2004 Season Rowing DatesCollafirth - Saturday 29th May, Burra - Saturday 5th June, Whiteness and Weisdale - Saturday 12th June, Vidlin - Friday 25th June, Unst - Saturday 3rd July, Brae to Aith (7 mile race) - Wednesday 7th July, Aith - Friday 9th July, Ness - Saturday 21st August, Lerwick - Sunday 22nd August, Yell (Championships) Saturday 28th August.
Well, here we go again! First race of the new season, and true to tradition ... it's blowing a gale at Collafirth! But never to be put off, Bigton fielded
a total of 6 teams for this regatta, a splendid effort with only Aith coming close with 5 teams in total. What a start to the season!
First up ... the veteran men.
Our newly painted yoal arrived, now boasting a very Faroese-looking 'go faster' red stripe, more white and less blue, and this, combined with the new matching red life jackets (many thanks to James and Neil at the Malakoff shop for their help and patience with lifejackets and paint!) well, dare I say it ... didn't da auld men look guid!!! Still smarting from their 'one second' defeat by Aith at the end of last season, they set off determined to set the record straight ... and they nearly did! A very good second place ... perhaps only given to lull Aith into a false sense of security??? Only time will tell.
Next up were the women. A strong team set off, and a strong team returned! Also taking a second place. Following the women's race was the men. Again a good result with the men placing fourth in the biggest race of the day - 11 yoals! Then ... the veteran women. And another second!! Is there no stopping us!?
No, there isn't ... a first place for our brand new team of under 16 boys, who gallantly gave up the Bigton yoal to the under 16 lasses and rowed alongside them in the Burra yoal, Hadd At. Thanks to Burra for lending the boys their yoal. It was much appreciated. The lasses also performed splendidly with a very good looking team crossing the line in a brilliant sprint-to-the-finish second place! The sea conditions were so poor that it was decided that the bairn's would only row roughly half the course. This is reflected in their times.
Unfortunately, Yell was the only under 21's team, so did not get the chance to row. Very disappointing for them but they at least they too went home with maximum points and a trophy.
So, a very successful day for Bigton. Thanks to all who made the trip to Collafirth, whether to row, cox or spectate and we hope to see you all again at Burra on Saturday 5th of June.
For a complete list of finishing times for the Collafirth regatta, please click here
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Burra regatta so have no report.
However, for a complete list of finishing times for the Burra regatta, please click here
Whiteness and Weisdale
Sunshine! At last, a bonny day!
The day kicked off with the hotly contested veteran men's race, with only one second separating Aith and Bigton as they crossed the line it was very exciting indeed. Sadly, for Bigton, it was Aith who just managed to cross the line first! Following the veteran men's race was the women. Again another closely fought race with Bigton crossing the line in third place only 3 and a half seconds behind Burra and 7 seconds behind Aith.
The biggest race of the day was, again, the men's race. Bigton placed 6th in this race with only 17 seconds separating 8 of the 10 boats. Another 3rd for Bigton from the veteran women and also from a mixed under 16's team who rowed a brilliant race in deteriorating weather conditions.
The day's festivities were rounded off with a disco in the Snooker Club. A good time was had by all ... but what alcohol mix did Janette and Kerry put in that 'punch' bowl? I only had one sip, and my stomach's not been right all day!!!
For a complete list of finishing times for the Whitedale regatta, please click here
Thursday ... not looking too good for rowing on Friday! However, by Friday evening the wind had dropped sufficiently for the races to take place. The bairn's were scheduled first with both our lasses and boys taking 3rd places.
After the 'peerie' ones, came the Under 21's. Lasses first, with Whalsay taking the honours ahead of Vidlin and Yell. Sadly there was no competition for Yell in the Under 21 Men's race, but they receive full points.
The next two races were the 'big' ones, with 10 yoals taking part in both the Open Women's and Open Men's races. The Bigton ladies were pushed into 4th place by the Lerwick yoal and 0.8 of a second!!! The men didn't fair quite so well placing 9th out of the 10.
Next up, the Veteran Women. A close run race which saw them achieving 3rd place out of a strong field of 5 yoals. Finally, the most hotly contested race of the 8 ... the veteran men. Can 'wir auld 'eens' pull it off this time and beat Aith to the finishing line???? YES!!!!! A nail-biting race and heart stopping sprint to the finish saw our men beating Aith across the line by just over 1 second!!! They also clocked up the second fastest time of the day, bettered only by the Burra Open Men's team. Well done guys! Long may you reign!!!! For a complete list of finishing times for the Vidlin regatta, please click here
As always, Unst was a BIG weekend! Kicking off on the Friday afternoon with the Quadrathon, a combination of swimming, cycling, running and rowing and ably won by the Bigton team of 'Helen's Headcases' - need I say more?!
This was follwed by the four-legged pub crawl and dancing to the foot-stomping 'Silver Penguins'in the Baltasound Hall.
Rowing, it being the reason for all this revelry, kicked off on Saturday with the Under 21 Men. This was followed by the Veteran Women where a sprint to the finish saw Bigton crossing the line in second place, just 0.06 seconds ahead of Unst. Wow! Next up were the Under 16 Lasses, with Bigton gaining a good third place. Then it was the turn of the Veteran Men. Only two competitors took part this day, Bigton and Unst, with Bigton taking the trophy.
