Support the Team Rowporty Kiltwalk

The KILTWALK is a national fundraising event taking place on Sunday 15th September that Row Porty will join to RAISE FUNDS for our wonderful club.

WHY TAKE PART? Thanks to Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation each Kiltwalker’s fundraising receives an extra 40% donation. TEAM ROW PORTY’S CURRENT TARGET IS TO RAISE £1000. With the help of The Hunter Foundation, we could provide £1,400 for the club.

Find out more here:

A funding page has been set up for TEAM ROW PORTY:

By having one fundraising page, we can trace of our efforts and funds raised. Pam MacDiarmid will be supervising and collating all money raised, as well as supporting via a sponsored row

Please support us by:

  1. Sponsoring TEAM ROW PORTY on this link:
  2. Having your own sponsored row at a time that suits you. Raise funds as a crew and row for a distance, say 5 miles. Donate your money to our team page and then we can add to the TEAM ROW PORTY total.
  3. Cheering from the side lines, preferably wearing a kilt
  4. Lastly, the biggest call to action: joining the walkers on the day. Contact me and I will add you by sending you an invite.

Kiltwalk’s Edinburgh Mighty Stride sets off from Holyrood Park and takes walkers through Fisherrow Links and onto Edinburgh’s lovely Promenade. We will start at 10.00 in the morning of 14th September and the Mighty Stride finishes up at Murrayfield for the after party!

If you want to check out the fun to be had, watch the Glasgow event last year:

Find out more here:

Rowporty’s Festival Row to Inchkeith.

Saturday 10th August

The weather forecast had been promising The Tempest but what we got was more of a Midsummer’s Night Dream (but in the day time obviously) along with some more buttered scones and the crowing of cockerels from within the depths of old wartime fortifications.

Jenny Skylark, Icebreaker, Old Salt and Pascual made best of finding themselves at the fulcrum of a spin cycle of thundery weather – that had ladled a yellow weather warning over much of the country. We sat centred in sunshine and circumnavigated Inchkeith island.

Anna Mackenzie was visiting from the Hebrides and we were eager to show that there were islands lurking a short shift just shy of the capital. She had shown us heather hills and silver beaches up north – we showed her centuries of decay and dereliction. This time the gulls didn’t mind us so much. With a sharp Knife Amanda freed a juvenile from an albatross of plastic that had garlanded itself around its neck. Soon darker clouds loomed distant and just like the previously plentiful puffins, razor bills and guillemots, we were gone.

Murdo Macleod 11 August 2019

More Pics from Murdo and …

… and from Margaret

Well done MC and Amanda for capturing the stricken gull chick. Once we managed to cut the stringy stuff that was binding its two legs together, we realised it was wrapped further around its body and attached to a shell embedded into its neck! It waddled off happily on release.

Thanks everyone for making it a really enjoyable adventure – its taken me eight years to get to Inchkeith! It’s either been cancelled or I’ve not been around to join in on previous occasions. It’s a fascinating place. Jude described it as a ‘ghost town’. We were so lucky with the day. Particular thanks to Murdo and the Skippers.

Margaret O’Neil

SkiffieWorlds 2019

Twenty-seven RowPorty club members attended the event over six days in the great town of Stranraer. We entered as many categories as our club demographic would allow – races offered were Men, Women and Mixed in the following age categories: 40+, 50+ and 60+. We also entered Open categories -all ages for men, women and mixed crews. In many categories, the fastest losers entered the repechage to compete for a place in the finals.

Club members who could not join us helped us to train, came along as spectators, added reports to our social media channels, brought the boat down to the water on Stranraer beach, took photos and acted as volunteer umpires at the event. Stranraer put on quite a show – entertainment for all, ceilidhs, live band, food stalls, kite making, piping band encouraging the crews on and off the jetty and into the water.

We met HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) and Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop amongst other notables.

Each club’s best six results out of the categories counted towards the total for that club. RowPorty collected 107 points in our top 6 races and came 36th out of 55 clubs who entered – 36th in the World! We got great results, some personal bests and a few club bests. Our top time was 12:04.

Conditions were good for the first half of the week with Amber warning for lightening storms on the Thursday. Friday and Saturday saw huge winds and as a result, our times were nearly double the times of the earlier races.

All the competing clubs – click on image for bigger image.

