Set next to the beautiful Loch Tummel in the heart of Perthshire the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association hosted their end of season Freshwater Sprints last Saturday at Loch Tummel Sailing Club. This has been the venue for the last four years as it is relatively central for all the coastal clubs in Scotland. It is also a stunning location with great facilities.
The racing is in five regional teams plus St. Kilda, that is made up of rowers arranged on the day from all the other regions. Royal West is part of the SW Region. This stretches from Annan to Glasgow, includes the clubs on the islands in the Clyde and the Irish.
Three clubs shared the role as team captain this year. Vikki from Wigtown, Mel from FoCCRC and Karen from Royal West put together the crews and organised things during the day.
As well as racing St. Ayles Skiffs over a short sprint course in six lanes with a buoy turn, there was also a couple of straight sprint races that Royal West entered Sixteen number 15 into. This is named the Picnic Class
Unfortunately the SW regional boat suffered a few major equipment breakages, the first during the first race when we were in contention for first place. Over the day we broke a thole pin, two tillers, a foot rest and finally an oar. Not withstanding this we managed a first place and a few seconds. We finished 4th of the 6 regions.
In the Picnic Class the Club managed two 2nd places. Adam Graham finishing just behind a boat called Pascal from RowPorty. Karyn Donnachie got off to a slow start in the ladies race in the building head wind. At one point she nearly lost her oar, but quickly got into her stride and came back from fourth to finish second, ahead of Pascal from RowPorty. The combined scores achieved by Royal West from the two races was the same as the score achieved by RowPorty, meaning that they share the trophy again, as they did in 2017.
Racing season might be over for another year but winter training & boat repairs have started. There is work to be done about the Club but also with other local clubs in encouraging them to build, row and compete. Should be a productive winter this year again in many aspects of life at the Club.