Posted: 27 September 2022

Report by Julia Belgutay

Scotland’s Masters rowers were out in force in France earlier this month as the World Masters Regatta took place in Libourne. To what sounded like the loudest cheers of any nation, just over 30 men and women from five clubs across the country took part in around 100 races in boat classes from mixed quads to 8+ and singles. And the medal haul was impressive – with Strathclyde Park Rowing Club’s competitors alone coming first in eight races, placing the club 8th in the world. Gregor Hall from Stirling won his A1x and the MixA2x with Gillian Connal from SPRC, while Eva Rankin from Loch Lomond RC also came back with two medals, winning in the WG1x and as part of a WH4x.  


St Andrew Boat Club sent the largest contingent of any club, with 12 rowers competing in 27 races. Its woman won the A4-, and Martha Walsh was victorious in a mixed C2x with Barry Clarke from Neptune RC in Ireland.IMG 20220911 WA0009

The trip was about more than medals, however, with most rowers competing in their first ever international Masters regatta, and experiencing a range of races against competitors from around the world and clubs from as far afield as Karachi Boat Club in Pakistan and Rocky Mountains Rowing Club in the USA.

Scottish rowers also had the opportunity to row in composite boats with each other – and so it truly was a “Scottish Masters” event. The trip was only made possible by a team of three Scots towing boats, oars and other equipment all the way from Scotland to the south west of France – a truly herculean effort from Ailie Ord, who won a staggering 4 golds in Libourne, Martin Claxton and Alistair Neill. 

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