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NE Regatta on the Dee

The North East Regatta on the Dee on 5/6 May brought excellent competition from our main rivals George Heriot's and George Watson's College of Edinburgh and our scullers in particular found it difficult to live with the blistering pace of our Southern opposition. Nevertheless our ASRA team recorded 7 wins at the in conditions that were far from perfect.

  • Men's Junior 14 Sculls - Atholl Wallace
  • Men's Novice Doubles - Atholl Wallace & Gary Wilson
  • Women's Junior 15 Doubles - Iona Riley & Jamie Steel
  • Women's Junior 15 & Junior 16 Fours - Catriona Bain, Rachael Hadjitofi, Iona Riley & Jamie Steel coxed by Robert Sorbie
  • Women's Novice Doubles - Lucy Bonnamy & Joy Davies
  • Generation Doubles - Ron Wallace (ABC) & Atholl Wallace (ASRA)
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Strathclyde Park Regatta

At the Strathclyde Park Regatta in Motherwell on 21/22 April ASRA crews racked up a total of 6 Golds and 3 Silvers.

  • WJ15 1x - Iona Riley
  • WJ15 2x - Iona Riley & Jamie Steel
  • WJ15 4+ - Catriona Bain, Rachael Hadjitofi, Iona Riley, Jamie Steel & cox Cara Parker
  • WJ 16 4+ - Catriona Bain, Rachael Hadjitofi, Iona Riley, Jamie Steel & cox Robert Hamlet
  • MJ14 4+ - Niall Rundle, Blair Sorbie, Daniel McSherry, Atholl Wallace & cox Robert Hamlet
  • MJ14 4x+ - Niall Rundle, Blair Sorbie, Daniel McSherry, Atholl Wallace & cox Robert Hamlet
  • Silver went to Catriona Bain in WJ15 1x, to Iona Riley & Jamie Steel in WJ16 2x and to Atholl Wallace in MJ14 1x.

All the winning rowers, it should be noted, attended our Rowing Camp in Gent.

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Gent Spring International Regatta

At the Gent Spring International Regatta 2007 in Belgium on 14th & 15th April ASRA crews put in a series of fine performances in scorching conditions to win two Silvers and two Bronzes rowing against first class opposition from France, Holland, Belgium, Germany and the UK.

  • Womens' Junior 18 Coxless Pairs: Lucy Bonnamy & Joy Davies (Silver & Bronze)
  • Mens' Junior 16 Double Sculls: Gary Wilson & Atholl Wallace (Silver)
  • Womens' Junior 16 Single Sculls: Catriona Bain (Bronze)

Elsewhere our Girls' Junior 15 Coxless Quad rowing in the Under 16 category - Catriona Bain, Rachael Hadjitofi, Iona Riley & Jamie Steel - were more than a little unfortunate to see themselves placed just out of the medals over the two days for the second year in succession despite a dramatically improved performance on the second day. Our Boys' J14 Quad - again rowing at J16 - also put in a magnificently defiant performance on the Sunday against impossible odds. Special congratulations to Atholl Wallace, Daniel McSherry , Blair Sorbie and Niall Rundle.

Following an excellent camp, all our rowers showed significant improvement over the weekend's racing and were a credit to our colours and our coaching staff. Given continued commitment we can look forward with some confidence to SPR and beyond.

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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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Junior GB Trials

At the Junior GB Trials in Boston, Lincolnshire, on Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th February, our senior girls - Lucy Bonnamy & Joy Davies - could only manage 11th place against 14 of the best Women's Junior Pairs in Britain. These girls were contesting places in the British squad for the World Junior Rowing Championships to be held this year in Beijing, China and the Coupe de la Jeunesse which will be held in Varese, Italy. Lucy & Joy must now wait to see whether or not they just have missed the cut-off point for invitations to the next stage in the GB trialling process.

