A group of 10-12 year olds marked the end of their first season rowing with a Fun Night at the Club. There was a Rowing & Club related quiz, then a scratch regatta using the St Ayles Skiffs.

From Left to Right are Katrina Bryce, Andrew Graham, Ruairidh Smith, Kyle McPaul, Anna Kane & Rosie Kane. During the first night of kayaking in April Katrina, Andrew, Ruairidh & Anna asked if they could also row. Time was set aside before the senior outings for them to learn to row and they have been attending every week since.

They were initially taught to row in the Club’s pairs, this let them get used to the rowing action without having to be too concerned with timing. It also let them gain in confidence and knowledge about how the boats. They were taken through the basics of signing boats in & out, carrying & laying down oars, getting in & out of the boats, launching/recovering boats from the beach and club slipways as well as terminology we use at Royal West. They were also given a target of taking part in a race at the Club’s Regatta in July. This proved a major driver for them.

The pair of Ruairidh and Anna won the race on the day but the fact that the four of them were ready and able to race pairs at the Club three month after taking up the sport is a great indicator of their eagerness about all things Royal West.

After the regatta they pressured the coaches to let them try a St. Ayles Skiff, they took to this like ducklings to water. On their first outing they were in time and in control very quickly. There is a bit of competition for the strokes seat, this will need to get ironed out in the Spring.

Kyle started to row in late August and has quickly learned the terminology, he will gain in confidence and understanding of technique during the winter outings and in the Spring next year. Anna’s sister Rosie should also be able to join in more then.

All the Juniors were presented with Basic Rowing Awards. These recognise that they have all demonstrated their understanding of Fixed Seat Rowing as we do it at Royal West. There is no nationally recognised award scheme for participants in rowing, however the Club coaches felt that the effort and level of competency achieved by this group during the season should be marked in some way. As Royal West is a major influence in Fixed Seat Rowing on mainland Scotland maybe we should be creating such a scheme.

In the Rowing/Club Quiz Anna won with 23/23, the rest of her crew got at least one wrong. Embarassingly the 16-17 year olds who took part in the quiz came last.

We should not forget that Calum, Alec & Scott (see below) volunteered to make up numbers in the scratch regatta and should be thanked for this. They are also part of a group taking the St. Ayles Skiffs away for the day on Saturday to assess them for cruising. The trip leaves the beach about 09:30 and will aim to get to Ardentinny, if not Carrick Castle, before returning to the Club. They have also competed for the Club this year at a couple of events, most notably a demonstration event at Strathclyde Park during the Scottish Rowing Championships.

A big THANK YOU needs to go out to the mums & dad who bring the juniors down to the Club on a Monday and Thursday nights, regardless of the weather, so that they can participate in kayaking or rowing. We hope to see you all at the forthcoming social events, where you can come down without the juniors and let your hair down.

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