Forth Midsummer Challenge 2018
Last year we had to make the disappointing decision to cancel our event at the final hour (or actually- the night before) due to a yellow weather warning issued by the Met Office. We didn’t make the decision lightly and the level of upset and disappointment among our club and the wider rowing community around Scotland made us realize that its not just us that love this event – its a favorite event of everyone who has attended in the past.
And so – we try again.
On 30th June 2018 – our unique event – the Forth Midsummer Challenge will once again fill the North Edinburgh coastline with an exciting spectacle of boats of all sizes.
Yachts with sails up and spinnakers flying will race between Newhaven and Granton Harbours whilst St Ayles rowing skiffs from all over Scotland and England will compete around a course laid out in the bay itself. The final leg of the relay is undertaken by runners, sprinting between the two harbours.
Of course – its not all about the racing. Pre racing cake and coffee, plus post race drinks, bbq and music at Granton Harbour will all take care of the social side of the rowing and yachting communities and ensure that everyone leaves our event with not just a handmade medal but great memories of the friendliest regatta of the year.
This years Forth Midsummer Challenge was held on 18th of June 2016 – once again cohosted by Newhaven Coastal Rowing Club and Corrinthains Yacht Club.
Our race is unique on the Scottish Coastal Rowing calender, involving racing yachts, rowing skiffs and intrepid runners, it once again reflects the spirit of mucking about with friends on the water. A 6 leg relay race (with the runner acting as the ‘baton’ inbetween Granton and Newhaven harbour, with yachts, skiffs and runners each taking 2 legs of the relay – in previous years its been an exciting and closely fought race and this year proved to be no exception.
It was a grey morning, but with a slight breeze, and the hopeful promise of sunshine later in the day, skiffies, yachties and runners were all fueled by bacon rolls and coffee before heading out on the water. The Yachts were away swiftly, racing to Newhaven harbour with thir runners on board whilst the rowers waited expectantly on the pontoon for news of their runner returning. Excited shouts alerted rowing crews and as runners joined their skiffs, the boats headed out into Wardie Bay as the first rowing leg of the relay commenced. Some excellent rowing followed and all teams returned to granton looking strong as the runners sprinted off once again and duly returned with the yachts.
A brief intermission of more coffee, hot soup, and for some clubs, a crew change and then the final leg of the relay began. A Grand Prix rolling start with a slow lap of the harbour first, the skiffs went off fast in the order that the teams had completed the earlier legs of the relay.
Newhaven lead the start of this final race, but with strong teams behind them, this was always going to be a hard final row for everyone. The lucky support crew that were on the spectator yachts got to see some truely competitive and skilled rowing as Anstruther showed themselves once again to be a fiercely strong team and they were first past the post with a convincing win.
Full race results with rowing clubs and yachts are below:
4. N Berwick/Saphire Maxi
5. St Andrews/Maxine
7. Portobello/Kashanji II
9. Dunbar/Eastie Beastie
The sun had come out over the course of the afternoon, taking everyone by suprise, so as the skiffs were recovered and the bbqs were lit, last minute suncream was applied and tshirts sales increased!
It was great to see all particiants enjoying a drink and a burger with us as medals were awarded to the winning team and Dunbar were giving a fantastic cake as a prize for the most determined crew to participate after turning up with 2 crew members, a runner, their boat and a huge bag of enthusiasm!
Newhaven Coastal Rowing and Corrinthians Yacht Club would like to thank all those who came along, helped out, rowed, ran, sailed, bbqed and just generally had a great time.