The Loch Awe Coastal Rowing Club (LACRC) – formerly the Kilchrenan, Inverinan & Dalavich CRC (KIDs) – was formed following the launch of the St Ayles skiff “Mingulay” on 14 July 2018 at the Ardanaiseig Hotel boathouse (see photos below).
“Mingulay” was the first skiff to be launched on a fresh water loch in Scotland and unusually, was built as a personal project by the current Club President with no real thought to the future, but such was the turnout at the launch that forming a club was a natural progression.
Thus, the sport of coastal rowing was introduced to Loch Awe and by late September 2018, KIDs had adopted its own Constitution and became affiliated to the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association (SCRA) which was formed in 2009, to promote the building and rowing of coastal boats and foster social friendships and cultural exchange.
In March 2019, KIDs won a National Lottery Award specifically to order a second bare wood skiff, this time to be commercially made at the TallShip, Riverside, Glasgow. A second community grant award followed soon afterwards which would enable this skiff to be completed and also a set of oars and a road trailer to be purchased.
In late April 2019, KIDs hosted an inaugural regatta – the Loch Awe Adventure – at Dalavich in which 10 skiffs took part from clubs across Scotland. This event was a success and so it was decided to make it an annual occurrence.KIDs launched its second skiff, “Cruachan”, on 29 August, and three weeks later she and “Mingulay” took part in the 21km race from Dumbarton Castle to Finnieston Crane in Glasgow (Castle to Crane) together with 73 other skiffs. This was our first away event and though both boats, one with an all female crew and the other all male, finished well down the order it was an enjoyable and invaluable experience.
In late November, KIDs was fortunate enough to win yet another community grant to enable us to buy a team pop up shelter/gazebo and a launch trolley. Also in November, it was decided to rename KIDs the “Loch Awe Coastal Rowing Club” to better reflect the membership and also common usage.
LACRC is still in its infancy but already has a diverse membership with people of varied backgrounds, ages and abilities as well as shapes and sizes. Week by week we are discovering the benefits of rowing and the fun to be had both on and off the water. However, there is still much to do particularly to increase our membership and find a loch side base for at present every rowing session involves time spent towing boats to and from various launch sites.
We are pleased to announce that the Club achieved Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) status on 30 June 2020. The Club’s Charity No is SC050249.