The Bob Neill Scottish Schools Head of the River

On the 19th and 20th of March Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association hosted The Bob Neill Scottish Schools Head of the River on our home waters here on the Dee. It was a successful weekend with one hundred school children from across Scotland competing for their schools and clubs. ASRA walked away with a fantastic eighteen victories out of the twenty-eight titles competed for across the weekend, securing the Scottish Junior Club Team trophies in both sweeping and sculling. George Watson’s College took eight victories home to Edinburgh and The Glasgow Academy took home two. The ASRA winners were as follows:

Saturday Division 1

• OJ18 4+ Murray Bone, Sam Doherty, Christy Probart, William Lawson, cox: Sam Cordiner
• WJ18 4+ Rosie Wilson, Zoe Beeson, Maisie Aspinall, Freya Hughson, cox: Mackenzie Reid
• WJ16 4+ Charlotte Arthur, Emily Simpson, Sophie Sinclair, Anna Donald, cox: Ella Johnston
• WJ14 4x+ Grace Watt, Gabrielle Topp, Lily Arthur, Molly H (GWC), cox: Anna Taylor

Saturday Division 2

• OJ16 4x Harris Pearce, Magnus Lawson, Magnus Heidenreich, Gregor MacLeod
• OJ18 2x Murray Bone, Sam Doherty
• OJ15 2x Callum Sherwood, Jack Winton
• WJ18 4x Gemma Collins, Freya Cummine, Sophia Brew, Ella Brooks
• WJ18 2- Maisie Aspinall, Zoe Beeson
• WJ16 2x Maggie Seward, Sophie Sinclair

Sunday Division 1

• OJ18 4x Murray Bone, Sam Doherty, William Lawson, Christy Probart
• OJ16 2x Magnus Heidenreich, Harris Pearce
• WJ18 1x Maisie Aspinall
• W J14 1x Gabrielle Topp

Sunday Division 2

• WJ16 4x Emily Simpson, Charlotte Arthur, Sophie Sinclair, Maggie Seward
• OJ18 1x Murray Bone
• OJ16 1x Magnus Heidenreich
• OJ15 1x Callum Sherwood

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Aberdeen Head of the River Race

Despite the lack of outside junior competition at Aberdeen Head of the River Race ASRA put up a tough fight against senior competition to win a fantastic fourteen gold medals across the weekend. The eights racing on Saturday provided valuable practice to all three of the ASRA eights that are going on to race at the British Schools Head of the River on the 14th March on the Thames in London. Well done to all competitors across the two days, and see all of the weekend’s winners below:


  • WNov8+ (Isla, Penny, Tamara, Sophie, Anna, Maggie, Emily, Sophie, cox: Luke)
  • O8+ (Sam C, Gregor, Henrik, Callum, Magnus L, Murray, Sam D, Harris, cox: Lily)
  • WJ18 8+ (Ella J, Ella B, Freya C, Gemma, Rosie, Zoe, Maisie, Freya H, cox: Jack)


  • WJ18 2- (Maisie & Zoe)
  • OJ18 1x (Murray)
  • OJ16 2- (Harris & Magnus L)
  • WJ16 1x (Charlotte)
  • OJ18 2- (Murray & Sam D) 
  • WO 1x (Maisie)
  • OJ16 1x (Callum)
  • WR2 2- (Gemma & Sophia)
  • WJ18 1x (Freya H)
  • WJ16 2- (Maggie & Anna)
  • OJ14 2x (Iain & Rory)


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Scottish Schools' Head of the River 2018

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On Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October, the annual Bob Neill Scottish Schools’ Rowing Council Head of the River Races were held for the first time ever on the River Dee over a timed 3 kilometre course from the Victoria Bridge to the Ruthrieston Burn. 240 crews representing all the major junior rowing clubs in Scotland competed over the two days of the event. On Saturday, the Aberdeen Schools’ Rowing Association won the Scottish Junior Club Fours Champions’ Cup for the 9th year in succession, but by a much decreased margin, and on Sunday, despite collecting 8 category winners’ pennants and recording the fastest time in any sculling boat over the course, ASRA had to concede defeat in the end (and the Scottish Junior Club Champions’ Sculling Trophy) to brilliant opposition from the Glasgow Schools’ Rowing Association.

