The Battle of Largs

The scene was set for battle. Prior unseasonal weather had forced many changes, and the upstart invaders had little opportunity to practice their warrior skills. The last skirmish had borne well for this nomadic warring tribe but again, the weather cut that short too. The scene of this battle was immediately south of Gogo water in the small town of Largs. Two great forces came together to decide who would rule the west coast of Scotland. Weapons of war sharpened,  chariots adorned with tribal colours, and armies both nervous and exhilarated by what lay ahead. Battle commenced.

Okay, so maybe that described an event that happened 761 years ago but to me that’s what it felt like prior to FOCCRS regatta on Saturday 11th May 2024. Like the unfortunate Norwegians, our journey started south of the field of battle, although King Haakon Haakonsson decided the A78 was likely to have roadworks and sailed to Largs instead.

The sun shone on the field of battle from the outset and the younger warriors eagerly showed their fighting skills waiting for their own moments to shine.

Twenty members of Troon Coastal Rowing Club attended the regatta.

Seven clubs participated in the regatta.

The course was 1k. with 2 gradual port turns and one 90 degree turn to the finish . Each race had three timed heats with no finals necessary. Lane draws were allocated on the day.

The first race was the Open Men’s with Christine C as cox, Adrian in stroke, Mike K in 3, Michael B in 2 and Euan in Bow. Troon were paired with Royal West in this and all heats and comfortably finished ahead of them. These mighty Vikings rowed the race of their lives and finished first overall by an impressive 26.24 seconds quicker than their nearest rivals, Arran. This turned out also to be the fastest row of the regatta.

The next race was the Open woman’s with Mike R in the cox’s seat, Christine R in stroke, Christine C in 3, Adrienne in 2 and Kathleen in bow. The ladies fought bravely and finished an impressive second behind our hosts FOCCRs.

The third race of the day was the Open Mixed.

Mike R was the cox for this race. Louise led her small band of fighters in stroke with Brian in 3, Steve in 2 and Lizzie in bow. The guys fought a brave fight and secured vital points managing a fourth place.

The fourth race of the day was the 240+ Men with Christine C as cox.

Kevin took stroke with Paul in 3, Derek in 2 and Neil in bow. The guys stormed home in first place overall with a 15.33 second lead over their nearest rivals.

The day was going well for TCRC. The sun was getting hotter and the competition was heating up between the warring tribes.

The fifth race of the regatta was the 240+ women and at this point every point was vital to the overall regatta outcome. Every competition has its high points and for Troon this was it.

Mike R was the cox for this one with Christine C in stroke. Jackie sat in 3, Issy in 2 and Christine B in bow. The ladies stormed around the course to take overall second place and finish a mere 4.5 seconds behind first place Stranraer.

The final battle for the day was the 240+ Mixed.

For this ultimate battle, Mike R took the cox seat and Kevin was in stroke. Adrian sat in 3 with Adrienne in 2 and Christine R in bow.

This final race would seal overall victory for the regatta and the team didn’t disappoint finishing first overall and 9.58 seconds ahead of the second place team.

Timings for each race are shown below and show how well the teams did on the day.

Reviewing the times for the day its even more impressive to see that Troon finished with three places in the top ten times of the regatta.

The final results for the day were:

As usual TCRC was supported by family and friends although we always suspected Buttons was more interested in her ball than the rowing.

So unlike King Haakon Haakonsson 761 years earlier, this invading band of brothers (and sisters) left the battlefield victorious and headed south eager for the next campaign in southern waters.

Forthcoming Regattas

The next battle regatta is only days away and just down the road at Dunure on the 18th May. Why not come along and fight alongside your comrades or just to yell from the sidelines . You will be made most welcome.

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