Arran rowers host first post lockdown regatta

Arran heading for the finish in the Prestwick skiff.

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Arran Coastal Rowing Club were one of the first clubs in the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association to hold a post lockdown regatta.

The event held on Saturday took on a new format to previous regattas and was devised so that if Covid restrictions hadn’t been lifted, or indeed increased, then the day could be cancelled at short notice without too much hassle for everyone involved.

In previous years up to 12 clubs would bring their skiffs over to Arran for the two-day event.

But due to the uncertainty of restrictions and the potential difficulties in getting 12 24ft-long boat trailers on the 9.40am ferry from Ardrossan on a Saturday morning, it was decided to reduce the number of entrants to six: Royal West, Troon, Cumbrae, Firth of Clyde, Prestwick and Arran.

The maximum number of rowers from each club would be restricted to 10 and no skiffs would be brought over, instead everyone would use the two Arran skiffs.

Prestwick Coastal Rowing Club had a booking for its skiff from last year’s postponed regatta so it was able to bring its boat.

All the clubs shared the same skiffs – sanitised between each race as per national guidance – and racing was over a 750-metre sprint course with the finish line outside the yacht club.

Racing started at 11.30am with a race every 30 minutes. Each club had four races with each race consisting of three skiffs.

Arran had three second places and a first which wasn’t enough to beat Troon, which had three firsts and one second to make them overall winners.

The weather was perfect with an air of friendly rivalry; the sea was flat calm and the racing was close and competitive.

Words and photographs by Dave Ingham