Even the word regatta sounds posh. Sailing for me has always been one of those pursuits that I’ve admired but looks fantastically out of reach. This past weekend, I enjoyed seeing boats out by Portobello and Elie. My goodness they got the weather for it.
The last time I was in the Forth was to row with the Port Edgar Dragons, a wonderful rowing group for women living with or recovering from cancer. Together they gently row the waters beneath the old and new Forth crossings. You couldn’t wish for a more spectacular backdrop.
The ‘dragon’ they row is a narrow, intricate boat with a beautifully crafted head. Equally beautiful skiff boats are being turned out of both Craigroyston and Castlebrae high schools and I hope along with it a new generation of sea lovers. This programme is easily the best realisation of what Curriculum for Excellence is supposed to be about that I’ve seen. The children building it are learning maths skills while they use their hands to sand down and carve the boat. They learn geography as they understand currents and the changing of the tides. History too.
Once the boats are built and painted, they’re launched from Portobello beach and kept at the sailing club on the promenade for use whenever the weather slows. It’s the most wonderful community project that’s breaking down barriers, creating new skills and making waves. Long may it continue.