Queensferry Rowing Club take part in the final Rowing Regatta of the 2013 season
Report and images (from the Port Seton Regatta) by Donal Ferrie of The Queensferry Rowing Club
Last Saturday Queensferry Rowing Club travelled the short distance to Loch Venacher just outside Callander for the final Regatta of the season. This was a freshwater regatta which did not have to worry about tides or currents. It was held at Loch Venacher Sailing Club.
In a beautiful setting between tree-covered mountains the racing started shortly after ten in the morning. The weather was forecast to be bad in the afternoon so we were hoping to get through the programme in the dry. The course was a 500m sprint with a turn half way through. We were in all six of the sprint races and knowing that the first three boats in each heat went through to the final we gave it our all to achieve this aim. We were successful in three of the heats as the Men’s Intermediate, the Mixed Novice and the Mixed Open. In the heats the Men’s Intermediate finished third as did the Mixed Open. Indeed the Mixed Open just squeezed in to the final as they out rowed Royal West from Greenock a feat which was all too rare for Queensferry this year as Greenock proved our nemesis throughout the season. The Men’s Intermediate also came third but they did it comfortably.
The Mixed Novice provided the races of the day as in the heat Queensferry and Anstruther were neck and neck from the start. Both crews turned well and raced home with the crowds cheering from the bank. As they headed towards the finishing line it was in the lap of the God’s as to who would win. Unfortunately for Queensferry, Anstruther took the victory by the slightest of margins. It did mean that we were in the final though.
Also in the Mixed Novice but in a different heat was Irina who was asked to row by Crail. She made it to the final finishing second in her heat.
The Mixed Open unfortunately did not fare much better as they came in at the back of the field. It was therefore left for the Mixed Novice crew to try and take a victory. Having modified their start from the heat the crew flew from the start line and you could have thrown a blanket over the race the boats were that close together. After the turn it was clear that Anstruther were going to win so it was a race for second place between Queensferry, Crail with Irina and Portobello. Each crew powered their way down the course and as we neared the finish line the cheers from the bank grew louder and louder. Andy spurred us on to give one final push which we did with Crail one side of us and Portobello the other side it was a very exciting race. The hooter went in unison as we all crossed the line with no one knowing who had finished second. We sat there waiting for confirmation from the Umpire only to be told that it was that close that all three boats finished second. Queensferry did quite well out of it as they came second and Irina in the Crail boat also finished second.
There was also an inter region race where Anne Flannery raced on behalf of Queensferry in the Portobello boat where they finished fifth.
The final race of the day was a long distance race of 2km. This was from the Sailing Club up to two large buoys and back down again. Anstruther who had Andy rowing for them along with North Berwick, Portobello, Port Seton and Royal West were the crews we were up against. As the race progressed it was clear that our main challengers were Royal West. We gave it all we had and it looked as though we might be able to overhaul Royal West but it was not to be as they pulled away towards the end. We came sixth in the heat. Just as we were finishing up it started to rain and it was a bit of a rush trying to get the boat on the trailer and all the equipment loaded up before the heavens really opened. Needless to say we all got thoroughly soaked before heading to the SCRA AGM in Callander.
So ends the 2013 season one that has proved very exciting with Queensferry taking victories at Port Seton and Troon and enjoying a glorious week in Ullapool at the inaugural Skiffie World Championships. Here is hoping that next season can be as much fun and we can bring even greater success to our club. Of course we have the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge in 2014 when we will be racing against North Queensferry for local pride, and with a score to settle after the disappointment of this year. That race takes place on September 13th 2014 with Queensferry Regatta happening the week previous all as part of the celebrations of the Forth Road Bridge.