Inverness Juniors win Gold-Silver-Bronze at Scottish Rowing Championships

posted by Susanne Standish-Hunter - 25 Jun 2017, 11:58 a.m.

Sara Johnston and Heather Gordon dominated the WJ16 Double Sculls final from start to finish with a clear three length lead over their rivals from Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association (ASRA) to become 2017 Scottish Champions.

Heather and Sara also competed in Open Women's Single Sculls, with virtually identical time trial results, and both girls placed 4th in their semi-final to reach the D Final. Heather established an early lead over the field in the first 250m with Sara and Megan Hewinson of ASRA in close pursuit. Unfortunately, water conditions in the middle of the course were particularly rough and at the 750m mark Sara capsized! Heather maintained her lead to win the D Final from ASRA and Glasgow Uni, earning her second place and the Silver medal in the SG U16 and W J16 categories.

Rebecca Setford also competed in the Open Women's Single Sculls in the J18 age group where she achieved a strong 2nd place in the E Final, a length behind Olivia McPherson of Dalziel High School.

Rosie Young (J17) and Lucy Faulkner (J18) each medalled in two events at the Championships. On Saturday, they competed against 22 crews in Novice Double Sculls, qualifying through heats and semis to take Bronze medals in the Final. Then on Sunday they raced against each other in the Novice Single Sculls and finished with brilliant Silver and Bronze medals from a field of 16.

Three Inverness crews entered the Men's Novice Double Sculls with high hopes of qualifying at least two for the Final, but due to worsening water conditions, races were changed to a Time Trial format, giving crews only one chance to display their speed. Surprise top performers were junior boys Fraser Wallace and Alex Todd (J16) who grabbed 4th place out of 21 crews! Kern Toussaint and Neil Wallace finished 12th and Robert Gordon and Dave Rothwell came 17th.

The Women's Novice Quad Sculls was also run as a 13 boat Time Trial with two Inverness crews competing. The junior girls, Rebecca Setford, Kristina MacIver, Louise Dunton and Noirin Ghoillagain won the Bronze medal and the novice women's crew finished 10th.

The Inverness Masters' women, Katie van Exan, Hazel Smith, Elizabeth Coe, Hazel Geddes and Cox Noirin Ghoillagain, won their C-D Coxed Fours event over Strathclyde Park RC (SPRC) and were subsequently third behind two SPRC crews in the Women’s Master B-D Quad Sculls. Carla Madigan and Laura Evans-Smith's best race of the weekend achieved an excellent qualifying 2nd place in their Intermediate Double Sculls over 2000m, but the final race in rougher water was a step too far...

Inverness Masters men took second place in both the D Coxless Pair, the B-D Coxed Four and third place in the C-E Eight and G Single Sculls.

Angus Thomson (J18) started strongly in the Novice Single Sculls, winning his heat by open water, but just missed qualifying for the final. Fraser Wallace (J16) also raced well in the Novice Single Sculls, but just missed a qualifying spot in the Semis.

This weekend Sara Johnston and Heather Gordon are racing at Nottingham National Rowing Course for selection in the J16 GB-France Match in mid-July. Sara and Heather are the only Scottish competitors in their event and only one double out of 15 top UK crew will be successful.

Report prepared by Susanne Standish-Hunter

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