven) and Isla (Broughty Ferry) to row with our club. Monkeyfist keyrings were made and sold, also by the ever helpful partners. (£35 raised!)

We all rowed hard and we all rowed well! We were cold and tired at the end of the afternoon, but well pleased.

After the customary raffle prizes were announced and the fundraising auction completed, at prizegiving Golspie were the overall winners, followed by Shieldaig in second, and Avoch in third place.

Our rowers and partners then all went out for a fabulous meal at the local hotel bistro, after which some continued to enjoy the band, burgers and live music from 8 pm in the street around the lorry stage. One good thing of the windy conditions was a lack of midges, something we were extremely thankful for! We all had a fabulous regatta, it was very well organised and the communication from Janine, organiser of the event, was excellent.

Unfortunately we did not come away with any medals, as they really are very beautiful indeed.

So let’s keep our eyes on next years event, hopefully we can attend with great strong, age-appropriate teams, as this surely is one of my favourite events. With local hotels, B&Bs, and a now even better free skiffie campsite, it will be well worth us booking early.

And you could, like quite a few of us did this year, add an extra couple of days to your stay for kayaking, hillwalking, wild swimming at beautiful sandy beaches, and generally exploring and enjoying this gorgeous part of Scotland.