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Coastal rowing club in Moray on the crest of a wave

By Millie Reid

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A MORAY rowing club celebrated its 10th anniversary on dry land with “a great selection of cakes and tea”.

The club now has more than 60 members.
The club now has more than 60 members.

Burghead Coastal Rowing Club’s celebration was supposed to be held at Duffus Castle’s Kula Coffee Hut alongside its annual general meeting on November 2.

However, bad weather saw the event relocated to Alves where over 30 people attended.

The club's founder, Caroline Dunbar, said: “It’s great to see the local interest is still high and that there was such a great turnout at a meeting for such a small club.”

Mrs Dunbar established the club in 2013 after moving that year to Duffus from East Lothian, where she had been a member of the Boatie Blest club in Cockenzie.

She found the lack of opportunities to row in the Moray area disappointing, so she decided to form her own club.

The club was a part of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project, where communities across the country came together to build traditional skiffs (a type of rowing boat) to be used leisurely and competitively.

After advertising in local newspapers in search of members, she received a huge amount of interest in the club.

Thanks to support from the community and the club’s fundraising efforts, the skiff’s construction in Duffus started in March 2014 and was completed six months later.

The skiff, Tarbh Uisge (gaelic for ‘water bull’), as well as the club’s base at Burghead Harbour, was launched at a ceremony on November 1, 2014.

Since then, the club has grown to having nearly 60 members and they have ventured across the UK to participate in competitions.

They took part in The Great River Race in London in 2018, Loch Ness’ Monster the Loch, and several of the Castle to Crane rows, from Dumbarton Castle to Glasgow’s Finnieston Crane.

Members also went to the Skiffie World Championships in 2019, where they came 31st out of the 55 participating clubs from around the world.

Julie Stewart, the rowing club’s captain, said: “It is so great to meet and create amazing bonds with people who share a great love for the sport and the club.”

With nature on the open sea.
With nature on the open sea.

Burghead Coastal Rowing Club welcomes people of all ages to join in their variety of sessions for fun, fitness or competition.

They also offer junior classes for children 11 and over to get involved in the sport.

When talking about the next steps for the club, Mrs Dunbar said she would like to organise a row across the Moray Firth with other clubs.

She said: “We are a really friendly club and love to work with other clubs across the north of Scotland, so this would be a great opportunity to make new connections and meet other people who love rowing as much as we do.”

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