Press Release For immediate release 31/07/13


Aberdeen’s Iona Riley led the Scottish charge at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Linz, Austria, by claiming a silver medal.

One of five Scottish athletes competing at the Championships, 21-year-old Riley, a sports science student at Robert Gordon University (RGU), formed part of the women’s eight.  She raced alongside Fiona Gammond, Rebecca Chin, Josephine Wratten, Yasmin Tredell, Fiona Schlesinger, Bethany Bryan, Nicole Lamb and cox Morgan Baynham-Williams.

The crew won their heat in emphatic style to reach the final in which they chased the leading USA crew and pre-race favourites throughout the first half.  After halfway the Germans emerged from the chasing group to challenge the British crew with Australia in third.  In the third 500m the British eight held their position with Germany and Australia jockeying for third.  In the final 500m, a British surge saw them narrow the gap on the USA with Germany on their shoulders. With 250m to go only half a length separated the USA and GB but the reigning champions had enough to hold on at the line. USA gold, GB silver in 6:19.51 and Germany bronze.

“Without a question this was this crew’s best race”, said Sir David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director. “They have shown a grit and aggression here that we have not seen before and that allowed them to challenge the USA so strongly”.

Fellow Aberdonian and RGU student, 18-year-old Lewis McCue stroked the men’s coxed four for the GB Rowing Team, which also featured Edinburgh’s Callum McBrierty, 20, a student at Durham University, in the 2 seat.  The British crew comfortably won the B final ahead of the USA and Ukraine to place 7th overall in the world.

The GB Rowing Team men’s eight featured Falkirk’s 20-year-old Cameron Buchan, currently studying at Northeastern University in the USA, alongside James Cook, Thomas Ford, Sam Arnot, Timothy Grant, James Edwards, Timothy Clarke, George Rossiter and cox Rory Copus.

Germany, GB and Poland made flying starts, rating high to try and get an early lead.  With 500m to go the British crew were fourth and at the line, despite a big sprint, they dropped to fifth - agonisingly short of the podium in a tight finish. NZ took gold, silver for the USA and bronze for Poland.

Meanwhile, Lochwinnoch’s Andy Holmes, a Harvard University student who learned his trade at Castle Semple Rowing Club and then George Watson’s College, stroked the GB men’s coxless four which qualified for the B final.  The boat, however, was then withdrawn from the event to allow teammate Marcus Bowyer to transfer to the men’s quad in place of a poorly Stuart Innes.

Riley and McCue are part of University Rowing Aberdeen, a unique partnership between the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University and supported by Scottish Rowing. Additionally, both rowers are supported by the sportscotland institute of sport which gives specialised support to aspiring athletes with ambitions to make the Olympic podium and Winning Students, Scotland's sports scholarship programme supporting students competing in high performance sport.

Lee Boucher, Scottish Rowing's High Performance Co-Ordinator, commented: "Many congratulations to Iona on this tremendous result and to all of our athletes on earning the right to compete against the best in the world.  Their performances demonstrate what hard work, commitment and a strong coaching and support team can deliver."

The GB Rowing Team won a total of five medals – one gold, three silvers and one bronze – at the five-day regatta.

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• Scottish Rowing is the governing body for rowing in Scotland and is supported by sportscotland, the national agency for sport. • Scottish Rowing supports its clubs and coaches to produce athletes capable of representing the GB Rowing Team. • The sportscotland institute of sport provide expert support services to our most promising rowers based in Scotland, including Iona Riley and Lewis McCue. • Winning Students is Scotland's sports scholarship programme supporting students competing in high performance sport.  Across core sports and through Individual Scholarships, the scholarships now support more than 150 student athletes. • Rowing is one of Scotland’s most successful Olympic sports with 2 Olympic and 1 Paralympic gold medals won at London 2012 [Katherine Grainger: women’s double scull, Heather Stanning: women’s coxless pair & David Smith: mixed LTA coxed four] • Scottish Rowing is currently working to grow participation and improve performances across Scotland with a number of exciting initiatives targeting junior and under 23 development.

For further information please contact:

Lee Boucher High Performance Co-Ordinator Scottish Rowing 07818 077612