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Newburgh on Tay

September 17, 2012

Just when you thought it was all over……….the lure of the Newburgh Regatta was too much for the skiffy community to ignore. This time we heaved ho and headed for the Tay; a turbulent, brown, windy river on Saturday the 15th September. The Boatie Blest Crew had arrived early, to beat the traffic heading for the show at RAF Leuchars. So we relaxed in the warmth of the early autumn sun and watched the quiet grassy banks transform as boats, dugs, chairs, wellies and a few hardy weans, strewed and stretched out in colourful team camps along the edge of the waterfront. Anstruther, Crail, Pittenweem, and Cockenzie/Port Seton had all made the journey to Newburgh, for what we thought was going to be ‘a jolly’. Gentlemanly races, dipping our hands in the water and peeling grapes for one another……………….well that’s how Andrew Donney told it to us!

This was Newburgh’s first Regatta, so events took a wee while to get going at the crack of 2.17 p.m., but as they had organised the sun, and a most excellent tea tent, we all took the time to do what we love, catch up, poke about in each others boats, a spot of good natured goading, and eating loads of cakes, two honourable mentions here; cup cakes to die for, and modest seeming rock buns to kill for. So Newburgh joins in the first rank of tea tent competitors. Thank you.

By now we knew the course, and had rounded on Andrew. The trailing hands and grape peeling  bubble had burst and we knew we were in for it. A gruelling 20 something minutes, up river into the wind with the tide behind us, to turn at a buoy somewhere near Perth……………..In the Men’s Open, Boatie Blest got off to a great start…….and then, well I can’t really remember where we came in. What I do know is that Crail and Newburgh crews powered it out to the finishing line making it look easy, and I think, causing the established crews to chew their lips for the future. This was followed by a Women’s Open, and a Men’s Over 40. By now the tide was against us, and time was running out, so at this point the coxswains re grouped with the hosts, and changed the course for the final two races of the Regatta, making them sprints.

A really enjoyable part of the day had been the participation of composite teams. And, just to spice up the Women’s Over 40, Crail entered their Men’s Under 18 crew! This was a challenge too far for the Boatie composite team of; Stuart Coxing,  1 Boatie wummin and three Anster wifie’s, the latter determined to beat their compadres in the St Ayles boat. We set off at a grand thrash, that took the Anster mob 30 seconds to adjust to and never looked back, well except to the Crail youths who came scarily close to catching us………….but no this time, our gold was in the bag. This was followed by another exhilarating sprint in the Mixed Open. The day ended, in great high spirits. Newburgh proved great hosts and willing listeners, as they took on board sensible suggestions of changes to their plans. Thank you, Newburgh for a day of pleasure and surprises, and good fellowship.

Martine Robertson, Boatie Blest.

The Results were.

Mens Open

1 Crail 21.36

2 Newburgh 22.03

3 Anstruther 22.50

Women’s Open

1 Anstruther 20.50

2 Crail 21.52

3 Pittenweem 27.01

Men’s Over 40

1 Crail 19.51

2 Newburgh 20.25

Women’s Over 40

1 Boatie Blest 6.34

2 Crail 6.40

3 Anstruther 8.27

Mixed Open

1 Anstruther 6.04

2 Port Seton 6.14

3 Pittenweem 6.27

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