Winners’ Pennants went to the following ASRA crews listed here in finishing time order:

Saturday (SSRC Fours Head)

  • Men’s Junior 18 Coxed Fours and Fastest Crew overall: Jakub Zbikowski (Harlaw), Xander Beeson(Albyn), Ashley Geddes(Harlaw) & Seth Turner(Cults), coxed by Stephanie Low (Grammar)
  • Men’s Junior 16 Coxed Fours: Michel Dearsley (Cults), Scott Lewis (Mearns), William Penny (Grammar) & Harris MacDonald (Albyn), coxed by Angus White (Albyn)
  • Women’s Junior 18 Coxed Fours: Abigail Topp (Kemnay), Megan Hewison (Gordon’s),Megan Lewis (Mearns) & Maisie Aspinall (Cults), coxed by Skye Balance (Cults)

Sunday (SSRC Sculling Head)

  • Men’s Junior 18 Coxless Quadruple Sculls and Fastest Crew: Jakub Zbikowski (Harlaw), Xander Beeson (Albyn), Scott Lewis ( Mearns) & Seth Turner (Cults)
  • Men’s Junior 16 Coxless Quadruple Sculls: Matthew Hughson (Grammar), Archie Innes (Harlaw), Ashley Geddes (Grammar) & Oscar Forbes ( Albyn)
  • Men’s Junior 18 Double Sculls; Jakub Zbikowski (Harlaw) & Seth Turner (Cults)
  • Men’s Junior 16 Double Sculls: Matthew Hughson (Grammar) & Oscar Forbes (Albyn)
  • Men’s Junior 15 Sculls: Alex Fowler (Albyn) & Joe Ritchie (Grammar)
  • Men’s Junior 18 Single Sculls: Jakub Zbikowski (Harlaw)
  • Men’s Junior 15 Quadruple Sculls: Will Cooper Angus White, Alex Fowler (all Albyn) & Joe Ritchie (Grammar), coxed by Jayros James (Cults)
  • Women’s Junior 14 Single Sculls: Zoe Beeson (Albyn)


Photographs from the event are available to view in the Photo Gallery.



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Aberdeen Fours and Small Boats Head of the River Races

At the Aberdeen Fours and Small Boats Head of the River Races on the Dee on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th November, ASRA athletes recorded an impressive series of category wins against representative Junior and Senior crews from all over Scotland.

Saturday (Fours Heads)

Division 1

  • Men’s Open Coxless Fours (and fastest crew overall in Division 1) Conrad Forbes, Miles Beeson, Robert Powell & Theo Stott
  • Men’s Novice Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Matthew Hughson, Ashley Geddes, Archie Innes, Oscar Forbes, coxed by Connor Kennedy
  • Women’s Open Coxed Fours: Abigail Topp, Ellie Andrew, Megan Lewis & Megan Hewison, coxed by Skye Balance

Division 2

  • Men’s Junior 18 Coxed Fours: Danny Skinner, Josh Berrie, Conrad Forbes, Aidan Graham, coxed by Joe Ritchie
  • Men’s Junior 15 Coxed Fours: Michel Dearsley, William Bricknell, Scott Lewis, Harris MacDonald, coxed by Daniel Lynch

Sunday (Small Boats Heads)

Division 1

  • Men’s J15 Double Sculls: Ashley Geddes, Archie Innes
  • Men’s Junior 16 Coxless Pairs: Seth Turner & Jakub Zbikowski
  • Men’s Novice Single Sculls: Matthew Hughson

Division 2

  • Men’s Junior 18 Coxless Pairs: Zander Beeson & Jakub Zbikowski
  • Open Junior 18 Octuple Sculls: Matthew Hughson, Ashley Geddes, Izzy McTamney, Zoe Beeson, Alex Fowler, Will Cooper, Connor Kennedy, Skye Balance coxed by Abigail Topp
  • Men’s Restricted 2 Single Sculls: Daniel Lynch
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Three Bronzes for Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association

On Thursday 23 March, Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association competed in three events in the prestigious Schools' Head of the River Race on the River Thames. The annual race normally takes place over the 6.8 kilometre championship course from Mortlake to Putney however this year, due to high winds, the race was shortened to roughly 1600m.

