Success for North Athletes at the World Rowing Masters Regatta 2009 - Vienna

posted by Roy Sinclair - 9 Sep 2009, 11:52 p.m.

Last weekend in difficult headwind conditions, Masters oarsmen and oarswomen from many clubs throughout the length and breadth of Scotland took part in a wide variety of rowing and sculling events at this year's annual World Rowing Masters Regatta being held on the 1000 metre rowing course alongside the River Danube in Vienna.

Most successful athlete from the north at this year's event was Hazel Smith from Inverness RC who won her gold medal on Sunday in the Mixed Veteran D eights crew in which four members of Mladost RC in Croatia, members from the Sons of Thames RC and Mortlake/Anglia RC and Ailie Ord from Strathclyde Park RC also won gold medals. Hazel also rowed in composite crews which took part in Womens Veteran D and E eights events which achieved fourth and third place finishes respectively.

A substantial number of other Inverness and Black Isle athletes also took part in the variety of events offered with many challenging well for the top places in their chosen events, some narrowly missing out on gold medals.

Hazel Geddes, Katie VanExan, Caroline Keith combined well with Hazel Smith to challenge strongly in Womens Veteran B and Veteran C coxed fours and the equivalent eights events with members of other Scottish, English and Irish clubs whilst Katie was a member of a composite international crew which achieved an excellent time and just missed out on a top three place in the Mixed Veteran A quadruple sculls event. In double sculls events, the two Hazels had a similar placing in the Womens Veteran C event, whilst Hazel Smith and Katie VanExan claimed a solid fourth place in the Womens Veteran B event.

John Sharkey sculled well to achieve an excellent fourth place in Mens Veteran E single sculls and also combined well with Dave Rothwell to post satisfying times in both Mens Veteran D coxless pairs and Mens Veteran D double sculls. John also had success in a composite crew with members of Aberdeen BC in claiming a fine fourth place finish in Mens Veteran E quadruple sculls. In addition, Dave Rothwell raced strongly in Mens Veteran E double sculls with Roy Sinclair who also challenged well in both Mens Veteran F and Veteran G single sculls.

All six Inverness athletes and Aberdeen athletes Ron and Carol Wallace combined with an experienced German cox in the Mixed Veteran C eights event on the Sunday and recorded a satisfactory time in the challenging headwind conditions.

Particular thanks are due to the organisers of the trip so much enjoyed by all. Team manager Hazel Smith did a great job in organising boat usage and keeping everyone on the right track when it came to boating, training and racing arrangements. And an extra special thanks to tour and transportation manager Caroline Keith for all her efforts in arranging accommodation, transport and tour schedules both to and from the UK and whilst we were in Vienna.

Very well done to all for making it such a memorable event, both on and off the water.

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