Posted: 22 May 2023

Following both the U19 and U23/Senior GB Rowing Team trials in April, five Scottish based athletes were selected to race in some early regatta season development events for the GB Rowing Team, two U19’s went to the Munich International Junior Regatta and two U23’s & one Senior athlete raced at the Duisburg International Wedau Regatta.

W4 Training 1

 Will Fletcher

Munich International Junior Regatta

First up, Saturday 6th to Sunday 7th May saw Alexander Patton (St Andrew BC) and Amy Newton (George Heriots School RC) travel with the U19 Men’s Sculling and Women’s Sweep squads, respectively, to the regatta in Munich which is a staple in the GB Rowing Team U19 calendar to test out their early visions of crews for the later Summer regattas.

Saturday saw Alexander Patton race in the JM2x A event with his national compatriot Harry Ruinet (Claires Court School BC), where they finished 2nd in their Heat, later going on to finish 2nd in their B-Final, 4 seconds ahead of the GBR teammates from Leander Club. Later that day Amy Newton also finished 2nd in her heat of the JW4- A, which saw them reach the A-Final with 5 German crews, here they finished in 5th place. Amy raced alongside Madeleine Greenstock (Surbiton High School BC), Valentina Fenton (St Pauls Girls School BC) and Martha Shepherd (Hinksey Sculling School). 

On Sunday, Amy once again raced the coxless four in the JW4- AA event (straight final), where alongside Ailish Harking (Henley RC), Madeleine Greenstock (Surbiton High School BC) and Niamh Comerford (Tideway Scullers School) they finished in 3rd place just a few seconds behind more of their GB teammates and a Swiss international crew. On day two Alexander raced in the JM1x AA event, again a straight final, and finished in 2nd place behind a Swiss sculler, beating scullers from Moldova, Austria and Germany.

This was a great start for the athletes who will continue through the U19 trials system in the hopes of a seat at the U19 World Championships in Paris, France, which will take place on next years Olympic Regatta course on the Lac de Vaires-sur-Marne.

Duisburg International Wedau Regatta 

One week later (13th/14th May) the GB Rowing Team took a group of U23 and Senior Development athletes to the Duisburg Regattabahn for their first taste of international standard racing of the season. Two familiar Scottish Rowing Performance Programme athletes, Perri McCluskey (Strathclyde Park RC) and Abigail Topp (Leander Club), along with Hannah Supple (Edinburgh University BC) were part of the Germany-bound squad.

W4 Start Line Abigail Topp Leander Club

 Will Fletcher

Abigail Topp (formerly of Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association and University Rowing Aberdeen) returning in GB kit following her silver medal in the BW8+ at the 2022 U23 World Championships in Varese last season, was selected to race in a U23 composite crew in the Frauen Vierer ohne Steuerfrau A/B category (W4-, Senior & U23 combined). On Saturday, alongside her GBR compatriots of Phoebe Snowden (University of London BC), Evelyna Davies (Durham University BC) and Grace Denning-Smitherman (Leander Club). On Saturday Abigails crew finished 3rd in their Heat, later going on to win their B-Final. On Sunday the same crew finished 4th in their Heat, again going on to win their B-Final, leading from start to finish. Whilst never being beaten directly by a U23 crew, these results had the girls ranked 3rd and 2nd U23 crew on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Perri McCluskey (Strathclyde Park RC), Scotland’s Senior Women’s Captain at last years Home International Regatta, was selected as part of the Senior Women’s Development group to race the Frauen Einer A category (Senior W1x). On Saturday, in her first international level regatta Perri finished 2nd in her Heat, taking her to an A-Final full of Senior International experience in the likes of the German and Japanese scullers, where Perri finished in a strong 5th place. On Sunday, in a slightly fuller event, Perri finished 5th in another stacked Heat, which took her to the B-Final later that day, where she went on to take the win ahead of her teammate from GBR to finish 7th for the day.

Edinburgh University BC sculler Hannah Supple was selected for her first GB vest to row in an U23 composite W2x with Rachel Bradley (Newcastle University BC) in the Frauen Doppelzweier A/B category. On Saturday, the W2x fought hard against a Dutch 2x but just lost out on 2nd place for the chance to race in the B-Final. On Sunday, the crew had another chance to test their speed against the top two crews from the previous day. They finished 5th in their Heat, going on to finish 2nd in the B-Final later that day, leaving them as the 3rd ranked U23 crew in the event.

Hannah Supple (EUBC) & Rachel Bradley 1

 Will Fletcher

For all of the athletes, this event will give them high quality racing experience to take into the remainder of their domestic season, for the U23’s they will hope to see this as a stepping stone towards selection for the U23 World Championships in Plovidiv, Bulgaria later this season (19th-23rd July).

Athletes Mentioned:

  • Amy Newton George Heriots School RC
  • Alexander Patton St Andrew BC
  • Abigail Topp Leander Club 
    Previous clubs Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association 
    Robert Gordon University BC / University Rowing Aberdeen
  • Perri McCluskey Strathclyde Park RC 
    Previous clubs Edinburgh University Boat Club 
    Stirling University Boat Club
  • Hannah Supple Edinburgh University Boat Club 
    Previous clubs Lady Eleanor Holles BC