The women’s junior sixteen coxed four of Abigail Topp, Ellie Andrew, Megan Lewis and Megan Hewison, coxed by Emily Murdoch, won an impressive bronze medal in their category, despite being impeded by a rival crew when overtaking them.

The men’s junior sixteen quadruple scull of Jakub Zbikowski, Alexander Beeson, Danny Skinner and Daniel Lynch came in eleventh of nineteen in their category and the junior eight of Seth Turner, Chris Bardas, Robert Powell, Miles Beeson, Theo Stott, Conrad Forbes, Aidan Graham and Sam Kelso, coxed by Michael McCrory achieved the overall position of 38th out of 350 crews.

On Friday 24 March, the club took part in the British Junior Sculling Head at the 2012 Olympic venue, Eton Dorney. In blustery conditions, three crews competed over the 3600m course against a very large field.

The men’s junior fourteen octuple scull of Harris MacDonald, Scott Lewis, William Bricknell, Ashley Geddes, Archie Innes, Matthew Hughson, Connor Kennedy and Oscar Forbes, coxed by Ben Milne, won a fantastic bronze medal out of sixty-one crews, in the club’s first attempt at competing in this category at a national level. 

The men’s junior fifteen coxed quadruple scull of Seth Turner, Chris Bardas, Alexander Beeson and Jakub Zbikowski, coxed by Emily Murdoch, also won a creditable bronze medal competing against sixty-two other crews and consolidating their reputation as one of the best in the country at this age group.

The women’s junior sixteen quadruple scull of Abigail Topp, Ellie Andrew, Megan Lewis and Megan Hewison came in thirteenth of thirty-six crews.

The club is now preparing to leave for a one week training camp at Breisach, Germany in order to sharpen up for the summer regatta season of side-by-side races.

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Aberdeen Small Boats & Fours HORR

At the Aberdeen Small Boats Head on Sunday 16th November, ASRA won all 9 of the Junior events on offer. There were exciting internal tussles at all age levels, but two results were particularly outstanding.

Gary Wilson came a brilliant first out of 14 in Men's Novice Sculls against opposition from Heriot Watt, Dundee, Robert Gordon's & Aberdeen Universities and Rosie Morton totally upset the form book in the Women's J18 category by beating all her ASRA HIR team-mates for the first time. In so doing she beat the time of First Division Open Winner and GB Under 23 International, Stephanie McDowell.

At the Aberdeen Fours Head of the River on Saturday 15th November, ASRA racked up a total of 7 category wins, four of them against welcome opposition from our old rivals from George Heriot's School of Edinburgh.

These were:

• Open Men's Junior 18 Fours: Lewis Masson, Jonnay Wright, Oliver Hamlet, Gary Wilson (cox Petar Spanovic)

• Women's Junior 18 Fours: Rosie Morton, Iona Riley, Catriona Bain, Jamie Steel (cox Erin Wyness)

• Open Men's Junior 15 Fours: Lewis McCue, Nicholas Riddoch, Blair Sorbie, Robert Hamlet (cox Lily Taylor)

• Women's Junior 15 Fours: Christie Duff, Emily Geddes, Holly Reid, Morven Shaw (cox Amelia Donovan)

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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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Scottish Schools HORR

On Saturday 15th March at the Scottish Schools Head of the River Race held this year for the first time on the Forth & Clyde Canal between Banknock and Auchinstarry, Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association crews won two divisional pennants.

Rosie Morton (Robert Gordon's College), Iona Riley (Hazlehead Academy), Catriona Bain (Aberdeen Grammar School) & Jamie Steel (Harlaw Academy) coxed by Niall Ford (Aberdeen Grammar School)) won the Women's Junior 16 Coxed Fours event and were the fastest female crew at the head beating the Women's J18 time by 2 seconds and Lewis McCue (Harlaw Academy), Nicolas Riddock (Harlaw Academy), Robert Hamlet, Blair Sorbie & cox Bruce Sorbie (all Robert Gordon's College) won the Men's Junior 14 Coxed Quads event in the fantastic time of 12 minute 35 seconds over the 4 kilometre course to take third place overall.

