QRC Finish 15th in the World
Saturday was the last day of the Skiffie Worlds and there was still racing to do. Again, it was another very blustery day with white horses on Loch Ryan which were to prove challenging for all involved.
The first race of the day was the Girl’s U17 Final where we had two of our Rowers rowing for a different Club. Olly and Lois joined the Deveron boat. Conditions were so bad that even though they were hugging the shoreline to get to the start at the turning buoys, some of the boats had to be towed there by the safety boats. The boats had been told to perform a starboard turn around the turning buoy before the race started and as Deveron were in the process of doing this the hooter went with no other clubs performing the same manoeuvre. Coming down the course involved a lot of surfing.
Two boats failed to start as they decided that it was too rough to go out. These were Killyleagh and Portsoy. Remarkably Strangford had a crew made up of a 12-year-old, two 13-year olds and a 14 year old. Despite the best efforts of Olly and Lois they finished sixth in a time of 06:59. A fine effort considering the conditions.
The first race that Ferry Maid was involved in was the Mixed Open B with a crew of Tansy, Gareth, Alan and Marianne, ably coxed by Keith. Getting the boat launched was a mission in itself, we have video footage of the attempt and this will be posted to the website at a later date. Having eventually made it off the shore into a severe swell the crew headed for the start line. They started in what could arguably be classed as a tough lane as it was the outside lane 10 where the worst of the chop was. They powered up the course and turned in third position. It has been discovered in these Championships that Queensferry Row very well into the teeth of a gale but less so using the waves to surf. Heading back down the course they were doing very well and getting mentions by the commentator, so shore support knew we were in with a chance here. Unfortunately, they were overtaken by Bunillidh and Ullapool but still qualified for the Repechage. They beat North Queensferry by the smallest of margins with only 1.4 seconds between the two crews.
The crew returned to shore exhausted but loving every second of their row with the knowledge that they had to do it all again.
Our Youth members took the water again, this time in the Mixed U19 Final with three different clubs. Olly rowed for Killyleagh, Lois for Portsoy and Alexander for Deveron. In previous races they had raced over 1km distance but as it was U19 they are classed as adults, so it was a 2km race. Of the three, Olly fared the best as she came home with Killyleagh in 7th position with Alexander in 9th with Deveron and Lois in 10th with Portsoy. A great effort from them all and in the words of Marianne “We are all so proud of all our young people this week! You have greatly enhanced the Club’s reputation in the coastal rowing community with your positive attitudes and sportsmanship! And hopefully made a few new rowing friends!” Our own Youth Regatta on September 7th promises to be memorable with displays like we have seen over the last week.
The final race of Skiffie Worlds 2019 for Queensferry was the Mixed Open B Repechage. Launching was slightly easier this time around as the wind had decreased by the slightest bit. The race started well and Queensferry again were getting mentioned by the commentator. Those of us on the shore were getting very excited as it was announced that Queensferry had turned first, this was short lived as it was a case of mistaken identity as it was actually Port Seton that had turned first but our boats look very similar. They raced for home and came in 11th place just ahead of Stranraer. They improved hugely on their time from the Heat. In the Heat it was 17:19 but in the Repechage it was 16:38 a brilliant effort.
This ended our racing involvement for the week and what a week it has been. It started off with the Men’s and Women’s 60+ both finishing 6th in the World with the Men’s crew posting the two fastest times of the week for Queensferry. In the Final they rowed it in 11:30.7 but had gone faster in the heat with a time of 11:28. On the Tuesday the 40+ Men made it to the Repechage. On Wednesday the Men’s Open made it to the Repechage and on Thursday it was the turn of the 50+ Women to make it to the Repechage. Also on Thursday our Mixed U17 crew came tantalisingly close to a medal as they finished in 4th, less than a second behind third position. Friday was a red-letter day for the Club as our Men’s U17 took home Bronze in the Final and Charlie then picked up a Silver in the U19 Men’s Final with Strangford. Finally, Saturday saw our Mixed Open B reach the Repechage.
At the evening event on Saturday the overall standings were announced, and Queensferry Rowing Club finished in 15th place in the World, six places better than last time and (not that there is any rivalry between the Queensferry Clubs!) we finished a full 30 places above the North in the standings. A great effort from all involved and one that we can be rightly proud of. Our aim in three years time should be to break in to the Top 10. The training starts here!
It feels somewhat strange that this is the last report I will be writing for the Worlds but I hope that you have all enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them.
Report filed by Dónal.