The record for rowing a human powered boat or craft for rowing Loch Ness was smashed last Saturday by over 22 minutes by an experienced eight composed of GB team athletes which included one Olympian and Inverness Rowing Club member from Munlochy on the Black Isle. The previous record of 2 hours, 26 minutes, 57.04 seconds established just three months ago by a team led by explorer Jock Wishart from Dumfries was dramatically lowered to 2 hours, 4 minutes 57.7 seconds in variable and somewhat bumpy water conditions on Loch Ness.
A large fleet of over 55 craft of various shapes and sizes took part in this significant and historic event with all competitors arriving safely on Dores beach after their 21 mile row from the west beach at Fort Augustus, although almost all craft had to pause at various times on their way up the loch to bail out incoming surge waves to prevent foundering on the challenges presented by ‘The Monster’.
Included in the list of entries were gigs from the south of England, skiffies from coastal clubs around the country and a fair number of competitors from overseas together with two four person pedalos which took approximately 7 hours to complete the trip after starting off at 7am, two hours before the mass start at 9am.
Inverness Rowing Club were well represented in this event with two ladies crews, one quadruple scull crewed by Jenny Baird, Lesley Ronald, Jude McManus, Orla Farrel and Julie Doorley/Foulis and one quintuple scull crewed by Hazel Smith, Hazel Geddes and three others from Strathclyde Park Rowing Club, St Andrew Boat Club and Loch Lomond Rowing Club, each crew successfully completing their challenge in just over 3 hours and 30 minutes.
It was interesting to record that one of the pedalos broke the current pedalo record by over 15 minutes.
Many crews were raising money for charity by completing with the RNLI being the official charity supporting the event and the Marloe Watch Company providing the official timing team for the event organised by former Olympian sculler Pete Wells of rowtours.