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Scottish Annual Indoor (Ergo) Rowing Championships

At the Scottish Annual Indoor (Ergo) Rowing Championships at the Wishaw Sports Centre on Sunday 4th February, ASRA members won the magnificent total of 11 medals - 5 Gold, 3 Silver and 3 Bronze. Gold went to Graham Doig in the Boys' Junior 12 category, to Ewan Bain in the Boy's Junior 11 category, to Catriona Bain in the Girls' Junior 13 category, to Jonathan Lockhart in the Boys' Junior 14 category and to Seonaid Crosby in the Women's Junior 18 category. Silver went to Iona Riley ( J13), Jonathan Wright (J14) and Joy Davies (J16). Bronze went to Gary Wilson (J14), Lucy Bonnamy (J16) and Tom Hunter (J18 Lwt).

Not everyone could win a medal of course, but our gratitude nevertheless to all of our athletes who gave it their best shot despite lingering illnesses and the threat of imminent examinations. The only sour note - the disappointingly and unacceptably large number of last minute call-offs.

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Aberdeen Eights HORR

At the Aberdeen Eights Head on Sunday 29th January on the Dee, our Novice Girls - Bow Katie Hiscox (Cults Academy), 2 Jamie Steel (Harlaw Academy), 3 Catriona Bain (Aberdeen Grammar), 4 Danielle McNaughton (Mearns Academy), 5 Beady Rice (Robert Gordon's College), 6 Iona Riley (Hazlehead Academy), 7 Joy Davies (Aberdeen Grammar), Stroke Lucy Bonnamy (Cults Academy) & cox Judith Herbert (RGU) took the Women's Novice Eights title in a field of five by a winning margin over 3K of 20 seconds. Second place went to the students of the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. The same crew with one change - Seonaid Crosby sitting in for Katie Hiscox - came a creditable second in the Women's R2 Division, the win by 11 seconds going to Gary Bain's ABC/AUBC/RGU development squad.

Our Novice Boys Michael Chalmers (Aberdeen College), Atholl Wallace((Meldrum Academy), Gary Wilson (Aberdeen Grammar), Tom Hunter(Robert Gordon's College), Ibrahim Dali-Ahmed (Cults Academy), William Vickers (Westhill Academy), Jonathan Wright,(Harlaw Academy) Johnathan Lockhart (Robert Gordon's College) & cox Daniel McSherry (Aberdeen Grammar) also put up a good performance to win the Men's Novice Eights title ... unfortunately unopposed but in some style and in a very respectable time of 11 minutes 8 seconds.

Congratulations to all who took part... in particular Karen Wilson, Pippa Davies & Blair Sorbie who had to fill in at the last minute for club members who disappointingly failed to show on the day.

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Glasgow Rowing Club HORR for Fours

At the Glasgow Rowing Club Head of the River Race for Fours on Saturday 26th November on the Clyde, ASRA failed to win a race category for the first time in many years. Lady Luck however was not on our side, it has to be said. Hopelessly inadequate embarcation arrangements at the Glasgow Uni Boathouse prevented our J15 Boys reaching the Dalmarnock Railway Bridge checkpoint on time and a draconian 40 second time penalty imposed on our J16 Girls at the start - whose stroke Lucy Bonnamy was in any case unwell - almost certainly contributed to their lack-lustre performance in their race. Our Novice Boys too were unfortunate to have to stop rowing after a promising start when Fraser Humphreys at 3 had an excruciating attack of cramp in his left leg and could not go on.

All that said, the standard of our rowing and sculling was nevertheless still well below what our coaches had come to expect of our crews in practice on our home waters, our J14 Boys for example went down to George Watson's by 2 whole minutes and our J15 Girls - Jamie Steel, Iona Riley, Catriona Bain, Katie Hiscox and cox Nina Scott - while putting up the best ASRA performance of the day trailed in after their opposite numbers from George Heriot's and George Watson's by a losing margin of 20 and 17 seconds respectively.