Meanwhile at the SARA Trials held on Sunday in Inverness on the Caledonian Canal, Jonathan Wright & Johnathan Lockhart put up the fastest time in Men's Junior Pairs - albeit in the absence of George Watson's & George Heriot's - and should be invited back to the next stage of the selection process for places in the Scottish team at the Home Countries International Regatta at Inniscara in Ireland.

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Indoor Championships

On Sunday 11th February 10 ASRA rowers brought home from the 2007 Scottish Indoor Rowing Championships at the Time Capsule, Coatbridge a total of 9 category medals - 6 gold, 2 silver and one bronze.

Gold (individual)

Girls Junior 13 - Fiona McKinnon (Robert Gordon's College), Girls Junior 14 - Catriona Bain (Aberdeen Grammar School), Boys Junior 15 - Jonathan Wright (Harlaw Academy), Girls Junior 18 - Joy Davies (Aberdeen Grammar School).

Gold (team)

Boys Junior Team Championship - Jonathan Wright (Harlaw), Johnathan Lockhart (RGC), Gary Wilson (AGS) & amp;Atholl Wallace (Meldrum Academy). Girls Junior Championship - Joy Davies (AGS), Lucy Bonnamy (Cults), Catriona Bain (AGS) & Jamie Steel (Harlaw).

Silver

Boys Junior 15 - Johnathan Lockhart (RGC), Girls Junior 18 - Lucy Bonnamy (Cults).

Bronze

Girls Junior 14 - Rachael Hadjitofi (AGS).

Good performances all round and some indication of how well winter training is going for the more committed members of the club.

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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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Aberdeen Sprint Regatta

At the Aberdeen Sprint Regatta on Saturday 9th September there was again unfortunately very little outside competition for our athletes. Stirling, Inverness and ABC did however give us food for thought in a number of events. Results were as follows:

  •  MJ13 1x : Blair Sorbie
  •  MJ14 1x : Atholl Wallace
  •  MJ16 1x, MJ18 1x & MR2 1x : Johnathan Lockhart
  •  MJ14 2x: Atholl Wallace & Blair Sorbie
  •  MJ16 2x: Johnathan Lockhart & Jonathan Wright
  •  WJ16 1x & WR2 1x: Catriona Bain
  •  W Novice 1x: Lucy Bonnamy
  •  WJ16 2x: Jamie Steel & Iona Riley
  •  WJ18 2x: Jamie Steel & Iona Riley
  •  WJ18 2- : Joy Davies & Lucy Bonnamy
  •  Mixed R2 2x: Joy Davies & Colin Wallace

Disappointing results for our perhaps overly complacent WR2 Coxed Four and Coxless Pair who were beaten comprehensively by an extremely neat quartet from Aberdeen Boat Club - Margaret Cottam, Mette Jacobsen, Angela Ogier & Vanessa Duncan - and Stirling clearly still have the beating of us in J14 Quads.

Atholl Wallace and new partner Blair Sorbie with their excellent row in MJ14 Doubles gave notice however that Stirling may not have it all their own way in 2007. Star discovery of the day was without doubt our WJ15 sculler Catriona Bain who made a nonsense of our established sculling ladder and in a whole series of powerful and elegant performances threw down the gauntlet for the season ahead.

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Home Countries International

At the Home Countries Rowing International 2006 hosted this year by Scotland at Strathclyde Park, Motherwell, our 4 ASRA Scottish caps played a major role in securing second place ranking overall in the Junior Girls section of the competition. Joy Davies (Stroke) & Lucy Bonnamy (Bow) selected as a "development pair" after their Gold at the National Championships of Great Britain, showed remarkable composure for 16-year olds at this level and having left the Welsh at the start, rowed through the English National Schools pairs finalists from St. Leonards of Durham in the last quarter of the race to finish strongly only a length and a half behind the brilliant Coupe de la Jeunesse pairing from Ireland.