Boys J14 Quad at the Scottish Schools Head 2008

Our J15 Girls were only 9 seconds behind the winning Heriot's crew in WJ15 and our J15 Boys a disappointing, but not insurmountable 22 seconds behind the Clydesdale composite in their division. Three whole months to Scot. Champs. It's all about commitment between now and then.

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Aberdeen Eights Head of the River Races

At the Aberdeen Eights Head of the River Races on Saturday 23rd February, again in the absence of any junior opposition ASRA faced, as anticipated, a fierce backlash from the university clubs they had had rather shown up on the Caledonian Canal the previous weekend.

In the first division in the Women's R2 event, Aberdeen University had, as expected, beefed up their crew considerably since Inverness. They had however failed to register the fact with the organising committee, were duly disqualified and had therefore to concede victory in the end to our girls.

Our crew - unaltered from Inverness - Lucy Bonnamy, Iona Riley, Jamie Steel, Catriona Bain, Rachael Hadjitofi, Rosie Morton, Fiona McKinnon & Holly Reid and coxed by Niall Ford - were of course delighted to accept the pot, given the fact that they had shipped a blade twice in the course of the race. In the second division in the Women's Open event, our girls engaged the bank twice on the way up river in what turned out to be a thrilling race, going down finally to AUBC by 4 seconds.

Our boys failed to reproduce the form they had shown in Inverness, but put up creditable performances in both divisions against powerful university opposition in events dominated by the students from Heriot-Watt University.

ASRA turning into a fierce headwind at the railway bridge

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Inverness HORR

At the Inverness Head of the River Race on the Caledonian Canal on Saturday 16th February there was unfortunately no junior opposition for our J18 entries. Both eights however put up excellent performances with the girls ending up 7th overall and the boys 11th out of a total entry of 34.

Our boys - Atholl Wallace, Gary Wilson, Lewis Morton, Jonnay Wright, Lewis Masson, Niall Rundle, Christy Masson, Blair Sorbie and cox Bruce Sorbie - a novice crew with only one R2 aboard - came in with the highly respectable time of 18.59 which beat the winning time of the Men's Novice Eight from Dundee University by over half a minute over the 5K course.

Our girls with 5 Nat. Champs. junior medallists on board - Lucy Bonnamy, Iona Riley, Jamie Steel, Catriona Bain & Rachael Hadjitofi, ably supported by novices Rosie Morton, Fiona McKinnon & Holly Reid and coxed by Niall Ford - would clearly be expected to fare better when compared with their adult counterparts and did not disappoint us as they romped home in some style with a recorded time of 18.35. This time was only bettered by that put up by a fearsome composite eight from Castle Semple, Glasgow Rowing Club, Dundee University & Clydesdale ARC and with it they would have won the WR2 8s section outright and been second in WR1 8s.

A great opener for the 2008 season for both the boys and the girls from ASRA but we must be prepared for a backlash from ABC, AUBC & RGU crews at the Aberdeen Eights Head next week.

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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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Aberdeen HORR

At the Aberdeen Head of the River Races on Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th November, ASRA crews recorded 4 major category wins against good opposition including crews from Heriott Watt University, Robert Gordon University, Dundee University, Stirling Boat Club and Aberdeen Boat Club.

• Women's R2 Coxed Fours: Lucy Bonnamy, Iona Riley, Catriona Bain & Jamie Steel coxed by Niall Ford

• Men's Novice Fours: Gary Wilson, Lewis Masson, Lewis Morton & Oliver Hamlet coxed by Lewis McCue

• Men's Junior 15 Coxed Fours: Atholl Wallace, Daniel McSherry, Christy Masson & Niall Rundle coxed by Nicolas Riddoch

• Men's Novice Doubles: Gary Wilson & Atholl Wallace

The following crews also won in boat categories where stout opposition was supplied from within our own ranks:

• Women's Junior 16 Coxed Fours: Jamie Steel, Iona Riley, Catriona Bain & Rachael Hadjitofi coxed by Niall Ford

