Posted: 11 February, 2022

Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Harry Leask leads the Scottish charge as athletes from across the country descend on Boston, Lincolnshire, on Saturday for the GB Rowing Team Senior and Under 23 Open Trials.

26-year-old Leask, who was part of Great Britain’s historic Olympic silver medal in the men’s quad, is one of four returning Scottish Olympians who will be racing over the 5,000m course on the River Witham, along with a number of emerging athletes including six rowers representing the Scottish Rowing Performance Programme.

These trials represent the first opportunity for the new-look leadership of the GB Rowing Team, including Director of Performance Louise Kingsley and Head Coaches Paul Stannard and Andrew Randell, to assess those athletes seeking selection to international teams in the lead up to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Openweight Men’s Single Scull (M1x)

Alongside Leask, Jack Burns (Edinburgh University BC / Leander Club) will be hoping to make his mark after impressing at the November trials where he was the fastest sculler across the course in the absence of the Tokyo Olympians.

World Class Start athletes Mike Simpson and Cameron Kemp, representing Strathclyde Park Rowing Club and Edinburgh University Boat Club, are part of a competitive field alongside Leask and Burns.

The field also includes former George Watson’s College rowers - Angus Millar and Alexander Levi - now representing Imperial College London and Molesey Boat Club respectively.

Openweight Men’s Coxless Pair (M2-)

Sholto Carnegie (Leander Club) was in the Great Britain men’s four that narrowly missed out on the medals in Tokyo, and in Boston he teams up with Rory Gibbs from the same crew.

The men’s pair field also sees combinations featuring Oli Wilkes - now representing Oxford Brookes University but who won a world silver medal as an under 23 athlete whilst studying at Edinburgh University – and James Robson – part of the Scotland Rowing Team at the Home International Regatta in 2017, winning the men’s coxless four.

Philip Nesom, formerly of George Heriot’s School and now representing Oxford Brookes University, teams up with Matthew Heywood, whilst there is a medical exemption for Edinburgh University pair George Doran and Matthew Morgan.

Lightweight Men’s Single Scull (LM1x)

Edinburgh University Boat Club’s Dale Flockhart and Ben Parsonage of Strathclyde University Boat Club are part of a small group of eight scullers in the lightweight men’s division featuring returning GB senior international Jamie Copus. Under 23 international Flockhart will be looking to close the gap from November trials where he finished 13 seconds behind the Oxford Brookes man.

Openweight Women’s Single Scull (W1x)

Four-time world medallist and Tokyo Olympian Lucy Glover, representing Edinburgh University and Warrington Rowing Club, will be one of the favourites in the women’s single scull division.

Perri McCluskey of Strathclyde Park Rowing Club and Edinburgh University enjoys her first outing in the trials process this season after the World Class Start athlete was granted a medical exemption in November.

Meanwhile Hannah Supple returns to Boston after a strong debut at under 23 level in the last round of trials. The Edinburgh University first year student will be hoping to build upon her 4th place ranking in the under 23 age group.

Openweight Women’s Coxless Pair (W2-)

Whilst two-time Olympian and Rio silver medallist Karen Bennett is missing with a medical exemption, her fellow Scot from the Tokyo women’s four, Rowan McKellar starts as one of the favourites in the women’s pair category. The Leander Club athlete is paired up with Rebecca Shorten of Imperial College London.

Leander Club’s Abigail Topp, formerly of Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association and University Rowing Aberdeen, set the standard in the under 23 division back in November however this time round she has a new pairs partner, former world under 23 silver medallist Megan Slabbert.

Glasgow University students Maia Hely and Laura McKenzie team up in the women’s pair and will be looking to make an impression in the under 23 ranks. Both athletes won gold for Scotland at the Home International Regatta in 2019.

Lightweight Women’s Single Scull (LW1x)

Maddie Arlett, the 2019 world bronze medallist and Tokyo spare, will be hoping to shake things up against returning Olympians, Imogen Grant and Emily Craig, who will start as favourites in the lightweight women’s division.

Fellow Edinburgh University athlete Lily Young is enjoying her first season in the GB trialling process. The former Loch Lomond Rowing Club sculler is one of a talented group of under 23 athletes.

For more information on the GB Rowing Team trials process, see the British Rowing website.