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Aberdeen Fours HORR

In difficult gusty conditions at the Aberdeen Fours HORR on 8/9 November ASRA entered the lists for the first time in three years without the services of stalwarts Colin Wallace, Ross Cruickshank, Michael Anderson et al. who have now moved out of Junior - and it showed.

Our new top boys put up predictably lack-lustre performances that reflect their lukewarm commitment to training. Andrew Camillieri-Fyfe, Kerr Neave, Malcolm MacLeod, Malcolm McLeish, Jack Montgomery & John-Henry Rhind - in various combinations coxed on each occasion by Atholl Wallace could only come 5th out of eight in Mens R2 Fours and last out of five in Mens R1 Fours, beaten in the latter race by the RGU winners of Womens R2 Fours! Andrew Camillieri-Fyfe and partner Malcolm McLeish emerged as the best of the ASRA bunch in Junior Pairs but were still thoroughly beaten into second place by a powerful duo from Loch Lomond, ten seconds the gap at the finish.

Our J15 boys - Michael Chalmers, Andrew Brockman, Blair Moir & Owen Jenkins coxed by Jonathan Lockhart - were rather up against it in Mens Novice Fours but came a promising 5th out of eight despite all odds. Michael Chalmers came 4th out of eight in Mens Novice Sculls.

Top girls - Kirsten Tolstyko, Hannah Macpherson, Judith Herbert & Kirsty Beck coxed by Jamie Steel - fared marginally better in Womens R2 Fours coming in 5th out of fourteen in that section of the race, beating their much fancied WJ16 club rivals - Rachel Brodie, Seonaid Crosby, Rowena Burrows & Sarah Coles, coxed by Sita Steed - by some 23 seconds and in the internal battle beween both halves of the Junior Four, the Tolstyko/Macpherson combination beat the Herbert/Beck one by over a minute in Womens J18 Pairs. Reputations were on the line again in the WJ15 Doubles race and Rowena Burrows & Frances Robinson simply outclassed their previously highly rated club-mates Brodie and Crosby on the day.

In Womens Novice fours - Rebecca Coles, Judith Herbert, Judy Frary & Isla Newcombe coxed by Jonathan Lockhart - showed considerable promise on their second (!) crew outing to come a creditable 4th out of 13 but still 5 seconds adrift of our J14 Four - Marlene Grimm, Jamie Steel, Lucy Bonnamy & Rhona Miller, coxed by Katrina Grimm.

Quick fixes are not possible, nevertheless improvements are expected at the Inverness & Glasgow HORRs.

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Aberdeen Sprint Regatta

At the Aberdeen Sprint Regatta on Saturday 20th September ASRA racked up a fine series of six wins.

Our gratitude to our coaching team - Ian Duncan, Andy Brown, Andy Buchan & Jill Beck - who nobly stepped up to fill the breaches left by five of our seniors who chose to spend this weekend panning for the good Duke's FeS2 somewhere in the Grampians. Andy Buchan and Andrew Camilleri-Fyfe combined with Scottish and British Junior Champions Ross Cruickshank and Colin Wallace (cox Atholl Wallace) to win R1 Fours and these four joined Jack Montgomery, John-Henry Rhind, Andy Brown and Senior Coach Ian Duncan (again coxed by Atholl Wallace) to rout an ABC/SABC/Glasgow composite in R2 Eights. Colin Wallace and Jill Beck looked surprisingly good in their Mixed 2x victory over an ABC outfit and Andrew Camilleri-Fyfe and Michael Chalmers had comfortable wins in Novice 1x and MJ14 1x respectively. Our girls rowed well all day and our WJ15s (Rachel Brodie, Seonaid Crosby, Rowena Burrows & Sarah Coles) having narrowly lost out in the Final of W R2 Fours, joined Jill Beck, Judith Herbert, Kirsty Beck & Kirsten Tolstyko (cox Jamie Steel) to record an emphatic win over an ABC/RGU composite in W R2 Eights.

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Home Countries Championships

At the Home Countries Championships in Cork, Ireland on 26th July it was ASRA's girls who brought home Gold in the only Scottish Junior Team win of the day. In a brilliant race the Nithsdale/Aberdeen Schools composite faced opposition in Womens Junior Coxless Fours from King's School, Worcester (England), Haberdashers (Wales) and

Muckross (Ireland). After a debatable restart occasioned by an Ireland/England collision, Alex Gemie & Anna Anderson of Dumfries and Morag Emslie & Alex Wessel of Aberdeen took the opportunity to improve on their already blistering start to establish an early lead, were never seriously challenged and rowed powerfully and stylishly away from the field to win in the end by more than two clear lengths.

ASRA boys - Colin Wallace, Ross Cruickshank, Kerr Neave, Michael Anderson and cox Jamie Steel - are reigning Scottish and British champions in Coxed Fours and hoped to repeat their Home Countries Gold of 2002 as they rowed for Scotland in Mens Junior Coxed Fours. All looked well until 450 metres out, when the All Ireland composite from St. Joseph's, C.A.I. and Cork put in a sustained burst to push through our boys who had led off the start. In the mistaken belief that they would be powerful enough to row down the Irish in the later stages of the race, our boys chose to offer no immediate response to the Irish push but despite valiant, sustained pushes at 1000 and 1500 metres and a desperate sprint to the line they were unable in the end to pull back the length surrendered so tamely at 500. A hard lesson in race tactics, but they provided a thrilling two horse race in which the English of Star Club and the Welsh composite from Monmouth School, Ponteland and St. Paul's took little part beyond half-way.

Later in the day Colin Wallace and Ross Cruickshank had to settle for silver position again in Mens Junior Coxless Pairs where they were bettered on this occasion by World GB Juniors of 2002 from St. Paul's School of London. The English duo demonstrated the gulf in race experience and basic fitness by blasting off the start at 45, striding comfortably at an almost unbelievable 37 and accelerating in to the finish at 42! 2K races at top level are now becoming extended sprints.

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National Rowing Championships

For a record-breaking second year in succession the boys of the Association captured arguably the blue riband of British Junior rowing at the National Rowing Championships of Great Britain at Strathclyde Park, Motherwell on Sunday 20th July when Colin Wallace, Ross Cruickshank, Kerr Neave, Michael Anderson & cox Jamie Steel completed a gruelling programme of top level racing to take a brilliant and stylish Gold in the final of Mens Under 18 Coxed Fours. They now move forward to the Home Countries International in Cork next weekend to see if they can repeat their last year's success at the HIR in Scottish blue. With Ben Ramsden sitting in for Kerr Neave at three the boys had earlier in the day taken Gold in Mens Under 18 Coxless Fours while Colin Wallace and Ross Cruickshank had started off the day with a Silver in Mens Junior Under 18 Coxless Pairs.

