Castle Semple Regatta on Saturday 18th May 2019 was a Red Letter Day for the Inverness Rowing Club’s Men's crews who brought home more medals than anyone else!
The Men’s Masters’ B Novice Quad Sculls crew set the ball rolling with a clear win over Castle Semple RC and St Andrew BC (Martin Sramek, Dave Rothwell, Robert Gordon, and Jim Smillie coxed by Rosie Arthur) followed by two solid second place finishes in Masters Double Sculls (Tom Baker and Roy Sinclair) and Mixed Novice Double Sculls (Jim Smillie and Emma Bidwell).
Next up were the senior men in the Masters Coxed Four racing in D category against crews in category D and E. The Castle Semple RC E crew had a 5 second start but the Inverness crew took care of that within the first 250 metres and proceeded to open up clear water for a decisive win over Castle Semple RC and St Andrew BC. The winning crew (Tom Baker, Steve Andrews, Robert Gordon and Dave Rothwell coxed by Susanne Standish-Hunter) were presented with a brand new Campbell Horsburgh Memorial trophy in memory of Campbell’s many contributions to Castle Semple RC.
Possibly the most exciting race of the regatta was the Masters Coxless Pairs event in which two Inverness crews were the only entries. The two crews (Tom Baker and Steve Andrews vs Robert Gordon and Dave Rothwell) matched each other literally stroke for stroke down the whole 1000 metre course – Tom described it afterwards as a Start and Sprint – and the final verdict was a bow ball win to Robert and Dave! We can certainly look forward to another phenomenal fight at the Scottish Rowing Championships in a few weeks time.
Not to be left out, Heather Gordon returned to racing after recovering from a road accident, and pulled off a strong third in Women’s J18 Single Sculls behind Aberdeen Schools RA Hewison and Loch Lomond RC Young, and a close second in Women’s R2 SingleSculls behind Jenny Ord of Aberdeen BC. But Heather’s most exciting race was the Women’s J18 Coxless Pairs in which Heather and Laura Young of Loch Lomond RC came through the St Andres BC crew in the last ten strokes to win!
Alex Todd produced two excellent heats in the J18 and R2 Singles events, coming a close second each time to qualify for the finals, but he finished further back in both finals. Similarly, Hamish Grant raced well in his J14 Single Sculls heat, qualifying in third place, but finished fifth in the final.
Megan Bromham and Orla McMichael thoroughly enjoyed their first multi-lane regatta, racing three events each with a good fourth place out of six crews in their J14 Double Sculls. Orla stepped up to an R2 Quad Sculls with three older girls and Megan joined the boys in the Open Novice Quad Sculls They also raced with two Castle Semple RC girls in the W J15 Quad Sculls where they came third behind Stirling RC and Aberdeen Schools RA.