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Scotland Rowing Team makes history at the Home International Regatta

Posted: 29 July, 2019

The Scotland Rowing Team made history on home waters at the 2019 Home International Regatta (HIR) on Saturday, winning three of the four team trophies for the first time in the history of this prestigious annual competition between Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales.
 
2019 HIR Scotland senior mens trophy REJ 1
 
Scotland won 16 of the 36 races on the day in wet, but calm, conditions at the world class rowing facility at Strathclyde Park, North Lanarkshire.
 
Leading the way was Edinburgh University Boat Club’s James Temple who won all three of his races – the lightweight men’s single and double scull and the men’s quad – to help the Scottish senior men regain the Annamarie Phelps MBE Cup, last won by Scotland in 2015.
 
2019 HIR Scotland mens quad REJ 2

The Scottish men’s coxless four of Josh Thompson, Rory Young, Calum Young and Robert Powell were involved in one of the most exciting races of the day coming through the field from third place at 1000 metres to pip England on the line to the gold medal.

Jack Burns retained his men’s single sculls title, part of an impressive men’s sculling group alongside Temple, Dale Flockhart and Mike Simpson, that won four of their five events.

Glasgow University students Ethan Matthews and Duarte Menezes produced a dominant display to lead their race from start to finish, winning the lightweight men’s pair by over 8 seconds.

Scotland’s senior women have won the Dame Katherine Grainger Quaich in two of the last three years however they were out to regain the team trophy from England who won it in Cork last year.  The Scots, seemingly inspired by the occasion, were in unstoppable form winning seven of the nine boat classes including the women’s eight in the penultimate race of the day.
 
2019 HIR Scotland senior womens trophy REJ 3

It was a Scotland Rowing Team debut to remember for 18-year-old Maia Hely of Glasgow University, enjoying two wins in the senior women’s coxless four and eight despite having only taken up the sport as a beginner 11 months ago.  Her four, with clubmate Niamh McClure and Kirstin Giddy and Lydia Theos from the University of St Andrews, enjoyed an excellent victory over a Welsh crew featuring GB senior and under 23 internationals.
 
2019 HIR Scotland womens coxless four REJ 4

The women’s coxed four of Christy Crook, Catriona Scott, Katie Sugden and Natalie Tysoe, coxed by Holly Bartlett, were all making their Scotland Rowing Team debuts and they executed a superb race plan to come through from third place early on to win by clear water at the finish.

Fiona Bell and Perri McCluskey resumed their partnership in the women’s double scull after finishing third in Cork a year ago.  Bell, who recently represented Great Britain at senior level in the World Rowing Cup in Rotterdam, and McCluskey from Strathclyde Park Rowing Club and part of the British Rowing World Class Start programme, both demonstrated how much they have developed as individuals and as a crew over the past 12 months as they added another gold to the Scottish tally.
 
2019 HIR Scotland womens double scull REJ 5

Current Commonwealth Beach Sprint champion Robyn Hart-Winks returned to flatwater conditions to represent the Scotland Rowing Team for the first time in four years and she defended her unbeaten record at HIR, winning the women’s single scull and quad scull alongside Bell, McCluskey and Rosie Payne.

Hamilton rower Payne, currently studying at Robert Gordon University, had earlier won the lightweight women’s double scull with Jenny McCormick of Aberdeen University Boat Club.
 
2019 HIR Scotland lightweight womens double scull REJ 6

Scotland’s junior rowers also enjoyed their best-ever collective performance at the HIR with the junior men’s team winning the John Hartland Trophy and the junior women’s team finishing joint second in their match with several exciting races entertaining the home crowd.
 
2019 HIR Scotland junior mens trophy REJ 7

Junior men’s captain Alex Milne, fresh from winning the Fawley Challenge Cup with Leander Club at the world-famous Henley Royal Regatta earlier this month, led by example winning his two races in the single scull and double scull with Robert Kilgour.
 
2019 HIR Scotland junior mens single scull Alex Milne REJ 8

There were a series of strong performances in the junior men’s sweep team that ultimately helped Scotland to the team trophy for the first time in over a decade.  The match had gone right to the wire, with England and Scotland still in contention for the trophy with just the junior men’s eight still to race.

The Scottish eight of Matthew Hughson, Rhuari Stuart, Aidan Graham, Scott Lewis, Chris Bardas, Xander Beeson, Ashley Geddes and Robert Davis, coxed by Youcef Djoudi, recovered from a slow start to get back in contention through the middle of the race.  With only a few hundred metres to go the Scots upped their rate and roared on by the passionate crowd they reeled the England eight in and crossed the line ahead of them to ensure jubilant celebrations on both the water and land.

In the junior women’s coxless four, the Scottish crew of Heather Gordon, Maddie McClure-Rothero, Robyn Patton and Laura McKenzie resumed a rivalry with the English four from Nottinghamshire County Rowing Association.  The two fours had gone head-to-head at the British Rowing Junior Championships in Nottingham the previous weekend with the Scots coming out on top.
 