The Girls J18 "A" crew - Rebecca Brodie, Alex Wessel, Morag Emslie, Hannah MacPherson with cox Atholl Wallace - who have been somewhat overshadowed by their male equivalents all season - crowned their intensive training of the last three weeks with an exceptionally gritty performance to beat among others the Scottish HIR select - a Nithsdale / Heriots composite - and secure a well-deserved Silver in Womens Junior 18 Coxed Fours. Later in the afternoon, fatigue began to take its toll and Morag Emslie and Alex Wessel were a little unlucky not to do better than Bronze in a thrilling final of the Womens Junior 18 Coxless Pairs event.

In the final of WJ18 Coxless Fours, Kirsten Tolstyko, Kirsty Beck, Anna Crosby & Seonaid Crosby struggled heroically with difficult water conditions and gusty side winds to cross the line a highly creditable fourth and just out of the medals - having been overtaken in the last few metres by the more experienced Welsh HIR select from Haberdashers of Monmouth.

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2002 Results

At the Glasgow Rowing Club HORR on 30th November on the Clyde, sloppy time-keeping on the part of drivers and some crew members delayed our start from Aberdeen and this combined with incredibly lethargic/inept embarkation at the Green resulted in our MJ15 and WJ15 crews failing to make the time window for the start and in our WJ18 crew being lumbered with a 35 second penalty for turning up late. Again the only crew to regain any kind of credibility for our club were Messrs. Anderson, Vallance, Cruickshank & Wallace - now restored to full health and vigour and coxed by the intrepid Miss Steel - who empachered their way to an impressive 28 second victory over Dumfries in MJ18 Fours.
Our girls - sad to relate - were once more mauled by their opposition from Dumfries and Edinburgh and demonstrated without a shadow of doubt that their opponents' Inverness results were no flash in the pan.

On 27th November, Lucy Buglass, a member of ASRA and of the GB women's 4- which finished 4th at the Junior World Championships in August, was awarded the NPFA Medallion at the National Playing Fields Association "Annual Awards for Sport 2002" in Edinburgh City Chambers. The awards were presented by the NPFA's Scottish Sports Personality of the Year, 400 metre runner Lee McConnell. Lucy was nominated by SARA, which is a member association of the NPFA.

At the Inverness HORR on the Caledonian Canal on Saturday 9th November our J18 triple champions - Michael Anderson, Robert Vallance, Ross Cruickshank, Colin Wallace and cox Jamie Steel - put in what was by their own high standards a somewhat lack-lustre performance to win Mens J18 in the first division by a margin of 10 seconds over Nithsdale, and were fortunate to beat them in R1 in the second division - only one second the margin and the closest the Dumfries lads have come to beating ASRA in some two years of racing. Our J18 Girls were badly outclassed by their Nithsdale equivalents - at least two of whom are GB standard - and our J16 Girls were simply demolished by a surprisingly swift Heriots quartet. A mountain to climb then if our girls are to be at all competitive this season. A crumb of comfort came in the performance of our Novice Girls - Laura Dickie, Anna Boef, Lizzi Sanderson & Rebecca Coles - who came third out of ten in their division of the race. The opportunity to redress the balance at the Aberdeen Fours and Small Boats HORRs on the 16/17th November was unfortunately denied us when the Dee was adjudged to be dangerously unrowable and the organisers had to call off both events.

At the Aberdeen Sprint on the 21st September and the Castle Semple Sprint on the 28th, a disappointing lack of interest from other Junior clubs in Scotland resulted in many of the races being ASRA versus ASRA affairs. At Aberdeen however an experimental R2 Four comprising Michael Anderson, Ross Cruickshank & Colin Wallace with Kerr Neave - probably the club's most promising Novice - sitting in for Robert Vallance in order to reduce the average pointage did take the honours in that event in some style and Robert at Aberdeen and Morag Emslie at Semple also recorded notable wins in J18 and J16 single sculls. Hopefully the HORRs in October will be better attended so that we can gain some kind of early indication as to how we compare with our opponents from the South.

On Saturday 31st August three of ASRA's best - all Home Countries' gold medallists - went off to the Inverness Sprint Regatta to find out how much damage had been done during the Summer break. In the WR1 2- final against a World Masters' Pair from Inverness, Jill Beck & Ruth Hobson should have won but made a couple of mistakes which cost them the race, while in the MJ18 1X final Robert Vallance won by nearly a length from Alan Sinclair.

At the World Junior Rowing Championships, 7/10th August held on Lake Trakai, Lithuania, in the final of the Womens' Coxless Fours event, pitched against the best from Russia, Germany, Italy, France and Belarus, in glorious weather and against the perfect backdrop provided by the lake, our Lucy Buglass rowing Two for Great Britain was unlucky to end up out of the medals less than 3 seconds off Bronze. Earlier rounds had promised better but an indifferent start on the day meant that the GB Four had to play catch-up for most of the race. This is nevertheless the best result in recent times by a Scot at Junior World Championship level and ASRA coaches Ian Duncan and Bryan Steel were delighted and proud to be able to be there to savour the moment.

At the Home Countries International Regatta held at Strathclyde Park on 27th July our Scottish and British Champions - Michael Anderson, Robert Vallance, Ross Cruickshank & Colin Wallace coxed by Jamie Steel - continued their unbroken run of victories with yet another outstanding row to win Gold for Scotland in Mens' Junior Coxed Fours. A brilliant Gold too for our Club Captain Jill Beck, her sister Kirsty Beck, Ruth Hobson & Bianca Williams coxed by David Garden as they beat the reigning British and Welsh National Champions in the highly competitive Junior Womens' Coxed Four event.

Congratulations to them and to the other ASRA athletes - Ben Ramsden, James Burrows, Kirsten Tolstyko and Alex Wessel - who were not in winning boats but who nevertheless turned in performances that were a credit to both club and country.

At the National Championships of Great Britain in Nottingham from the 19th - 21st July, our ASRA J17 Boys - Michael Anderson, Robert Vallance, Ross Cruickshank & Colin Wallace coxed by Jamie Steel - beat a quality field to record a resounding win in Mens Junior Coxed Fours, a full nine seconds separating them from Westminster School B.C. in the silver medal position. Womens Open Coxless Fours, while Lucy's former Pairs partner and Club Captain Jill Beck put in a tremendous performance in Womens Junior Pairs to bring home the Silver Medal with her new partner of a few weeks - Ruth Hobson. Disappointment for our Womens Junior Four - Ruth Hobson, Alex Wessel, Kirsten Tolstyko, Jill Beck and cox Rebecca Brodie who recorded a fine win in the opening round of their competition only to come sixth in a highly competitive final and commiserations to our Junior 15 Womens Double - Anna Crosby & Morag Emslie - who were heading straight for the final when Anna's blade handle parted company from the loom and the resultant crab brought their boat and hopes of progress in the event to a grinding halt. Congratulations nevertheless to all who took part and our thanks as always to supporting FPs, parents and the ASRA coaching team.

