Scotland celebrates its coasts and waterways

SCOTLAND’S Year of Coasts and Waters – a celebration of the coasts, rivers and inland waterways, on and off the water – takes place in 2020.

RYA Scotland’s plans for the year include ‘Route N Aboot’ which will run throughout 2020 and encourage people to get on to the water in any boat of their choice and record their miles. RYA Scotland is hoping to launch a tracking app to register every boater’s journey and build a total mileage to complete a virtual circumnavigation of Scotland’s coast (6,160 miles around the mainland, some 10,250 miles including the many Scottish islands).

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The tracks will be collated on to a heat map to show where boating takes place in Scotland throughout 2020.

A Cruising Conference is planned for March, aimed at all levels and types of sailors wishing to take their cruising experience a little further. Scottish Canals will be taking part to encourage boaters to use the transit canals (the Caledonian, Crinan and Forth & Clyde canals) and demonstrate the cruising opportunities on the lowland and highland canals.

On the Forth & Clyde, Scottish Canals and canal-based voluntary organisations will host a boating event on the weekend of May 23-24. Planning is at the early stage but will include a celebratory flotilla.

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The 2020 Fife Regatta takes place June 4-11, when a fleet of Fife Yachts will muster on the Clyde. Fife Yachts were built by three generations of the Fife family at the William Fife yard at Fairlie in Ayrshire on the Firth of Clyde, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries until 1938. Shamrock I, designed William Fife III, was skippered by Sir Thomas Lipton in the 1899 Americas Cup, representing the Royal Ulster Yacht Club.

Also in June the 27th Scottish Traditional Boat Festival returns to Portsoy in Aberdeenshire in north east Scotland with boat races, traditional crafts and activity centred around the town’s 17th century harbour.

The fourth Glasgow Canal Festival is planned for July 25 on the Glasgow branch of the Forth & Clyde, overlooking the city between Speirs Wharf and Firhill Basin. Fun for all the family will include live music, workshops and a celebration of the area’s heritage.

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Clydebuilt Festival will take place on the weekend of September 19-20. Located beside the Clyde in Glasgow, at the Riverside Museum, there will be opportunities to get on to the water in small boats to try traditional skills and see Scotland’s largest open water rowing race, Castle to Crane, 13 miles from Dumbarton Castle to Glasgow’s Finnieston Crane.

In October (9–11th), Scotland’s Boat Show will feature a River of Light, when illuminated boats will gather off the shore at Kip Marina and shore-side activities will include a torchlight procession and entertainment. Details of events throughout 2020 can be found at www.visitscotland.com/about/themed-years/coasts-waters/

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