They then joined clubmates Seonaid Crosby at 6 and Jamie Steel in the cox seat in the Scottish Junior Girls' Eight to beat the English National Schools Champions from Thames-based Molesey Boat Club into third place and end again a highly respectable second behind the all-conquering girls from Ireland's Coupe squad.

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National Rowing Championships

National Schools' victors Jamie Steel (Stroke) & Iona Riley (Bow) who held Silver medal position for most of a strongly contested Women's Under 14 Double Sculls final, launched a massive final push with 750 metres to go, collided with a buoy in the process and slipped sadly out of medal contention. Missed Bronze by a second. Congratulations to all our athletes most of whom produced SBs despite the sweltering heat.

Four ASRA girls have been chosen to represent Scotland at the Home Countries Rowing International to be held at Strathclyde Park next weekend: Joy Davies & Lucy Bonnamy in the Women's Junior Coxless Pair, Seonaid Crosby, Joy Davies & Lucy Bonnamy in the Women's Junior Eight and Jamie Steel will cox the Women's Junior Eight.

 

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Scottish Rowing Championships

At the Scottish Rowing Championships at Strathclyde Park on the 10/11 June, ASRA racked up a total of 7 Gold Medals, two more than at the same event in 2005.

Our ASRA Girls took all four titles in the Women's Junior Under 14 Division in both the sweep and sculling disciplines. Rachael Hadjitofi (Bow), Catriona Bain (2), Iona Riley (3), Jamie Steel (Stroke) coxed by Niall Rundle won Women's Under 14 Coxed Fours & Coxed Quads, Iona and Jamie not unexpectedly repeated their National Schools win in Women's Under 14 Doubles and Iona completed the set with an brilliant individual virtuoso performance in Women's Under 14 Single Sculls. With Katie Hiscox for Rachael Hadjitofi in Bow, Catriona Bain (2), Iona Riley (3), Jamie Steel (Stroke) then went on to win the Women's Junior Under 15 Coxed Fours event.

Elsewhere our Novice Boys - Lewis Masson (Bow), Evgenij Sinclair(2), William Vickers(3), Tom Hunter(Stroke) & cox Niall Rundle - put up an extremely gutsy - if not always elegant - performance to bring home the Boyd Cup and Girls' Captain Lucy Bonnamy & partner Joy Davies saved an otherwise fairly bleak weekend for our senior girls with a stylish win in Women's Junior Under 16 Pairs.

Congratulations to all who took part - winners and losers - and our grateful thanks to all the parents who undertook the long journey south to support the squad and to those parents and supporters in particular who once again rolled up their sleeves and helped unload the trailer and stow away our equipment in record time at the end of a very long weekend.

ASRA WJ15 4+ moving through Heriot's at the 750 metres mark

 

Iona Riley powering her way to Gold in WJ14 Single sculls

 

Blair Sorbie putting in a brave effort to stay with the leaders in MJ12 Single sculls

 

WJ14 Coxed Quad at the winners' pontoon

 

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National Schools' Regatta

At the prestigious National Schools' Regatta at the English National Watersports Centre, Nottingham on 26 - 28 May, where annually around 3500 rowers contest 48 different rowing events, ASRA's Junior Under 14 Scullers - Iona Riley (Hazlehead Academy) & Jamie Steel (Harlaw Academy) won Gold and the Tristan Hewins Cup for their outstanding performance in the Girls' Double Sculls event beating the best scullers in their age group over three rounds from 20 Clubs all over England. This is the first time in 40 years that Aberdeen rowers have brought home Gold from this, the biggest and toughest Junior rowing regatta in Britain.

