Val writes: Thank you very much (!!) for the really generous donations of yarn and wool into the flamingo box in the shed for the Stranraer Crafters. I noticed that since I sent the first batch off to Stranraer, there have been subsequent donations in the shed, that’s brilliant. I have had a note back from Stranraer Community Crafters on receipt of our donation of a rather large box full which was full of excitement about receiving the wool, and that it has already been put to good use.
I’ll collect the box after our regatta and send our final consignment down, so if there are any stray balls of wool or curtain rings that could still find there way there, pop them in over the next week.
Bisa has asked me to pass on the thanks of Stranraer Community Crafters to Queensferry Rowing.
Louise reports: This year’s Broughty Ferry regatta was challenging in many different ways, not least the dreich weather. For those who were rowing it was hard, with the 2.6km distance being longer than many of the events and a strong current and at times choppy water didn’t help. Most often the event reports are written from the perspective of those rowing but we are of course crews of five, so i thought that I would write a report from
the cox’s experience.
There are a lot of regattas where the cox has a relatively straightforward job of lining up at the start, steering towards the finish in a straight line and
motivating the crew. There are others at which the cox has their skill and
nerves really tested. Broughty Ferry Regatta this year certainly came into the latter category.
At coxes’ briefing everyone was warned of the strong spring tide running into the Tay all day, with high tide around the time of the last race. We were also warned about maintaining clearance round the two buoy turns, especially as the first leg was across flow. We were also told that the markers were not the usual ‘knock-em-over’ Lomo type buoys but were really solid and unforgiving.
The start was the first challenge, with skiffs pointing down-river till almost
under starters orders, when a rapid turn to line up was made and the start
being called almost immediately so smart positioning and alert listening for the start being called was required.
The next problem was to deal with being the filling in a skiff sandwich with 12 boats in many of the races all heading for the same buoy about 800 meters away. The cross current was fierce and so was the fight for the best position, sometimes with no option but to have oars clashing with boats on each side.
The next thing on a cox’s mind was making sure that you were not drifted into the solid buoy and at the same time keeping an eye on 11 other boats with the “3 boat length” rule to comply with regarding right of way. A decision was also needed regarding whether a turn was made with inner oars holding water or everyone rowing round. With so many boats all fighting for space it was inevitable that oars were hitting the immovable post or clashing with other oars.
Many penalties were given by the umpire, a rare thing, and I even saw two
boats locked together hull to hull. Fortunately by the time the second turn was reached the races were more strung out with fewer clashes and boats being drifted away rather than too the buoy. One final challenge, which some found too difficult, was the cross the finish line between and not outside the markers.
If any new Skippers are thinking that this is not for them I would say give race coxing a go as it is very rewarding. However, speak to one of the old hands to help choose a straightforward event for your first try and you will enjoy it. You will learn new skills, tactics and good seamanship and soon go on to new challenges. The great thing about our sport is that we never stop learning and above all else, it is fun.
Anne P writes: Following our first regatta of the season at Broughty yesterday, I’d like to say a big thank you to all who contributed towards the day. A lot of preparation goes into each and every regatta and it’s certainly not just about the the day itself. So a huge thank you to everyone who got us there, from the last minute repair work to Ferry Maid which allowed us to race in our familiar boat, to those who helped prepare and load the boat and equipment for the day, those who have given up their time to cox teams and race with teams knowing they couldn’t be there on the day and those who have been working hard on the water to prepare themselves for the day.
The day itself was certainly very interesting… a challenging course, a fast flowing tide and a solid obstacle of a buoy which caught a number of clubs out at the first turn. A special mention is due to the rowers for whom this was their first regatta. A longer than usual, and tricky, course didn’t seem to put anyone off and everyone gave their best.
Congratulations to the 60+ teams – their hard work gained them well deserved medals, gold for the men and silver for the women.
I’m sure everyone has taken something away from the day, including a determination to keep working hard; training and team work pay off. Thank you to Alistair and his team who towed the boat and had the gazebo erected in double quick time – we needed it!
Thanks also to Peter and co, who had the Maid off the trailer, washed and ready for social rowing this afternoon!