Rowing News

End of Season Review

The 2016/17 season yielded many promising results for the rowing club, from strong all-round performances at local regattas to great achievements at national-level events. The coaching team of James Davidson and Laura D'Urso worked tirelessly with the 1st Girl's and Boy's IVs (respectively) to ensure improvements on last year's already high standard. However, part time coaches Michael May, Holly Burns (FP) and Alexander Brown deserve credit for their work with the Third and Fourth Years, as does Margaret Gralewicz, the former Head of Rowing, who still finds time to help out at the canal.

The early part of the season saw a great deal of positive change in the club, in terms of organisation and results, facilitated partly by the addition of new equipment: 3 Single Sculls and numerous sets of sculling and sweeping blades. There were also changes in the two 1st IVs, as the ever-increasing strength and depth of the club was displayed by the competition for seats in the top boats, with particularly notable performances by Fourth Year girls Olivia O'Neill and Catriona Taylor, whose perseverance earned places in the 1st IV, ahead of some S5 and S6's.
On 23rd March 2017, the two 1st IVs raced the Schools Head of the River.

The crews were as follows;

Girls IV: Karen Millar, Jane Hardie, Lucy Hart, Olivia O'Neill, cox: Rowan Burns
Boys IV: Rory Young, John Laurenson, Ewen Anderson, James MacLennan, cox: Phillippa Lloyd.

Due to inclement weather conditions the course was shortened to 2500m, but the girls were unfazed and adapted their race plan to earn an impressive 3rd place, for which they were awarded School Colours. Despite a far from perfect preparation - including a change of boat and personnel - the boys put in a strong performance in the tough conditions and took 5th place, an improvement on last year's result.

The National Schools Regatta, held at the Eton Dorney Olympic Rowing venue, represented the pinnacle of the year's racing for the two 1st IVs. Both crews performed well in their time trials to earn places in the A/B semi-finals. The girls did enough to secure their place in the A Final. The boys crew put in their best performance up to that point and were devastated to miss out on the A Final by half a second, meaning they finished in 9th place overall, in a field of 30 crews. The girls went on to take 5th place in the A Final - a very impressive result.

The crews were as follows;

Girls IV: Jane Hardie, Karen Millar, Catriona Taylor, Olivia O'Neill, cox: Rowan Burns
Boys IV: Rory Young, John Laurenson, Ewen Anderson, James MacLennan, cox: Phillippa Lloyd.

At the Scottish Rowing Championships, strong results were produced across the board over the three days of the event, including two S3 girls who won gold as part of the Women's Novice coxed quad. Most notably, John Laurenson and Rory Young raced brilliantly in Friday's time trial, finishing as the second fastest junior pair, a position which they retained after Sunday's final, having been beaten only by the Aberdeen Schools Pair who will go on to represent Great Britain. This standout performance earned them places in the Scottish Rowing Team, where they will be the highest ranked junior pair. They will race at the Home International Regatta in the Coxless Fours. This year's regatta will be held at Strathclyde Park 22nd July.

The final races of the season were Marlow Regatta and Women's Henley. The Girls 1st IV raced well on the famous Henley stretch of the River Thames and were unlucky to be eliminated by a very strong American crew. The boys also encountered American competition at Marlow. After a well-executed time trial, the boys crew produced their best-ever performance which, coupled with first-class coxing by Phillippa Lloyd earned them second place, beaten only by Marlow RC, by 2/3 of a length; a great note on which to end the season.

One individual who consistently produced exceptional results throughout the season was club captain, Jane Hardie. Having represented Scotland at the 2016 Home International Regatta, this season Jane has been competing against the best rowers in the country at GB trials. Jane's ergo scores and ability in the single scull have earned her an invitation to final trials next month, where a strong performance will earn Jane a place in the GB squad for the Junior World Championships or Coupe de la Jeunesse.

We look forward to next year, with a new crop of athletes, new goals with newly appointed captains; James MacLennan (Club Captain), Ewen Anderson (Boys Captain), Philippa Lloyd (Girls Captain) all aiming to drive the club forward. All of us at the rowing club wish the Sixth Year leavers the best of luck with their future endeavours, particularly those who will be competing internationally. We would also like to thank the School for its continued support of Rowing Club, and we hope that next season we will continue to produce results that reflect the time and that is invested by athletes, coaches, staff and parents.

Key results

Schools Head: Girls 3rd Boys 5th
National Schools:
Girls 5th Boys 9th
Scottish Rowing Championships: John Laurenson and Rory Young 2nd Junior Pair,
Scotland selection. Jane Hardie 2nd Junior Girls Single.
GB trials: Jane Hardie invite to Crew Formation Trials, selection tbc

Written by

James MacLennan (2017-18 Club Captain)


Pictures of John Laurenson and Rory Young in S3 and then in S6 rowing their way into the Scotland Rowing. Click on an image to view in a larger size. Use the navigation arrows to move between images.

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