Over the two days of the Scottish & Scottish Schools Rowing Championships at Strathclyde Park on 15/16 June, ASRA crews recorded 10 wins. On Saturday J Beck and L Weighill had an emphatic win in WJ2- as did our J16 Girls (S Chalmers, A Crosby, M Emslie, H Macpherson, A Wessel, Re Brodie, K Beck, K Tolstyko, Cox J Steel) in WJ16 Eights and ASRA's Robert Gordon's College Girls (A Wessel, Re Brodie, H McPherson, L Buglass, Cox Ra Brodie) were simply too strong for their opposition from Edinburgh and Dumfries in SG J18 Fours. Not to be outdone our top boys provided a nail-biting finish in one of the most exciting races of the day in MJ2- where our steadily improving B Crew (R Vallance & R Cruickshank) beat our love-sick A Crew (M Anderson & C Wallace) for the first time this season by less than half a second. A Cram then joined M Anderson, R Vallance & C Wallace to end our Saturday charge with a resounding victory over Nithsdale in Mens Junior Coxless Fours.

On Sunday our J17/18 boys and girls confirmed their placings as favourites for Home Countries International selection (and L Buglass for GB honours) with convincing wins in WJ18 (H MacPherson, L Weighill, J Beck, L Buglass) and MJ 18 Fours (M Anderson, R Vallance, R Cruickshank, C Wallace) coxed on both occasions by J Steel. Surprise winners in MJ15 Fours were our much maligned and totally unpredictable "space-cadets" J-H Rhind, A Camilleri-Fyfe, M Macleod & S Buglass who reversed their Saturday defeat by Heriots to win handsomely by almost two lengths. Our Cadets were not to be outdone however in the honours stakes and J Steel and partner K Hamilton made up for J Steel's controversial disqualification on Saturday in WJ12 1x by fighting off stern opposition from Castle Semple to win WJ12 Doubles. They then joined colleagues K Grimm, M Grimm & Cox M Chalmers to win WJ12 Quads with a stylish row over 1000 metres.
Congratulations to all our competitors who displayed a high standard of good behaviour and sportsmanship both on and off the water and thanks as always to S Vallance(Boat Marshall), A Vallance(First Aid), supporting parents and the ASRA coaching team for their tireless efforts over an extremely long weekend.

Poor pickings this year at the National Schools Regatta at Nottingham on 1/2 June. ASRA could only manage 2 fourth positions in the highly competitive finals of Coxed Fours for Boys (A Cram, R Vallance, J Burrows, C Wallace & Cox S Chalmers) and Championship Girls' Coxless Pairs (L Weighill, J Beck). Our boys - without R Cruickshank and M Anderson who were unable to reconcile their rowing and their SQA commitments - were forced out of the medal positions by strong opposition from Kingston Grammar School, Emanuel School and Monkton Combe School. It is particularly frustrating to note that our regular top J17s had beaten the gold medalists from Kingston by some three and a half seconds in April at the Ghent Junior International in Belgium.

At the North East Regatta on 11/12 May, ASRA recorded 11 wins on Saturday and won their only entry on Sunday. Congratulations to all and in particular those who had to break away from their SQA exam preparations to take part.
Our Empacher Four - M Anderson, R Vallance, R Cruickshank, C Wallace coxed by J Steel - finished their run in R2 with another emphatic win and together with J Burrows, B Ramsden, A Cram, A Kamath dominated determined local opposition from ABC and AUBC/RGU in Mens R2 Eights. A weakened J18 Girls squad struggled in WR2 Fours but Club Captain Jill Beck and Lisa Weighill continued to show good form in winning WR2 Pairs. Our improving J 16 Girls - A Wessel, K Beck, K Tolstyko, Rebecca Brodie coxed by A Watt - beat good opposition from George Heriots and A Wessel and R Brodie together with J15s A Crosby and M Emslie went on to win Womens Novice Four in grand style against crews from Stirling University, Strathclyde University, RGU and Aberdeen Boat Club. Our J15 2x - A Crosby & M Emslie - again beat Heriots opposition in that event and together with S Coles and Rachel Brodie won both the WJ15 Fours and the Invitation J14/15 Fours events. Our "lucky" J15 Boys on the other hand finally ran out of their incredible vein of good fortune and were soundly whipped by their Edinburgh counterparts in MJ15 and MJ16 finals. In Unisex J13 Quads three ASRA crews competed for honours, the win going in the end to the all-girl quad of K Grimm, K Hamilton, M Grimm, J Steel coxed by Rachel Brodie, but in Unisex J12 Sculls in a field of 3 girls and 2 boys the boys came out on top with M Chalmers just winning in an exciting and close-run Final over R Ophoff. On Sunday R.Vallance put in a series of polished performances to win in Mens R2 Single Sculls.

At the Strathclyde Park Regatta on 4/5 May ASRA recorded a total of 9 wins. Our MJ17 Four (M Anderson, R Vallance, R Cruickshank, C Wallace, Cox J Steel) won both MR2 and MJ18 in convincing style and the M Anderson/C Wallace combination proved unbeatable in MR2 and MJ18 Pairs. Our Mens Novice Four (J Burrows, R Cruickshank, B Ramsden, A.Cram, Cox S Chalmers) also won their event with room to spare. Not to be outdone our top girls (J Beck, L Weighill) put up gritty performances to win both WR2 Pairs and WJ18 2-. Our MJ15 4+ (A Camilleri-Fyfe, M Macleod, S Buglass, J-H Rhind, Cox M Chalmers) continued their quite incredible run of luck by beating old rivals Heriots again - this time due to a jammed seat in the opposition boat! A win is a win is a win is a win however! Our "minis" put up brave performances in all the events they entered but looked to be coming home empty handed until J Steel in WJ12 Single Sculls proved that guid gear comes in incredibly small bulk by beating her powerful rival from Castle Semple by a handsome margin in one of the last races of the day.

Congratulations to all of our athletes and coaches who did ASRA proud both on and off the water and our special thanks to Stuart Vallance (Boat Marshall) and Ann Vallance (First Aid).

At the GB Small Boats Regatta at Dorney Lake on 21/22 April, ASRA's Lucy Buglass & Eddie of Durham came third in the final of WJ 2- in the wake of Gardner & Greenhaugh (Headington) by 7 seconds and Bates & Faux (also Headington) by a crushing 13 seconds. Bobby Gibson will be delirious!