Clearly an immense amount of work will have to be put in by crews and coaches over the next two months if we are to do ourselves justice over the same course at the 2006 Scottish Schools' Head in early March.

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GB Rowing Trials

At the first ever GB rowing trials held on the Caledonian Canal, Inverness, on Saturday 22nd October, ASRA's Seonaid Crosby continued her remarkable improvement curve in single sculling to come in a well-deserved first of the Scottish GB aspirants in the Women's Junior 18 category beating in so doing close rivals Nicola Santoni of Strathclyde Park RC by 3 seconds and Laura West of Nithsdale by 8 seconds over the 5K course. Next stop on the GB selection trail...Boston in November.

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Aberdeen HORR and Small Boats Head

At the Aberdeen Fours Head of the River Race on Saturday 15th October, ASRA's girls won Women's Novice Fours (Jamie Steel, Joy Davies, Iona Riley, Lucy Bonnamy & cox Nina Scott) coming first in a field of eight and some 25 seconds ahead of the next placed Novice crew from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. 

In the Second Division ASRA's Beady Rice, Joy Davies, Seonaid Crosby, Lucy Bonnamy & cox Jamie Steel came a very creditable second out of seven in Women's R2 Fours - beaten in the end by a strong quartet from Dundee University Boat Club.

In a lively internal battle between the ASRA boys at Junior 15 and in the regrettable absence of Southern Junior opposition, Johnathan Lockhart's crew of Niall Rundle, Daniel McSherry, Atholl Wallace & cox Ilyes Dali-Ahmed beat Ibrahim Dali-Ahmed's crew of Jack Hughes, Richard Fraser-Wilson, Gary Wilson & cox Beady Rice.

In the Aberdeen Small Boats Head on Sunday 16th October ASRA's Lucy Bonnamy & Joy Davies won Women's Novice Doubles, Iona Riley & Jamie Steel won Women's J16 Doubles and Johnathan Lockhart won Men's J16 Single Sculls. In the Second Division the ASRA quartet of Jamie Steel, Joy Davies, Iona Riley, Lucy Bonnamy repeated Saturday's victory - this time in Women's Novice Quad Sculls and coxed on this occasion by Ilyes Dali-Ahmed. Atholl Wallace and Richard Fraser-Wilson beat off determined opposition from their club-mates to win Men's J14 Doubles.

Our sympathy must go to Karen Wilson who having put in good performances at both days of the regatta slipped on the bank in front of the boathouse after the close of racing and had to be transported off to A & E with a suspected broken ankle. The club sends her best wishes for a swift and complete recovery.

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Strathclyde Park Small Boats HORR

At the Strathclyde Park Small Boats Head of the River Race on the 1st October, gale force winds compelled the organisers to cancel the second division of the race. The first division did however take place despite the horrendous weather conditions and our team pulled off category wins in Women's J16 Doubles (Lucy Bonnamy & Joy Davies) and in Men's J14 Doubles (Johnathan Lockhart & Jonathan Wright). Our J13 Mixed Quad (Iona Riley, Gary Wilson, Atholl Wallace, Jamie Steel & cox Daniel McSherry) - unfortunately without opposition in its own class - also sculled well to come overall 6th out of 32 and first home of the non-Strathclyde Park based crews and there was a significantly improved performance too for Seonaid Crosby who came in only a second behind Nicola Santoni of Strathclyde Park Rowing Club in Women's J18 Single Sculls.

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Aberdeen Sprint Regatta

At the Aberdeen Sprint Regatta on Saturday 3rd September there was unfortunately no outside Junior opposition for Aberdeen Schools. Nevertheless there were some outstandingly good performances both in races between our own club members and against senior rivals Aberdeen Boat Club.

