Posted: 26 October 2022

Scottish Rowing has today announced the Scotland Rowing Team that will compete at the 2022 Commonwealth Rowing Association Beach Sprints Championship in Walvis Bay, Namibia from 2-4 December.

The four-person team features three athletes who represented the GB Rowing Team at the recent World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals in Saundersfoot, Wales including world silver medallist in the Coastal Under 19 Women’s Solo event, Isla MacCallum.

MacCallum, 18, representing Stirling Rowing Club and Edinburgh University Boat Club, will make the step up to the senior team on this occasion and competes in the Coastal Women’s Solo (CW1x).

Gregor Hall, 30, the Scotland Rowing Team captain from the successful Home International Rowing Beach Sprints campaign this summer, takes up his place in the team as the Coastal Men’s Solo (CM1x) following a fourth-place finish representing Great Britain at the worlds.

The Scotland Coastal Mixed Double Scull (CMix2x) will see Glasgow Rowing Club’s Sam Scrimgeour reunite with Laura McKenzie (Glasgow University Boat Club / Leander Club) after the pair won the Saints Coastal Regatta back in May.

32-year-old Scrimgeour is a former world champion (2015 – lightweight coxless pair) and was a travelling spare at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.  McKenzie, 21, raced in the Great Britain quad in Saundersfoot – reaching the last eight – and also has a strong pedigree as a flatwater rower.

Scottish Rowing’s Head of Performance Pathway Lee Boucher will travel as Team Manager and Natalie Firth has been appointed Team Coach following a competitive recruitment process.

Stirling Rowing Club’s Firth was a boat handler for the Scotland Rowing Team during the summer, has recently completed the World Rowing Coastal Race module and has supported Stirling athletes through the GB and Scotland trials process over the past season.

Commenting on the selections, Team Manager Lee Boucher said:

“Scottish Rowing is proud to have selected a talented and hungry team of athletes who have each demonstrated a real commitment to the Beach Sprints format over the past year.

“We know that we will face stiff competition from the other Commonwealth nations when we take to the water out in Namibia but we are looking forward to the challenge, particularly following the recent news that this discipline has been added to the full Commonwealth Games programme from 2026.”

The Commonwealth Games Federation recently announced that the Beach Sprints format has been added to the full sports programme for the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games. This will represent rowing’s first appearance at a Commonwealth Games in exactly 40 years since Edinburgh 1986, when the rowing regatta was held at Strathclyde Park in Motherwell.

The discipline is also under consideration by the International Olympic Committee and World Rowing for potential inclusion in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics, with a decision expected next year.

The Scotland Rowing Team will travel to Namibia with the generous support and backing of Commonwealth Games Scotland and sportscotland.

Scotland Rowing Team 

Commonwealth Rowing Association Beach Sprints Championship 
Walvis Bay, Namibia, 2-4 December 2022


Isla MacCallum, Stirling Rowing Club, Coastal Women’s Solo (CW1x):

"Beach Sprints is something I find so adrenaline filled and great to be part of.  I can't wait to compete and represent my home country once again."


Gregor Hall, Stirling Rowing Club, Coastal Men’s Solo (CM1x): 

"I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to race the Men's Solo in Namibia for the Scotland Rowing Team.

“The atmosphere at Beach Sprints events is second to none and I am sure CRABS22 will be no different.  The event in Walvis Bay should bring a great challenge with exciting racing."

Untitled design

Laura McKenzie, Glasgow University Boat Club, Coastal Mixed Double Scull (CMix2x):

“To be selected for this event is very exciting.  I’m looking forward to joining this small team to bring back some medals for Scotland.  Hoping to avoid getting caught out by the waves, and the sharks!”


Sam Scrimgeour, Glasgow Rowing Club, Coastal Mixed Double Scull (CMix2x): 

“I am delighted to be selected and have the opportunity to represent Scotland in what to me, is a new and exciting discipline of rowing.  Hopefully we can continue on the success from HIR.”


 Natalie Firth, Scotland Rowing Team Coach: 

“I am absolutely delighted to be a part of the Scotland Rowing Team for the Commonwealth Beach Sprints in Namibia.  This format is so exciting and different to what we’re all used to.

“We have a team of talented athletes who were all part of the winning HIR team and I’m looking forward to the challenge of helping the team to build on the earlier success.”