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Regatta report

posted 13 Sep 2016, 02:25 by Queensferry Rowing   [ updated 18 Sep 2016, 04:42 ]
Dónal reports:

On Saturday last, North and South Queensferry welcomed ten Clubs to their Regatta at the Port Edgar Marina in Queensferry to race under the shadows of the three bridges. The crews came from along the Firth of Forth, the Firth of Tay and all the way up to Loch Broom.  After the torrential rain on the Friday, Saturday dawned bright but chilly with little wind, this made for perfect racing conditions.

Crews started arriving from 0730 the racing got underway at 1000.  The course was rectangular heading East from the Forth Road Bridge. It went down to a finger buoy which is North of Queensferry Harbour where a ninety degree turn was executed. It then headed to a second finger buoy near the Harbour wall and then back up to under the Forth Road Bridge.  First up was the Women’s 60+ with only five participants and it was very keenly contested. North Berwick took the honours in this race finishing ahead of Anstruther by eight seconds with Queensferry taking third place a further nine seconds behind.

The second race was the Men’s 50+ and this time we had two waves as we had seven boats.  We had a wave of four boats followed by the remaining three.  In the first wave North Berwick must have thought they had done enough to win as they powered home in 9:12 a full 43 seconds ahead of Row Porty.  However the second wave provided the winners with Anstruther laying down a marker for the day setting a blistering time of 8:48 and taking Gold ahead of North Berwick. Loch Broom made their trip worthwhile coming in third just one second behind North Berwick.

Special mention must go to Kinghorn who were competing in their first Regatta and in their first race they came home with a time of 10:29

The third race was the Women’s 50+ again with seven boats. There appeared to be a pattern emerging here with North Berwick and Anstruther beginning to dominate.  The first wave saw North Berwick and Anstruther go head to head and it proved to be a close race around the buoys with North Berwick pulling ahead on the way home and winning by twelve seconds in a time of 9:42.  In the second wave, Crail blew the other two boats away finishing in a time of 9:49. This gave them second overall, six seconds ahead of Anstruther.

The last race before lunch was the Mixed Open with eleven boats. The contest in the first heat was for the minor placings St Andrews were well ahead.  They finished with a time of 9:35 which was 30 seconds ahead of Anstruther.  The second wave was again a race for the minor placings as Broughty Ferry were well ahead. They came home in a time of 9:04, 24 seconds ahead of Newburgh and 40 seconds ahead of North Berwick.  Broughty took Gold, Newburgh Silver and St Andrews Bronze.   

After lunch the sun finally felt warm and the racing certainly hotted up too. The first race was the Women's Open with Anstruther have always the team to beat in this category but Broughty Ferry and Crail are always knocking on the door. The first wave saw three of the big hitters along with Queensferry and Newburgh. It was a close race with Broughty Ferry sneaking ahead and in the final stretch they had an eleven second margin of victory over Crail. North Berwick were a further six seconds behind. The second wave had four boats on it with Anstruther leaving the other three boats behind. They finished with a time of 9:45 a huge 40 seconds ahead of St Andrews. That time wasn't enough for Anstruther to take the victory as Broughty Ferry finished just seven seconds ahead. Crail took third place.

The Men's Open had a strong field with the likes of North Berwick, Anstruther and Broughty Ferry all vying to continue their good form this season. The first wave saw six crews take to water and from the start it was clear that Queensferry and Anstruther were going to be close all the way round. From buoy to buoy there was nothing between them. As they headed for the finish both teams were giving it their all with Anstruther getting across the line in a time of 9:05 with Queensferry coming in with a time of 9:11.  The second wave saw North Berwick dominate as they left St Andrews and Broughty Ferry in their wake. They finished in a time of 8:47 setting a new record for the day. They were sixteen seconds ahead of St Andrews. That time gave North Berwick the Gold with St Andrews taking Silver and Anstruther the Bronze.

The penultimate race saw ten crews try to drop their Novice status and was the hardest race to call. Once the first wave set off it was obvious who was going to win this as they left the other four boats trailing as they came home in a time of 9:38. The closest boat to them was North Queensferry who finished in 10:04. 

The second wave was much closer with close racing between St Andrews, Row Porty, Queensferry and Newburgh. These four boats headed for the first buoy and there was a lot of jockeying for position with three boats coming close together. St Andrews had taken the buoy first and were forging ahead. By the second buoy things were still tight as Portobello, Queensferry and Newburgh all rounded it roughly at the same time and then it was a dash for home with Portobello and Queensferry fighting it out for second place. Newburgh were falling slightly behind after the final turn. With St Andrews well ahead and finishing in 10:05, Portobello and Queensferry were impossible to separate but as they came to the line Portobello took second by the margin of just two seconds. North Berwick took Gold with North Queensferry taking Silver and St Andrews taking the Bronze.

The final race of the day was a special race for Queensferry Rowing Club and the wider Skiff Community. This was Andy's Race in memory of Andy Jarvis, a stalwart of Queensferry Rowing Club and a friend to all who had the pleasure of meeting him. Andy offered his services to any crew that would have him so it was felt a fitting tribute that a pick and mix race with rowers from the different clubs rowing in boats other than their own. The perfect way to remember Andy. This was a fun race but the competitive nature of rowers meant this was going to be a fight as well. The first wave saw Anstruther and Crail boats  well ahead of the field. Anstruther came in first in a time of 9:32 which was 21 seconds ahead of Crail.

The second wave saw a great tussle between Queensferry and Broughty Ferry. Broughty took the first buoy slightly ahead of Queensferry and by the time they reached the second buoy they were neck and neck. From then on it was a race for the line with Queensferry doing better and pulling slightly ahead and by the time they got to the line they were six seconds in front. The first place went to the Anstruther boat, with Crail second and Queensferry third. 

This brought down the curtain on a wonderful day which was finished off with the prize giving followed for some with curry and a drink courtesy of the organisers of the Keel Boat Regatta that was taking place on the same day. The day was a success due to the culmination of a lot of hard work from various people be they the starters, safety boat crews, time keepers, the pontoon organisers, the army of caterers and all those that helped throughout the day and if course the organising committee.