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.

Information for visiting clubs & rowers

For clubs and rowers attending the Portobello Regatta:

  • Club registration form
  • Rower registration form
  • Map of course and Portobello

Copies will be available on the day – but save yourself time by downloading and completing in advance! Continue reading “Information for visiting clubs & rowers”

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!  


Regatta to return in July 2011


The last weekend in July (30th/31st) will see St Ayles Skiffs from across Scotland returning for another Portobello Regatta.

With several communities building skiffs for the first time, and with many now building their second boat – we hope we’ll be seeing numbers in double figures, up from five in the first year of the revived historic regatta.

With Portobello’s long sandy beach, sheltered from the prevailing wind, we have a superb venue for skiff racing – for teams, supporters and spectators.

For this event we’re planning some longer races with larger numbers in each heat. The course will be laid out to provide exciting views from the beach of the turns around the bouys – and of what’s becoming the classic Portobello finish – straight on to the beach!

Porty Regatta Results

Andres writes:
Dear Skiff Friends from Anstruther, Achiltibuie, North Berwick, Port Seton and Newhaven, 
Firstly thank you for making the Portobello regatta a resounding success.  Portobello is buzzing with talk about the skiff races and the event we pulled off on the weekend, there is already talk of doing it again next year!
I would like to thank the Port Seton syndicate for all their help with setting out the course, lending rowers to other teams and a special thanks for the delicious lobsters which were enjoyed by those that were still standing at the end of the clear up. You probably should have also got medals for the over 60’s category as we all agree the Newhaven team included some rather young over 60’s.
Achiltibuie made a big effort to attend and they lead the way in quality racing with kabes and long oars winning the Mens Open category and having a very very close heat in the Women 40+ category.  We hope to make a trip up to see you in May for a weekend of exploring and fishing.
Anstruther retain the Mixed 40+ crown and had an excellent heat in the Women’s 40+ beating Portobello and only just loosing to Port Seton in the final. We hope to have matched the great hospitality we received at the hands of Barbara and Alan at the inaugural regatta at Anstruther earlier in the summer.  Alec, I hope you enjoyed your day without having to do any organising whatsoever 😉
North Berwick looked strong from the start and despite many members being on holiday were able to attend and take part.  There were no medals for you this time, but you had a convincing win in the Women’s Open heat, beating Achiltibuie.  We enjoyed having you both days and I think Issy’s pup was pampered all afternoon by several of the Portobello children.  We look forward to taking part at the North Berwick event in August 28 and 29; see you then.
Newhaven, who despite not having a boat on the water yet where able to win the Men 40+ heat! well done Gert and others.  Let’s hope this gives your team the motivation to have your boat at North Berwick next month.
We hope you have all arrived home safely, especially North Berwick and Port Seton who rowed over to Port Seton yesterday as the wind was picking up.  Port Seton, you were lucky to get an Easterly on Friday and then a Westerly on Sunday; good planning!
From all of us here in Portobello many thanks to you all for coming to our beach this year and I suggest you pencil in a trip to Portobello next July.

Rowing IS back in Porty!!!


What a great weekend we all had!

Once we’ve recovered we’ll get some news up here – though for those on tenterhooks I’ll just say that the overall winners were Por…something…

In the meantime this blog really captures the feel of the event from a visitor’s perspective. I think this was just what all the people involved wanted the regatta to be.

Thanks to every single person who helped in any way with preparing, running, supporting and tidying up! And to our visiting teams – some who travelled a long long way to be here.

BBC – Portobello revives regatta days

Icebreaker boat

Icebreaker was built by RowPorty volunteers

The promenade at Portobello is set to host its first rowing regatta in more than 40 years.

Portobello Sailing and Kayaking Club is holding the event at West Sands on Saturday and Sunday.

Clubs from Achiltibuie, Anstruther, Port Seton, North Berwick and Eyemouth are to compete against local teams in 20 races.

They will include RowPorty, a local group which built the St Ayles Skiff for the races.

Rowing and racing

Harry Mayers, a local resident who is rowing on Saturday, said: “The regatta is particularly poignant for Portobello as there used to be a thriving rowing club here.

“That history has been dormant for the past 40 or 50 years. Some of the guys who rowed then are looking forward to it immensely.”

The Scottish Coastal Rowing Project, supported by the Scottish Fisheries Museum, aims to revitalise interest in rowing and racing around the coast and on inland lochs.

Oar in a clamp

Two pre-1930s copper riveted boats are being restored in the workshop

They supplied the design for the St Ayles Skiff, which took the team of volunteers about two months to build.

Andres Leslie, team captain of RowPorty, said: “It makes the water accessible to a wide range of people.

“New friends have been made in the community and with other coastal communities.”

Pupils at the local primary school wrote stories to name the new boat and these have been published in a booklet. Icebreaker was chosen as the winning entry because members of the community came together to build the boat.

There are plans to hold a regatta again next year and RowPorty has been granted funding to build another boat and to create an archive of material for the library.

Portobello Library is hosting a display of rowing memorabilia from the area.

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