32 youth and adult Foccr rowers returned home windswept, sunned, exhausted and exhilarated after an incredible week of competing with more than 50 Coastal Rowing Clubs and 708 crews from Worldwide at the Skiffie World Championships in Stranraer from 7 – 13th July. After 6 days of stiff competition and fierce fun the Foccrs are now positioned 12th in the SkiffieWorld rankings.
A huge victory for the mixed Under 19 crew of Robbie Graham, Michael Donnachie, Ross Gibb and Lara Morrison, expertly coxed by Hugh MacLean, who rowed their hearts out to take bronze on the final day of racing. These young people braved a strong head wind up Loch Ryan to pull the boat through choppy waters to the half way marker buoy and then surfed on a roll of galloping white horses on the return leg. The crew was well drilled and despite the challenging conditions, they rowed the course with great gusto and determination.
The first few days of the competition heralded milder though still very changeable weather conditions which set the environs for putting all the winter and spring training in Largs into practice. Each race day was expertly organised by SkiffieWorlds’ associated parties and meant that the FOCCRS were able to compete in 18 categories and a special mention to the 60 + men, men’s open, men’s under 19 and men’s under 17 who all secured places in the final.
The races were organised so that with four heats in each race, the first three in each heat went into a final with the next three going into a repechage, giving clubs a second chance to reach a final.
Aside from the grit of the 2 km races there was the chance to compete in a series of Daft Duck challenges including a flotilla of dressed skiffs on Day two which led to an award for the Foccrs’ Daft Duck Director. and the chance to swap oars for paddles in a raft race within the harbour. A team of six rafty Foccrs won gold in the raft race, just seconds ahead of Dundrum from Northern Ireland.
An amazing opportunity to be part of the St. Ayles skiff community and the racing phenomena we all enjoy.