“The most important rule of this regatta is that anyone who takes it too seriously will be disqualified!” The final piece of advice at the cox’s briefing before the start of the inaugural Tighnabruaich Coastal Rowing Regatta set the tone for two days of fun, friendly but undeniably hard racing on the beautiful Kyles of Bute in the area of Argyll known as the Secret Coast.


The main setting for the action was the beach in front of the Kames Hotel in Tighnabruaich’s neighbouring village of Kames. It proved to be an excellent location with the Hotel, in addition to its usual bar facilities, providing a barbecue overlooking the beach and offering a great vantage point for the decent crowd of spectators who had assembled to watch the racing.

Saturday’s Sprint racing took place over a mile-long, out-and-back course that started on the beach, taking the rowers across the west Kyle towards the Isle of Bute and back to round a final buoy before a final 100m sprint to the finishing line in front of the beach.

There were two mixed (0 –4 women and 2 – 4 women) and one all-women’s sprint races and  between them, Anstruther and Cockenzie & Port Seton wrapped up all of the sprint wins, with the latter setting the fastest time of the day; 12min 35sec.

Following a presentation ceremony and raffle the evening saw many of the crews reassemble in a packed to the gunwales Kames Hotel where rowers mixed with the Kyles Athletic shinty crowd while local band the Groucho Sessions provided music.

The following day four crews, Kyles, Anstruther, Port Seton and Carrick, competed for the Caladh Cup trophy. This was a three mile endurance race that also involved three miles of rowing to get to the start line located in the beautiful Caladh Harbour opposite the north end of Bute.

Having rowed against wind and tide to get to the start location, with those elements in their favour the race home was an altogether quicker affair. The winning crew, Cockenzie & Port Seton took about half an hour to complete the course while the second and third crews, Anstruther and Kyles respectively, were just a few boat lengths behind.

At the end of the event there was general agreement amongst the competing clubs that if the aim of the regatta had been to provide a fun and friendly event then the whole occasion had been a great success.

As for the organisers, Kyles Coastal Rowing Club’s Ken Coley said: “We’ve had loads of positive feedback and some friendly advice about how we could improve the regatta in years to come. We’ll be taking that advice on board and next year we hope to welcome all of this year’s crews and a few new ones to what we intend to make an annual event.”

Full Results:

Sprint Races, Saturday, May 24


Mixed open 1 (0 – 4 men):

1st Cockenzie & Port Seton

2nd Anstruther A


Mixed open 2 (0 – 2 men):

1st Anstruther B

2nd Cockenzie & Port Seton B


Women’s Open:

The Club is holding a rowing regatta on Saturday 7th June. More info can be found on the regatta tab, http://www.rwsabc.co.uk/rowing/regatta-2014/. We have clubs from Anstruther, Queensferry, North Berwick and The Netherlands who have already confirmed attendance.

Alex Paterson would like to hear from any interested member who wants to participate on the water or assist in the running of the event. He can be contacted around the Club on a Tuesday or Thursday evening, alternatively via rowing@rwsabc.com

There was a raid on England by member clubs of the SCRA during the Annan Harbour Festival on Saturday. The purpose was to liberate some church bells stolen by the English in the 1600′s. One of our members, who has been working with the local community to encourage the formation of a club, Ian Clark, attended the festival for the weekend and went out in one of the safety boats from where he took the following photos of the participant clubs.

Boatie Blest (1st)

Carrick (2nd)

Troon (3rd)

The crew who made it from Annan to Bowness first, recovering the bell and the honour of Annan, was Boatie Blest. They get to keep the bell and return to defend thier title next year.

Local man Roy Kerr is to be commended for all his hard work organising the event.

On Saturday afternoon some of the newer members of Committee were inducted into one of the Club mystical ceremonies. Lowering of the Flagpole.

Newbies to this activity Al Black, George Carson, George McCallum & Joe Heffernan joined “old hands” Norman, Alex & Adam for an entertaining hour on the balcony and roof.

The Beach Convener, George McCallum (seen above dressed as Spiderman) helped erect the scaffolding on the balcony before old lags Alex & Adam used it to take out the bolts and wedges holding the flagpole in place. The scaffolding tower was held stable during this by the other members of the workparty, there being a South Westerly blowing over the top of the Club.

Before the flagpole could be dropped the daring duo climbed onto the roof to guide the pole down through the hole, while the rest of the workparty used a block and tackle to lower it to the balcony.

Relieved to be down off the roof, Alex showed interested parties the bloodstains he left on the flagpole the last time he helped put it back up.

The flagpole has been taken down for essential maintenance & refurbishment. All the exterior woodwork of the clubhouse is also about to be re-painted, with works due to start on 26th May. Members should bear in mind to check if the paint is wet when coming in and out of the boatshed doors.

Members may also have noticed work going in the raised area of garden adjacent to the old toilets. We have agreed to lease this raised section of garden to a telecoms company for a mobile phone mast. This is to temporarily replace the mast that is currently on the Naval Buildings. The infractructure works have begun and we are awaiting confirmation as to when the mast itself will be erected. The lease is initially for 6 months but if they have not found a permanent solution in that period then they may extend the lease.

Hon. Sec.
Adam A. Graham

Below are the winners for April

1st – Sharon Dunn

2nd – Fraser Rose

3rd – Ian Craig

Drawn in Clubhouse at May Committee meeting

Application Forms available at the bar or can be downloaded here
200 Club Application Form

Eight clubs enjoyed three dimensional rowing on the Saturday of Anstruther regatta 2014.  Sea conditions were lively, with skiffs taking air from time to time.  The conditions were relished by the coastal rowers, reminding them why rowing on the sea is unpredictable and entertaining.

Saturday started wet but then the sun came out.  St Andrews raced in their first ever regatta, and took part in most of the races!  All the  Fife clubs with completed skiffs were represented (St Ayles, Crail, Newburgh, St Andrews, Pittenweem, North Queensferry).  North Berwick and Boatie Blest were there from the South side of the Forth, and Royal West were there from the Clyde.  Honours were shared, with four different clubs taking gold medals, and all the clubs taking either silver or bronze or a special award.  The home club were excellent hosts.

Royal west took 2 3rd place medals for the women’s 40+ and the mixed 50+

Preparations continue for our regatta on the 7th of June with Anstruther and a crew from the Netherlands as confirmed so far. See this tab for more infomation http://www.rwsabc.co.uk/rowing/regatta-2014/

I have been asked to publicize the following event:


Anyone wishing to participate can print off the volunteer form below and submit direct to the organisers.

Message from the people of Annan CRC

Supporting community action is good for our health and wellbeing! So I have been working with this community group, to try to regenerate Annan, a small town on the Scottish border.

You can support the project too! Take a look at the link below and I hope you will agree it is an interesting and worthy cause. From just £6, you can help get Annan Harbour cleared and ready for rowing boats, dinghy sailing, canoeing and sailboats coming in from the Solway. And there are rewards for giving too!


Your support will be appreciated very much.

All best

Caroline Brown

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