At the Belgian International Junior Championships in G(h)ent on 13/14 April our J17 Boys (Michael Anderson, Robert Vallance, Ross Cruickshank and Colin Wallace) won their heat on Saturday to record the third fastest time in MJ18 Fours in a strong international field of 15 behind Hampton School by 1 second and a German National Composite by 8 seconds. An experimental "Scottish Four" with our Ben Ramsden, Ross Cruickshank and James Burrows won Bronze again on Sunday against stout opposition from English, French and German clubs. Special congratulations to our long suffering Club Captain - Jill Beck - who, having lost her Pairs partner to GB, rowed in the Nithsdale/ASRA composite to a thoroughly deserved Gold in WJ18 4+.

At the GB Junior Spring Trial in Nottingham on 23rd March, Lucy Buglass finished in the top four sweepers. Her club colleague Jill Beck finished 7th on bow side. Lucy has been invited to a training camp in Belgium and to compete in the 'GB possibles' girls four at the Munich Regatta - traditionally the proving ground for GB juniors thought to be in contention for selection for the World Junior Rowing Championships.

At the Scottish Junior Trials on Saturday 16th March, despite appalling cross-wind conditions at the 1K start and the vagaries of scratch pair racing, our J17/18 candidates put in good performances to remain in contention for HIR team places. In Boys' sweep matrix Colin Wallace came 1st in the stroke side ranking with Michael Anderson and Ben Ramsden coming a little disappointingly 5th and 6th; Ross Cruickshank came 2nd on bow side with James Burrows coming in at 4th. In Girls' sweep matrix, Jill Beck came 1st on bow side and Lucy Buglass 2nd on stroke side. Our younger candidates suffered more than a little in the rough water but nevertheless gained valuable trialing experience, while our promising J16s - Alex Wessel and Rebecca Brodie - paid the price for not checking their gates before the start and had to withdraw from the competition after capsizing halfway down the first run. Robert Vallance suffered a serious viral infection in the week leading up to the trial and was unable to take part.

At the Scottish Schools HORR on the Clyde on Saturday 2nd March our MJ18 4+ (Colin Wallace, Ross Cruickshank, Robert Vallance, Michael Anderson & Cox Jamie Steel) won the Head outright over nearest rivals Nithsdale by a crushing 32 seconds. A victory in the Schools Head has been eluding us incredibly since 1966 when a certain Bob Newton (now President of ABC) and fellow athletes from the then Aberdeen Academy took the title for the first time and although an ASRA Junior crew did record the fastest time over the Head in 2000 it was deemed to be ineligible for the Schools Head title because one of its members was already at University. For some 15 years previously an insistance by the Scottish Schools Rowing Council that the winners should come from one single school had led ASRA to drop the event from its racing calendar. The 1966 Old Boys have made a donation of £500 to club funds in recognition of our boys' achievement. Our Senior Girls (Lucy Buglass, Jill Beck, Lisa Weighill & Hannah Macpherson) who had put themselves in a strong position to take the WJ18 Pennant over a highly talented Nithsdale Four were somewhat less than amused when they were unceremoniously barged off course and then rammed by a Heriots MJ15 crew who had suddenly developed a crippling rudder problem. The fact that our MJ15s (John-Henry Rhind, Sandy Buglass, Malcolm Macleod, Andrew Camilleri-Fyfe & Cox Michael Chalmers) then seized this opportunity to take the MJ15 Pennant afforded them little consolation. Our newly formed WJ16 crew (Rebecca Brodie, Kirsty Beck, Kirsten Tolstyko, Alex Wessel & Cox Adam Watt) continue to show promise and recorded in the end a comfortable victory over their opponents from Heriots.

At the Aberdeen Eights HORR on 3rd March, a somewhat fatigued ASRA WJ8 (Lucy Buglass, Jill Beck, Lisa Weighill, Hannah Macpherson, Rebecca Brodie, Kirsten Tolstyko, Kirsty Beck & Alex Wessel) put in a creditable performance to beat a variety of hung-over AUBC and ABC ladies (the post Boat Race ball skewed the results more than a little), but failed to dominate the Womens R2 Division as had been hoped. The boys on the other hand helped an Aberdeen Composite (Ross Cruickshank, James Burrows & Ben Ramsden providing the ASRA input) to a big win over Dundee University in Mens Novice Eights in the first division and in the second division the ASRA Junior Eight (Colin Wallace, Ross Cruickshank, Robert Vallance, Michael Anderson, James Burrows, Ben Ramsden, John-Henry Rhind(Sub), Sandy Buglass & Cox Jamie Steel) recorded the same time as the winning R1 Eight and beat all the other R2 boats - including a strong but party-weary AUBC entry fairly bristling with ASRA FPs!

At the GB Junior Small Boat Trials in Boston on 16th & 17th February, Jill Beck (Cults Academy) and Lucy Buglass (RGC) came a brilliant overall 5th in the Pairs Division on both Saturday and Sunday while Robert Vallance (Aboyne Academy) and Ross Cruickshank (RGC) came a handsome 15th out of 52 entries in the boys' event on Saturday. Their disappointing 24th on Sunday reflected an injury picked up the previous day. Congratulations nevertheless all round. Grateful thanks to Stuart Vallance for lending us his Volvo to transport the two Pairs to Boston and to Senior Coach Ian Duncan.

Meanwhile at the Inverness HORR on the Caledonian Canal on Saturday 16th February, our Womens J16 Eight shocked the field by sprinting into an early lead in the Womens Novice Eights division and won by an impressive 30 seconds over the 4.5K Congratulations to Anna Crosby, Bridget Steed, Morag Emslie, Shona Chalmers, Kirsty Beck, Kirsten Tolstyko, Alex Wessel, Rebecca Brodie and cox Jamie Steel. Our boys put up an heroic performance to come third in R2 Eights with a severely weakened J18 crew rowing the veteran Bon Accord in the absence of our top Eight still under repair with Janousek. Our thanks to Mike Tolstyko and KCA for helping out with the transport on this occasion and to Andy Brown for his coaching input in the lead-up to the event.

As a result of the Scottish Team Trials at Strathclyde Park on 19th January, ASRA's Lucy Buglass & Jill Beck now head the girls' sweep rankings and ASRA's Colin Wallace & Michael Anderson the boys'. Robert Vallance & Ross Cruickshank came third idly improving Ben Ramsden & James Burrows finished a highly creditable fourth. Congratulations to all who braved the elements to participate.