• Men's Junior 16 Fours: Gary Wilson, Oliver Hamlet, Jonathan Wright & Lewis Masson coxed by Katherine Lawrie

• Women's Junior 15 Coxed Fours: Rosie Morton, Laura Smith, Pearl Black & Emily Geddes coxed by Christie Duff

• Men's Novice Coxed Quads: Atholl Wallace, Gary Wilson, Daniel McSherry & Niall Rundle coxed by Katherine Lawrie

• Women's Junior 16 Pairs: Iona Riley & Catriona Bain

• Women's J16 Single Scull: Iona Riley

• Women's Junior 14 Double: Emily Geddes & Holly Reid

• Women's Junior 15 Double: Rosie Morton & Fiona McKinnon

• Men's J14 Double: Robert Hamlet & Blair Sorbie

• Women's Junior 14 Coxed Quads: Holly Reid, Erin Wyness, Christie Duff & Katie Harrower coxed by Daniel McSherry

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At the Tees Head of the River Races on Saturday 27th October, ASRA athletes won two category divisions outright. Iona Riley & Jamie Steel won the Women's Junior Under 18 Double Sculls event and were the fastest junior women overall and the Men's Junior Under 15 Quad Sculls event was won by Niall Rundle, Christy Masson, Daniel McSherry & Atholl Wallace coxed by Blair Sorbie.

Lack of familiarity with the river and and failure to study the course warnings issued with the race instructions resulted in three of our crews being disqualified. Iona, Catriona, Rosie & Jamie and cox Robert - for example - recorded easily the fastest time in Women's S4 Coxed Fours only to be robbed of the pots as a result of passing through an inner arch on one of the road bridges.

That apart, promising performances all round however and a lot to look forward to in the season ahead.

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Scottish Schools' HORR

On Saturday 10th March on the Clyde at the Scottish Schools Head of the River Race, ASRA failed for the first time in a decade to win a divisional pennant. Our Boys' Junior Under 14 Quad - Blair Sorbie, Niall Rundle, Daniel McSherry, Atholl Wallace & cox Robert Hamlet - was the most successful of our crews and came home only 9 seconds adrift of the all-conquering boys of George Watson's College at the end of the 3 kilometre course and our scratch Girls' Junior Under 18 Four - Lucy Bonnamy, Catriona Bain, Danielle McNaughton & Joy Davies - also did reasonably well to finish in a time only 11 seconds short of Strathclyde Park's winning time of 9.44.

Our J15 Boys on the other hand with two complete beginners aboard were given a comprehensive mauling by a brilliant Watsonian J15 quartet which finished the Head as second crew overall, while our Girls' J14 Quad on their first outing as a crew did well not to come in last.

Crumbs of comfort are difficult to find. Hopefully however the message will finally have been brought home to our crews that this drubbing was almost totally attributable to their failure to turn up and train as units on a regular basis (ie 3/4 times per week). Strathclyde Park Regatta is only 6 weeks away!

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Aberdeen Head of River Dee

At the Aberdeen Head of the River Dee races on the weekend of 4/5 November, Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association members recorded the following category wins:

  •  Women's R2 Pairs: Lucy Bonnamy & Joy Davies
  •  Women's Novice Fours: Rachael Hadjitofi, Catriona Bain, Iona Riley, Jamie Steel & cox Niall Rundle.
  •  Women's Novice Single Sculls: Lucy Bonnamy & Joy Davies (First Equal)
  •  Women's J15 Double Sculls: Iona Riley & Jamie Steel
  •  Men's J15 Double Sculls: Gary Wilson & Johnathan Wright
  •  Men's J14 Quadruple Sculls: Blair Sorbie, Niall Rundle, Daniel McSherry, Atholl Wallace & cox Ilyes Dali-Ahmed

Particular congratulations to our J14 boys who finally overcame their formidable opposition from Stirling Boat Club.

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Tees Small Boat HORR

At the annual Tees Small Boats Head of the River Race, Middlesbrough, on Saturday 28th October, ASRA crews racked up 6 category wins over the gruelling five kilometre course.

