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Moray Firth Relays Big Day For Skiffs At RowAround Scotland Event With Plastic Trawl For Citizen Scientists

Row Around Scotland – crews from Fortrose, Avoch, Ardersier and Nairn take part. Fortrose Helmsman John Baraclough (center) and his crew. Photo: Callum Mackay

The rowers traveled to the Moray Firth to participate in a recent Relay Challenge as part of the Year of Coastal Waters.

Teams from Nairn and Ardersier, as well as Avoch and Fortrose on the Black Isle, competed in the national event – which locally saw boats crossing the Inner Moray Firth before moving on to d ‘other skiffs for the stage from Ardersier to Nairn via Fort George.

The Row Around Scotland 2021 initiative was organized by the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association, with 70 member clubs participating. The event aimed to help reach out to communities, as well as promote the delights of the beautiful Scottish coastline and waters along the way.

Berny Welsh (62), Nairn Rowing Club, said: “The Ester and Dulsie Skiffs rowed 16.5km from Ardersier to Nairn on the Moray Firth on Thursday 8th July.

“It’s not the best time to start, but it ended in a storm when the wind died down and the dolphins came out to welcome us home.

“The Ardersier community made us all proud, lying on a nice gap and with an enthusiastic crowd, to welcome the three skiffs of Avoch and Chanonry and to send the Ardersier and Nairn crews to our longest row to date. “

He continued, “There was also a citizen science aspect to the challenge. As part of the row, we also collected water samples over a mile of the ride.

“The sample will then be sent to SAMS (Scottish Association for Marine Science) in Oban for testing.”

Mr Welsh, who has been rowing for two years, said being part of the single sculling community in Nairn was a “wonderful pastime”. He said: “It has been a difficult time for the past 18 months, and it has been liberating when the restrictions loosened and we were able to get back to sea. There is no such thing.

Chanonry Rowing member Sandra Hogg, who rowed the north side of the estuary to meet with Team Ardersier and Nairn, said the witness transfer was a “big day”.

She added: “Then Avoch rowed for the transfer of the stick before heading to Ardersier all of us for a great welcome with sandwiches and cakes!”

READ: Cash sails to Ardersier boat builders

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