Mandy Towrie - an Appreciation - by Ailie Ord

posted by Roy Sinclair - 15 Sep 2011, 12:45 p.m.

Judging by the number of people who attending the funeral of Mandy Towrie on 29th June this year, and by the pile of letters and cards received by her husband Tom on her passing, Mandy was much loved and respected by a very large spectrum people from all aspects of her life.

She started her rowing career while at Paisley College, was a member of the newly formed Castle Semple Rowing Club, then Glasgow Rowing Club, Clydesdale ARC and then of course Inverness Rowing Club. Everywhere she went Mandy made new friends, many of them life-long, and she brought a sense of fun into everything she did. This included her rowing training, which she also took very seriously and she quickly became one of Scotland's top scullers and oarswomen.

She was a member of the first Scottish Women's crew to win a National Championships medal in 1984 and shared in the grief of her crew mates that it was only silver and not the coveted gold which was lost by the smallest of margins. In 1986 she represented Scotland in the Commonwealth Games in the Double Scull and I know was very proud to have done so.

As well as being very talented in the boat, Mandy was an excellent coach. She had a wonderful way of explaining things and spotting the little things that weren't quite going right.

She helped get Inverness Rowing Club on its feet both by rowing and coaching. She coached and nurtured Cathy Mordaunt, a talented lightweight sculler, to scull at the highest level and gain her Scottish One-piece - I think the first for Inverness.

Mandy competed at a number of World Masters Events and won her first medal in Vienna in 1993 in a coxed four. The following year she travelled to Gronigan, Holland and was again successful in the Coxed Four. She then had a bit of a break, and Sophie was born, before travelling to Seville in 1999 where once again she was victorious in the Coxed Four.

Vichy 2003 was next and by then Mandy was rowing in a very successful partnership with Susanne Hunter who had moved to Scotland from Zimbabwe. Having already secured the Henley Veterans title in Women's Vet C Double Sculls they went on to win at Vichy in the same category. Mandy and Susanne retained their Henley Vets title the following year and gained their 3rd in 2005 rowing in a quadruple scull with Alison Hulme and me. This crew was lovely to be part of and it won Mandy her 4th World Masters Medal at Strathclyde Park later that year.

From speaking and listening to the large number of people who attended Mandy's send off she will be much missed. She had so many wonderful qualities, loved nature, was quite brilliant at arts and crafts, knitted many a cosy jumper, was full of fun and was the best wife, mother, friend and god mother anyone could have wished for.

Postscript

Tom and Sophie deeply appreciate all the messages they received from the rowing community after Mandy's passing. Tom is aware that some people could not attend the funeral and that others that did, could not be accommodated inside the hall thereby not being able to hear the ceremony. If any of these people would like a transcript of the ceremony Tom is happy to email this to them. Tom's email address is tom.baker1@btconnect.com

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