  • Lucy Bonnamy (Cults Academy) & Joy Davies (Aberdeen Grammar School) - Women's Junior 18 Doubles and the pennant for the fastest Women's Junior Crew overall.
  • Rachael Hadjitofi (Aberdeen Grammar School), Catriona Bain (Aberdeen Grammar School), Iona Riley (Hazlehead Academy) & Jamie Steel (Harlaw Academy) with cox Niall Rundle (Aberdeen Grammar School) - Women's Junior 15 Quadruple Sculls (First Division)
  • Iona Riley (Hazlehead Academy) & Jamie Steel (Harlaw Academy) - Women's Junior 15 Double Sculls (Second Division)
  • Johnathan Lockhart (Robert Gordon's College) - Mens' Junior 16 Single Sculls.
  • Gary Wilson (Aberdeen Grammar School) - Men's Junior 15 Sculls.
  • Atholl Wallace (Meldrum Academy) - Men's Junior 14 Sculls.

A magnificent performance by members of the Association rowing for the first time ever on the Tees.

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Scottish Schools HORR

At the Scottish Schools' Head of the River Race on the Clyde on Saturday 18th April, ASRA won both the Women's Junior 15 and the Men's Junior 15 Pennants.

Our ASRA Girls' J15 Four - Katie Hiscox (Cults Academy), Iona Riley (Hazlehead Academy), Catriona Bain (Aberdeen Grammar School), Jamie Steel (Harlaw Academy) coxed by Niall Rundle (Aberdeen Grammar School) were quite outstanding with their winning time of 15 minutes 51 seconds over the 4K course and not only crossed the finishing line 44 seconds ahead of their nearest opposition in the WJ15 division - George Watson's College - but also beat the best Womens' Junior 16 time by a phenomenal 24 seconds.

Not to be outdone, our ASRA Boys' J15 Four - Gary Wilson (Aberdeen Grammar School), Jonathan Wright (Harlaw Academy), Johnathan Lockhart (Robert Gordon's College), Atholl Wallace (Meldrum Academy) coxed by Daniel McSherry (Harlaw Academy) put an almost incredible 61 seconds between themselves and their nearest opposition - the MJ15 crew from George Heriot's of Edinburgh.

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Durham Small Boats Head

At the Durham Small Boats Head on Saturday 3rd February, a crew of George Heriots School and ASRA were the fastest women's four over all four divisions. The S2 crew of Ursula Braun, Polly Swann and Ealasaid Manson of GHSRC and Seonaid Crosby of ASRA finished 2 seconds ahead of the time posted earlier by the Heriots J18 crew.

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Aberdeen Eights HORR

At the Aberdeen Eights Head on Sunday 29th January on the Dee, our Novice Girls - Bow Katie Hiscox (Cults Academy), 2 Jamie Steel (Harlaw Academy), 3 Catriona Bain (Aberdeen Grammar), 4 Danielle McNaughton (Mearns Academy), 5 Beady Rice (Robert Gordon's College), 6 Iona Riley (Hazlehead Academy), 7 Joy Davies (Aberdeen Grammar), Stroke Lucy Bonnamy (Cults Academy) & cox Judith Herbert (RGU) took the Women's Novice Eights title in a field of five by a winning margin over 3K of 20 seconds. Second place went to the students of the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. The same crew with one change - Seonaid Crosby sitting in for Katie Hiscox - came a creditable second in the Women's R2 Division, the win by 11 seconds going to Gary Bain's ABC/AUBC/RGU development squad.

Our Novice Boys Michael Chalmers (Aberdeen College), Atholl Wallace((Meldrum Academy), Gary Wilson (Aberdeen Grammar), Tom Hunter(Robert Gordon's College), Ibrahim Dali-Ahmed (Cults Academy), William Vickers (Westhill Academy), Jonathan Wright,(Harlaw Academy) Johnathan Lockhart (Robert Gordon's College) & cox Daniel McSherry (Aberdeen Grammar) also put up a good performance to win the Men's Novice Eights title ... unfortunately unopposed but in some style and in a very respectable time of 11 minutes 8 seconds.

Congratulations to all who took part... in particular Karen Wilson, Pippa Davies & Blair Sorbie who had to fill in at the last minute for club members who disappointingly failed to show on the day.

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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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