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Double World Champ Horsburgh receives surprise call up for GB Senior team

Posted: June 13, 2017

Two-times rowing World Champion, Gavin Horsburgh, has received a surprise call up to compete for the GB Rowing Team for the first time at this weekend’s World Cup in the Polish city of Poznan (16-18 June).

The Edinburgh University Boat Club athlete achieved the rare sporting crown of winning back to back world titles in 2015 at under 18 level then a year later, last September, in the under 23 age group.  

But, despite setting the highest standards, he had not expected to be selected for the senior team this soon in his career.

The decision surprised Horsburgh, who was preparing for weekend’s Scottish Championships when the call came from Edinburgh University’s Head Coach, Colin Williamson.

“I had just come in straight off a session out on the water in my single getting ready for the Scottish Champs,” said the Lochwinnoch 19-year-old.

“Then Colin said I will have to get the next flight to Heathrow and start training at Caversham the following day.

“It was a shock to the system because I’d assumed the team had already been picked and it was really unfortunate for Will (Fletcher) who has come out of the lightweight double because of an injury.

“But it’s such an opportunity they have given me, so I’m hoping I can step up to the mark.”

Gavin Horsburgh Caversham 2017

Following some reconfiguring of crew combinations Horsburgh will compete in the men’s quad this weekend along with England’s Ed Fisher, Jamie Copus and Sam Mottram.

This is a crew of lightweights competing against heavyweights but Horsburgh is up for the test.

“It will be a big challenge against heavy guys,” he admitted.  “We will have to try and step up to the mark and race to the best of our abilities seeing as the rest of the crews will have a significant weight and power advantage.  

“However the crew has been going well so far, so hopefully we can transfer all the skills we are making in the boat this week.”

“Competing in my first senior regatta is a huge opportunity for me and I’m hoping to prove something to the coaches who have selected me.  

“Hopefully that will progress me in my rowing career.”

Gavin Horsburgh Josh Armstrong Caversham 2017

Horsburgh’s inclusion brings the number of Scots competing for the GB Rowing Team in Poznan to seven.

Last week Edinburgh University Boat Club teenager, Josh Armstrong, was announced in the team in what is a huge upward step for the 19-year-old who has only just moved into the under 23 age category.

Both Armstrong and Horsburgh are supported in Scotland by Scottish Rowing, the sportscotland institute of sport and Winning Students.
Various illnesses have resulted in several other crew changes for the GB Rowing Team competing in Poznan this weekend.

As a result Edinburgh’s Karen Bennett returns to the women’s eight in international competition for the first time since winning silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as a last-minute call up for an ill crew mate.

Bennett, who won the women’s pair bronze at last month’s European Rowing Championships in Racice, will add her Olympic experience to the boat that finished fourth at the European Championships in Racice, replacing fellow Leander Club rower Fiona Gammond.

Cameron Buchan from Dunipace has been named in the men’s eight, where he joins with Edinburgh’s Callum McBrierty, after a team mate pulled out following an emergency appendectomy.

Kirriemuir’s Sam Scrimgeour was named in the lightweight men's pair last week along with Edinburgh’s  Katherine Douglas who will compete in the women’s eight.

Great Britain squad for World Rowing Cup 2

Men’s squad

Four
Matt Rossiter (Leander Club/Newbury)
Moe Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton)
Matthew Tarrant (Oxford Brookes Univ. BC/Shepperton)
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames)
Coach: Jürgen Grobler

Eight
Lance Tredell (Cambridge Univ. BC/Altrincham)
Thomas Jeffery (Leander Club/Plymouth)
Jacob Dawson (Leander Club/Plymouth)
Adam Neill (Leander Club/Peterborough)
Cameron Buchan (Leander Club/Dunipace)
Callum McBrierty (Leander Club/Edinburgh)
James Rudkin (Newcastle Univ. BC/Litchborough)
Tom Ford (Leander Club/Holmes Chapel)
Henry Fieldman (cox) (Molesey BC/London)
Coaches: Rob Dauncey/Christian Felkel

Single scull
GBR1 – Tom Barras (Leander Club/Staines)
GBR2 – Josh Armstrong (Edinburgh Univ. BC/Glasgow)
Coach: Paul Stannard

Double scull
Nick Middleton (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames)
Frazier Christie (Bath Univ. BC/Bath)
Coach: Hamish Burrell

Quadruple scull
GBR1
Jack Beaumont (Leander Club/Maidenhead)
Jonny Walton (Leander Club/Leicester)
John Collins (Leander Club/Twickenham)
Peter Lambert (Leander Club/Maidenhead)
Coach: Paul Stannard

GBR2
Ed Fisher (Leander Club/Nottingham)
Jamie Copus (Oxford Brookes Univ. BC/Watlington)
Gavin Horsburgh (Edinburgh Univ. BC/Lochwinnoch)
Sam Mottram (Leander Club/Stoke Mandeville)
Coach: Dan Moore

Lightweight men’s single scull
Zak Lee-Green (Agecroft RC/Cardiff)
Coach: Hamish Burrell

Lightweight men’s pair
Joel Cassells (Oxford Brookes Univ. BC/Coleraine)
Sam Scrimgeour (Molesey BC/Kirriemuir)
Coaches: Rob Dauncey/Christian Felkel

Women’s squad

Pair
Anastasia Chitty (Leander Club/Oxford)
Rebecca Girling (Molesey/Fareham)
Coach: James Harris

Eight
Annie Withers (Oxford Brookes Univ. BC/Kingston)
Sara Parfett (Univ. of London BC/Rochester)
Caragh McMurtry (Coalporters ARC/Southampton)
Rebecca Chin (Agecroft RC/Deganwy)
Jo Wratten (Leander Club/Middlesbrough)
Rebecca Shorten (Imperial College BC/Belfast)
Karen Bennett (Leander Club/Edinburgh)
Katherine Douglas (Leander Club/Edinburgh)
Matilda Horn (cox) (Univ. of London BC/Windsor)
Coach: James Harris

Single scull
GBR1 – Vicky Thornley (Leander Club/Wrexham)
GBR2 – Alice Baatz (Agecroft RC/Winchester)
Coach: Paul Reedy

Double scull
Georgia Francis (Imperial College/Newbury)
Emily Carmichael (Leander Club/Cheltenham)
Coach: Paul Reedy

Lightweight double scull
GBR1
Katherine Copeland (Leander Club/Ingleby Barwick)
Emily Craig (Univ. of London BC/Mark Cross)

GBR2
Ellie Piggott (Wallingford RC/Bedford)
Gemma Hall (Wallingford RC/Wargrave)
Coach: Darren Whiter

Para-rowing squad

PR2 mixed double scull
Lauren Rowles (Marlow RC/Bromsgrove)
Laurence Whiteley (Tees RC/Northallerton)
Coach: Tom Dyson