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'Skiffaceous' Cromarty on crest of a wave after regatta success

By Hector MacKenzie

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The triumphant Cromarty ladies team. Picture: Louise Mackay.
The triumphant Cromarty ladies team. Picture: Louise Mackay.

A BLACK Isle town where more than half of the population is understood to have caught the rowing bug was hailed this week "the most skiffaceous conurbation in Scotland" after success at an inaugural regatta in the Highlands.

Cromarty and Community Rowing Club was amongst several Ross-shire contenders taking to the water for the first regatta held by their counterparts in Golspie.

A report for the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association hailed Cromarty's success in emerging overall winner. It said: "Wins were well shared out among the visiting clubs with categories going to Avoch, Ullapool, Coigach, Cromarty and Bunnillidh. In the points competition a couple of seconds for Golspie helped them to second overall but the winner on points was Cromarty. This town of 700 people has two skiff clubs and it has been said that 400 people have tried out rowing, which makes Cromarty the most skiffaceous conurbation in Scotland."

It went on: "Inaugural regattas are always special but this had a number of firsts. They had gone out of their way to lay 10 start marks and 10 turn marks to make a 2km out-and-back course along the coast, which is a big task for any club. For new club Strathpeffer it was their first competitive regatta.

"There was delicious food and a craft fair, wooden medals by the local school and a pipe band to finish off. 10 local clubs attended, with Avoch, Bunillidh, Burghead, Coigach, Cromarty, Findhorn, Golspie, Strathpeffer, Sutors and Ullapool contesting 10 races.

"Although the sea was reasonably smooth, a swell ensured that there was enough surf on the sandy beach to fill skiffs whose crews were not used to surf, and several needed tipping over or baling out before heading off to the next race.

"Well done Golspie for a very enjoyable and well organised first regatta, I hope the first of many."

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