Our new Boys' Captain, Jonathan Lockhart, established himself as ASRA's leading sculler with wins at J14, J16 & J18 and in Open Novice Sculls against stout opposition from ABC. ASRA's Novice Girls (Rhona Miller, Beady Rice, Catriona Bain & Katherine Hiscox) put in a series of stylish performances to dispose of all the other five crews in their event and ASRA's Mixed R2 Eight (Colin Wallace, Seonaid Crosby, Jonathan Lockhart, Lucy Bonnamy, Johnathan Wright, Michael Chalmers, Joy Davies, Jamie Steel & cox Atholl Wallace) beat ABC's powerful semi-final winner over Clyde in the final of that event by a canvas.

Surprise upsets came in the form of the victory of our WJ14/15 Girls (Jamie Steel, Iona Riley, Beady Rice & Catriona Bain) over our sitting WJ16 crew (Lucy Bonnamy, Seonaid Crosby, Joy Davies & Rhona Miller) who came in fourth at Nat. Champs and in the defeat by a length in WJ14 Single Sculls of Jamie Steel by relative newcomer and excellent sculling prospect Iona Riley.

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Home Countries International Regatta

At the Home Countries International Regatta in Cardiff on Saturday 23rd July, the Scottish Junior Women's team put up their best performance in years to finish equal on points with England and only lost out on the title on count-back following a late disqualification of the Irish boat from the first event of the day. Seonaid Crosby of Aberdeen Schools rowed at five in the Scottish Junior Women's Eight which so nearly settled the match for Scotland. They led the field at 500 metres but finished an unfortunate third in a finish which saw England, Ireland and Scotland overlapping on the line.

Jamie Steel of ASRA coxed a strong Men's Junior Eight to yet another nail-biting third place with England, Ireland and Scotland overlapping in a blanket finish.

Home International cogniscenti will recognise what an improvement these performances represent in terms of Scottish Junior Eights results in recent years.

Our gratitude goes to Bournemouth University who sportingly lent the Scottish girls their brand new Stelph Eight and blades to help solve acute equipment problems on the day.

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National Rowing Championships

At the National Rowing Championships of Great Britain in Nottingham from 15th - 17th July, in the Womens Under 16 Coxed Fours event, our girls - Rhona Miller (Cults Academy), Joy Davies (Aberdeen Grammar School), Seonaid Crosby (Robert Gordon's College), Lucy Bonnamy (Cults Academy) & cox Jamie Steel (Harlaw Academy) - reached the final via an emphatic win in Saturday's repêchage only to miss out on the medals by just under a boat length to the girls of Evesham Rowing Club on Sunday.

Our sculling group showed improvements all round but struggled predictably in events which were in most cases a year above their present age group. A full dress rehearsal however for the Nat. Champs. in 2006! Two Scottish caps for the Association this year: Seonaid Crosby has been selected to row in the Scottish Junior Girls' Eight in next Saturday's Home Countries International in Cardiff and Jamie Steel will cox the Scottish Junior Boys' Eight.

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Scottish & Scottish Schools' Championships

At the Scottish & Scottish Schools' Championships, at Strathclyde Park, Motherwell on the 11th and 12th June, crews from ASRA won five golds over the two days. This is clearly slightly down on our 1999 - 2003 average of eight wins at the Scottish Championships, but given the relative youth and inexperience of the majority of our present members, the future remains reasonably bright.

  • Schoolgirls' Under 15 Coxed Fours: Katie Hiscox, Jenny Hiscox, Rhona Miller, Lucy Bonnamy (Cults Academy) cox Shanna Taylor
  • Women's Under 14 Double Sculls: Jamie Steel (Harlaw Academy) with Morna Spence (George Watson's College)
  • Wylie Cup (Novice Schoolboys): Arthur Tutenuit (Aberdeen Grammar School), Gareth Bonnamy & Ibrahim Dali-Ahmed (Cults Academy), Lewis McAra (Hazlehead Academy) cox Gary Wilson (Aberdeen Grammar)
  • Men's Under 12 Double Sculls: Atholl Wallace (Meldrum Academy) & Daniel McSherry (Broomhill Primary)
  • Men's Under 12 Single Sculls: Atholl Wallace (Meldrum Academy)

Our J15 sweep crews - boys and girls- lost out in nail-biting finishes by just about a length to strong opposition from George Watson's College and Strathclyde Park Rowing Club respectively, but given continued commitment and hard graft they can confidently look forward to closing the gap still further (or altogether!) when battle is next rejoined.

