Where’s the best place to watch the Portobello regatta?


We’ve laid out the rowing race course to give spectators on the prom a great view of the races on Saturday 30th July. The races start at around 10:30 and finish around 4:00pm.

We have a massed start from the beach between Bath Street and Bellfield Street and head out towards a bouy on the horizon. The boats turn around the bouy and head towards Joppa.

The boats turn around a second bouy, just in front of the Dalriada bar – this could provide some exciting moments as boats jockey for position.

They then put on a last burst of speed along the length of the beach, just offshore, to the finish line at the bottom of Bath Street.

Portobello Regatta 2011

On Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st July 2011, Portobello Sailing and Kayaking Club will host Rowporty’s second Portobello Rowing Regatta, on Portobello beach, Edinburgh.

Last year’s regatta by David Nolan via the Scottish Coastal Rowing ‘pool‘ on Flickr 

The regatta skiff races will be held on Saturday 30th, when the  St Ayles skiffs will gather on the sands at the foot of Bath Street from 10am, racing straight out to sea then round a triangular racecourse with one of the turns offshore from The Dalriada, then back towards the finishing line – just offshore from the Beach House and The Espy. This will give onlookers on the beach plenty of racing action to watch close-up.

There will be music, cake stalls, raffles, entertainment and food outlets along the prom, circuit training on the sands with the Swimming Pool staff, and safe areas to paddle or swim away from the boat lanes. Bring a picnic, bring your camera, bring a bucket and spade, bring a brolly, bring sunblock, bring your friends! Help us cheer the competitors to victory – especially Portobello’s very own skiffs Icebreaker and Jenny Skylark. Prizegiving will be around 5pm.

Sunday 31st will provide a chance for the competitors to relax, with fun races, rowing and sailing for all kinds of boats out on the water, including the sailing club dinghies, currach, visiting yachts, kayaks and the century-old jolly boats. If you have a rowing or sail boat and would like to join in, please contact us for details. But remember – at this stage plans for Sunday are very fluid!

Last year’s Portobello Regatta was the first held in the area for over thirty years. Teams from all over Scotland will be coming to Portobello to race again this year, including many successful competitors from last year such as Achiltibuie, North Berwick, Anstruther, Port Seton and Cockenzie. There will also be new skiffs recently completed by their clubs and community groups. Races are for teams under 25, open, over 40 and over 55, with men’s women’s and mixed categories. 

Rowporty are currently top of this season’s regatta race results, but can we stay there..?

Please join us on Portobello beach and along the prom on the last weekend of July. All welcome – and it’s free!  


Canal festival


We took Jenny Skylark to the Canal Festival last Saturday. Since she was launched in the middle of April Jenny Skylark & her sea-faring crew have been to regattas near (Dunbar, Port Seton & S Queensferry) & far (Achiltibuie & Port Soy), with challenges from wind, waves & weather. 



The canal posed challenges of a different sort. First up were the swans who took up residence at the slipway by Harrison Park – thanks to Mo for gallantly sacrificing her sandwiches to entice them back onto the water! Next, in the tight confines of the canal, we managed to break an oar whilst manoeuvring out onto the water.



We then had a leisurely row up the canal towards Meggatland.



The festivities kicked off a around 11 with a parade, led by Zazou, a floating café, with a piper aboard, followed by Stan in his curragh, then Jenny Skylark & a flotilla of canoes / small craft. We crept along at the slowest of paces, occasionally having to ship oars as the canal narrowed under bridges. 



The festival was very colourful when we arrived, with lots to see, including raft racing & a samba band on the Leamington Lift Bridge, as well as many stalls & music. After a leisurely lunch, we gave rides in Jenny Skylark up to the lift bridge & back between raft races.



On the return journey the weather changed for the worse & there were several torrential downpours. Well done to all who weathered the return trip!



This was a very different day out for RowPorty, but it was good to explore a stretch of water, very different to our own, as well as making links with other communities. The laid back nature of the festivities is reflected by the picture of Nik Savage, relaxing on Jenny Skylark.