Born to Row

The latest regatta in our 2024 schedule was hosted by the fabulous Arran Coastal Rowing Club based in Lamlash. Lamlash lies three miles southward over the hill from the ferry port at Brodick. The club sits splendidly in an idyllic bay overlooking Holy Isle.

Eleven-ish members of Troon Coastal Rowing Club attended the regatta. More on that number later!

The original plan was for six clubs to participate in the regatta but a late call-off brought that number down to five. Royal West and FOCCRs combined their efforts and fielded a joint team. In addition to Arran, Prestwick, Troon and North Queensferry made up the remaining competing clubs.

The course was set to cover 1500m along the north shore of Lamlash starting from a transit line in front of the yacht club and heading northeast to individual turning marks where boats completed a 180 degree turn to return to the start / finish line

The first race of the day was the Open Women category. Kevin was in the cox seat with Christine C in stroke, Lorna in 3, Adrienne in 2 and Kathleen in bow. Troon were in the second heat and paired with Prestwick. This was the draw for the whole regatta. The fabulous Troon ladies raced like champions finishing first in their heat and with one of the fastest times of the day, finished first overall in this class. The crew were an incredible 46 seconds ahead of their nearest competitor. That was the biggest lead of the regatta.

The second race of the day was the Open Men category. Christine C was in the cox seat and Kevin was in stroke. Mike K took seat three, Neil in two and Mike D in bow. Racing against Prestwick, the guys got off to a flying start and rowed their hearts out finishing first in their heat. Troon again won the overall race and finished 43 seconds ahead of Prestwick who took second place.

The third race of the day was the mixed open.

Christine C stayed in the cox seat for this race. Lorna sat in stroke, Lee in three, Steve in two and Jackie in bow. The tide was turning and whilst the outward journey was getting easier, the return leg was tough going after the turn. Christine was an awesome cox and kept the team going every single row of the race. We weren’t sure if its part of cox training or SCRA guidelines, but hearing her yell at the top of her very loud voice  “keep going guys there’s a huge free buffet lunch on shore when you get back” certainly gave us renewed strength.  This was needed as Prestwick fought a tough fight throughout the race. Finishing ahead of Prestwick and second overall, the Troon team secured vital points for the regatta.

The next race was the Mixed Novice race which unfortunately Troon had to withdraw from. Or so we thought! Arran coastal rowing club had other ideas and made a supreme effort to fill the boat with novices from other clubs. The Arran ‘B team’ of novices took the Troon seats with Mike K as cox and took to the water.

What happened there? What do you mean Troon won and get the points?

They did! We did! Each member of the crew is now an honorary member of TCRC. We aren’t sure how welcome they are now by their fellow novices in their own clubs and even we couldn’t work out if technically they were still novices. Was it because of Mike K in the cox seat?  Was it because of our marvellous Marr Voyager?  Who knows but we won.

The fifth race of the day was the 240+ Women.

Kevin was cox for this race with Christine C in stroke. Jackie was in three, Adrienne in two and Kathleen in bow. Another tough race with the return journey after turning at the buoy getting tougher and tougher. Despite this, the guys rowed their hearts out and finished first in their heat and again, Troon won the race.

Race six was the 240+ Men and after a day of racing with a relatively small regatta crew, things were getting tougher. It was at this point we realised that the last race was going to be interesting with some difficult choices ahead. The call came in “I’m on my way and arriving at Brodick in 10 minutes”. Mike D was suitably despatched to pick up the 12th member of the crew. Meanwhile the 240+ Men race commenced.

Christine C took the cox seat yet again and valiantly led the TCRC team. Kevin was in stroke, Mike K in three, Adrienne stepped in to cover two and Neil took the bow position. The Troon crew performed incredibly and comfortably won their heat and secured first position overall, leading their closest rival by 26 seconds.

The last race of the day was the Mixed 240+ and our crew options were limited.

As the sun came out, the crowd turned and looked to the road leading to the harbour. Two figures ran down the road towards the slip. One was easily recognisable as Mike D since everyone in the west coast has witnessed him running somewhere for something at some time. Most people swear it all happened in slow motion. A visiting American spectator was apparently heard to say “My god its David Hasselhoff from Baywatch” as they watched the character throw off a Bruce Springsteen t-shirt and leap into Marr Voyager in one athletic and impressive motion.

Adrian, The Boss, with the blessing of his understanding wife Morag, had came straight from the airport after visiting Barcelona to see Bruce Springsteen in concert. Leaping on a ferry and then picked up by Mike at Brodick, he joined the crew on the water.

Kevin took the cox seat with Christine C in stroke. Adrian was in three, Mike D in two and Kathleen in bow.  

As the team fought against the time and tide, and as they raced across the line, word came in that they had finished first overall. The guys finished 30 seconds ahead of Arran who were in second place. At that moment the sound of The Boss came wafting across the water:

Oh honey, champs like us

Baby, we were born to row

Come on with me, champs like us

Baby we were born to row

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

The top 5 times for the days are posted below although its worth noting that as the day went on, the incoming current and conditions made the return leg of each race more challenging.

The final results for the day were:

Troon finished overall with 34 points. Arran were second with 26 points. Even after offering to discount the “novice race points”  TCRC won the Arran regatta.

As usual TCRC was supported by family and friends with Steven and Rodney insisting they were there for the cycling but we think they are secret rowing fanboys. We were also joined by Christine and Ronnie who majestically sailed across to join us. (But didn’t bring their otter friend). Thanks to them all.

Thanks to crew on the day who provided many of the enclosed photographs and input to this article.

Forthcoming Regattas

The next regatta is Royal West regatta on Saturday 6th July. Feel free to add your name on our members area if you want to participate. If you are unsure then feel free to talk to any regatta regulars and we will welcome you with open arms. Novice rowers more than welcome.

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