Last weekend 28 rowers from Stirling Rowing Club travelled to Inverness for the annual Fours and Small Boats regatta on the Caledonian Canal, hosted by Inverness Rowing Club. One of the busiest regattas of the year, the Inverness regatta had four time trial races over the weekend, 2 each day with over 120 boats competing in various categories.
Saturday morning’s race saw six Stirling crews compete in glorious autumn sunshine and beautifully calm conditions on the canal. Notable results included a second place finish for Rebecca Plank in the Under 14 single scull and third place finishes for Jenna MacLennan and Melissa McGarva in women’s novice double scull; Ross Marchbank, Graeme Duff, Gregor Hall and John Dunse in the restricted 1 quad and the women’s restricted 2 coxed quad of Sophie Brett, Natalie Firth, Lindsey Arnott, Ellie Butler and cox Ollie Plank.
Saturday afternoon’s race saw four Stirling crews take to the water with an impressive win for the men’s restricted 2 coxed quad of Chris Hartley, John Dunse, Rory Duncan, Neil McGuire and cox Sam Sellars. Stirling has won this event for 3 consecutive years. Stirling boys also did extremely well gaining second place to Aberdeen schools in the Under 15 quad with Quinn McDonnell, Ruaridh Reid, Ollie Plank, Joshie Matthews and cox Ellie Butler – this result all the more impressive for the crew being much younger than the 15 years threshold.
Sunday morning’s race saw 7 Stirling crews compete in much foggier and colder conditions. A great result for the men’s veteran four of David Plank, Richard Graveling, Ian Robb and Dave Sannachan and cox Ollie Plank who gained second place in their event. The men’s open quad of Ross Marchbank, Graeme Duff, John Dunse and Gregor Hall also managed a great second place finish. A number of third place results capped off a good first division with strong performances from the ladies’ doubles : Ellie Butler and Eleanor Culley and Natalie Firth and Lindsey Arnott.
Finally the last race of the weekend on Sunday afternoon saw further strong performances from the Stirling club despite the rain with a win for the mixed veteran quad of David Sannachan, Sam Sellars, Sandra Engstrom and Neil McGuire. The junior boys crew of Ruaridh Reid, Quinn McDonnell, Joshie Matthews, Ardal MacKenzie and Ollie Plank also did particularly well overtaking several crews to gain a second place result, again pipped by Aberdeen schools at the finish. Special mention to our single scullers Melissa McGarva, Rory Duncan, Chris Hartley and Richard Gravelling who raced in this division after a long weekend of racing too.
Well done to everyone who competed and thanks to those who organised the trip, the crews and the towing of the boats for what was a fun and successful weekend of winter racing.