The Castle to Crane event is the last race on the Scottish coastal rowing clubs racing calendar and is part of the Clydebuilt festival held each year at the Riverside Museum in Glasgow. The 21km race starts at Dumbarton Castle and finishes at the Finnieston Crane in the centre of Glasgow. Arran CRC had both their skiffs in action and were able to field strong crews in both skiffs. Seabhag was entered in the over 50s mixed category and Iolair in the mixed open. Seventy-five vessels in total took part in the event, which was open to any fixed seat, oar powered craft. Each boat was allocated a starting number with Seabhag numbered 18 and Iolair numbered 51.
The 11 o’clock start was right on low tide at Dumbarton Castle with boats starting at 30 second intervals. Seabhag got off to a very strong start taking them exactly one hour to reach the Erskine bridge, by which time they had already caught up and passed several other boats. Over the next hour and a half the Seabhag crew reeled in all but one of the 17 boats which had started before them.The boats that had a later start time began to gain a welcome boost from the incoming tide, however a constant headwind throughout the day proved hard going for all the crews, adding around an extra 30 minutes on last year’s times.
As the race was against the clock it was a long afternoon waiting for the final results. Arran’s Seabhag, crewed by F. Lorenzen, C. Paul, C. Smith, E. Ingham and D. Ingham came first in class (Mixed 50+) with Iolair, crewed by S. Turner, R. McDonald, C. McGinley, C. Goeckeritz and R. Cowan coming in 19 in their class.
At the medal ceremony Arran were also named winners of the South West Challenge Trophy and presented with a silver salver, six engraved crystal whisky glasses and a bottle of whisky. The South West Challenge is open to all Scottish rowing clubs and is based on the cumulative results from 8 South West region regattas held over the season. A fitting end to another hectic and successful season for Arran CRC.
Text: David Ingham
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