Both our J14 Boys Double - Gary Wilson & Atholl Wallace - and our J18 Girls - Joy Davies, Beady Rice, Seonaid Crosby, Lucy Bonnamy & cox Jamie Steel - were unfortunate to be drawn in the tougher of the two semis on offer in their respective events and to end up fourth in both with times that would have seen them qualify comfortably for the final, had they been in the other semi. Our J16 Girls - our J18s with Danielle McNaughton replacing Seonaid Crosby – were also more than a little unlucky - having survived the processional elimination process in some style - to be allocated lane 1 in their semi - the observably slowest of all the lanes in the prevailing wind conditions on Sunday. It cannot be denied however that the SQA exams which are now in full swing and the consequent lack of crew outings have definitely left their mark on both the technique and fitness levels of our senior girl rowers in particular.

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Castle Semple Regatta

At the Castle Semple Regatta, Lochwinnoch, on Saturday 20th May ASRA crews survived the wet and cold conditions and a 5:30 a.m. start from Aberdeen to record three excellent wins:

  • Men's Novice Fours: William Vickers, Jonathan Wright, Johnathan Lockhart, Tom Hunter & cox Graham Doig - beating stout opposition from Edinburgh, Strathclyde & Heriot-Watt Universities as well as Aberdeen Boat Club.
  • Women's Junior 15 Fours: Rachael Hadjitofi, Iona Riley, Catriona Bain, Jamie Steel & cox Niall Rundle - reversing last week's defeat at Aberdeen with an explosive push in the last 100 metres of the race.
  • Men's Junior 13 Single Sculls: Atholl Wallace - with last season's Junior 12 Scottish Champion demonstrating in no mean fashion that one year on he remains without any doubt the fastest sculler in his own age group.

A protest has been lodged with the Castle Semple Race Committee about their merging the Men's and Women's Junior 14 Events into one. Even the best girls in that age group have little or no chance against their male equivalents and this seems to have escaped their notice. The prestigious National Schools' Regatta, the Scottish Championships and the British Championships all recognise this fairly obvious truth and run separate events at J14.

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NE Regatta on the Dee

At the North East Regatta on the Dee on 13/14 May, our ASRA crews despite exam pressure notched up a total of 19 wins. A disappointing lack of Southern Juniors once again, but thankfully George Heriot's sent up a full squad who gave our J15 and J16 Girls in particular a torrid time and a great deal of food for thought. In order of event number, wins were:

  •  Women's R2 Fours: Joy Davies, Beady Rice, Seonaid Crosby, Lucy Bonnamy cox Nina Scott
  •  Men's J16 & J15 Fours: Gary Wilson, Jonathan Wright, Johnathan Lockhart, Atholl Wallace
  •  Men's J 14 Fours: Gary Wilson, Jonathan Wright, Daniel McSherry, Atholl Wallace
  •  Men's J15 Double Sculls: Johnathan Lockhart, Atholl Wallace
  •  Men's J 14 Double Sculls: Blair Sorbie, Daniel McSherry
  •  Men's J12 Sculls: Blair Sorbie
  •  Women's J15 Double Sculls: Iona Riley & Jamie Steel
  •  Women's Novice Double Sculls: Iona Riley & Jamie Steel
  •  Men's R2 Sculls: Colin Wallace (Saturday & Sunday)
  •  Men's Novice Sculls: Johnathan Lockhart
  •  Men's J16 Sculls: Johnathan Lockhart
  •  Men's J 14 Sculls: Atholl Wallace
  •  Men's J12 Sculls: Blair Sorbie
  •  Women's J14 Sculls: Iona Riley
  •  Mixed Novice Quad Sculls: Tom Hunter, Johnathan Lockhart, Iona Riley, Jamie Steel
  •  Men's Novice Double Sculls: Tom Hunter & Johnathan Lockhart
  •  Generation Double Sculls; Jim Steel (ABC) & Johnathan Lockhart (ASRA)
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Strathclyde Park Regatta

At the Strathclyde Park Regatta on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd April our ASRA girls racked up 7 straight victories and two fine second places against strong opposition from all the main Scottish and several Northern English rowing centres.