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2001 Results

At the Glasgow Rowing Club HORR on Saturday 24th November ASRA rowers and coaches went through a steep learning curve as our J16 Boys (in the MR2 event) careered from bank to bank and were eventually disqualified for a collision with Edinburgh University. We had overlooked the fact that the Empacher - the pride of our fleet - with its deep fin and tiny rudder is simply not equipped to whip round the corners of the 5K course on the Clyde. Unabashed, the identical crew and cox (sic) - Robert Vallance, Ross Cruickshank, Michael Anderson & Colin Wallace coxed by Jamie Steel - stepped into our battered old Janousek and stormed down the course to come fourth overall in the Second Division. In doing so they out-rowed no fewer than seven MR1 crews and the GUBC Mens Open crew. Division winners were incidentally the Aberdeen University Mens Open Crew with a strong ASRA connection - Seb Plant (ASRA Captain 2000/1) and Tim Currie (ASRA GB Gold medallist in 1999/2000). In Mens Novice the rapidly improving ASRA B crew (Derek Elliott-Jones, Alex Cram, Ben Ramsden, James Burrows coxed by Laura Dickie) came an impressive second out of fourteen and a scratch crew of Shona Chalmers, Rebecca Brodie, Alex Wessel
& Amy Cardale coxed by Laura Dickie came third in a packed Womens Novice event.

At the compulsory GB Early Identification Trial in Single Sculls over 5K at Boston on Saturday 16th November, the fastest Scots in the MJ18 event were Chris Logan (Watsons) in 30th position and Robert Vallance (ASRA) in 33rd.
In WJ18 Nithsdale's Alex Gemie (WJ16!!) came 47th and ASRA's Lucy Buglass came 48th. The other ASRA GB aspirants gave of their best in a discipline in which scarcely any had even competed before. The next GB outing in January is in Pairs and a far fairer idea of where we all stand should be forthcoming then.

At the Aberdeen HORR on Saturday 3/4 November the Boys J17 (Robert Vallance, Michael Anderson, Colin Wallace & Ross Cruickshank, cox Jamie Steel) won the R2 section of the race in the record breaking time of 11.29 minutes, just 5 seconds adrift of the Glasgow University Mens Open A crew. A good performance from the ASRA Womens Novice B Crew (Amy Cardale, Alex Wessel, Bridget Steed & Morag Emslie) brought them an impressive second out of the 13 crews entered in the Womens Novice section of the First Division. Ross Cruickshank and Robert Vallance inflicted their first defeat on ASRA rivals Colin Wallace and Michael Anderson in J18 Pairs albeit in a slower time than that achieved by James Burrows and Ben Ramsden in their victory in Mens R2 pairs in the First Division! Flash in the pan or not, a warning to our GB medallists not to sit around on their laurels. Our WJ18 Pair (Jill Beck and Lucy Buglass) won Womens R2 pairs in a disappointingly slow time and were ponderously unimpressive in their unopposed win in WJ18 Fours. George Watsons College let us know in no mean fashion that we have a lot to learn on the sculling side but we showed enough promise in our first efforts in this discipline against classy opposition to indicate that - given sufficient application - we may be competitive by the main season 2002.

The Aberdeen Sprint Regatta on 29th September was disappointing from the entry and weather points of view, however the ASRA PP/FP eight (Seb Plant, Tim Currie, Andie Buchan, Robert Vallance, Michael Anderson, Colin Wallace, Sandy Buglass et al.) put in a great performance to beat Glasgow Rowing Club with a heap of Scottish Internationals aboard in MR1 Eights, and our girls - Lucy Buglass, Emma Roberts, Jill Beck and Lisa Weighill - won WR2 4+. The ASRA/AUBC four - Seb Plant, Ian Duncan (!), Tim Currie and Andie Buchan won MR2 4+. Our J16s were unfortunately knocked out of the event when a blade collar slipped. Michael Chalmers restored the honour of the mini-males by beating Jamie Steel this time round in unisex J12 1x on a re-row, but the WJ12 4x - Jamie Steel, Marlene Grimm, Sita Steed and Kat Hamilton - beat the boys' equivalent in another hotly contested event.

At the Castle Semple Regatta on Saturday 1st September, despite rough water, a gusting side wind and persistent rain, ASRA recorded 5 straight wins and a further 2 wins with the help of the ASRA FPs of Aberdeen University.
Given the weather conditions, the wins recorded by our mini people were particularly impressive: Jamie Steel made up for her disappointment at Nithsdale by winning WJ12 1x and went on to stroke the winning WJ12 Quad with Kat Hamilton (Bow), Sita Steed (2) and Marlene Grimm (3), while Anna Crosby and Morag Emslie put in a gutsy performance to win in the WJ14 2x event. British J16 Silver Medallists Sandy Buglass, Robert Vallance, Michael Anderson and Colin Wallace (Cox Jamie Steel) enjoyed another convincing win over Nithsdale in the J16 Fours and Michael Anderson and Colin Wallace won R2 Pairs. Seb Plant stroked an ASRA FP crew to take R2 Fours and finally Sandy Buglass, Colin Wallace, Michael Anderson, Robert Vallance, Ben Ramsden and Seb Plant combined with ASRA FPs Andie Buchan and Tim Currie (Cox Laura Dickie) to record a comfortable win over Glasgow University in Mens' R2 Eights. Our thanks to Aberdeen University for providing the towing vehicle and to FP Gary Bain for undertaking the mammoth drive to Lochwinnoch and back. Our appreciation too to Mrs Emslie, Mrs Chalmers and Stuart Vallance for providing additional transport for the ASRA squad.

At the Home Countries International our Girls put up sterling performances to come second in both their events - to Wales (Haberdashers Monmouth from Nat. Champs) by a reduced margin in Womens Junior Coxed Fours and to England in Womens Junior Pairs. Our Gold medallists from the Nat. Champs stormed into the lead in the Mens Junior Coxless Fours event only to be recalled to the start when Ireland and Wales collided some three boat-lengths to their rear. Ireland who were clearly at fault were not disqualified somewhat inexplicably. Disgusted and frustrated by what appeared to be abysmal umpiring decisions, our now jaded and disconsolate ASRA crew simply failed to get their heads together on the restart, lost their form completely in the middle stages of the race and trailed in last at the finish. A sad end to what has been overall a brilliant season for our top boys.

At the National Championships of Great Britain in Nottingham on the 21 & 22 July the four ASRA crews entered all brought home medals from their respective events. The Boys J16 Coxed Four (S Buglass, R Vallance, M Anderson, C Wallace & Cox L Dickie) - having led their final from the start until the last 300 metres - lost Gold to a powerful Upper Thames RC crew who stormed through on the line. The Girls J18 Coxed Four (L Dunford, J Beck,L Weighill, L Buglass & L Dickie) were taken off the start by Haberdashers Monmouth and had to row in their wake for the whole 2k race. The Girls did maintain their form throughout however and did not allow the Welsh girls to increase their initial advantage. They also resisted successfully a determined attack from Bedford though the middle 1K to defend their Silver medal position. An hour later Lisa Weighill and Jill Beck were in action again and were extremely unlucky to lose out on Silver to Canford (half a second the margin) on the line in their Womens Junior Coxless Pair. Best ASRA race of the day was however provided by our Junior Coxless four(M Anderson, R Vallance, S Plant & C Wallace)
who led a strong field from start to finish, fighting off repeated challenges from Tiffin from the 1k mark onwards, to win Gold in the end by a brilliant 5 second margin.

