Posted: 29 April 2023

The Scottish Rowing Spring Regatta and Scottish Student Rowing Championships took place at Strathclyde Country Park last weekend in traditionally un-springlike conditions, with a large entry from clubs across the UK.  Competitors welcomed a return to a more conventional racing format and enjoyed a full schedule of competition across both days.

Windy conditions on Saturday - while not up to the worst Strathclyde Park can produce - proved challenging for some competitors.  Sunday was colder but calmer – better for rowers than spectators - and the Big Bobble Hat stall did a roaring trade.  We were also pleased to welcome RivalKit, our performance kit partner, back to the event.

Adding to the sense of occasion was a surprise visit from Dame Katherine Grainger DBE on Saturday to take part in ceremony to name four new Scottish Rowing performance boats.  Purchased with support from sportscotland, the new Filippi racing boats will ensure Scottish Rowing athletes on the performance pathway have access to world class equipment for trialing and racing.


 The four boats were named after Ailie Ord, Mike Morrice, Jim Aitken MBE and Dame Katherine Grainger DBE.

Dame Katherine Grainger DBE

Dame Katherine’s record is well known beyond the confines of the rowing community. Olympic Champion, six time World Champion, four time Olympic silver medallist and a genuine sporting national treasure, being the first female to win medals at 5 consecutive Olympic Games – she is a household name and a genuine inspiration to many. 

Having learnt to row at the University of Edinburgh, Katherine went on to serve as President of the Boat Club, was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2008, being appointed as a Regent of Edinburgh University as well as becoming a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta in the same year. Katherine was voted by fellow Olympians as the first ever Olympians' Olympian in 2016 and was awarded the highest accolade bestowed on individuals by World Rowing, the Thomas Keller Medal, recognising an outstanding career and exceptional sportsmanship.

Dame Katherine, despite her international renown, has never forgotten her roots here in Scotland.  She has served as Scottish Rowing’s Honorary President since 2005, graduated with degrees, including honorary doctorates, from all 4 Scottish ancient universities and currently serves as the first female chancellor of the University of Glasgow. Katherine’s current role as Chair of UKSport further evidences her credibility across all sports nationwide and we are incredibly lucky to be able to claim her as 'one of our own' at the top of the national sporting landscape. 

Jim Aitken MBE

Jim Aitken MBE recently retired from an outstanding career in sport over many decades, including positions with sportscotland as well as the University of Edinburgh. Most recently, Jim held the position of Director of Sport at the world-renowned institution.  Over his 20 year tenure, Jim championed young people and the importance of sport and physical activity, earning him an unrivalled loyalty amongst former and current students alike.  His strategic vision and partnership focus produced a level of sporting performance and a culture that has supported and launched the careers of international sporting icons and many more individuals whose lives have been irrefutably improved through experiences in sport.

Over the past number of years, Jim's loyalty and continued dedication to Edinburgh University Boat Club has led to levels of unprecedented success - record breaking headlines on the water, the growth of an exceptional coaching staff team as well as commitment to expanding our reach to those who wish to participate in rowing.



Ailie Ord

In addition to a successful rowing career during which Ailie Ord has accumulated numerous medals – including 103 World Master medals (and counting), she is a multi-lane umpire, sat on the Scottish Rowing Race Control Committee and was Chair of the Scottish Rowing Regatta Organising Committee for many years.  Ailie also served on the Event Management Team for many of the World Rowing events in Scotland, including World Junior Championships in 1996, World Masters in 2005, World Under 23 Championships in 2007 and the European Championships in 2018. 

Closer to home, Ailie is a pillar of Strathclyde Park Rowing Club where she is currently Treasurer, having previously been President for five years. Not content with all of this, Ailie has also been heavily involved in the coaching of the SPRC juniors over the years, many of whom have gone on the achieve success in the sport.

Mike Morrice

In spite of a false start as a rugby player at Aberdeen Grammar School, Mike Morrice found his way into rowing and over the years has been a member of many clubs; Aberdeen Boat Club, Deeside Scullers, St Andrew Boat Club, the North British Rowing Club and Leander Club.  He served as Captain of St Andrew Boat Club from 1988 to 1990.

Stepping into a wider national remit, Mike became involved with what was in those days the Scottish Amateur Rowing Association - now Scottish Rowing - and served as President with distinction.  During his time as President, he oversaw major changes to the governance of the sport in Scotland, including the formation of Scottish Rowing Ltd.  A number of significant milestones were achieved, including the first steps taken to establish the high performance programme partnerships with three Scottish Universities and the transition to a professionally managed Governing Body.  

The boat naming ceremony was a lovely opportunity to recognise and thank these individuals  - all of whom have made a huge contribution - in their own unique ways - to rowing in Scotland.  


The next Scottish Rowing event at Strathclyde Park will be the Scottish Rowing Championships on the 3rd and 4th of June.