Inverness Rowing Club travelled to central France with ten athletes plus several supporters as part of a strong Scottish contingent for the 30th FISA World Masters Regatta held on the seven lane championship course on the spectacular River Allier in Vichy from 4th to 7th September.
Mandy Towrie and Susanne Standish-Hunter pulled off a shock win over last year's gold medallists in the Veteran C double sculls with their winning time of 3 minutes 53.23 seconds being the fastest of all six heats making them the fastest crew out of a huge entry of 42 crews. Mandy and Susanne had a terrific start and led the race throughout and responded to strong challenges from the Fredensborg crew from Denmark who fought hard to retain their world title. The Inverness crew resisted all these challenges to win their Gold Medals by 2/3rds of a length to the great delight of both the Inverness and Scottish support teams. A magnificent achievement for the Inverness double scullers who earlier this season won a number of races in this event, including the Scottish Championships and Womens Henley Regatta.
Hazel Smith was the club's other Gold Medallist winning her two medals in Veteran C Eights and Veteran B Coxless Fours and also gaining some other good second and third places all in composite crews with other Scottish club athletes.
Former Inverness member John Poland, now rowing for Dart and Totness Rowing Club, won both Veteran D and Veteran E Single Sculls and achieved a very good second place in Veteran D Double Sculls with Iain Morton from Inverness on board.
The Inverness crew of Catherine Morton, Hazel Smith, Susanne Standish-Hunter and Mandy Towrie were just beaten to the line by the winning French crew from Charleville Meziares in their Veteran C Coxed Four race. This crew in combination with other Scottish athletes just missed another gold medal by a mere 0.53 seconds in their Veteran B Eights race behind the London club UK Gold.
In their Veteran C Coxless Fours race, Catherine Morton, Ailie Ord (Clydesdale ARC), Mandy Towrie and Susanne Standish-Hunter achieved an excellent third place just one length behind the winning Czechoslovakian crew.
A number of other very good results were achieved in extremely close racing. In a composite crew with Warwick Rowing Club, Brian Bell and Tom Baker missed gold by less than one length in Veteran C Coxless Fours. They were just pipped on the line in their Veteran C Coxless Pairs race and achieved third place in the Veteran D Coxless Pairs. Joined by Iain Morton and Alastair Duff , they gained an excellent second place in the Veteran C Coxed Fours and with Ian Hunter and Roy Sinclair on board just missed out on a top three place in Veteran E Coxed Fours.
Iain Morton raced in Veteran B and Veteran C Single Sculls whilst Alastair Duff raced in Veteran A and Veteran B Single Sculls, both on the pace but just out of the top three places in each of their events. Roy Sinclair combined with Ian Hunter in Veteran E and later with Iain Morton in Veteran D Coxless Pairs events in each event just missing out on top three places. In the Mixed D Eights on the Sunday, Ian Hunter and Roy Sinclair accepted an invitation to race with the Gwelph Rowing Club from Toronto in Canada and achieved a satisfactory 4th place in a most exciting race.