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As representatives of the Arran Coastal Rowing Club Stuart and Fritzi had a fantastic weekend at Stranraer’s first regatta.
It all started with a train journey through a really magnificent landscape and the next highlight was that we stayed 2 nights as guests on the Tall Ship La Malouine with rowers from Killyleigh in Northern Ireland and a safety boat driver from Annan. Thank you to Roy, the owner, and also to Mike for having us and your warm welcome and hospitality. We hope to be onboard again sometime.
The Stranraer Water Sports Association has an interesting approach with their skiff project:
Step1 a: Build a boat house – which is nearly finished now
Step 1 b: Organize a rowing regatta as part of the South West Challenge without having a skiff (Step 1b added by Fritzi)
Step 2: Build skiffs
Step 3: Row skiffs
We must say – well done Stranraer. Location, organisation, facilities, atmosphere – everything was spot on and all the voluteers worked hard and braved a chilly wind to make the club’s first attempt a great success. A big thank you to everybody involved on land and on the water.
The following clubs were participating with skiffs, full crews or delegates:
Carrick, Sketrick, Annan, Killyleigh, Cockenzie & Port Seaton (Boatie Blest), Firth of Clyde, Anstruther and Arran.
As Arran came with only 2 rowers, they were adopted by the Carrick team. Thank you for letting us join you for the day and for making us feel at home with you: Fergus, Anett, Rhona, Skye, Stuart, Alan and Kees. It was such fun rowing in a great European team – the „Carr-Arran-ick de Groote“ Team (Scottish, English, Hungarian, Dutch, German) 🙂
Saturday started with a schedule of 2k lane races (1k with a turn half way) on the stunning Loch Ryan. Categories included men’s & women’s decades, men & women over 50, a novice race and men’s & women’s open. With 6 skiffs competing and the safety boat buzzing around, the loch saw a flurry of activity. As usual this year on regatta days, the wind was a little challenging (from wobbly to really interesting), but all had fun and mastered the races with bravado, although it sometimes felt like rowing uphill and funnily enough the first part of the course into the wind seemed to be twice as long as the way back 😉
And once it was all over, the prizegiving was a lively affair with gold, silver and bronze medals in all categories and a fantastic overall win for Boatie Blest.
The evening was spent at the Big Oyster Bash dancing away the rest of our engery to the energetic music of the Dangleberries (12 piece bagpipe led rock band). Fun, fun, fun!!!
Unfortunately not everybody, including Arran could stay for the Sunday event, a 5k ‘out for a duck challenge’, which promised to be fun.
All in all it was an exciting and wonderful weekend with a great bunch of people. The skiffing community is like one big family – sometimes competitive, but always friendly, warm and supportive. We love being part of it.
Video: Trevor Harrison
First race in Stranraer’s 1st regatta – Fritzi rowing in Carrick’s skiff no 30 in position 2 – of course with her red Arran racing t-shirt. As usual the Anstruther ladies in skiff no 50 motored away.