At the Scottish National Rowing Championships at Strathclyde Park, Motherwell on the 16/17th June ASRA won a total of 7 Golds and 3 Silvers. Gold in WJ18 Pairs, WJ Novice (Grieve Cup), MJ14 Quads, MJ14 Fours, MJ16 Eights, MJ16 Pairs and M Novice Sculls. Silver in MJ16, MJ18 and WJ18 Fours. In recognition of their achievements at the Championships and in the course of the season 10 ASRA members have been selected to represent Scotland at the Home Countries International to be held at the Pierrepont National Watersports Centre, Nottingham on the 28th July. Colin Wallace (Inverurie Academy), Seb Plant (Aberdeen College), Robert Vallance (Aboyne Academy) & Michael Anderson (Hazlehead Academy) will crew the Scottish Men's Junior Coxless Four; Lucy Buglass (Robert Gordon's College), Jill Beck, Lisa Weighill, Louise Dunford (Cults Academy) & Laura Dickie (Torry Academy) the Scottish
Women's Junior Coxed Four and Emma Roberts( Robert Gordon's College) will row seat five in the Scottish Junior Women's Eight. This is the largest number of ASRA athletes ever chosen to compete in a single year in Scottish colours. A fitting climax to the year which has seen the completion and opening of the new ASRA Boathouse.

In the National Schools Regatta at Nottingham on 26/27 May, lack of consistent training over the last several weeks due to SQA commitments resulted in a rather lack-lustre performance in the final of the MJ16 4+. Sandy Buglass, Colin Wallace, Michael Anderson, Robert Vallance with Cox Laura Dickie (travelling Sub Ben Ramsden) banished all memories of last year's "sinking" as they put in a storming performance to win their eliminator by a handsome margin, but ran out of steam at the 1000 metre mark in the final to concede disappointingly both Gold and Silver positions to Latymer Upper School. All three boats were overlapping at the finish line - an officially timed gap from first to third of seven seconds. So near and yet so far!

At a sunny Strathclyde Park on the 5/6 May ASRA's Jill Beck and Lisa Weighill (Cults Academy) proved that previous wins over their more experienced club mates, Lucy Buglass and Emma Roberts (Robert Gordon's College), had not been pure chance after all with their emphatic victory in WJ18 Pairs and the ASRA Men's Junior Eight - Robert Vallance (Aboyne Academy), Michael Anderson (Hazlehead Academy), Seb Plant (Aberdeen College), Colin Wallace (Inverurie Academy), James Burrows (Robert Gordon's College), Ben Ramsden (Robert Gordon's College), Christopher Chapman (Mackie Academy) and Sandy Buglass (Robert Gordon's College) Cox Laura Dickie (Torry Academy) - beat a very strong "Watson's" Orphan/Anglo Eight to provide one of the most exciting races of the weekend. The winning margin after 2k of flat-out side-by-side racing was just one second! We award the "Jobsworthy Trophy" to the Female Umpire who disqualified our J16 Boys in error for being "late at the start" so that the eagerly awaited showdown with Nithsdale and Watson's could not take place. Elsewhere creditable second places in both Men's and Women's Junior Coxed Fours showed that it's still all to play for as far as selection is concerned for the
Home Countries International in Nottingham in July. Considering the lack of consistent coaching that has unfortunately been a feature of the club during the boathouse building operation, performances at the North East Regatta on 21 & 22/4/2001 were heartening to say the least. The J16 Boys won J18 on Saturday (minus a distrait Sandy Buglass who went AWOL during the Fours race but redeemed himself in his J15 Double with John-Henry Rhind later) and MR2 Fours on Sunday as was to be expected and the new Empacher was thus blooded in splendid fashion. Michael Anderson and Colin Wallace won the all-ASRA triangular contest in J18 Pairs and the Jill Beck/Lisa
Weighill did the same in WJ18 Pairs. Have our Home Countries International stars fallen asleep on their laurels, one might wonder. Our Novice Girls - Hannah McPherson, Michelle May, Ruth Miller, Kirsten Tolstyko, Kirsty Beck, Shona Chalmers, Jill Beck and Lisa Weighill - coxed by Laura Dickie - put in a tremendous performance to win Womens Novice Eights and a WJ15 Four - Bridget Steed, Kirsten Tolstyko, Kirsty Beck and Hannah McPherson and coxed by Jamie Steel - gained their first ever win at an open regatta over better than average opposition from George Heriots. Jamie Steel also won Cadet Single Sculls and with Morag Emslie, Ian Emslie and Sita Steed - stroked a somewhat wobbly Cadet Quad to victory over the other ASRA miniquad in extremely difficult weather conditions. Congratulations to all who took part and in particular to our novice Gordonians on the progress they have made since Christmas. Success has eluded them to date, but the prognosis has to be extremely positive. Watch this space!

On Boathouse Opening Day on March 10th, our PPs' Mixed Eight - Seb Plant, Iain Murray, Colin Wallace, Robert Vallance, Lucy Buglass, Emma Roberts, Lisa Weighill, Jill Beck & Cox Laura Dickie - beat a sporting scratch FPs' Mixed Eight – Andy Buchan, Mike Morris, James Davidson, Richard Hughson, Morag Emery, Elaine Morrison, Linda Muckersie, Nikki Dinsmore & Cox Alex Bonsall - by two lengths. Both crews were awarded Commemorative Medals sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management and presented by Sir Steve Redgrave CBE.

At the Scottish Schools' HORR on March 3rd, our J16 Boys - Robert Vallance (Aboyne Academy) Michael Anderson (Hazlehead Academy) Colin Wallace (Inverurie Academy) Sandy Buglass (Robert Gordon's) & Cox Jamie Steel (Ferryhill Primary) - won the J16 Pennant in a time only 10 seconds short of the Head Winners, the J18 Four of George Watson's College. Not close enough unfortunately to secure the £500 Challenge put up by the 1966 Winners from Aberdeen Academy for an ASRA outright win at the Scottish Schools' HORR but close enough to encourage the FPs to leave the challenge in place for the 2002 HORR. The Robert Gordon's Novice Four put up an encouraging performance at J18 as did our Girls rowing scratch crews in both J18 and J15.

