Scottish National Sea Scout Regatta 2016


On 30 October the Cramond Sea Scouts headed off to Lochgoilhead for the Scottish Sea Scout Regatta. As winners of the competition for the previous three years, they were quite rightly holding their heads high and looking forward to bringing home some more silverware. The regatta brings together over 100 Scouts from all over Scotland and is a great weekend of fun and well-fought racing. It is split between paddling and sailing events, with Cramond Sea Scouts’ dominance being in the sailing.

However, the Lochgoilhead forecast wasn’t playing ball again this year and promised 1-2 mph winds if we were lucky!  So when Saturday delivered just that, the Cramond scouts dug deep and went paddling to pick up any points they could, achieving a notable third place in the Leader kayak. Their main competitor, however, was more than dominant
with a paddle and started to rack up huge leads in the Scouts, Explorers and Leaders categories. Those trophies looked out of reach for Cramond.

Sunday morning arrived, but the wind didn’t! As lunchtime approached, Cramond were resigning themselves to no sailing, but with only 2 hours of competition left a ripple appeared on the loch. Too late to claw back the advantage they thought, but were just keen to get out and have a sail. So they were delighted when the call came and they were allowed to sail out (slowly!) to do what they enjoy best.

The race officer did a remarkable job running races in parallel and somehow rattled through all but one of the sailing events before the close. The Cramond Sea Scouts swept up the race wins and lots of valuable points, but was it enough? Well done to Euan Rogers (Scouts) and Hannah Kistruck (Explorers) who each won in single handed sailing. The crewed winners for Cramond were Henry Smith and Alasdair McKay for the Scouts and Alan Mackenzie and Greg Smith for the Leaders. Scouts and Explorers had plenty of seconds and thirds too - too many to mention here.

All participants also get an opportunity to drive a powerboat around a cut-down RYA Honda RIB challenge course against the clock. The Scouts and Explorers love it, and it has been a good event for Cramond in the past. The powerboating results were good this year too, with Euan Rogers and Hannah Kistruck achieving valuable wins for their categories.

So with the events over and the kit being packed away, the regatta officials began the final count. Cramond had some good individual wins, but had they done enough to come from behind to win a category trophy for Scouts, Explorers or Leaders? Nobody knew. The bar for Cramond Sea Scouts has been pushed pretty high, as for the last three years they have been increasingly successful :

• 2013 Overall Regatta winners
• 2014 Explorer winners and Overall winners
• 2015 Scouts winners, Explorer winners and Overall winners

Never underestimate the influence of teamwork as any points are good points and despite not winning any paddling event, Cramond stole points where they could. Still, their record in previous years was a tough act to follow and with the late arrival of the wind it didn’t look good. So it was a complete surprise when, after all the counting, Cramond Sea scouts were awarded ALL of the category trophies !

• 2016 Scouts winners, Explorers winners, Leaders winners (Joint) and Overall Winners!

That’s the first group to win ALL of the category trophies. An outstanding achievement, and well deserved for all involved. It’s a credit to the competitors, but also the adults who give up their time throughout the year to train them. In this the Cramond Sea Scouts are strongly supported by the help, encouragement and facilities of Cramond Boat Club, with whom they run a joint training programme. So thank you to all those who put in the time to allow all of the kids to learn these new skills. Skills on the water and life skills too as this is a fantastic boost to their confidence.

Well done!

November 2016
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