Despite very cold, windy, rough conditions last weekend at Strathclyde Park Regatta, Inverness Rowing Club won seven gold medals over two days – 1 senior and 6 junior crews triumphed over stiff opposition to win.
First victory went to the Girls J14 coxed quad – Ishana Graham (Culloden Acad), Heather Gordon (Inverness Royal Academy), Rhiannon Hopcroft (Gordonstoun School) and Eve Macleay (Millburn Academy) coxed by Cecily Whitson (Fortrose Academy) – which was leading by a length at halfway over a field of seven crews, but faced strong challenges from Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association and Castle Semple Rowing Club in the last 250m.
Inverness lightweight sculler, Jane Patterson, won her W R2 heat, and followed up with a very convincing one length win over Kerryn Meston of Robert Gordon University in the final. J18 Inverness sculler Bethany Irvine (Millburn Academy), won her singles heat by 3 lengths, but had problems in her start for the final.
Inverness boys Joseph Wright and Angus Thomson combined with Harvey Buchanan of Nithsdale Rowing Club and Ruaridh Smith of Castle Semple Rowing Club to claim a wall-to-wall win in Open J15 coxed quad. Their closest opposition, 6 seconds behind, was Durham ARC followed by ASRA, but the composite was never under threat.
Wright and Thomson (Charleston Academy and Inverness Royal Academy) continued their winning streak on Sunday in the Open J15 double scull over Castle Semple RC and Strathclyde Park RC despite increasingly rough conditions. Joseph finished his weekend with yet another victory in the Open J15 single over Smith and Buchanan.
Sunday’s racing produced two more excellent wins for Inverness. In her first 1000m singles race, Heather Gordon (Inverness Royal Academy) didn’t let the rough water affect her in claiming another J14 gold medal! A short while later, Bethany Irvine (Millburn Academy) and Hannah Campbell (Nairn Academy) took on a very experienced field of five J18 doubles over 2000m of choppy water, and won by a length clear over a Scottish Squad composite from Castle Semple RC and Glasgow RC.
Inverness was well represented by 19 juniors and 16 seniors racing in a broad range of 1000m and 2000m races. Many of them were racing for the first time, and the cold temperatures and very rough water were a shock after training on the calm Caledonian Canal! However, everyone raced well and only one crew capsized which is quite an achievement.
O R2 2X 3rd Heat (qualified)
W R2 4X 6th
W J18 4+ 4th
W J15 2X 4th Heat
O Vet 8 C-E 3rd
W J14 4X+ 1st Ishana Graham, Heather Gordon, Rhiannon Hopcroft, Eve Macleay, Cox Cecily Whitson
W R2 1X 1st Heat, 1st Final Jane Patterson
W J18 1X 1st Heat, 6th Final Bethany Irvine
W Lwt 1X 2nd Jane Patterson
W Nov 2X 5th, 5th, 2nd, Heat, Capsize Final Gemma Beaton, Lorna Evans-Smith
O Vet 4+ D-F 3rd
O J15 4X+ 1st Joseph Wright, Harvey Buchanan (NRC), Angus Thomson, Ruaridh Smith (CSRC), Cox Niamh McClure (CSRC)
W J14 2X 3rd Heather Gordon, Eve Macleay
W J18 4X 6th
W J15 4X+ 2nd Heat, 5th Final
W Vet 4+ 2nd Hazel Geddes, Hazel Smith, Carla Madigan, Claire Smith (ABC)
W Nov 8+ 7th
O J15 2X 1st Joseph Wright, Angus Thomson
W Nov 4X+ 2nd Heat, 4th Heat, 4th Final
W J14 1X 1st Heather Gordon
W R1 1X 4th Jane Patterson
W J18 2X 1st Bethany Irvine, Hannah Campbell
O J15 1X 1st Joseph Wright
O VetB R2 4X+ 4th
Report prepared by Susanne Standish-Hunter – Head Coach/Juniors, Inverness Rowing Club