The Monte Carlo of Coastal Rowing

The massed ranks of the Boatie Blest Club, rose early on the morning of Saturday the 5th of May, our mission was to turn the harbour into a festival of rowing for the next two days. Tea makers and tent erectors, electricians and boat builders, bakers and traffic wardens, we turned our colective hand to it all, oh and on the side of course, we were also mad keen rowers!

Best of all of course the sun shone, and at times you could almost say it was warm.

As the boats from accross the rowing communities turned up the beach began to look like a French impressionist painting. The brightly painted boats, lined up on the sands under the sun, the tents rose up on the grass, (just incase it rained)  and everywhere we were meeting up again with our friends from Anstruther to Dunbar and everywhere in between.
Port Seton had chosen to kick off the Regatta season and everyone was up for it after the long Winter layoff. Incase anyone thought that they would be able to use thier exertions to get in trim for Summer holidays, the Port Seton baking teams soon put an end to that notion. The spectacle in the tea tent was nearly equal to the one on the beach. Scones, muffines, teabreads, fairy cakes and cupcakes to die for, and all totally calorie free!

The tide kept up it’s part of the bargain and swept in through the harbour mouth to allow us to start right on time at 11.00. The races here are sprints, and the effort showed on the faces and in the gasps for air of every last competitor. Who was making a really good turn, who could pull out the stops when they were about to burst anyway? It was agony, but willingly and passionately entered into.

It was a great day, which ended, with a relay ‘fun run’, (er, equally passionately contested, we just cannae help ourselves!) from Port Seton, to Cockenzie Harbour.
The evening soup and social at the Auld Kirk Hall, was a great success, with much glamour and dancing, which was remarkable given how tired we were.

Sunday dawned, promising enough, but the warm spells lasted for two minutes at a time to be replaced by bitter cold as whenever the sun ducked behind the clouds. However the crews in the boats returning for the Sunday races, were just as keen to win one of the unique Caroline Donney designed medals, and eat mountains of scones as they had been on Saturday.
I will sign off here and let our captain Stuart Mack, continue with the technical and statistical side of our report.
Martine Robertson for Boatie Blest.

As described above the day was wonderful and the races were exciting, There was many close races and several crews had to look over their shoulders at the umpires once finished to find out who had won.The teams had to race around a oval shaped circuit marked with a buoy at either end. The race is similar to pursuit cycling where both competitors start facing opposite directions, complete a lap and return back to the start/Finish line. This makes for a spectacular spectacle for spectators as both turns and start line can be seen

from many vantage points. It is also very different to other regattas because you competitors are never sure if they are leading or not. After the Heats and semi-finals the the final Races appeared as follows;

Mens open – Boatie Rows vs North Berwick – North Berwick win

Womens open – Boatie Rows Vs North Berwick – Boatie Rows wins

Mixed open – Boatie Rows vs North Berwick – North Berwick win

Mixed 55 – Boatie Rows vs Boatie Blest – Boatie Rows win

Womens 40+ – Boatie Rows vs Anstruther – Boatie Rows wins

Mens 40 + – Boatie Rows vs North Berwick – Boatie Rows wins.

The Quickest time over the two days was set by North Berwicks Opens mens team in a time of 2mins and 6 seconds.  with the second quickest time also being set by North Berwicks Mixed open team. Over the two days 35 short races took place and 1 longer relay race took place. With Anstruther showing who is most efficient is climbing in and out of the boat.




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