posted by Roy Sinclair - 25 Mar 2009

The Tideway Eights Head of the River Race took place on Saturday 21st March on the River Thames from Mortlake to Putney in fine, sunny conditions. An international crew representing Tideway Scullers wrested the first place away from last years winners Leander Club by a margin of 4 seconds whilst the top finishing Scottish crew from Glasgow RC completed the 4 1/4 mile course in fine style to finish in 36th place in an excellent time of 18 minutes 34.87 seconds. Edinburgh University BC recorded a time of 19 minutes 8.66 seconds to finish in 101st place followed by Glasgow University BC in 192nd place in a time of 19 minutes 38.98 seconds. Other Scottish crews to break the 20 minute mark were Aberdeen University BC in 19 minutes 45.85 seconds, Clydesdale ARC in 19 minutes 46.51 seconds, Strathclyde University BC in 19 minutes 46 98 seconds and Dundee University BC in 19 minutes 59.37 seconds.

Other Scots involved included two members of the Leander Club whose crews finished in 3rd and 9th place recording times of 17 minutes 45.35 seconds and 18 minutes 13.75 seconds respectively.

The following day saw another record entry of crews for the Vesta Veterans Head which took place in sunny conditions over the same stretch of water. A composite mixed veteran D/E crew containing lady members from the Inverness, Strathclyde Park and Sons of Thames clubs raced with the men of the Mladost Boat Club from Croatia producing an excellent result to win this event category in a time of 20 minutes 52.45 seconds and in doing so finished in 29th place overall in the entry of 182 crews. A mixed veteran D/E and a mens veteran D crew from Aberdeen Boat Club also took part in this event finishing in 23 minutes 20.24 seconds and 23 minutes 42.30 seconds respectively.

Nearer to home, the Scottish Schools Head took place on Saturday on the Dullater stretch of the Forth and Clyde Canal where crews from Aberdeen Schools, Castle Semple, George Heriots, George Watsons, Clydesdale and St Andrew clubs challenged for the various race categories in coxed fours and coxed quads. Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association (comprising pupils from Meldrum Academy, Harlaw Academy, Aberdeen Grammar School and Robert Gordon's College) were winners of the Peter Grieve Memorial Team Trophy as a result of their wins in four event categories. Clydesdale ARC (comprising pupils from St Thomas Aquinas, St. Aloysius College, Lourdes Secondary School, Rosshall Academy and Merrylee Primary School) won the Open Junior under 18 coxed fours, whilst George Watsons College RC won Open Junior under 15 coxed fours and George Heriots School RC won the Womens Junior under 15 coxed fours.

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