Monday 8th
60+ Women Heat 2 –  6th – 13:28.6
60+ Men Heat 3 – Joint 8th – 12:27.0

Tuesday 9th
Men 40+ Men Heat 3 – 8th – 12:28.7
40+ Women Heat 3 – 4th – 12:19.3
40+ Women Repechage – 7th – 12:26.3
50+ Mixed Heat 3 – 8th – 12:21.1

Wednesday 10th
40+ Mixed Heat 2 – 10th – 12:12.7
Open Men Heat 4 – 8th – 12:04.9
60+ Mixed Heat 1 – 9th -12:59.1

Thursday 11th
50+ Men Heat 2 – 12th – 12:42.3
50+ Women Heat 3 – 7th – 14:42.3
Open Women Heat 1 –  4th – 14:27.4
Open Women Repechage – 9th – 12:24.2

Friday 12th
Open A Mixed Heat 3  – 8th – 16:21.1

Saturday 13th
Open B Mixed Heat 1 – 10th – 23:50.3

Overall results:


Day 2:
(great racing start video)
Credit SCRA/SkiffieWorlds organisers, Stranraer

Ciara Doyle, August 2019

Ice Breaker Has A New Rudder

After weeks of slaving away in his steamy workshop Michael Allsop has unveiled a new rudder for Ice Breaker. If this design passes its sea trials over the next few weeks then Jenny Skylark will be retro-fitted with the same design of rudder. Michael may even be prevailed upon further to produce a spare rudder in case of any misadventure with either of these rudders which should have the big advantage of being able to fit either of our boats.

Fitting this rudder is slightly different and I am putting a link below to short instructional clip from Michael. Click Here for YouTube

To see Ice Breaker take to the waves again Click Here


Andres Leslie’s account of the Rowporty Trip to Lewis 2017

At An Eathar Rowing Club’s invitation, 21 members of Rowporty made the annual journey to Siabost to take part in An Eathar’s 3 day sailing and rowing event in Harris and Lewis.

Various parties travelled up to Lewis on different days and via different routes. The skiff, Jenny Skylark, travelled via Ullapool to Stornoway, but others chose to travel via Uig in Skye to Tarbert in Harris, which is a little longer but very pretty. Some intrepid canoeists returned the long way by travelling down the chain of islands to South Uist and catching the ferry to Oban.

The event was a great success at many levels. It brought a wide range of people together from seven rowing clubs. The event attracted 43 participants from around the world, including 2 from Port Seton (Martine Robertson and Bernadette Goslin), one from Ullapooll (Tom Grant), 2 from Bristol (Sarah Latham and Frances Sheridan), 2 from North Berwick (Sheena and Phil Robertson) who attended the Saturday program, 2 from Tasmania (Deb van Velsen and Martin Riddle), one from Williamstown, Melbourne (Jane Howard) and 21 from Rowporty, Portobello, Edinburgh.

On Thursday 13th of July 2017 the weather dictated that we change our plans, instead of rowing south out of Loch Seaforth, Harris, we rowed with the increasing wind north towards Seaforth Island. The five skiffs, Yackydoola, Blue Moon, Florence and Fir Chlis were launched at the slip at Maraig. The fleet included a 2 man rowing boat, a Drake called Pascual with a single rower. One person took an unintentional swim off the slip while launching the fleet on a tight slip! However, this helped test the life-jackets and our ‘man over board’ procedure (among some suppressed giggles), but we had him into dry clothes in no time.

Safety cover was kindly provided by Michael Skelly with his substantial fishing boat and his son David on a rib. In addition, we were accompanied by a traditional lug sail boat called An Sulaire and John Smith’s yacht called Sharoni, both these were crewed by additional rowers that swapped into the skiffs on the return journey. Part of the safety planning required skiffs to be paired together (within shouting distance!) in the event a VHF failed and for the fleet to remain close together, mostly! Each skiff also had a nominated skipper that was responsible for the crew and the craft and Malcolm the Unflappable did a grand job with skippering Jenny Skylark through all weathers.

The sun shone as the wind increased making it a fast row with plenty of opportunities for surfing the boats! We found a sheltered spot for our picnic lunch on the northern shore of Seaforth Island, around 5 nautical miles (NM) from Maraig. After lunch the fleet completed the circumnavigation of the island and headed back into the wind. The long fetch meant that the wind picked up a short chop that made for a stiff row. The rain then poured, reducing visibility for a short time. Fir Chlis requested a tow from Michael into the lee of the western coast of Loch Seaforth and Yackydoola also benefited from a short tow in order to keep the fleet together.

