Regatta Report – North Berwick 2023

Setting out under a beautiful Troon sunrise was a good omen for a very early departure from our harbour home. Truth be told, preparation for the day started many weeks earlier with planning, training, training and more training.

North Berwick is clearly one of the most competitive regattas of the season with world class competition and a rather big rock to circumnavigate. With nineteen boats competing, it isn’t for the feint hearted.

Fourteen members of the club competed in the regatta.

Races 1 to 7 were across a hastily arranged alternate course, due to poor conditions, which meant contestants wouldn’t be circumnavigating Craigleith (The Rock) in the Firth of Forth. The conditions in the first two races were horrible with strong winds, choppy seas and every kind of sea state you can imagine. Improved conditions later in the day meant this was changed and the last three races did go around the rock.

Troon competed in eight of the ten races at the regatta. We did not compete in Race 3 – Under 18s or Race 6 – novices.

The regatta got off to a quick start with Mike Reilly attending the Cox’s brief at 9am. Mike went on to single handedly guide every crew around the courses providing motivation, guidance and leadership to us all.

The look of exhaustion and horror as the first crews got back to the beach after racing was not the best incentive for subsequent crews but once on the water everyone gave their all for the club.

North Berwick run a great regatta and its popularity is evident with the rows of skiffs lined up on the sands.

It was impressive to see the many crews on the day and the numbers and ages of attendees for each is a strong positive indicator of the sports future. Physical training before and even during the regatta is a clear indicator of how serious clubs are taking this. Having a larger pool of competitors on the day is another clear advantage where clubs can actively select the best crews for the race and provide sufficient rest between races.   

It was also great to meet some of the partners and friends of our own team who came along to give their support.

The table below shows the complete regatta results with all races and times.

Its worth remembering that the day saw very different conditions between the morning and afternoon races when comparing times.

Overall results for performance at the regatta are good. The team from Troon Coastal Rowing Club certainly did us proud and left with their head held high.

Our fastest time for the day was 17 minutes 50 seconds in Race 7 – 240+

Our highest position for the day was third place in Race 7 – 240+

A holistic analysis of the regatta would indicate that our most challenging races are when age is not a factor in the crew criteria. Sitting in the boat looking across at a competing crew mostly born this millennia may be daunting but didn’t faze the Troon crew. “Powering Up! The school boys are out of steam” was certainly a perfectly timed motivation by Mike R, halfway around The Rock. That particular individual battle was won by Troon but was still way behind the overall pack.

The ”age factor” and any other competitive advantages other clubs have in regattas will certainly invoke much debate around the club over coming months. Despite this Troon prevails.

With this background and knowledge of a great day, we will close the regatta report with the photo of our fabulous medal winners in the 240+ race. Well done to Mike R, Christine R, Christine C, Mike D and Kevin.

Forthcoming Regattas

We have seen a number of regattas cancelled this year due to weather which has been a real pity. The forthcoming regattas are Castle to Crane on 2nd September, Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club on the 9th followed by The Exciseman’s Chase on the 16th September.

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