Coastal rowing is a craze that’s spreading like wildfire.
Interest in the sport has been jumping from one coastal village to the next since the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association began encouraging people to build their own boats.
It’s a phenomennon that has caught on globally, with organisations popping up in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and beyond.
Here in Courier country there are a whole host of dedicated clubs who have built their own skiffs from scratch.
It’s a community venture which has united people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds in the joint mission to enjoy rowing and learn about an ancient craft.
The boats they build are no ordinary boats they come in DIY flatpacks and are handbuilt from plywood and larch.
When I heard that Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry had set up a small group Broughty Ferry Boating and were building two skiffs, I decided to investigate. And of course, this meant actually going out rowing with a team and being assigned a role.
It was a chilly but sunny afternoon when I tootled down to the club’s shiny new boathouse on Grassy Beach to meet my crew members.
Having never rowed anything other than a tiny fishing boat, my initial efforts were somewhat uncoordinated. But once I’d got over my confusion and relaxed, we all fell into sync and rowed down towards the Tay Road Bridge, stopping to enjoy the views sweeping over to Dundee, out into the Firth of Tay and across to Tentsmuir Forest.
Rowing is a great way to keep fit; if you’re doing it properly you’ll engage your core, pump up your heart rate and use muscles you never knew you had.
Check out my experience in November 15’s Courier Weekend magazine.