2019 HIR Scotland junior womens coxless four REJ 9

At Strathclyde Park the English were out for revenge and the racing was close the whole way down the course with less than a second separating the crews at each of the intermediate timing points.  The Scottish crew held their nerve following a late push from the English to cross the line first, earning the Scotland junior women’s captain, Heather Gordon from Inverness Rowing Club, her second consecutive HIR title in the coxless four.

Scotland Rowing Team Manager, Graeme Cunningham, said:

“We are delighted to have put on such a strong showing in front of a home crowd at Strathclyde Park.  We knew that the competition would be stiff from England, Ireland and Wales but it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our athletes and the preparation of our coaches that we have managed to make history winning three of the four team trophies for the first time.

“Over half of the team were making their Scotland Rowing Team debuts at this year’s regatta which bodes well for the future.

“On behalf of Scottish Rowing I would like to thank all those who have been on the journey with the Scotland Rowing Team this year including the athletes who committed to the trialling process, our coaches and support personnel, parents and our team partners Powerhouse Sport and RivalKit.”

Medals to winning crews were presented by members of the HIR General Management Committee, the Scottish Rowing Board of Directors, Clare Adamson MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw, and Councillor Jean Jones, North Lanarkshire Council Provost.

Off the water, the Scottish Rowing organising committee took the event to new levels with an ambitious and innovative marketing strategy aimed at improving both the competitor and spectator experience with instant access to results, images and athlete interviews.
 
Full results from the 2019 Home International Regatta can be found at:
 
All photos courtesy of Rob Eyton-Jones
 
 
List of Scottish wins (with times) at the 2019 Home International Regatta

Athletes listed from bow to stroke

Junior Men’s Single Scull (7:32.13)
Alex Milne [Leander Club]

Lightweight Men’s Single Scull (7:32.43)
James Temple [Edinburgh University Boat Club]

Women’s Single Scull (8:18.21)
Robyn Hart-Winks [University of London Boat Club]

Men’s Single Scull (7:18.29)
Jack Burns [Edinburgh University Boat Club]

Lightweight Men’s Coxless Pair (7:17.99)
Ethan Matthews [Glasgow University Boat Club]
Duarte Menezes [Glasgow University Boat Club]

Junior Women’s Coxless Four (7:14.00)
Heather Gordon [Inverness Rowing Club]
Maddie McClure-Rothero [St Andrew Boat Club]
Robyn Patton [Edinburgh University Boat Club]
Laura McKenzie [Loch Lomond Rowing Club]

Women’s Coxed Four (7:19.63)
Christy Crook [Aberdeen University Boat Club]
Catriona Scott [Glasgow University Boat Club]
Katie Sugden [Aberdeen University Boat Club]
Natalie Tysoe [St Andrew Boat Club]
Holly Bartlett [University of St Andrews Boat Club] - cox

Lightweight Women’s Double Scull (7:32.34)
Jenny McCormick [Aberdeen University Boat Club]
Rosie Payne [Robert Gordon University Boat Club]

Lightweight Men’s Double Scull (6:50.40)
James Temple [Edinburgh University Boat Club]
Dale Flockhart [Edinburgh University Boat Club]

Junior Men’s Double Scull (6:50.99)
Robert Kilgour [Gloucester Hartpury]
Alex Milne [Leander Club]

Women’s Double Scull (7:29.92)
Perri McCluskey [Strathclyde Park Rowing Club]
Fiona Bell [Queen’s University Ladies Boat Club]

Women’s Coxless Four (6:59.19)
Kirstin Giddy [University of St Andrews Boat Club]
Lydia Theos [University of St Andrews Boat Club]
Maia Hely [Glasgow University Boat Club]
Niamh McClure [Glasgow University Boat Club]

Men’s Coxless Four (6:23.61)
Josh Thompson [Glasgow University Boat Club]
Rory Young [Glasgow University Boat Club]
Calum Young [Glasgow Rowing Club]
Robert Powell [Princeton University / Aberdeen Boat Club]

Women’s Quad Scull (7:00.53)
Rosie Payne [Robert Gordon University Boat Club]
Perri McCluskey [Strathclyde Park Rowing Club]
Fiona Bell [Queen’s University Ladies Boat Club]
Robyn Hart-Winks [University of London Boat Club]

Men’s Quad Scull (6:13.88)
James Temple [Edinburgh University Boat Club]
Mike Simpson [Strathclyde Park Rowing Club]
Jack Burns [Edinburgh University Boat Club]
Dale Flockhart [Edinburgh University Boat Club]

Women’s Eight (6:44.13)
Niamh McClure [Glasgow University Boat Club]
Catriona Scott [Glasgow University Boat Club]
Lydia Theos [University of St Andrews Boat Club]
Maia Hely [Glasgow University Boat Club]
Katie Sugden [Aberdeen University Boat Club]
Kirstin Giddy [University of St Andrews Boat Club]
India Mattocks [Edinburgh University Boat Club]
India Somerside [Edinburgh University Boat Club]
Dan Baillache [Edinburgh University Boat Club] - cox