Sail and Oar Festival, Isle of Cumbrae


Chris Berg and Cameron Simpson

The Boatie Blest rowing team travelled to the west coast island of Cumbrae last weekend, 14th/15th August for the inaugural Sail and Oar Festival. Hosted by the Galgael Trust and the Cumbrae Community Development Trust, the festival celebrated traditional maritime culture from Scotland as well as from the Celtic language regions of Spain’s Galician region, the Basque coast and Ireland’s Atlantic coast.

Crews from Boatie Blest, the Royal West of Scotland Amateur Boat Club, Ullapool and the Portsoy Scouts raced against each other in the St. Ayles skiffs and in pair oar races.  

Youngest Boatie Blest crew row to victory at Sail and Oar Festival 
Christopher Berg, 13 years and Cameron Simpson, 14 years did Boatie Blest proud, rowing to victory in the Under 18s pair oar race in a boat which they had never rowed before. The boat belongs to the RWSABC and so the coxswain was  17 year old, Lewis Gray, from the club. The Boatie Blest Over 40s Mixed crew won their race category in “Boatie Rows” but it was Ullapool who gained the most victories during the Saturday regatta.

On the Sunday a flotilla of boats set out from a glorious sundrenched Millport beach to row seven miles around the Wee Cumbrae.  The first team back in one and a half hours was the over 40s men’s team from Boatie Blest. 

If you would like to have a go at rowing then this Saturday 21st August is your chance.  The Boatie Blest Fun Day will be held at Port Seton Harbour from 11.30am.  North Berwick’s skiff,’ St.Baldreds’ as well as Eyemouth’s ‘Unity’ are expected to join us for some fun races.  Have a look at the build of the second skiff in the Boatie Blest boatyard and if you would rather try your hand at building a boat then this is a good opportunity to volunteer.

Boatie Blest is a Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Group and welcomes everyone to join as a rower, builder or a social member. For further information please contact Yvonne Murphy,


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