Wormit Rowers’ Success in 5 Mile from Home Challenge 2023

Between 27 September and 1 October 2023 this year’s 5 Miles From Home challenge took place at locations throughout the UK and beyond, hosted by Welsh Sea Rowing in association with Ocean to Ocean and the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association.
Once again Wormit’s skiffies took part, with entries in the Mixed, Women’s and Men’s categories.  The Mixed crew rowed Flying Boat on the Tay on Wednesday 27 September, and the Women’s and Men’s crew took part on Loch Tay on Saturday 30 September.  In accordance with the rules for this ‘virtual’ event, crews and individuals in all types of human-propelled craft, ranging from traditional working boats, curraghs, skiffs, gigs and longboats to contemporary ocean racing shells, kayaks, canoes and even SUPs, completed an ‘out-and-back' course of 5 miles, beginning and finishing as close as possible to the same spot.  Rather than an out-and-out race, the ‘winner’ was the boat that achieves the median time of all those participating.  Final times are adjusted to take into account variable factors, including freshwater and seawater conditions, and published soon after the event. Wormit was participating in the main Fixed-Seat Rowing Boat class, along with 87 other St Ayles skiffs entries.  And the results are in!
In fair conditions our Mixed over 50 crew, the self-styled SkiffieJiffies, put in an excellent home waters row in Flying Boat, pulling hard against an incoming tide for the first leg before returning on a rapidly rising tide.  A very creditable time of 51:12 sec gave them 18th place overall out of a field of 165 craft.  Not only did this make them the 7th fastest St Ayles skiff in the whole event, but the fastest Over 50 Mixed St Ayles skiff crew overall.
Meanwhile the Wormit Women’s crew AKA The Pink Ladies, rowing on a breezy Loch Tay in the Open age category, achieved an outstanding time of 55:41 sec, making them the 4th fastest Women’s St Ayles crew, 24th fastest overall St Ayles skiff and 42nd in all classes of boat.
Finally, not to be outdone, Wormit’s men rowers, Too Many Alpha Males, also competing on Loch Tay on Saturday, came in fourth fastest St Ayles skiff in the whole competition with a time of 50:15 sec, pretty good for an Open/Any age category and 12th overall out of all classes of boat.
By comparison, the fastest time for a St Ayles skiff this year was Kittiwake 2 rowed by Kilclief Coastal Rowing Club with an amazing time of 45:57 sec, and the St Ayles skiff supporting the league was Hoi Larntan rowed by a Mixed Over 50 crew from Coastal Rowing Association Blakeney, with an equally arresting time of 1:54:53 sec.  A final result for stats nerds: one Skur boat took part, rowed by the Euphame Girls of North Berwick Rowing Club, with an adjusted time of 1:10:40 sec.  With our own flotilla of Club-owned and private Skurs, no doubt we will be having a go at beating that in next year’s 5 Miles from Home!
Big thanks and congratulations to all those Club members who took part in this year’s 5 Miles From Home challenge, whether rowing, coxing, towing, launching and recovering boats, providing encouragement and sustenance, or supporting the overall effort.  Well done all!