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National Schools' Championships

At the National Schools' Championships, Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham on 27, 28 & 29 May ASRA entered crews in the MJ15 and WJ16 Fours events. Age-wise the crews were extremely young and the primary aim was to give them experience of an event where an entry of 3,000 competitors is rapidly becoming the norm.

As luck would have it, the weather which had been so benign on Friday for the J14 events, changed dramatically on Saturday and a 28 m.p.h. head wind gusting to 55 m.p.h. forced the organisers to abandon racing on safety grounds before our boys - Arthur Tutenuit, Jonathan Wright, Owen Jenkins, Johnathan Lockhart & cox Atholl Wallace - had a chance to compete.

On Sunday with a return to an 8 m.p.h. headwind our WJ16 entry - Beady Rice(15), Lucy Bonnamy(15), Iona Riley (13), Joy Davies (15) & cox Jamie Steel - entered the lists in the "group of death", a group where the other four crews all progressed through the semis to the final and where two of them medalled. Had we been drawn in either of the other two eliminators, we too would have progressed to the semis and then who knows...? The Bedford High School crew (Schools' Head 2005 WJ16 Champions) which forced our exit in the first round by just four seconds won the bronze medal and the gold medal went to our old rivals George Heriot's of Edinburgh.

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Castle Semple Regatta

At the Castle Semple Regatta, Lochwinnoch, on Saturday 21st May, ASRA's scullers and sole representatives on this occasion - Jamie Steel and Michael Chalmers - did us proud. Jamie Steel won Women's Junior 13 and 14 Single Sculls and Women's Junior 14 Double sculls partnered by Morna Spence of George Watson's College, Edinburgh. Michael Chalmers came second in Men's Junior 16 Sculls and third in Men's Junior 18 Sculls.

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Aberdeen and NE Regatta

At the Aberdeen & NE Regatta on the Dee on the 7/8 May, the Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association encountered some of the stiffest oppposition offered in recent years at our home regatta by our southern rivals George Heriot's School and George Watson's College of Edinburgh. This notwithstanding ASRA were able to record 8 victories in the following categories:

  • Women's Junior 15 Fours - Jamie Steel, Lucy Bonnnamy, Rhona Miller, Joy Davies & cox Nina Scott.
  • Men's Junior 14 Coxed Fours - Gary Wilson, Jonathan Wright, Owen Jenkins, Johnathan Lockhart & cox Atholl Wallace
  • Women's J 15 Double Sculls - Jamie Steel & Morna Spence
  • Women's J 16 & Women's Novice Single Sculls - Seonaid Crosby
  • Men's Novice Sculls - Michael Chalmers
  • Women's J14 Single Sculls - Jamie Steel
  • Men's J 12 Single Sculls - Atholl Wallace

Atholl Wallace and his father and ASRA FP Ronald Wallace also won the Generation Doubles Final in grand style.

 

ASRA's J14 Boys beating Heriot's at the N.E. Johnathan Lockhart, Owen Jenkins, Jonathan Wright & Gary Wilson.

Atholl Wallace powering his way to victory in J12 Sculls at the N.E.

