How does the race work?
When does the race start? We'll run a coxes briefing at 0900 on Saturday morning, all coxes should attend. The first boat starts at 1000 with each boat starting at 1 minute intervals after that.
How do I find out my start time? Shortly after race entries close we'll email all named contacts with full details of the race including the start order and your corresponding time.
Where do we launch and recover from? Crews will launch at Sandpoint Marina in Dumbarton. This is a full facility small marina with a slipway and travel hoist. Boats will be recovered at Kelvin Harbour Slipway, by the Riverside Museum in Glasgow and is the Clydebuilt Festival site.
Can I store my boat overnight before and after the race? Absolutely! We'll have secure storage areas arranged at Dumbarton on Friday 22rd and at the Clydebuilt Festival site on Saturday 23th. We're asking any crews arriving on Friday night to unload their boat from it's trailer and take the trailer to the the trailer park at the Riverside Museum.
How do I get to the departure point? Full details of this will be available before the race. Conveniently Sandpoint Marina is less than a mile from Dalreoch Train Station, which is on the direct line from Glasgow Central and Partick train stations. To reduce traffic on the day we're encouraging all crews to use public transport if possible.
How do I get my boat back on it's trailer? Because of the complexity of getting 100 boats out the water in short time in a restricted space we'll have a volunteer team of helpers taking control of boats as they arrive in the slipway. Full details will be in your entry pack.
I want to enjoy Castle to Crane from dry land:
Where can I watch this amazing spectacle, involving the largest fleet of coastal rowing boats assembled on the Clyde since the Battle of Largs in 1263? Anywhere with a good view of the Clyde will let you watch the fleet, our friends at Scottish Canals are putting on a party at Bowling Harbour with activities and a great view of the fleet as they pass. We're also hopeful that Sustrans will be running a guided cycle along the Clyde cycle path for those that want to follow the fleet. Of course the Clydebuilt Festival is set up right at the finish line too!
Are there activities or stalls in the vicinity of the finish line? The Clydebuilt Festival will be happening all weekend around the Riverside Museum. We’re putting on a range of interesting demonstrations, entertaining activities and delicious beers! For details see here.
If I want to extend my stay in the area, where can I find accommodation information? Glasgow is full of good places to stay to suit any budget. Visit Scotland’s page is full of good information.
What else can we do in West Dunbartonshire or Glasgow while not on the water? What can’t you do? Glasgow has world class museums and art galleries, restaurants and bars. Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is right on our door step too, why not go take a boat on Loch Lomond or Climb Ben Lomond?
I am thinking about putting in an entry:
(For all questions asked by crews, check to see if the answer can be found in the SCRA Rules of Racing)
Will any rowing boat do? No, the boat must be coxed, fixed-seat and rowed using at least four oars. This could be two or more rowers with two oars each, or four or more rowers with one oar each. The boat also has to be capable of dealing with waves. If you have doubts as to whether your boat is suitable, get in touch.
Why is Castle to Crane restricted to fixed-seat boats? Fixed-seat boats are much closer in speed to each other than sliding-seat boats, and so the race will not be so strung out along the river, and will be safer and easier to manage. There are however plenty of other events open to sliding-seat boats.
Can we take a passenger? You don’t need to, and should only do so if your boat can safely accommodate the extra person. Please ensure that you provide a note of the correct number of crew on board when you register.
Can my club enter more than one boat? Absolutely! We’d love you to enter everything you have got that has fixed-seats, at least four oars, and a rudder controlled by a cox!
Do I have to be part of a rowing club to enter? No, any group with a suitable boat can enter, provided they have appropriate insurance in place for using their boat and they abide by the rules of the race.
I have never rowed before, should I enter? The answer to that depends on when you are asking it! You will need to learn to row reasonably well as a crew and get rowing-fit, for what is a significant challenge.
Why do rowers have to pay an entry fee? We are used to racing for free. However, Castle to Crane is an expensive logistical exercise to facilitate, not least because the start and finish are 13 miles apart. We aim to break even, with any surplus being ploughed back into running the event in future years. The entry fee of £20 per rower is less than all other similar events that we know of.
Must we use wooden oars, or are other types eg carbon allowed ? All boats that are in a class (St Ayles Skiffs, Cornish Pilot Gigs, Celtic Longboats etc) must comply with the measurement rules of their class. So, if your class normally allows carbon oars, yes. Otherwise, no, unless as part of a reasonable adaptation to allow otherwise disable athletes to take part in the event.
During the Race:
How long will the race take? That depends on several factors, including how hard you pull. There should be a 1 knot current with you, but that may depend on river conditions. We expect crews to take between 2.5 hours (fast Cornish Pilot Gigs) and 4 hours (slower coxed double sculls and sightseers).
Can the cox and/or passenger swap and have a shot of rowing? Yes, provided that it is safe to do so, and that you ensure that your boat does not impede others while you change. If you are competing in a particular category (eg “mixed” or “over 50”) you must ensure that your rowing crew complies with that category at all times in the race.
Why do we have to wear lifejackets/buoyancy aids at all times? This is required by the Rules of Racing of the SCRA. All our risk assessments and emergency plans proceed on the assumption that everyone on the water will be wearing PFD. Please respect this. If any crew member is seen not to be complying with this rule at any time during the race, that crew will be disqualified, and no time will be recorded.
Can we swap in crew from ashore during the race? No, we have no facility for doing this at Castle to Crane 2017. If you are in it, you are in it for the long haul!
Where are we going? You can see the route on our Navigation Notes on the website. Crews should print a hard copy to carry with them during the race, and it may also be useful to have a look at OS Landranger 64 and the Clyde Leisure Navigation Guide.
What will we see along the way? Our 13-mile route is bursting with historic landmarks, you'll be able to read more in out Heritage Notes as soon as they are ready.
What do we do in an emergency? If you need help, attract the attention of the nearest safety boat, either by VHF radio (stating your race number, name and position on the course) or by waving/hailing. What happens will depend on the nature of the emergency. There are various emergency exit points along the river as specified in the Navigation Notes. These exit points are exit for the crew - we may still have to find a way of getting your boat to a slipway once the crew are safe and well. Remember that the crew will be our priority, not the boat.
Do we have to carry an anchor? No, the usual rule that anchors must be carried is suspended. However, you must carry a towing line, a second long line that can be used for mooring, and some fenders.
What VHF channel are we using? This will be highlighted to you prior to the start of the race. Competitors should not broadcast on VHF except in an emergency. At all other times, if communication with race organisers is required, it should be achieved by hailing one of the escort/ safety boats. They will then communicate by VHF or mobile phone with race control.