Portobello’s Coastal Rowing Club “Rowporty” will be holding a regatta on Saturday June 10th, on the beach at Portobello in front of its boatyard at the bottom of Bath Street. The community club has invited teams from around the Firth of Forth and the programme has been designed to provide fun events along with competitive racing and of course the customary legendary food and cake stall.
It’s the middle of May. The early spring flowers are nearly over. The blossom is out on the cherry trees. It should be gently warming up towards summer.
But instead, a snell Nor’ Easter blows in from the North Sea, whipping the waves up into a frenzy of surf, spray and foam. The crews, instead of getting out into the water, spend their time staring forlornly out into the Firth and wondering when the good weather will actually reach this part of the world!
What better time to think about making a safety video.
It’s been talked about for a while – but finally Margaret O’Neill (the words) and David Calder (the pictures) got together to make it happen. Margaret brought together a skilled Boat Handling Team: Catherine Scott, Calum Macdonald, Mhairi Sumner, Pam MacDiarmid, Patsy James, Suzanne Connolly.
This video – the second in the series – focuses on manoeuvring the skiff, lifting it off and on to trolleys and stowing it after use. Look out for more as the weather (hopefully) improves!
We won! This “silver” trophy was the prize won by “The Sea Dog’s Rollocks!” – a RowPorty team made up of Margaret O’Neill, Ian Campbell, Mhairi Sumner and David Calder.
We all had a thoroughly enjoyable time at the Eskmuthe Quiz Night in Musselburgh. The RowPorty crew joined teams from Boatie Blest and the home club in a thoroughly enjoyable evening, a mix of friendly competition and excellent curry!
There were six rounds in total, with subjects as varied as “sea areas and sea lanes” and films and television programmes where the sea played a significant part. Each team could play a “Joker” and gain double the points. The winning team scored 19/20 in the first round, one where they had played the Joker, and that set the pattern for the rest of the evening.
There was however more than just a quiz. There was also a game of bingo which another RowPorty team, made up of Max and Jess Blinkhorn and Michael Reville, won. Max also won a bottle of malt whisky in the raffle.
The trophy may look impressive on the table – but as you can see below, it is a somewhat less impressive prize when put into context!
And thanks to Max for this picture of the winning team!
RowPorty has just invested in drogues (a device attached to the stern and used to slow the boat down in a storm and to keep the hull perpendicular to the waves). Alex Martin gave a demonstration of how to deploy them. Hopefully, we’ll never need to use them!
Thanks to Clive Drewitt for the following report from this years Great Tyne Row. Photos from Northern Rowing and from Peter Ashe:
The sun came out for the 2015 Great Tyne Row! This is an annual 25 km race from Newburn to Tynemouth through the heart of Newcastle. The race starts in semi rural Newburn, passes through Newcastle city centre and through the commercial port to finish at the sea. This year there were no shipping movements and we were able to row straight through to the finish. 40 boats took part, 25 sliding seat, 15 fixed, including 8 St Ayles skiffs.
With the wind and the tide behind us, times were quick, with the fastest boat award going to a sliding seat 4 from Devil’s Elbow RC in 1 hour 41 minutes. The fastest fixed seat boats were “coastal fours” from Scarborough, with their first boat finishing in 2 hours 5 minutes. These have beautifully crafted long wooden clinker hulls, one was built by Mark Edwards, who led the build of the Royal Barge Gloriana. Rowporty rowed their hearts out and split the Scarborough fleet of four boats, scoring third fixed seat and fastest St Ayles (2 hours 10 minutes).
Newhaven followed close behind, chased by North Berwick rowing “randan” with three rowers in a Hanningfield Skiff. St Andrews brought home the next fixed seat boat and were awarded the Harry Clasper award for sportsmanship, having completed the course without a rudder, the cox using a paddle to steer the boat. We assume this was never used as extra propulsion!
An ocean rowing boat propelled by two rowers turned in a respectable 2 hours 38 minutes, and the St Ayles skiffs crewed by Blyth, Whitburn and Amble earned a special mention for finishing in a three way dead heat in 2 hours 48 minutes. Whitburn also won the award for best dressed Skiff, while Blyth were awarded the prize for Open St. Ayles skiff (just!).
The swell rolling into the harbour entrance at Tynemouth led to consternation for some crews, (not the St. Ayles rowers!), but all made it safely ashore to land at Tynemouth Rowing Club (motto “Row the Waves”), to be greeted by a steel band, home baking, a barbecue and beer! Special thanks are due to all the volunteers from Tynemouth RC who helped to get boats landed quickly and efficiently
The event was very well run and a good time was had by all, and basking in the afternoon sun after all that exercise put the icing on the cake!
More info, full results and a countdown to next year’s race can be found here:
We spent Sunday 6th Sept at the 2015 Portobello Village Show turning burgers into cash – very successfully. We won’t be giving up our day jobs but we did enjoy ourselves.
We ran the day in a very focused fashion and once we started we didn’t pause for breath until the last burger was sold.
Chefs at work
Emily promoting bbq
Hard at work
MC full of patter
In full swing…
Going like a fair…
Plenty of folk to eat burgers
Gillian, Mhairi & Emily selling their wares
We had Andres & Fergus on chef duty, Emily, Mhairi and Gillian serving up the lovely burgers and Larry and MC relieving punters of their cash. Lots of folk stepped in to help including Mhairi’s kids.
A massive effort from Fergus to get burgers and his famous “onions” at the right place & time. Mhairi did a wonderful job with tasty salads. Andres connected with the wonderful ScotMid of Portobello who sponsored us by way of free burger buns – very handy and very much appreciated. In total we made £500 profit and given the demand we could have done it twice over.
The day itself couldn’t have been more perfect – the brass band, tug-of-war, cake stand and lots of happy people milling about. Our main competition on the “hot food” front was the boys brigade – but our queue was longer! A note for next year to myself – get masses of change for the float – nobody uses cash anymore.