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Words and pictures by Hugh Boag
There was a big crowd and a real party atmosphere at the inaugural staging of the a new sporting competition staged in memory of the late Dr Angus Campbell, who died a year ago this month.
Organised by the Arran Coastal Rowing Club they could not have picked a better day than last Sunday to stage the event in bright sunshine and with calm seas in Lamlash Bay.
The pier and yacht club were turned into a festival of fun with a BYOB barbecue and an afternoon of good-natured competition, friendly banter and socialising.
In the end the Arran Mountain Rescue Team came out on top in the Emergency Services Regatta in which seven teams from blue light and emergency services on the island took part.
Event organiser Geoff Norris told the large crowd before the prize-giving that the idea for the regatta was the brainchild of the late Dr Campbell, a well regarded local GP, enthusiast of boating and all marine activities, and founding member of the Arran Coastal Rowing Club.
‘Reminiscing on the past when emergency services on the island used to have a regular meetings in the pub for an evening of competitive gaming, darts, pool or dominoes, Dr Campbell came up with the idea of an inter-service regatta on completion of the Coastal Rowing Club’s second skiff. Sadly he never got the opportunity to arrange it,’ he said.
Now the rowing club has made his dream a reality with crews from police, fire brigade, RNLI, mountain rescue, coastguard, hospital nurses and the medical centre are all taking part after practising for the big event. Some of the services had two crews taking part and others just one.
The format saw each team to race twice over a 500 metre course, once in each of the two skiffs, with the times combined for a final score.
After the first two races the mountain rescue team were first but there was a tie for second place between the fire brigade and the RNLI which led to a semi-final being required which was won by the RNLI.
This saw them go head to head in the final with the mountain rescue team, but after a closely fought final the rescue team emerged victorious.
The quaich was presented to the winning team of Alasdair Lightbody, who rowed in the first race, Corinna Goeckeritz, Ewan McKinnon, David Boal and Alan Nicol with cox Karen Haggerty by Dr Campbell’s daughter Jenny.
The mountain rescue decided that the £511.80 raised by the prize draw should be given to ArCaS.
The full results were: 1st Arran MRT 5min 56sec, 2nd equal Arran RNLI 6.09, Scottish Fire & Rescue 6.09, 4th Arran Medical Group 6.21, 5th Police Scotland 6.29, 6th Arran Coastguard 7.07, 7th Hospital nurses 7.41.