Rowing Regatta returns to the Gare Loch
Last Saturday, September 9th, the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club held its second annual regatta at Rhu Marina across Rhu Bay. Before last year's event, there had been a long gap since the last previously recorded rowing regatta on the Gare Loch in the 1850’s. Five clubs from as far afield as Port Seton and Cockenzie joined us to compete in a series of 500m sprint races, and a longer 1500m event in St.Ayles Skiffs.
Racing started mid morning in beautifully calm conditions. The program for the day comprised five separate events - Open Men, Open Women, and three Mixed categories – with the results in each event counting towards an overall points total for the day. Competition was fierce, with some very tight races. After 3 rounds, Troon had won Open Men and Mixed 220+ (rowers' ages must total more than 220 years) and Royal Northern had won Open Women, with Firth of Clyde achieving two second places. This left the overall points tally finally poised with only three points separating the top three clubs. After lunch, Troon won the Mixed 240+ and RNCYC the Open Mixed, so the results in other events became critical. Meanwhile, Firth of Clyde continued to field competitive crews, coming second in both events after lunch. So, whilst Troon emerged as the overall winners on the day, Firth of Clyde just pipped Royal Northern to second place by a single point. We were pleased with our placing, and especially our wins in the Open Women's and Open Mixed events in only our second full season as a club, competing against clubs with much more experience.
The final race of the day was a scratch 1500m event. Embracing the community spirit of coastal rowing, each boat was crewed by a mix of competitors from five different clubs. These crews were pulled out of a hat on the day so there was not a little trepidation on the start line as to how your crew would perform. The event was around a buoyed course and there was plenty of jostling for the best water going around the marks! Everyone enjoyed the race, and fortunately no equipment was damaged in the melee.
Throughout the day, copious quantities of tea, coffee and home baked cakes were consumed, raising over £300 to be split between the RNLI and club funds for equipment purchase and repair.
We are very grateful to the RNLI for the use of their slipway and to Boatfolk for the marina facilities, without which the event would not have been possible.
If you are interested in trying out coastal rowing, please contact the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club Office and we can arrange a taster row.