Freshwater Sprints 2023

Lorna writes: Attendance was lower at this year’s Freshwater Sprints than normal from most clubs, mainly due to the yellow weather warning across parts of east of Scotland, and various road works on the A9.  However, this didn’t deter the ‘three amigos’ from Queensferry Rowing Club, determined to participate in some rowing despite the weather 😊

The Three Amigos: Lorna, Richard and Elina

Richard and Elina travelled together and competed in four races each, whilst I competed in three, taking up the offer of a lift from Barbara, who braved the weather to take some fab photos.

Our region was the South East and we were using one of North Berwick’s skiffs.  The boat which was used for the Rest of the World was Spirit of Catterline.  None of us had rowed in these boats before so we had mixed views on foot rests and oars etc.  Interestingly enough, Catterline had their stroke oar on the port side which was the first  time I had experienced this set up.  We all agreed after our experiences that we appreciated our beautiful skiffs,  Ferry Maid and Ferry Lass in which we feel much more comfortable and easier to handle. I should add that it is always a good experience to race in other boats, and with members from other clubs if you get the opportunity.

I am sure you are all desperate to know how we got on… unfortunately no medals, but each race was very close, competing in six lanes, including a starboard turn.  Richard placed 2nd in the Men’s Open, 3rd in the Mixed Novice and 6th in the second of the long distance races (around 2km).  Elina placed 4th in Rest of the World Novice and was alongside myself, a lady from North Berwick and Exmouth (cox was from Port Seton) for the Women’s 2nd Sprint where we also finished 4th.  She also rowed in the Women’s Open placing 4th.  All three of us rowed together for the 40+ Mixed, with a lovely gentleman from Orkney stepping in to help us in bow position, and our cox was from Port Seton.  I thought this was lovely as I had never rowed with, or even met Elina until earlier that day.  We were all enjoying the rowing so like the other two I competed in one race for the Rest of the World, in which I came 4th, coxed by our Orkney man, crewed by two from Loch Awe and Cromarty.

Some of the action at Loch Tummel, with North West region showing winning form

The weather was mixed during the day, with some misty rain and occasional heavy showers and very muddy on foot.  It cleared up a little at lunchtime which was nice, and couldn’t help but take in the spectacular views with gorgeous autumnal colours.  The racing started on time at 10am after the coxes briefing and very quickly the timings were up to half an hour to an hour, ahead of schedule.  The aim was to stop for lunch but as the weather wasn’t the best, the racing continued on through, finishing around 3.15pm.  At least it wasn’t cold and windy, and we sheltered in the clubhouse for copious amounts of lovely food and refreshments from the club canteen. 

Lorna and Elina set out on a race

The medal ceremony took place around 3.30pm in which the North West Region won the overall trophy/shield.  The medals were on lovely red ribbons and were made out of wood in the shape of a skiff (apologies no photos ☹).  The SCRA AGM started earlier than usual at around 4.30pm and finished around 5.15pm.  Barbara and I attended on behalf of QRC as there were no members of the current Committee in attendance and they needed to have a certain amount of attendees for a quorum.  I’ve shared a very brief report of this via the club email group, but the official report will be on the SCRA website and Facebook page in due course.

On behalf of Richard and Elina, I would like to say that we had a lovely day and enjoyed all our rowing, despite being a little damp by the end of it.  Elina is going to send a message of thanks to North Berwick through email/social media for use of their boat.  I hope this gives you a little idea of how the day went.  Thank you, see you at next year’s sprints. 😊

More photos on the club’s Flickr