As we arrived back into the bay at Maraig, where there was considerable shelter, the rain stopped and everyone was pleased to see the slip where the 6 rowing boats were loaded onto trailers. The boats were then towed and stored overnight at the School car park in Tarbert, Harris.

Everyone was then transported to Scalpaigh Community Centre where we were to stay the night. 40 North, a fine Croft Kitchen from North Bragar (, provided a fantastic range of home made food for the hungry and bedraggled rowing mob, which catered for the various culinary requirements, including a hearty main course and a range of delicious puddings. The food was reheated in the large kitchen at the Community centre and served by the food moguls of Mhairi and Trevor, who took over and fed the masses.

We all bedded down in the warm, dry community centre hall, which as the night took hold was transformed into something resembling a farm yard with a cacophony of involuntary sounds from tired and sleeping rowers. Although there was some apprehension initially at everyone sleeping in the same hall, it certainly provided an opportunity to get to know each better!

The morning of Friday 14th July arrived briskly and after breakfast the skiffs where brought into Scalpaigh by road and launched from the slip at Scalpaigh. The crews sailing An Sulaire and Sharoni were delivered to the slip at Maraig and they made their way to Stornoway. Along the way they were treated to the sight of porpoises and a minke whale that breached some 20-30 meters from An Sulaire, much to the delight of those onboard.

In the meantime, the fleet of skiffs set forth into East Loch Tarbert and headed south of Sgeotasaigh Island to the plethora of small islands called The Gloraigs were several fish were caught. The wind increased in speed as the morning wore on, but we had plenty of shelter from the small islands and found a lovely spot for our lunch. There was a short pier at Drinisiadar where we basked in the sun
and found An Clo Mor tweed exhibition which had fascinating textile displays and toilets!

In the afternoon we had a short row along the sheltered coast to our destination at Maibhag slip. The rain returned as the boats were loaded onto trailers and drivers ferried back to Scalpaigh to collect their vehicles. We had completed 7.6NM in leisurely fashion, with much chatter and laughter coming from the various skiffs. We arrived back at Siabost for showers, food and bed. Some where camping and others had rented accommodation and others stayed at the finely appointed Bunk House at Carloway.

On the morning of Saturday 15th of July the sky was wet and it gave the impression that we were going to have a wash out. But after we launched a couple of boats onto the sweet water at Siabost Loch a Bhaile, the skies parted and the sun shone the rest of the day. The aim of the day was to provide tester sessions for anyone in the community that was interested in rowing. We had around 12 local people, including young children and young adults who had never rowed before. We also had many people try out the 2 person sculling rowboat Pascual and several takers for a go on a splendid home made canoe which Michael and Joanne Asllop had brought all the way from Edinburgh.

We then were invited to the Siabost Community Centre for the internationally renowned lunch! 72 people sat down for a choice of soups and a delicious variety of home backing, which were prepared and served by 6 ladies who took on the role of ‘dinner ladies’.

After lunch it was time to prepare for the skiff races across the Siabost Loch a Bhaile. The races required the participating rowers to collect the peats that had been scattered to the four winds by local children that morning and a bag was left on the shore so that the teams could ‘bring home the peats’ which will keep the locals warm for a night or two over the harsh winter.

The results were unequivocal, Yakidoola won the first race with an all-male crew and Jenny Skylark came second, but first in the all women category! Blue Moon came third, but first in the mixed crews and Florence came a respectable fourth. Pascual, who had led the pack to the other side of the loch with double sculls, and was already on its way back, broke an oar in the frenetic enthusiasm and lost focus retrieving the broken blade. Therefore, An Eather were able to keep that trophy for another year.

Due to public demand, a second race was held where Jenny Skylark came first, followed by Yakidoola with a mixed crew from Bristol and Australia, closely followed by Florence. The boats where then all packed away and after a quick bite to eat and shower, we all reconvened at the Siabost Community Centre for a ceilidh. The Ness Melodeon Band got everyone up dancing, while willing volunteers took a turn to entertain a packed hall. Martine from Port Seaton did a lovely poem and Brendan from the USA sang Appalachian mountain twang. Jennifer Spiers sang a well-known Gaelic song too.

On Sunday 12 willing participants attended the local Free Church of Scotland service led by Rev Calum Mcleod. Mrs. Anneta Mcleod extended a warm invitation for teas, coffees and home backing after the service, which gave us an opportunity to get to know the local parishioners better. There was no rowing on Sunday in accordance with local custom and many went for a walk instead.

