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New Perth Coastal Rowing Club offers free introductory sessions

Perth coastal rowing club is looking for members
David Gilbertson and Ruth Buckley-Jones of Perth Coastal Rowing Club with their skiff ''The Silvery Pearl''. Picture Steve MacDougall/DCTMedia.

The coastal rowing phenomenon has reached Perth and a new club is looking for members.

The nautical craze started in Anstruther in 2009.

And since then clubs have been springing up all over the country.

While Perth isn’t on the coast, people there are also keen to take to the oars and have already enjoyed a taster session on the Tay.

David Gilbertson with club secretary Ruth Buckley-Jones
David Gilbertson with club secretary Ruth Buckley-Jones. Picture Steve MacDougall / DCT Media.

The Perth Coastal Rowing Club shares premises with the town’s sailing club at Lairnwell, near the Friarton Bridge.

Chairman David Gilbertson described it as a phenomenal social activity.

The club initially set up in 2019 with its St Ayles skiff, Silvery Pearl.

It was built as part of a project by Perth High School under the auspices of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

But the pandemic intervened and everything was put on hold until earlier this year.

“In April we had a memorable row with seven other skiffs on the annual Tay River row from Perth to Wormit via Newburgh and Balmerino,” said David.

“Now we are keen to spread the word and try to recruit new members.”

Free introductory rowing sessions

Each crew is made up of four rowers and a cox.

And Perth Coastal Rowing Club is offering four free introductory rowing sessions to potential recruits.

There are now more than 200 coastal rowing clubs in Scotland.

And they use a four-oar St Ayles skiff, based on vessels used by miners in the mid-1950s.

There was a strong interest in boating among Scots mining and fishing communities and many held their own regattas.

While it all but died out, the Scottish Fisheries Museum supported an initiative to restart “intercommunity rowing” in 2009.

And the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association was formed the following year.

There are now clubs as far afield as New Zealand and South Africa.

Anyone interested in joining the Perth club can apply here or email David Gilbertson at

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