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Stathclyde Park Regatta

At the Strathclyde Park Regatta at the National Watersports Centre in Motherwell on 23/24 April, ASRA recorded a total of five wins in all. On this occasion it was the turn of the boys to shine. They won Men's Junior 15 Fours (Arthur Tutenuit, Jonathan Wright, Owen Jenkins, Johnathan Lockhart & cox Nina Scott), Men's Junior 14 Fours (Gary Wilson, Jonathan Wright, Owen Jenkins, Johnathan Lockhart & cox Nina Scott), Men's Junior 12 Coxed Quad (Jack Hughes, Daniel McSherry, Niall Rundle, Atholl Wallace & cox Erin Grieve) and Men's Junior 12 Double (Daniel McSherry & Atholl Wallace)

Club Captain Seonaid Crosby brought some consolation for the girls in the form of a win in Women's Junior 16 Single Sculls, but otherwise they had to be content with close seconds in Women's Junior 14 Single Sculls (Jamie Steel) - 0.40 of a second the losing margin - and Women's Junior 15 Fours (Jamie Steel, Lucy Bonnamy, Rhona Miller, Joy Davies & cox Erin Grieve) this time with a losing margin of 1.36 seconds.

Congratulations to all who took part and grateful thanks to our coaches and supporters who undertook the long journey south to support our squad.

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Belgium International Junior Championships

At the Belgian International Junior Championships of 2005 in Ghent on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th April, our senior girls - Beady Rice, Lucy Bonnamy, Seonaid Crosby & Rowena Burrows - came second on both days in the singularly underpopulated but fiercely contended Women's Junior Coxless Fours event and were consequently awarded silver medals for their efforts. Lack of crew practice in the run-up to the event and disastrous steering on the day made them come in a poor second to Moseley's GB hopefuls on the Saturday, but a much improved performance on Sunday - 17 seconds faster in fact over the 2K - kept them in touch with their Belgian national squad contenders for most of the race. Jamie Steel(13) had attended an intensive sculling training camp at Blaarmeersen run by chief coach Jim Ferguson of George Watson's College, Edinburgh, in the week prior to the event and came 9th out of 42 entries from Belgium, Germany, Spain & GB in WJ14 Single Sculls. She recorded the fastest British time and with partner Morna Spence of Watson's did the same again when she came 7th out of 24 entries in WJ Double Sculls.

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Aberdeen Eights HORR

At the Aberdeen Eights Head on the Dee on Saturday 26th February ASRA's WR2 Eight came third out of five entries in this category, coming in just 11 seconds after a strong veteran Inverness entry but a full minute behind Aberdeen University's top women who went on to win the Open category in the second division.

The University - clearly but legitimately playing a careful balancing act with the R2 pointing limits - were fortunate to be able to include two of ASRA's star FPs - Junior International Gold Medallists Alex Bonsall & Jill Beck. ASRA's Novice Girls – Jamie Steel, Beady Rice, Lucy Bonnamy, Katrina Grimm, Rhona Miller, Katie Hiscox, Joy Davies & Shanna Taylor - Joy and Shanna replacing ineligible Rowena Burrows and Seonaid Crosby- then turned straight round and came a creditable second out of five entries in the Women's Novice category in the second division. Congratulations to all of the 32 ASRA rowers who - after very little practice in eights - did our club proud on the day and helped to make our local regatta such a success.

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Scottish National Indoor Championships

At the Scottish National Indoor Rowing Championships on Sunday 23rd January held in Dalziel High School, Motherwell, rowers from the Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association brought home a total of 2 Gold and 6 Silver Medals.

In the Women's Under 12 Event Gold went to Iona Riley of Hazlehead Academy and in the Men's Under 13 Event to Jonathan Wright of Harlaw Academy. Silver went to Shanna Taylor & Catriona Bain (equal second in Women's Under12), Johnathan Lockhart (Men's Under 13), Seonaid Crosby (Women's Under 16), Rowena Burrows (Women's Lightweight Under 18) & Gareth Jones (Men's Under 18).

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Glasgow HORR

On Saturday 27th November at the Glasgow Rowing Club Head of the River Race in miserably cold and wet conditions ASRA recorded the only category win in the event for an Aberdeen club. Congratulations to our WJ15 Four - Beady Rice (14), Lucy Bonnamy (14), Seonaid Crosby (15), Jamie Steel (12) and cox Atholl Wallace (11) - on a magnificent win by a nail-biting one second over powerful opposition from George Heriot's of Edinburgh. An indication of how fast these two crews were on the day is given by the fact that they both beat the times put up the two composite (ABC, AUBC & RGU) Aberdeen Women's Restricted 1 Crews by 7 & 8 seconds respectively.

