FOCCRS Run with the Wind up Loch Ness. Saturday 29th September – 3 hours 41 mins

65 + human powered vessels, 185 + fit crew and 22.7 miles was a pertinent representation of the scale of a mass participation self powered vessel race on Loch Ness.

The squawk of the chief umpire over the radio shortly after 9 am on a rather eerie and misty Saturday morning heralded the start of the race with the main body of the competitors pulling away amidst much fervour and little sideway glances at the neighbouring vessels. The paddle boards and pedalos had pulled away shortly after 7 am…

With a prevailing SW light wind and scattered clouds, the conditions were perfect for the challenging 22.7 mile row from Fort Augustus at the SW of Loch Ness to Dores in the NE. A mixed team of 5 rowers from the Firth of Clyde in skiff Saltire were joined by 11 other St Ayles skiffs and 65 + vessels from over 10 other boat categories including 2, 4, 6 x coastal rowing boats, pilot gigs, double kayaks 6 and 8 man coxed sculled boats, double and single canoes, and a Wemyss skiff.

It was very exciting for team FOCCR to form part of an endurance event and alongside boats from all over the UK. This race included the GB 8 team who incidentally beat their own record and were the fastest of the day in an incredible 2 hours 4 mins.

The FOCCRS maintained a strong and consistent pace throughout the navigation up the loch with practised position changes and swift hydration at timed points throughout the race. Not once did they sneak a look to see who was overtaking!

Aside from the pleasure of a long, fast and tiring row, it was thrilling to be amongst such a variety of vessels rowing hard and quick up one of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland.

In essence; we were all in the same boat….

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