REVIEW OF NORTH BERWICK REGATTA AND PHOTOS.Posted: September 6, 2012
North West Rowing Clubs Dominate North Berwick Regatta
In strong south westerly winds, North Berwick held their third annual rowing regatta last weekend, and 15 St Ayles Skiffs from all over Scotland converged on North Berwick’s West Beach to battle it out. The day opened with a sign of things to come as Coigach won the Mens Open by 17 seconds, beating the hosts into second place. The overall times were around 20 minutes for the 1.9 mile course, out around Craigleith and back against the wind, so this is close racing.
Coigach won the next two races as well, with Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club third in the Mixed Open. Then came our first triumph with our ladies team of Bev MacGregor, Fiona Macdonald, Kathleen Mackay and Kath Foote. They won the Ladies 40+ by a large margin. This race and all the others were coxed by John MacIntyre, who sneaked us past the opposition by skilfully shaving the barnacles off Craigleith.
In the Mixed Novices Lisa Urquhart led a team with Sue Agnew, Erica Holland and John Grant to the narrowest of second places. They were so close to the leading Newburgh boat that the times were identical, and only about a third of a boats length separated them in a thrilling finish.
The following race, Mens 60+, was won by Portobello (neither NW team entered). In the Mens 40+ Coigach led the field with Ulla coming a creditable 4th, setting the stage for the last race, the Ladies Open.
In rising winds the boats set off, and since the tide had turned several boats hardly had the power to weather Craigleith. As the leaders emerged from the shadow of the rock Ulla could be seen with a lead, and the UCRC spectators shouted themselves hoarse. The wind rose to 28 knots which is Force 7, and the boats were plugging into this wind plus waves. Ulla won this race to our enormous delight by 34 seconds from Anstruther, looking fresh and in time as they crossed the line. The Coigach team had bad luck with a rudder malfunction, which was a shame as they were well in contention.
All in all the two NW clubs took 6 out of the 8 races, which bodes well for the first St Ayles Skiff World Championships at Ullapool between 8th and 13th July 2013!