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
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.
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 email@example.com