Ullapool Regatta 2017Posted: July 14, 2017
This year Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club welcomed clubs from all over Scotland and Strangford from Northern Ireland, 23 in all. As well as longer established clubs we were glad to meet newcomers Gourdon, Lochinver, and Golspie who won the Best New Club award.
Six of the clubs fielded youth teams as part of the 6 Youth Regattas this year in Scotland, and we are excited to see this section of the sport growing. Deveron (based in Banff) brought a large team, as did the home side, plus Avoch, Portsoy, Strangford and Eastern. Ullapool won the Youth prize for a series of strong performances and credit goes to them and their coaches.
Saturday saw the 60+, 50+ and youth age groups compete, with the day’s fastest time set by North Berwick’s 60+ Men at 12 minutes 47.6 seconds. The day turned a bit wet and gusty towards the end but it did not stop the racing. North Berwick dominated the adult results with wins in the 50+ Women, 60+ Men and 60+ Women. Broughty Ferry took the 60+ Mixed and Coigach the 50+ Mixed, with Ullapool the victors in the 50+ Men.
Five hardy teams contested the 250m sprints along the shore, with Boatie Blest winning the plate for the fastest time.
Then about 300 rowers descended on the High School for a well earned meal, drinks, and dancing to former pupil Rory Matheson and his band. This cunning plan by UCRC to wear out the opposition with drink and dancing worked splendidly, and the ceilidh was voted a great success.
Sunday brought a welcome easing of the wind and dry weather with occasional sunshine, and the street and beach became very busy with locals, rowers and visitors enjoying the day. The loch was also busy, with a cruise liner, helicopters, safety boats, umpire boats, spectator boats, 5 Flying 15’s, 23 skiffs and a couple of drones.
Boatie Blest stormed to victory in the 40+ Men and the 40+ Mixed, with Coigach taking the Open A Mixed and the Open A Men by a big margin. Their Open A Men time was 12 minutes 16.5 seconds, the fastest time of the weekend. North Berwick took the 40+ Womens’ race. St Andrews won the Open B Men and Ullapool took the Open B Women. The overall regatta results are on our website and Facebook page, but the first three places went to Ullapool, North Berwick and Coigach.
Unfortunately the cruise ship took so long to raise its anchor at its scheduled departure time, that the race timetable which had kept close to time all day, slipped by 10 minutes. As we operate between ferry times this meant that the last race, the Open B Mixed, had to be cancelled. We were disappointed to have to do this but the alternative is ending up in the propellers of the ferry!
UCRC thanks all the visiting clubs for their help in umpiring, their effort and enthusiasm, and looks forward to next year.