On behalf of Rowporty, we would like to extend a very warm thanks to Jackie Craig and Murdo Mcleod for all their hard work and organizational magic. Also, a big thank you to all those at An Eathar who helped with the logistics and work behind the scenes to make the event a memorable one, again. We hope to be back next year.

Portobello Regatta 10th of June 2017

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.



Dear Skiffers

Thank you again for registering for the 2017 Rowporty community regatta.The aim is to have fun with competition and below you will find details for arrival and the day. Clubs attending are Eastern, North Berwick, Port Seton, Kinghorn, St. Andrew’s, Eskmuthe, Newhaven and Dunbar. Win medals and have fun!

Best wishes

Rowporty Regatta Committee


Parking : local car parks are in Bridge Street and by Tumbles off West Bank Street and also there is parking in Kings Road.

Toilets : Public toilets are available in Bath Street near the traffic lights. Also toilets are located towards the West of the prom just before the flats and Kilns. Portobello Baths are also making available their toilets for rowers on the day. This is between the boatyard and John Street.

Boat arrival and plan for those boats arriving by trailer for the day :

Arrive at the bottom of John Street in good time and you will be met by a Rowporty green topped beach – master :-). We will take the trailers with tractor to the beach and boats will be brought to the start line which is the low tide mark and trailers parked on the beach by the promenade wall.

The first race starts at 10.20 so it would be ideal if boats arrive between 8.30 and 9.30 in John Street. Each club will have a designated place on the beach marked with club name. The Cox’s Briefing will be at the boatyard at 10.00am.

Food and drink : Bacon rolls will be available for the early birds and we will be offering hot food for lunch and tea/coffee/cakes throughout the day in the boatyard by the Beach House cafe.

Following Anstruther’s lead we would encourage you bring your own “mug” for tea/coffee to save too much waste and to maintain our green image :-). Also it would help us if you brought plenty of loose change for purchases :-).

Raffle : There will be a raffle for prizes donated by the Promenade hostelries namely Dalriada, Espy, Miros, Crumbs and the Tide Cafe . Tickets available at the food/tea tent and prizes awarded at the evening medal ceremony. The Beach House cafe next to the boatyard are also supporting us on the day and helping with facilities.

Medals: With a lot of medals to award we will need to be expeditious and therefore will have two medal ceremonies, one during the lunch break and the other after the last race.

Race Information: A club registration desk will be in the boat yard. The races from the beach will vary in length depending on the state of the tide. Relay race: This will require two teams from each club, each team to include at least two female rowers. Conventional life jackets will be swapped on shore ensuring that no life jacket is undone in the boat. Interclub Mixed race: Each club to nominate 4 rowers, two men and two women, boats to be coxed by club coxes.


Portobello Regatta Race Schedule

Time & Category

10.00 Cox’s Briefing

10.20 Novice Mixed

10.40 60+ W

11.00 60+ M

11.20 60+MX

11.40 45+M

12.00 Lunch and First Medal ceremony

12.20 Picnic Class Race

13.00 45+W

13.20 45+MX

13.40 Open M

14.00 Open W

14.20 Open Mx

15.00 Inter club Mx

15.30 Relay Mx

16.00 Final Medal Ceremony

Singing Competition : The day is not over after the presentation of medals, later at 8 pm in the Dalriada Bar there will be an inter-club sea shanty singing competition in the front garden of the promenade bar. Rowporty’s inimitable Murdo Macleod is choirmaster for Rowporty. The Dalriada is on the promenade, a 5 minute walk further east from John Street where you will arrive with your boats and trailers. The competition will be judged by accomplished local musicians and the Dalriada cup presented to the winners. This is an optional event but we do hope Rowporty will have some competition:-)

Later : At 9 pm The Dalriada have the GTs playing in the bar, highly acclaimed local maestros to continue the evening and if making it a weekend.

The Portobello 4 mile beach race starts on Sunday at 10 outside the Dalriada. You can enter on the day with registration at 9.00 am. Perfect way to burn off excess post race cakes and beer :-).

Thanks go to the local establishments for their support and also to the PSKC sailing club and Eastern Rowing Club who are both helping us with rescue boat duties and other tasks on the day as needed. We hope you have fun and that the weather is on our side. We are sure it will be wonderful community event.

Boat Handling Video 1


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!

Success at Eskmuthe Quiz Night


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!

The Winning Team