The crew are done in, the blisters are still stinging but those are the symptoms of a fantastic week in Ullapool. In stunning surroundings and in stunning weather the inaugural Coastal Rowing World Championships was without doubt a major success. We had entered 4 events starting on the Thursday, our objective given our small squad was to qualify in the heats in the morning for the finals in the afternoon. The heats compromised of 14 boats going from individual marks in a mass start and out to a starboard turn mark 1 k in the distance, the first 7 boats across the line back at the start / finish line qualified for the finals. The race went along the beach front of Loch Broom which allowed for great views of the extremely close racing.
Each Cox held tightly their starting mark and with the sound of the klaxon it seemed like full pressure sprint to the turn (Well it did for me ). It was obvious that there was a number of very strong crews with Coigach, North Berwick, Ullapool, Row Porty being among the largest and strongest crews entered into all categories which in turn had a significant impact on overall championship positions.
As mentioned our aim to make the finals in each of the 4 categories entered nearly came off, only just missing out to an non qualifying 8th place in the mixed open. We did win two sprint races held in the evenings over a 150m straight in times of 1 minute.24 seconds. The overall winners of this were Islay in a winning time of 1.16.
31 boats were entered into the championships, the closest racing for us was in the men’s open final where we were neck and neck with the dutch crew and Row Porty up to the turn, a good turn by our Cox allowed us to take the advantage from Row Porty but the dutch also had a good turn on our Port side, Jim Ford at Stroke kept up the pace and making the dutch push hoping they would blow. By this point Row Porty had dropped back but still able to take advantage should the Dutch or Royal West drop the pace, we lifted when they did and with a final push drew level with 100m to go it was a full sprint to the finish line, the Dutch finished 2 seconds ahead having just more in the tank at the end.
The social aspect of the event was equally as good with plenty of things to do and be involved in. The opening ceremony on the Monday and row past HRH Princess Anne was a special moment for all participants as was the oar salute as she left the pier. There’s a picture somewhere of Princess Anne speaking to someone in the line up wearing a club blazer holding a Royal West Oar and wearing wet boots..no names !!
Coigach who are from the village just north of Ullapool took overall championship victory fielding strong crews in all 19 races, an interesting fact that the Coigach crew was 10% of the total population of the village which shows the level of commitment and drive from that community.
The week was rounded off on Saturday night with a Ceildh and presentations to Robbie Whiteman (North Berwick) and Topher Dawson (Ullapool) on behalf of the Royal west in appreciation of their hospitality and in recognition of their efforts.
The crews made up of Adam Graham, Karen Graham, Jim Ford, Callum Ford, Ian Clark, George McCallum, Alex Paterson and Marie Paterson.
We need to increase our rowing squad and being involved in this has shown what can be achieved so if you fancy taking part in Rowing not just competitive regattas but social rowing just get in touch, we are usually down on a Thursday night from 6.30
Pictures to follow or follow the link below .
Captain of Boats
|St Ayles (Anstruther)||242||5|
|Boatie Blest (PS&C)||238||6|
|Women on Water||68||18|
|Wind & Oar||49||22|
|Isle of Seil||42||25|
|Firth of Clyde||16||30|