Team spirit, strong community and fantastic weather made our action-packed, fun-filled day a success!
Photography by Kirstin McEwan
On 13th August 2022, we welcomed teams of sailors, coastal rowers, canoes and kayaks to the River Nith as they battled it out for the fastest time from Glencaple to Dumfries and back.
It was a bright, warm and sunny day which made for perfect conditions for those who joined us to watch the race at Mill Green, or taking part in the activities we had running across the day.
Produced by The Stove Network and supported by Dumfries & Galloway Council and Historic Environment Scotland, we were pleased that this year’s event attracted a record number of race participants not only from the local area, but from across Scotland too!
This year, the boats transported a signal flag, each created by young people during EcoArt’s flag making workshops in the weeks preceding the race.
As the boats arrived the flags were raised over the town’s iconic Suspension Bridge, proudly welcoming the racing vessels and signalling the halfway point of the race.
“For me a real highlight of this year’s Nithraid was to see more boats in the middle of town than ever, including spectators on the river, taking part in a celebration of the Nith in the heart of Dumfries. It was the largest entry to date for the event with huge increases in the Coastal Rowing and the Racing Kayak elements.”Mark Zygadlo, Race Organiser
Nithraid is an event for the community, not just those who take part in the race itself.
“We were thrilled with this year’s race entry list, it is testament to the hard work the Nithraid team have put in over the years to build a following for the event. Nithraid has faced a few challenges over the years, with bad weather, COVID, etc, but this year really did feel special and we’re so happy that the event attracted people to Dumfries from all over Scotland, some visiting the town for the first time. Nithraid is a real celebration of the Nith and of Dumfries and we hope that we develop the event for next year and attract more people to our beautiful town.”Sal Cuddihy, Nithraid Project Manager and Head of Production at The Stove Network
This year in addition to the annual River Race, the Stove Network led a series of family-friendly activities throughout the day, all free of charge and accessible along the banks of the River Nith, including:
- EcoArt Flags – Land: Signals to the World – Signal flag designing workshop
- ‘Migratory Trails’ – A stamp sheet treasure hunt at Dock Park
- ‘Find the Coo’ – Treasure hunt from Dumfries to Kingholm Quay
- Simon Lidwell’s Viking Cluaran
- ‘Source to Sea’ – A pre-recorded QR audio performance by Hugh McMillan
In addition, many of the town’s pubs joined in with the festivities, offering live music and special Nithraid-themed hospitality. We had The Dougie Arms, Coach and Horses Inn and The Riverside Bar all joining in on the fun!
But, let’s get back to the race…
Though conditions were grand for all those enjoying the race more comfortably on dry land, the warm weather added an extra challenge to our incredible competitors who all did extremely well to endure the heat and complete the race!
We can’t thank you enough for all the hard work you put in to giving us another brilliant race this year, you’re all winners in our eyes.
However, we think it’s important to give credit to those who battled it out for the fastest time and we know how integral the competitive element of the race is to those who take part, so here are this year’s winners!
|Coastal Rowing||Firth of Clyde Rowing Club||#12|
|Racing Kayak||Will Stevely*||#28|
We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for an error we made earlier in our announcing of the winner of the racing kayak category. The correct winner has been shown above*, and we’d like to give thanks to the competitors for your brilliant sportsmanship and camaraderie for bringing this to our attention.
Nithraid 2022 wouldn’t be Nithraid without the race, so we want to say a HUGE thank you and well done! to all who took part this year and gave us a wonderfully memorable and exciting race.
Thank you also to EcoArt, Simon Lidwell & the Cluaran Heritage Project clan and Hugh McMillan for the wonderful entertainment and activity at Mill Green; the safety boats who were out on the Nith all day to keep the competitors safe; Nith Inshore Rescue, who do the vital work of keeping our waters safe all year-round; all those who volunteered at this year’s event to help us set up and facilitate the race; and the businesses around Dumfries who set up special live entertainment around the town to help us celebrate Nithraid more widely this year – The Dougie Arms, Coach and Horses Inn and The Riverside Bar.
We’re thrilled at the success of Nithraid 2022 and are grateful for all the help and support we’ve received to help make it happen.
– The Stove Network
For more information on Nithraid, visit our webpage here.