Following this race was the Under 16 Boys, and another second place. However, the most exciting race of the day (not that I'm biased or anything!) had to be the Open Women's race. With the Bigton ladies leading the pack most, if not all, the way, victory was snatched -yes! snatched! - from their grasp by Aith and TWO HUNDREDTH'S of a second!!!! A tragedy!!! Click on the picture for a closer look.The days racing finished off with the Open Men's race. No medals for Bigton here, but a good race nonetheless.
However, the festivities didn't end there. The traditional tug-of-war was won by the Burra men and the 'Bonxies' and 'Bitumen River'provided the Saturday night entertainment in the marquee.
Sunday saw a wake up call for 'Breakfast at Tiffany's, followed by an obstacle course and, finally, chip suppers in the Uyeasound Hall. What a weekend! Thanks Unst, some party!!
For a complete list of finishing times for the Unst regatta, please click here.
This week's rowing kicked off with the 7 mile Brae to Aith race. There were only 5 yoals entered this year,
with the Aith boat Rippek, and the Faroese designed ten-man boat, the Swartbakker, swelling the numbers to 7 competitors.
Because of their design, the Rippek was given a 2 minute time handicap off the start, and the Swartbakker a 3 minute handicap. With a following wind, the times were expected to be good this year, and they were. The Aith boat, the Rona, was the first to cross the line in 1 hour 6 minutes and 43 seconds. This was very closely followed by the Rippek in 1hr 06min 46sec (1:04:46, taking into account the time handicap). The Swartbakker crossed the line next, in 1hr 8min 30sec (1:05:30) followed closely by Bigton in 1 hour 9minutes and 11 seconds, an excellent time and the second yoal across the line. Less than a minute also separated the the next two yoals, with the BMC crew gaining 3rd place in 1hr 11min 08sec, just ahead of the Whiteness and Weisdale team in 1hr 12min 05sec. Last, but most certainly not least, was Vidlin in a time of 1hr 23min 23sec. Then it was off to the Hall for a much welcome feed of hot pies and sausage rolls, and, for some, more than a few drams! Thank you to Aith for their unfailing hospitality.
The main regatta kicked off on Friday night with the Under 16 boys. Because of the poor conditions, the Under 16 and Under 21 races were reduced to 1000m. For the first time, Bigton was able to enter an Under 21 Mens team. This is a very welcome addition, not only for overall points but because the Under 21's tends to be the category with the least number of competitors and often no race can be run. Our team included two under 16's who had already raced, but they gave Burra a splendid run in!
Close finishing times seems to have become a tradition in yoal racing. This was seen again in the Veteran Women's race, with Bigton being pushed into 3rd place by Unst and 4 hundredths of a second! However, the Veteran Men were taking no chances this time, leading all the way and crossing the line 8 seconds ahead of Aith. Well done guys!
For a complete list of finishing times for the Aith regatta, please click here.
The Ness regatta was cancelled due to the poor weather and sea conditions.
What a change to yesterday's weather! Sunshine, the odd shower, but bonny and bright. Two boats were launched at the Gremista marina for the joint boys/lasses Under 16's race. The lasses opted to take the Royrr, leaving the boys to take Fridarey into her inaugural race.
And what a race ... first place! The lasses also rowed well, crossing the line in third position for their group. The following race was the Under 21 men. Some of our rowers never even got out of the boat, and were joined by the one and only crew member over the age of 15. Faced with two crews of 'men', the boys competed excellently to gain another 3rd place and the associated points for the club. Our Under 16's lasses also decided to compete in the next Under 21's race. Joined by a friendly spectator hauled off the pier they also rowed well and were give 2nd place. Special mention should be made of Mhairi McNeill who, by this time, was rowing her third consecutive race! Well, I couldn't have done that!!!
After the 'young 'eens' cam da 'auld 'eens' ... sorry, I couldn't resist it! A hard fought race and nail-biting finish saw Bigton just being pipped at the post by Unst. Into 3rd place by less than a second! And then onto the 'big one' of the day ... the Veteran Men. Sadly, it was not to be. Our men rowed well but never managed to come ahead of Aith. Disappointing, but makes for an interesting end to the season as Bigton and Aith are dead level on points. Whether or not a decider will be rowed, or what action will be taken, is yet to be discussed.
The Open Men were next, 9 boats, with Bigton coming in 7th and less than 41 seconds separating the whole field. Finally, the Open Women. Again, 9 competitors tightly packed. Although Bigton crossed the line in 4th place, they were awarded third as Whiteness and Weisdale were given a time penalty of 45 seconds for being well over the line at the start. This bumped them from 3rd to 6th place. Fair or unfair .. thems the rules and the rest of us had better watch out too!
So, all in all, a very good day for Bigton. We will have to have a party shortly ... Magnie's shed is begining to look like the drinks section at Grays Wholesaler! For a complete list of finishing times for the Lerwick regatta, please click here.
To view current League Tables please click here.
Ammended 26th August 2004 to take account of points revision. To return to this page click the 'back key' in your browser.
To view adjusted League Tables (out of 6 regattas, worst score dropped) as ammended, please click here. To return to this page click the 'back key' in your browser.
First places are highlighted in pink, seconds in yellow and thirds in blue. As the league stands at the moment, Bigton's Under 16 Boys will collect 1st prize; Under 21 Men, 1st; Under 16 Girls, 3rd; Women, 3rd; Veteran Women, 3rd; with the Veteran Men lying first equal with Aith. Well done everyone! There was to be a meeting on Thursday to discuss the possibility of making the Championship in Yell into a points race to decide final positions. However, it was decided not to do this.