Thoughts on the AGM

Four of us attended the meeting in Callander, not the best thing for the legs after our energetic day on the water. Full minutes will appear in due course on the SCRA website, so this is just a brief report with comments on matters that affect us on Seil.

The main thing that struck us in the Chairman’s report was the huge expansion in skiffing with there now being 24 clubs affiliated to SCRA, nearly 60 skiffs in Scotland and another 40 or so planned or building. Of interest to us are Tobermory with one or maybe two and Oban with maybe one, (although we haven’t heard anything from them for a while). Outside the meeting we heard that Luing are building, apparently following the successful charity row round the island.

Next year there could be a mid-Argyll regatta with eight or nine local skiffs plus visitors.

The Treasurer reported that SCRA is solvent, so the subscription stays at £60 per club.

The Committee will be co-opting a couple of new members including one from Argyll – details to follow.

The main business was consideration of the measurement rules. New rules will prevent imaginative builders producing an unfair advantage, perhaps at the expense of safety. I won’t record all the detail here, but happily Selkie is well within all the new tolerances, so we don’t need to alter her in any way.

Sensible amendments include allowing polypropylene for the keel rubbing strip, which we already have, also plastic or similar strips to reduce friction between oars and pins, which we should consider adding. They also clarify that our seat positions are legal, as is our rudder, although it’s not to the shape in the plans.

It was agreed that the expansion of the class means these must be more rigorously enforced and we were reminded that spoon and asymmetric oars are not allowed.

Metal oarlocks, footrests etc remain banned, showing that Scottish skiffing is building its own ethos that some may consider mildly eccentric.

I’ll write a further post with my views about what we should be doing this winter to improve our competitiveness, mainly addressing the oars and footrests.

Most important is to recruit some younger members, as half us rowing at Loch Venachar had bus passes. Here are some further images to let people know what they’re missing.

The Crowd before the startThe Crowd  againAnster ladiesChippy McNishCox RaySelkie ladies crewSelkie ladies in action


Loch Venacher Freshwater Sprints



The freshwater sprints, the closing fixture in the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association calendar, were held on Loch Venacher in the Trossachs on 26 October. 15 skiffs took part; we weren’t last!

The Seil team of Ray, James, Jean, Mary, Sara, Louise, Ewan & Sue travelled through to take part in the Open Women, Novice Mixed and Open Mixed 500 metre sprints, with a buoy turn, and reached the final of the Novice Mixed. Selkie also took part in the long distance (2 km) race for new clubs, providing a very exciting finish with three clubs rowing neck-and-neck on the return from the turning mark. Watch out on You Tube for the exciting footage! We also provided the boat, and a crew member, for the Argyll composite team in the Inter-Regional sprint.

Many thanks to Ainsley Smith (Accountants) for sponsoring the club’s entry fee into the races, and to Ewan for towing Selkie across.

The races were hosted by the sailing club, and the rain held off until the prizegiving! Seil was not in the medal tables – but we had a good day’s rowing amongst some beautiful scenery. The programme concluded with the AGM, about which Ewan will post later.