Thursday, 19 June 2014


This past weekend has seen a flurry of activity on the beach at Portobello, just yards from my front door, with a whole manner of beachy-type things going on with rowing boats, baton relays and fun runs.

On Saturday morning a large gathering of people from all over Scotland started to grow near the local coffee shop, The Beach House. Traditional skiffs from as far away as Wick, Stornoway and Ullapool, to Eyemouth, North Berwick and Dunbar, descended upon Portobello Beach to compete with Row Porty's very own skiffs, in the Scottish Coastal Rowing Regatta for 2014. Out of nine teams Portobello came joint 1st with North Berwick.

It was a glorious sunny day with light winds and a wonderful atmosphere among the crowds enjoying the rowing and the beach itself, from ten in the morning until five in the evening.

Shortly before the rowers packed up for the day though, a historic one-off event took place around 4.30pm. In the lead up to the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, starting on the 23rd July, the Queen's Baton Relay took place along the length of the promenade. Each runner only had the baton for 200 yards, but the support and atmosphere of the excited crowds was not in short supply. One of my friends from a local youth group was a proud father as his son Michael took the baton from the local swimming pool to just outside my house. If you want to see a short, minute-long, film of the event click on the picture.

And so to Sunday, and on another great day the local Portobello Running Club had organised a four-mile beach race in aid of a local charity, and once again the crowds turned out in both participation and support.

I already love the place where I live, but to see such great use of the mile-long beach front just enforces how lucky I am. It doesn't matter if it's meandering walks slurping melting ice-cream, or energetic rowing out on the Firth of Forth, I love all the beachy things that happen, year round, right on my doorstep.

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