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2000 Results

The Glasgow HOR on 25/11/00 brought an exciting (but unintentional) clash between our international ASRA J18 four of last year and our up-and-coming J16 stars. The result was perhaps predictable but - with Colin Wallace injured and Michael Anderson forced onto stroke side - a winning margin of only 37 seconds for the old boys speaks volumes for the potential of our youngsters this year. With Seb Plant rowing stroke, Michael Anderson, Colin Wallace and Tim Taverner also came 4th out of 16 in Mens R2 in the other division. A WJ16 crew rowing together for the first time - Laura Dickie, Michelle May, Shona Chalmers and Ruth Miller - came a promising 2nd to Nithsdale in their section, beating in so doing both the George Heriots A and B crews.

The Inverness Head on 11/11/00 was in fact a good day for ASRA coming on the heels of mixed fortunes at the Aberdeen HOR. The J16 boys not only won their section in the Second Division but also beat the Heriots J18 crew's time in the First Division. They were beaten in that division by an ex-Scottish International J18 Composite Four masquerading as Watsons, but were close enough to them to suggest that we are still on course in our training. Our technique still needs a lot of improvement but we have time. The Novice Girls (Amy-Lee Shirodkar, Shona Chalmers, Lisa Weighill, Jill Beck) also did very well to come second out of 14 entries in Womens Novice Fours. They were however beaten by Edinburgh University "Novices" by a fair margin. It's all to play for with the girls too.

At the Coupe de la Jeunesse, Switzerland, on 29/07/2000 the Scottish Pair David McNeill (ASRA) and Henry Westwood (GRC) were selected to represent GB in the J2- event and put up a great performance to bring home a Bronze Medal.

At the Home Countries International (Five Nations) in Gent on 22/07/2000, our Girls Four now in Scottish Blue - Alex Bonsall, Lucy Buglass, Emma Roberts and Louise Dunford - struggled all the way down the course with their steering in the Coxless Four but were unlucky to come in only third in their race. If only we had gone for the Coxed Four! Our Boys - Seb Plant, PJ Bruce, John Taitt, Tim Currie and excellent new Cox John Henry Rhind - had their second meeting with the World Four who had been chosen - somewhat controversially - to represent England. On this occasion the World Four had to defend their lead over the entire 2000 metres against a much faster and more determined ASRA crew and so produce one of the most exciting races of the day. Both the Eights performed disappointingly on the day and Scotland will have to rethink its policy on Eights selection. Nithsdale participation in the Nottingham post-Championship Rowing Camp might have produced a better Junior Mens performance.

At the GB National Championships (14 - 16/07/2000) our J15 boys were forced to enter J16 since the GB Champs offer no sweep event for J15s and performed magnificently to gain a highly creditable 4th position in the Final. Given continued commitment Robert Vallance, Michael Anderson, Colin Wallace and Sandy Buglass can look forward with some confidence to a medal position in the 2001 J16 event. Our J18 Girls - Alex Bonsall, Lucy Buglass, Emma Roberts and Louise Dunford - produced their best row of the year to gain Silver in their Final losing out only to the highly rated Haberdashers Monmouth of Wales by just under a length. In the Final of Mens J18, our senior boys - Seb Plant, PJ Bruce and Tim Currie - rowed with Aussie John Taitt - a late but brilliant substitute for David McNeill who had been selected for GB duty - and put up a magnificent fight against the ex-World Championship Composite from Abington/St Edwards/St Pauls/ Bedford to secure a second ASRA Silver. To beat our lads, the Composite had to break the old course record which had stood since 1989!

A very successful Scottish Championships (17 - 18/06/2000) this year despite fairly pessimistic predictions and rushed preparations due to the athletes' SQA commitments. 8 Golds in all. Mens Junior 18 Fours, Mens Junior 18 Eights, Mens Junior 15 and Junior 16 Fours, Mens Junior Pairs, Womens Junior 16 Fours, Womens Intermediate Pairs and School Girls Grieve Cup. Our Senior Boys - Plant, Bruce, McNeill & Currie - showed the class and form they had shown all season to beat a determined Nithsdale Squad and with our Australian import John Taitt and three of our J16s they proved unbeatable in the ASRA Eight. Our J15s - Vallance, Anderson, Wallace, Buglass together with promising newcomer Tim Taverner - maintained their domination of the J15 and J16 Boys events. Extremely encouraging however were the new Girls' formations at J16 and Novice - Lucy Buglass, Emma Roberts , Alana Tischuk and Laura Dickie with their J16 Gold and Gar-Ling Ng, Ruth Miller, Alana Tischuk and Laura Dickie in the Grieve Cup. Our Senior Boys plus John Taitt and our Senior Girls - Alex Bonsall, Lucy Buglass, Emma Roberts and Louise Dunford – together with cox Laura Dickie - were all selected to row for Scotland at the Home International Regatta to be held this year for the first time in Gent, Belgium.

The National Schools Regatta at Nottingham on 27/05/2000 turned out to be something of a disappointment. The Senior Boys, of whom so much was expected, were forced as a result of examination pressure and injury to scratch from Championship Coxed Fours and the new rising stars in J15 were in the end not able to demonstrate their considerable talent in the Mariners Cup. Nevertheless no one could fail to be impressed by the heroic determination shown by the crew as they smashed their way through wind and weather in the dreaded Lane 6 to take an early lead in Heat One of their event. It was only after repeated swampings that they had to surrender that lead to two English crews who were rowing in more sheltered water at about the 1500 mark and only failed to make the finish when they were stopped by a well-meaning, but over-anxious English umpire who had them plucked protesting from their stricken Four and whisked away to the St. John's Ambulance station. The way in which the Four - Robert
Vallance, Michael Anderson, Colin Wallace, Sandy Buglass and their splendid cox Laura Dickie - comported themselves before, during and after the race will long remain a source of pride for their parents, coaches and FP supporters. The crew were reinstated after a certain Ian Duncan had indicated somewhat forcefully to the FISA umpire in charge of the race that any other decision would not only have been unjust but also a flagrant violation of the ARA Rules of Racing. Continuing deterioration in the weather conditions however forced the Regatta Organisers to abandon even a planned Time Trial alternative to the racing programme for all categories below J18.

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1999 Results

The Home Countries Match at Inniscara, Cork proved in the end a much more difficult nut to crack. Perhaps the incessant travelling of the previous fortnight combined with vast expenditure of mental and physical effort involved in the unprecedented medal successes at the Nat. Champs. finally caught up with our squad.

Most successful on the day was the Girls 4- ( Morag Emery, Alison Emery, Alex Bonsall and Nikki Dinsmore) which after a poor start rowed down all the other Home Countries crews to gain maximum team points for Scotland. They were however robbed of the Gold by the strong Coupe team from Belgium.

The Boys 4+ and the Girls Pair were bettered by Ireland and England respectively but were in no way outclassed and the Scottish Junior Eights, both Boys and Girls, came a respectable second in their respective races.