  • Women's Junior 14 Singles: Iona Riley (2nd - Jamie Steel).
  • Women's Junior 14 Doubles: Iona Riley & Jamie Steel (2nd - Catriona Bain & Rachael Hadjitofi).
  • Women's Junior 14 Fours: Rachael Hadjitofi, Iona Riley, Catriona Bain, Jamie Steel (cox Niall Rundle).
  • Women's Junior 16 Fours: Danielle McNaughton, Beady Rice, Joy Davies, Lucy Bonnamy (cox Nina Scott).
  • Women's Junior Pairs: Joy Davies & Lucy Bonnamy.
  • Women's Novice Fours: Danielle McNaughton, Beady Rice, Joy Davies, Lucy Bonnamy (cox Nina Scott) - 1st out of 18 crews!
  • Women's Junior 18 Eights: Katie Hiscox, Danielle McNaughton, Beady Rice, Jamie Steel, Catriona Bain, Iona Riley, Joy Davies, Lucy Bonnamy (cox Atholl Wallace).

Disappointing days for the boys who failed to medal but who put up some gutsy performances nevertheless. The main difference was perhaps that the girls had the advantage of the Gent Easter Camp behind them where they had done significant amounts of practice as racing units.

Congratulations to all who took part (J12s in particular) and grateful thanks to our long-suffering parents who rolled up their sleeves and got wired into the trailer unloading at the end of an extremely long weekend.

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Gent Spring International Regatta

In Belgium on the 15th & 16th April at the Gent Spring International Regatta, the 11 ASRA rowers who had previoussly attended our 5-day rowing camp at Blaarmeersen acquitted themselves with distinction against superlative opposition in their age categories from Belgium, Germany, England & France.

Our J16 Girls (Lucy Bonnamy, Beady Rice & Joy Davies plus Seonaid Crosby - fresh from GB Camp at Hazewinkel - won Bronze in JW18 Coxless Fours against formidable opposition from Lady Eleanor Holles but this sole medal success does not reflect adequately the series of excellent individual and team performances strung together by our athletes over the weekend.

In WJ18 Pairs, Lucy Bonnamy & Joy Davies came 9th in a field of 16, as did Johnathan Lockhart in JM 16 Sculls and Atholl Wallace came an extremely creditable 10th out of 29 in MJ14 Sculls. Our J14 Double - Iona Riley and Jamie Steel - came to within a whisker of winning bronze on the Saturday, 0.09 the time difference between themselves and the girls of TVK Essen in third place and on Sunday three of our J14 Quad took first 10 places in a field of 29 in WJ14 Single Sculls - heat winners Iona Riley and Jamie Steel coming 5th and 9th respectively and Catriona Bain 10th in the overall rankings. They then turned about and joined star newcomer Rachael Hadjitofi to come again a nail-biting fourth in the final of Women's J14 Quads, this time only 0.41 of a second away from bronze.

Complaints from our German opposition based on Belgian local rulings led to our J14 scullers having to abandon their accustomed "big blades" and to row at considerable disadvantage, it must be said, with borrowed Macon blades on the Sunday. Our gratitude nevertheless to the coaches of local Belgian Club - KRSG - for sportingly supplying us with the necessary blades on the day.

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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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GB Junior Selection Trials

At the GB Junior Selection Trials at Boston (Lincolnshire) on 18th and 19th February the Scottish pairing of Polly Swann of Heriot's and our own Seonaid Crosby could only manage a disappointing 7th place out of 11 over the timed 5K course. A particularly galling result since our girls were a clear second at the the 2500 metre mark. All is not lost yet however since it is almost certain that the girls' performance was good enough to ensure an invitation back to the Peterborough Closed Trials (over 7 kilometres this time!) on the 12th of March.

Both Polly and Seonaid will in fact race at Women's Tideway in a GB Junior Eight on the 11th March and have not been required to take part in the Peterborough Closed Trial on the 12th. They have also been invited to move on directly to the next stage in the GB selection process - the Spring Assessments at the National Watersport Centre, Nottingham from the 1st to 3rd April.

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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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