Posted: 17 April 2023

Olympic, World and European medallists were amongst the athletes competing at the Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake in Caversham this past weekend as the leading senior and under 23 rowers in the country set their sets on international selection at the GB Rowing Team April Trials.

Edinburgh University Boat Club’s Dale Flockhart retained his lightweight men’s title for the second successive year with a strong performance in the combined men’s single scull event where he placed 10th overall.  Teammate Dan Jones and Strathclyde University Boat Club’s Ben Parsonage finished 13th and 17th respectively as Scotland dominated the lightweight men’s category.

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Hannah Supple (Edinburgh University BC) enjoyed her first outing at these trials with a second-place finish in the under 23 women’s single scull.  Strathclyde Park Rowing Club’s Perri McCluskey won the C final to place 13th overall with former ASRA and URA rower Abigail Topp (Leander Club) in 18th position having at the last minute switched across from sweep to sculling for these trials due to a lack of a pair’s partner.

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Josh Matthews (Edinburgh University Boat Club / Strathclyde Park Rowing Club) and Maisie Aspinall (Aberdeen University Boat Club) – both GB Under 19 internationals – received invites to these trials in their first year as under 23 athletes and can be proud of their achievements.  Josh, who learnt to row at Stirling Rowing Club, came home in 20th place in the men’s single scull (5th under 23) whilst ex. ASRA athlete Maisie was 19th overall in the women’s pair (7th under 23).

Olympians Rowan McKellar and Karen Bennett both progressed to the A final of the women’s pairs event which was won by the returning double Olympic champion Helen Glover and her partner Rebecca Shorten.  Glasgow’s McKellar and Esme Booth were just pipped to third place whilst Rio silver medallist Bennett was a further two seconds back in fifth place, with her Leander Club partner Lauren Irwin.

Scotland and GB coastal sculling international Laura McKenzie (Glasgow University Boat Club / Leander Club) demonstrated her versatility, coming home as the fifth ranked under 23 pair and 16th overall in the women’s pair with her partner Grace Dening Smitherman.

In the equivalent men’s event, reigning world champion from the men’s eight Sholto Carnegie (with partner Matt Aldridge) finished in fifth overall, one place behind former Edinburgh University athlete Oli Wilkes and his partner Jacob Dawson.  Former Clydesdale and Edinburgh University rower Matthew Fielding, now competing for Leander Club, ranked 24th overall (9th under 23 pair).

Following these trials, many of these athletes will now progress into additional crew boat assessments this week as the GB Rowing Team look to identify crews for senior and under 23 international teams later this summer.

At the prize giving on Sunday, British Rowing Director of Performance Louise Kingsley made a special presentation to Tom Young in recognition of his contribution to the GB Rowing Team during his time as the World Class Start coach for Scotland.