A depleted Arran team of just 8 Arran rowers and seven guest rowers, from F.O.C.C.R’s and Glasgow CRC, made up the Arran contingent who headed east for the tenth annual North Berwick Coastal Rowing Regatta.
The weather was perfect with sun beating down all day, and the water flat calm. There were ten, 3km races around the island, Craigleith, which proved exhausting in the heat, and with most Arran rowers competing in three races during the day, saw Arran struggling to hit form.
In most races, the field of up to 13 skiffs reached the island at roughly the same time causing a maelstrom of skiffs as they fought it out on the long section at the back of the rock, often with oar tips just meters away from the imposing, near vertical rock wall. Skilful coxing was needed to guide each boat through this very demanding part of the race. In the men’s 50+race Arran’s skiff was hemmed in at both bow and stern by two skiffs, themselves unable to find space. Then Broughty Ferry CRC came on Arran’s port side almost touching hulls, forcing Arran so perilously close to Craigileith, that contact was made with the unforgiving rock, this broke the blade of an Arran oar. The incident was seen by the umpire in a support Rib, and it was judged to be a dangerous manoeuvre and thus earnt Broughty Ferry a penalty. Ironically this was Arran’s best race of the day finishing fourth.
There were twelve clubs in total racing 14 skiffs and Arran finished eighth overall.
Troon was the only other South West region club attending, they had an excellent day winning gold in the mixed 45+ race.
Words. Dave Ingham
Photos. Steve Thomson