Saturday 22nd June
The third Arran skiff regatta at the weekend saw boats and rowers from all over southern Scotland competing at the Yacht Club in Lamlash. Clubs from the Clyde region: Troon, Largs (FOCCRs), Greenock (Royal West), Maidens (Carrick CRC), Prestwick, Renegade, Cumbrae and Stranraer; the East Coast: South Queensferry and North Berwick as well as Islay, another island neighbour, all battled it out on the water over an qpproximately 1.6km course around the moorings, cheered on by a lively and enthusiastic crowd.
The clubs’ colourful gazebos sprang up in sunshine on Saturday morning to a buzz of friendly chat and the hard standing came to life as over 150 rowers prepared themselves for the eight races ahead: Open Women, Men and Mixed, Mens and Womens 220+ (ages of the four rowers must add up to at least 220), Mixed Decades, Mixed 240+ and Novices.
As expected, North Berwick, one of the strongest clubs in Scotland, dominated the morning session going in to the midday break with three wins out of the first four exciting and hard fought races. Hot on their heels, the local team also looked strong with two seconds and a fourth. A great spread for lunch was enjoyed in blazing sunshine, giving all the chance to meet old friends and new, relax and muster their energies for the races to come. Two third and one fourth place for the Arran rowers in the afternoon session against determined competition gave them more valuable points but the highlight for Arran was definitely the Open Women race, which saw the local ladies storming through on the home straight with an impressive lead to take Gold. Congratulations!
The organisation ran like clockwork and the racing came to an end on the dot at 4pm as planned and after a break to get changed and recover, the prizegiving ceremony kicked off an hour later. Beautiful woven gold, silver and bronze medals made by John Baraclough were awarded for the individual races and then the Chairperson of Arran CRC, Cecilia Paul, announced the final overall positions: Troon in third place, Arran second and North Berwick receiving the handsome Arran Regatta Trophy for a well deserved first place.
The Arran medal winning crews:
North Berwick, the overall winners of the day and results
This was followed by a raffle to support club funds (thank you to all those who donated the lovely prizes) and the BBQ and bar opened to refresh the tired competitors, who danced and celebrated the night away under the magical fairy lights and bunting in the Yacht Club shed.
Sunday 23rd June – Hamilton Rock Challenge
Still feeling elated, although in many cases perhaps slightly the worse for wear, the rowers met around 10am on Sunday morning to compete in the Hamilton Rock Handicap Challenge, a 6.2km race with a staggered start in the reverse order to the final positions the day before. This gave all clubs the chance to win and was a fitting end to the great weekend. The elegant stone and wooden trophy and unique, woven, dragonfly-shaped medals (the Hamilton Rock Flyers) were won for the second year running by the Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club from Largs with a close and exciting finish against the local club. And so the third Arran Regatta came to a close with much talk of how much everyone had enjoyed it and requests for invites next year.
The FOCCRs – winners again of the Hamilton Rock Challenge
And of course as always Dave found time – besides rowing and starting the races – to shoot some wonderful photos. Click here to go to the photo album
Thank you to everybody who helped
Without the dedication and generosity of everyone involved, far too many to name individually, the whole event just wouldn’t have been possible. It was indeed astonishing how tirelessly they all worked to make it the best regatta yet. Heartfelt thanks to you all.
Special mention must be made to all the non club members who helped out so kindly: David, Susan, Jo, Janet, Helen and Billy. Also to Sarah Wilson and Siobhan McGinlay, who were rowing in their first regatta and did a great job.
And last but not least, many thanks go to the generous event sponsors: Arran Distillery, Arran Haulage, Fulton Decorators, Arran Dairies, Arran Electrical & Refrigeration. And, of course, to the Arran Yacht Club for the use of their excellent facilities.