Seil (Scottish Gaelic: Saoil, Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: ) is one of the Slate Islands, located on the east side of the Firth of Lorn, 7 miles (11 kilometres) southwest of Oban, in Scotland.Seil has been linked to the mainland by bridge since the late 18th century. The origins of the island's name are unclear and probably pre-Gaelic.
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Covid could have left rowers high and dry at the weekend instead of taking part in their annual Castle to Crane event, but an alternative plan saved the day.
Undeterred, a ‘rowing from home’ event went ahead on Sunday which saw 118 clubs take part, including the one from Seil.
Allowing clubs to post a time from their home waters meant a far bigger entry, with 118 teams competing with about 700 rowers joining in.
It also meant clubs from further afield could take part too from their own shores, including ones from Tasmania and Cornwall.
The Castle to Crane Course usually goes from Dumbarton Castle at the mouth of the River Leven up to the Finnieston Crane in Glasgow. In normal years it is part of the Clydebuilt Festival, held under the auspices of The Tall Ship at the Riverside Museum in Glasgow.
‘Everyone was a winner obviously, by being able to take part,’ said Sue Fenton from Isle of Seil Coastal Rowing Club but the winner of Castle to Crane’s Median Trophy for 2020 was Burghead Coastal Rowing Club in their St Ayles Skiff called Tarbh Uisge, Gaelic for water bull.
The Seil crew put in an admirable performance completing the course in one hour, 13 minutes and 44 seconds, battling against the wind that got quite choppy as it blew against the tide, especially at the entrance to Cuan.
‘No cranes not even a heron in flight in sight on this Castle to Crane event but the skiff did pass the Castle of the Dogs on the island of Torsa,’ added Sue.