Nairn Coastal Rowing Club are looking forward to their first ever entry into the Skiffie World Championships next month.
Starting on Sunday, June 26, the Nairn club will be competing in 12 races over a week at Kortgene in the Netherlands just five years after forming.
Basically their focus was on social rowing, but an increasing desire from some members to try their hands at competitive rowing has led to the biggest stage possible – fresh off the back of two gold medals and one bronze at the Ullapool regatta earlier this month.
Nairn will be among 60 clubs entering from all around the world, and although it may be unrealistic to expect more than a couple of medals, they have high hopes for three specific categories.
“We’ve entered 12 events over in the Netherlands, and the three that we are really pushing and training for are the ladies’ over-60s, the men’s over-60s and the mixed over-60s,” the club’s Bob Ferenth explained.
“Those are the three that we got medals for up in Ullapool, and that was our first test.
“When you go and do these things, because you’re at the whims of the weather and the tides and winds, you don’t know whether you’ll be good, bad or indifferent until you get out there.
“You can see timings from previous events, but all these conditions affect your time.
“When we went to Ullapool, we were obviously competing against others, so we kind of found our place and we know that we are competitive.
“We should be able to do relatively well over in the Netherlands, so that’s what we’re aiming to do.
“We’re out probably every second day training, so we’re very keen to take at least one medal back to Nairn.
“It would be nice to take back three from the three events that we’re targeting.”
Nairn Coastal Rowing Club still has the social element to it too.
There are different types of members at the club, with some turning their focus to competition while others remain more casual.
For those going to the Netherlands, the next few weeks will see final preparations being made to the boat, as well as refinements to technique and cardio work to boost stamina as much as possible going into the 2000 meters races.
Ullapool was a chance for them to learn as much as possible, and Nairn’s success has also fueled motivation levels ahead of the World Championships.
“We’re all extremely motivated just now.
“The Ullapool event brought home that motivation more to be honest. We are competitive, we have got the potential to bring home a medal which is what it’s all about at these events.
“Saying that, it’s also about people and friendships, creating relationships with other clubs across the world.
“There’s a bit of everything there, which is why I’m saying it’s not quite the Olympics.
“It’s probably down a scale, but it’s big in terms of Skiff clubs – the biggest.”
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