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Henley Women's Regatta Winners Groton Challenge Cup

From the 17th to the 19th June, 3 crews from the Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association joined 2000 athletes from all over Britain and beyond to take part in the annual Henley Women’s Regatta, held on a 1500 metre course on the Thames from Temple Island to the Remenham Club.

All three crews emerged successfully from the time trials to take their place in the fierce side-by-side stages of the competition for the West End Amateur Rowing Association Trophy for Women’ Junior 16 Coxed Fours and the Groton School Challenge Cup for Women’s Junior 18 Coxed Fours.

Our Junior 16 girls – Teresa Brew, Emily Simpson, Charlotte Arthur and Maggie Seward, coxed by Sam Cordiner - were unfortunate to come up against one of the top seeded crews in the first round, but put up a tremendous fighting display against the girls of Headington School and only lost out to them in the end by a second in a photo finish.

Our Junior 18 Girls “B” crew- Sophia Brew, Ella Brooks, Freya Cummine , Gemma Collins, coxed by Rory Trythall - suffered a similar fate and were bettered in their first round by the very experienced local girls from Henley Rowing Club.

It was a rather different story however for our formidable Junior 18 “A” crew, where Rosie Wilson and Freya Hughson and cox Lily Arthur joined forces with our GB golden girls from Munich, Maisie Aspinall and Zoe Beeson. By virtue of their first place in the time trial they were awarded a bye into the quarter final, where they proved too strong for a feisty Clydesdale/ Molesey BC composite and in the semi-final they beat a strong four from Lady Eleanor Holles School by 2 ½ lengths to set up an all Scottish final against the National Rowing Academy select from Glasgow Academy, George Watson’s College, George Heriot’s School and St Andrew Boat Club. There they not only won by a handsome 4 ¾ lengths, but beat the course record for Junior Coxed Fours by two seconds to win in a time of 5 minutes and 20 seconds.

Aberdeen rowing cognoscenti will be aware this is in fact the second time that ASRA has won the prestigious Groton Challenge Cup. Back in the 2012 HWR final , Holly Reid – now ASRA’s Development Coach - crewed with Morven Shaw, Emily Geddes, Christie Duff and cox Charlotte Davie to beat the American girls from the Merion Mercy Academy to bring back the trophy to Aberdeen.

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Glasgow HORR

At the Glasgow Rowing Club Head of the River Race on the Clyde on Saturday 1st November, crews from the Association won four divisional titles.

Our Home Countries Champions - Rosie Morton, Iona Riley, Catriona Bain & Jamie Steel coxed by Niall Ford - showed that they had lost little of their form since their triumph on Cardiff Bay in July as they won the Women's Junior 18 title by over a minute from their nearest rivals from Strathclyde Park.

Our promising J16 boys - Grant Ross, Niall Rundle, Daniel McSherry & Atholl Wallace coxed by Emily Geddes - were the fastest junior boys in the First Division.

Our minis too covered the 5 kilometre course in fine style with Morven Coghill, Emily Duff, Amelia Donovan & Erin Wyness coxed by Lily Taylor winning Women's Novice Coxed Quads and Niall Ford, Danny McCue, Yinglun Huang & Cameron Gordon coxed by Jamie Steel winning Open Under 13 Coxed Quad title.

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Glasgow HORR

At the Glasgow Rowing Club Head of the River Races on the Clyde on Saturday 24th November, Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association members recorded excellent wins in four boat categories.

  • Women's J16 Coxed Fours: Rachael Hadjitofi, Iona Riley, Catriona Bain, Jamie Steel & cox Erin Wyness
  • Men's Novice Coxed Quads: Lewis Masson, Lewis Morton, Oliver Hamlet, Gary Wilson & cox Nicolas Riddoch
  • Women's Junior 15 Coxed Quads: Erin Wyness, Morven Shaw, Rosie Morton, Rachael Hadjitofi & cox Christy Masson
  • Men's J14 Coxed Quads: Niall Ford, Lewis McCue, Robert Hamlet, Daniel McSherry & cox Nicolas Riddoch

Our congratulations to all who braved the extremely cold and wet conditions and did the club proud down on the Clyde.

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Glasgow Rowing Club HORR for Fours

At the Glasgow Rowing Club Head of the River Race for Fours on Saturday 26th November on the Clyde, ASRA failed to win a race category for the first time in many years. Lady Luck however was not on our side, it has to be said. Hopelessly inadequate embarcation arrangements at the Glasgow Uni Boathouse prevented our J15 Boys reaching the Dalmarnock Railway Bridge checkpoint on time and a draconian 40 second time penalty imposed on our J16 Girls at the start - whose stroke Lucy Bonnamy was in any case unwell - almost certainly contributed to their lack-lustre performance in their race. Our Novice Boys too were unfortunate to have to stop rowing after a promising start when Fraser Humphreys at 3 had an excruciating attack of cramp in his left leg and could not go on.

All that said, the standard of our rowing and sculling was nevertheless still well below what our coaches had come to expect of our crews in practice on our home waters, our J14 Boys for example went down to George Watson's by 2 whole minutes and our J15 Girls - Jamie Steel, Iona Riley, Catriona Bain, Katie Hiscox and cox Nina Scott - while putting up the best ASRA performance of the day trailed in after their opposite numbers from George Heriot's and George Watson's by a losing margin of 20 and 17 seconds respectively.

Clearly an immense amount of work will have to be put in by crews and coaches over the next two months if we are to do ourselves justice over the same course at the 2006 Scottish Schools' Head in early March.

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