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Our 3rd Coigach Coastal Rowing Regatta May 18th 2013 – what a day – and night!

May 21, 2013

Cant wait to start rowing MF

Local toddlers Lyra – and Lily close behind (she, indeed, of the eponymous boat the ‘Lily~Rose’) at the shoreside at Badentarbat Bay, Achiltibuie, getting into the spirit with young Coigach Community Rowing crewman Calum as he waits for his race on a cool, lightly breezy, overcast but fair Coigach Coastal Rowing Regatta day! Bring it on!

It had been all quiet on the green by the shore the evening before:

Dans pic Boats the night before by the fank

But by ten the next morning the bay was packed with boats, spectators and busy food sales stalls: a venison burger stall raising money for youngsters’ Tall Ships Sail Training; soup,  tea and fab home-bakes from the local Primary School parents group; a delicious salmon BBQ courtesy of Scottish Sea Farms’ local Tanera-based salmon farm, and the Lochinver Panini van! Almost every scrap of a considerable array of delicious food was sold out by the close of play around 4.30pm.

Hungry work rowing – makes the spectators peckish too!

panorama of the regatta beach JulesCrews from Portobello– (in the  ‘Jenny Skylark’), Newburgh – (in the ‘Glide’), Newhaven– winners of the ‘Best Presented Skiff’ (in the ‘Wee Michael’), Helmsdale– (in the ‘BaileAnor’), Ullapool crews– (in ‘Ulla’, ‘Cul Mor’ and ‘Loki’), North Berwick– (in the ‘Skiff John B’) and Anstruther (in the ‘St Ayles’) joined Coigach with ‘Coigach Lass’ and ‘Lily~Rose’ on Badentarbat beach, and suddenly the beach was filled with a bevy of beautiful, hand-built St Ayles skiffs, each with their own lovingly painted livery, the pride of their crews and community, awaiting the commencement of the racing!

Busy beach 2

An early cox’s briefing had drawn the visiting skiffers yawning from their various tents, campervans, chalets and cottages all round the Coigach peninsula….

happy camper NB… but Umpire Iain got down to business explaining the course – using the St Ayles Skiff World Championship system as start and finish ‘gates’ for this regatta – until further work on the drawing board by Topher and his crew in Ullapool finalises its design in time for the Skiffie Worlds in Ullapool in July.

                                            Then it was all about the racing!..finish line at tanera N berwick

action at badentarbat jules…and getting into the boat dryshod…

…which ‘Glide’  crewmember forgot their wellies then??  Go on my son – don’t drop him! Wellies shortage

…and discussing tactics…gerry and Andres Maureen F…and being a Coigach Under 17 rower (in blue hoodies below) … Coigach U 17s and friends MF… a wee bit nervous before a first race- but enjoying a bit of attention from the local girls – and why not↑

… and lots of inter-crew chats and craic↓…2nd busy beach NB…and kids having fun↓…kids making new friends…and filmakers and coxes and dogs…Di and Neville with trigger Julesand the ‘Commentary box’ – (me with the bins, Sue, a car bonnet, a list of boats, a dodgy mic and Peter’s shoulder to keep the bins steady! Very professional – not!)..↓Jules Sue lesley and peter at the commentary box…and spectating and eating and paddling and racing… ooh those salmon BBQ rolls!!…Discussing tactics MF

paddlesrs tootent spectators NB

Skiffs lining up NB

… and then that scoreboard – flamin’ Nora!…The scoreboard JulesAnd even the weather behaved herself – just nicely cool for the rowers but a bit on the baltic side for the spectators!

By 5pm the boats were on their trailers and skiffers, their families and supporters hurried off to prepare for the Prizegiving Ceilidh at the Community Hall.

It seemed like Leslie and her team from the Piping School Cafe fed the 5,000 with her delish Curry and Crumble -then before the music got going there were points and medals to hand out!

There will be more Prizegiving photos up here soon but just a couple to get you started..medals! NBNorth Berwick Crews took overall second place – here some of them are getting their medalsthe ‘Ulla’ Crews took overall third place and theCoigach Crews took the top spot. 

Special ‘Feisty Newcomer’ medals were also awarded to the skippers of the ‘Baileanor’ crews fromHelmsdale and the ‘Glide’ crews fromNewburgh who had, as newbies to Coigach, rowed magnificently in the regatta and will be a growing force to be reckoned with!

And here are the lads of the Coigach Community Rowing Under 17 crew,  l to r Under 17 crew with their medals– Seamus, Sean, Ewan and James (Ian sadly missed the photo) with their well deserved medals! Their very first season rowing and already into the medals – and the first win (the ‘Freshers’ race against all ages) – with our new boat ‘Lily~Rose’! Well done lads , Coigach is proud of you!

Here’s another very proud medal wearer from Newburgh – and a close up of the hand made phosphor bronze medals Steve cut from the propshaft of the wrecked ‘Maid of Tanera’ -ex Kylesku ferry many many moons ago -and sandblasted with the pattern of C for Coigach and a skiff being rowed…newburgh medalNewburgh Feisty Newcomers medal

After all that the music got going – and many a dance was danced, and dram was downed and a good party was had by skiffers one and all. And then Karen took all the happy campers home in the mini-bus. Goodnight! And it was all,  ‘See you tomorrow for the row to Tanera….’ 

Ah, but that is another story about a warm, sunny day full of happy skiffers and a row in paradise.

Thanks to Maureen, Julia and Linda from Coigach, Chris from North Berwick and a kind chap from Newburgh for the photos.

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