Posted: 21st April 2013
Inverness' Imogen Walsh won today's GB Rowing Team trial, justifying her pre-event tag as favourite in the lightweight women's category, to set the mood for the Scottish contingent at the Redgrave-Pinsent Rowing Lake in Caversham, Reading. The 29-year-old, a world champion in 2011 in the lightweight women's quad scull, was an emphatic winner after building a strong lead through the middle of the race, finishing ahead of Ruth Walczak and early challenger Eleanor Piggott.
Like Walsh, fellow Inverness athlete Alan Sinclair had recently returned from competing for the GB Rowing Team at the 1st World Rowing Cup in Sydney, Australia. The experience of training and competing with the senior team had obviously given the Scot a boost, as he and his partner Nathaniel Reilly O'Donnell finished a credible third in the men's coxless pair, overhauling Tom Ransley and Dan Ritchie on the line, in a race that was won by Olympians Andrew Triggs Hodge and Moe Sbihi ahead of Peter Reed and Alex Gregory. The B final of the men's pair was won by Molesey's Colin Williamson, rowing with Phil Congdon, ahead of fourth placed Aberdeen duo Lewis McCue (Robert Gordon University) and Gary Wilson (Aberdeen Boat Club) who finished as the second fastest Under 23 pair. Edinburgh's Callum McBrierty, representing Durham University, won the C final with Francis Highton.
Scotland's other A finalist was former Strathclyde University and Glasgow Rowing Club athlete Sam Scrimgeour, now representing Imperial College, who finished in 6th place in the lightweight men's single scull won by Peter Chambers. In a competitive women's single scull event Edinburgh's Polly Swann, who won gold with Olympic champion Helen Glover in the pair in Sydney, finished 10th; Katherine Douglas also from Edinburgh was 21st; Robert Gordon University student Iona Riley was 24th and 5th in the Under 23 rankings; and Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club's Claire McKeown was 25th.