The coaching team were extremely proud of the way in which all our members bore the freezing conditions so cheerfully and philosophically and contributed so massively to club morale throughout the day, particularly the members of the WJ15 B crew who were unable to row because of eleventh hour withdrawals. A special word of praise too for our novice coxes (all aged 11) - Jack Hughes, Daniel McSherry & Niall Rundle - who brought home their crews and boats unscathed through all the hazards of an extremely crowded Clyde.

With 181 crews coming under starter's orders on 13/14 November this was the biggest Aberdeen Head ever. Fourteen new course records were set up over the weekend and our crews - still mainly scratch at this time in the year - struggled to cope with the strength in depth of the Junior opposition provided by George Heriot's, George Watson's and Strathclyde Park Rowing Clubs. Our fledgling sculling squad in particular was unable despite some good performances to record a single win.

Pride of place on this occasion must go to our Womens Junior 14 Coxed Four - Beady Rice, Katrina Grimm, Rhona Miller, Jamie Steel & cox Erin Grieve which with a time of 13.57 not only set up a new course record for their age group but also beat our Womens Junior 16 Coxed Four and Mens Junior 15 Coxed Four in so doing. The same crew (coxed by Marlene Grimm) went on to win Womens Junior 15 Coxed Four in the Second Division on Saturday.

Other wins came in Womens R2 Pairs - Seonaid Crosby & Rowena Burrows - and Mens J14 Fours with Lewis McAra, Daniel McSherry, Atholl Wallace, Johnathan Wright & cox Niall Rundle.

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Glasgow HORR

The Glasgow Rowing Club HORR on 29/11/03 was cancelled for safety reasons at the eleventh hour as ASRA were approaching the Clydesdale boathouse...

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Inverness HORR

At the Inverness HORR on the Caledonian Canal on Saturday 15th November our J18 Boys, in a behavioural volte-face worthy of Jekyll and Hyde, showed a level of athleticism, technique and commitment which had been almost totally lacking at the Aberdeen HORR and recorded a double victory in the MJ18 and the MJ16 sections of the racing. 

Kerr Neave, Malcolm MacLeod, Malcolm McLeish, Andrew Camilleri-Fyfe coxed by Atholl Wallace beat the Heriots top four by a convincing 33 seconds in Division 1 and Andrew Camilleri-Fyfe, Malcolm MacLeod, Jack Montgomery, John-Henry Rhind coxed by Atholl Wallace - rowing for the penultimate time at J16 - beat their Heriots opposition by a thumping 55 seconds in Division 2.

Not to be outdone, ASRA's J18 Girls - Kirsten Tolstyko, Hannah Macpherson, Judith Herbert, Kirsty Beck & cox Jamie Steel - seized the opportunity afforded by the absence of Heriots GB triallists Karina Williams and Stephanie McDowell to record a handsome win in Divison 1. This too was a significantly better performance than their Aberdeen row and offers the prospect of highly entertaining encounters with our Edinburgh rivals in 2004.

Elsewhere our Novice Girls - Jamie Steel, Judy Frary, Rhona Miller, Katrina Grimm & cox Michael Chalmers - came an excellent 6 out of 14 crews in the highly competitive Womens Novice section of the Head - with two 12-year olds aboard! Our J14 Boys - Michael Chalmers, Andrew Brockman, Owen Jenkins, Jonathan Lockhart & cox Sita Steed - struggled a little in Mens Novice in Division 2, but still got home in times better than both the Heriots J15 crews in Division 1.

Congratulations to all who took part. Particularly gratifying was the esprit de corps demonstrated by the older members of the club when helping our tinies emboat and deboat at the potentially lethal Inverness landing stages. Our gratitude too to Mr Tolstyko and Deutag for their help in transporting our large group of competitors to and from the venue.

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