ASRA celebrate their best ever National Championships this year as they landed three Golds at an event where their previous best had been a Gold and a Silver. The Boys' and Girls' Junior Fours repeated their success of the Scottish Champs in grand style against top class opposition and the Dinsmore/Bonsall Pair dominated their Final from start to finish. The Emery Twins also won Bronze in the putative Home Countries Eight and David McNeill Silver in MJ 16 Single Sculls.

ASRA celebrated a clean sweep of the Junior 18 Fours and Eights on the weekend of 12th/13th June in the Scottish Championships at Strathclyde Park. The J16 Girls - Lucy Buglass, Emma Roberts, Louise Dunford & Ellie Lagrem - joined the reassembled Golden Girls - Morag & Alison Emery, Alex Bonsall and Nikki Dinsmore - to defeat a combined Watsons/Heriots composite in WJ18 Eights and the latter made short work of a clearly below form Heriots crew to win WJ18 Fours.

The Silver Medallists from Nat. Schools - David McNeill, P.J. Bruce, Andy Hieghton-Jackson and Tim Currie - led a full field from start to finish to win MJ18 Fours in grand style and combined with our 'B' crew - Colin Marsh, Tim Mackley, Grant Burnett and a Nithsdale Sub. for the injured Andy Buchan - went on to beat a strong Heriots Eight in MJ18 Eights. The 'A' crew - coxed again by our talented Kelly Weybury also won Mens Intermediate Fours against some fine University opposition. David McNeill dominated in MJ16 Single sculls and our Girls Pair - Nikki Dinsmore and Alex Bonsall - won the WJ18 2- event.

Pour comble de bonheur a hastily assembled Roberts Gordons Four - Andy Hieghton- Jackson, P.J Bruce, Tim Currie and Tim Mackley - took the Schools J17 Fours title from the reigning champs George Heriots to complete a less than happy weekend for our old rivals from the South.

At the National Schools Regatta in Nottingham on May 29th & 30th, our boys won a brilliant Silver in the Final of the Fours Cup for Schools' Fours They lost by one second to the Westminster School 'A' crew. 25 crews were entered for the event including the Scots from Nithsdale and Heriots who went out in the second round. ASRA boys - David McNeill, PJ Bruce, Andrew Hieghton-Jackson and Tim Currie - demonstrated not only outstanding athleticism but also an impressive maturity as they went through their three 2000 metre races in oppressively hot and windy conditions.

Our Girls reached both their finals, the J18 2- gaining a creditable fourth and the J16 4+ a hard fought fifth. Our Girls' Four entry was deemed to be ineligible since two of our girls are now at University. ARA rule 4-1-6(b) was quoted by Peter Politzer. It appears however that this rule only applies to Aberdeen Schools since a rather well known Strathclyde University student went on to win Gold in Championship Single sculls...O tempora O mores !

At the North East Regatta on May 15th & 16th the ASRA boys' first four - David McNeill, PJ, Andrew Hieghton-Jackson and Tim Currie for the injured Seb Plant - proved that they are the team to beat over 750 metres by defeating both Heriots Coxed Fours to win the JU18 event and by beating all the best of the local clubs and St. Andrew Boat Club to win Mens Open Fours. Not to be outdone, the Hazlehead Pair - Colin Marsh and Andie Buchan - defeated their counterparts from Heriots in MJU18 2-.In the absence of the Emery twins, Niki and Alex Bonsall rowed a composite with Watsons to win WJU18 4+ and WR2 4+. They also rowed their very neat Pair to victory in WR2 2-.

At Strathclyde International Regatta on April 24th & 25th the Golden Girls of last season (Morag & Alison Emery, Alex Bonsall, Niki Dinsmore) came together again to beat both Watsons and Heriots in WJU18 4+, while a WJU16 4+ (Emma Roberts, Lucy Buglass, Eli Lagrem, Sarah McLennan) without the injured Louise Dunford provided one of the more exciting races of the day winning against Watsons A & B crews having been at one point almost 2 lengths down. Alex and Niki also won WR2 2- in their Pair which seems to go a little faster every outing. Watch them at Nat. Schools! The boys are still struggling to realise their potential in Coxed Fours but beat St Peters of York (45th overall in the Schools' HORR) quite convincingly on Saturday in MJU18 8+ and (with a little help from Coach Bobby Gibson) in MR2 8+ on Sunday. ASRA's star sculler David McNeill won both MJU16 1X and MJU18 1X in grand style and looks set to be in the medal at Nat. Schools in Nottingham at the end of May.

At the Scullers Head ASRA sculler David McNeill started in 58th place and finished in 75th place but won the J16 Pennant and was the sixth fastest Junior overall. 213 scullers took part, with Colin Pow of Aberdeen Boat Club coming in 54th. Peter Haining started and finished in 5th place.

At Tideway HORR on 27/3/99, the ASRA Boys Eight started in place 361 and finished in place 203 in a time of 19:26.68. A good result considering our lack of experience at this venue. ABC1 was only 4 seconds faster !

The Scottish Schools' Head of the River Race for Coxed Fours on 6/3/99 was won by Nithsdale in a time of 13:52 beating ASRA into second place by two seconds. One of the closest results on record. Stroke: David McNeill(Grammar), 3: P J Bruce(RGC), 2: Andrew Hieghton-Jackson(RGC), Bow: Seb Plant(Cults), Cox: Kelly Weybury(Albyn). ASRA Girls won the WJ16 Pennant in a time of 16:59 Stroke: Louise Dunford(Cults), 3: Emma Roberts(RGC), 2: Lucy Buglass(Banchory), Bow: Elizabeth Lagrem(Cults), Cox: Stewart Wood(Torry)

At the Inverness Eights on 20/2/99 ASRA Mens R2 lost by only 4 seconds to a formidable crew from Loch Lomond. A good first outing for the Eight which we intend to develop for Tideway. Stroke: David McNeill(AGS), 7: P J Bruce(RGC), 6: Andrew Hieghton-Jackson(RGC), 5: Tim Currie(RGC), 4: Tim Mackley (RGC), 3: Mark Watt(Sub. ABC), 2: Sebastian Plant(Cults), Bow: Grant Burnett(Cults), Cox: Kelly Weybury(Albyn).

Also at Inverness in the Womens Novice, ASRA had a fine victory in the end over a feisty Inverness crew with whom they had a titanic struggle over the first 2000 metres. Self immolation seemed the aim of both crews on a number of occasions during the race as the picture from the Inverness Courier of Tuesday 23rd February clearly demonstrates. Stroke: Elizabeth Lagrem(Cults), 7: Lucy Buglass(Banchory), 6: Emma Roberts(RGC), 5: Mairi Powolny(RGC), 4: Laura Dickie (Torry), 3: Lois Thomson(RGC), 2: Sarah McLennan(Portlethen), Bow: Rachel Duncan(Albyn), Cox: Louise Dunford(Cults).

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