Posted: 23 April, 2019

Karen Bennett took her third consecutive title at the GB Rowing Team Senior & Under 23 Trials as Scotland’s rowers enjoyed a successful Easter weekend in the sun at Caversham.


30-year-old Bennett from Edinburgh, an Olympic silver medallist in the women’s eight at Rio, won the women’s pairs final with her partner Holly Norton, with whom she had also claimed the 2017 title. The duo finished ahead of Bennett’s partner from last year’s trial, Rebecca Shorten, and Anastasia Posner. Fellow Scot Rowan McKellar (Glasgow) finished third with Harriet Taylor.


Maddie Arlett, representing Edinburgh University Boat Club, took second place in a highly competitive lightweight women’s single scull final. The 24-year-old from Selkirk was the quickest athlete in the second half of her race coming through Ellie Piggott, part of last season’s GB lightweight women’s double, to claim second behind Cambridge University’s Imogen Grant, the reigning under 23 world champion and British record holder.

Gavin Horsburgh (Lochwinnoch) held his own in the final of the lightweight men’s single scull, finishing in fourth place overall in a field dominated by Olympians and full-time athletes. His teammate Dale Flockhart (Edinburgh), formerly of St Andrew Boat Club, won the B final to finish in seventh place overall.

Horsburgh, 21, was one of three Edinburgh University students, all former members of The Glasgow Academy Rowing Club, to top the under 23 rankings at these trials alongside Alex Rankin and Josh Armstrong (both from Glasgow).

20-year-old Rankin had only recently switched to sculling for these trials and she impressed throughout the weekend in both the time-trial and semi-final to secure her place in the A final of the women’s single scull. In the final, won by Rio 2016 silver medallist Vicky Thornley, the young Scot produced a mature performance to take fifth place overall.

In the men’s single scull, 2018 under 23 gold medallist Armstrong, 21, won his B final to rank seventh overall behind Scottish Olympian Angus Groom (Glasgow) who was sixth in a hotly contested A final.

Rio silver medallist Polly Swann, 30, currently completing her medical studies at the University of Edinburgh, made a welcome return to Caversham after a prolonged period of injury and will be pleased with completing the trials and recording a fourth-place finish in the women’s single scull B final.

Lee Boucher, Head of Performance Pathway at Scottish Rowing said:

“It’s been an encouraging couple of days for the Scottish rowers at these trials with strong results across all boat classes. The rowers can take confidence from these performances as we move into the crew boat testing period over the coming weeks where they will be aiming to secure their selection into one of the GB international teams for the summer racing programme.”

Rowers from Scottish club programmes have been supported at these trials by Scottish Rowing with the backing of Winning Students, the sportscotland institute of sport and the University of Edinburgh.

GB Rowing Team Senior & Under 23 Trials
Caversham, 20-21 April 2019


Women’s Pairs

1st | Karen Bennett (Leander Club) with Holly Norton
3rd | Rowan McKellar (Leander Club) with Hattie Taylor
10th | Katherine Douglas (Leander Club) with Josephine Wratten
17th | Iona Riley (Molesey Boat Club) with Lucy Primmer
18th | 4th U23 | Lydia Currie (Edinburgh University Boat Club) with Helen Kirkpatrick

Men’s Pairs

5th | Sholto Carnegie (Leander Club) with Tom Jeffery
10th | Callum McBrierty (Leander Club) with Barney Stentiford
13th | Cameron Buchan and James Robson (Leander Club)

Lightweight Women’s Single Scull

2nd | Maddie Arlett* (Edinburgh University Boat Club)

Lightweight Men’s Single Scull

4th | 1st U23 | Gavin Horsburgh* (Edinburgh University Boat Club)
7th | 3rd U23 | Dale Flockhart* (Edinburgh University Boat Club)
9th | 5th U23 | James Stevenson (Newcastle University Boat Club)

Women’s Single Scull

4th | Melissa Wilson (Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club)
5th | 1st U23 | Alex Rankin* (Edinburgh University Boat Club)
10th | Polly Swann* (Edinburgh University Boat Club)
13th | 4th U23 | Lucy Glover (Edinburgh University Boat Club)
17th | Fiona Bell (Queen’s University Belfast Ladies Boat Club)

Men’s Single Scull

6th | Angus Groom (Leander Club)
7th | 1st U23 | Josh Armstrong* (Edinburgh University Boat Club)
17th | 9th U23 | Jake Offiler (Edinburgh University Boat Club)

* Scottish Rowing Performance Programme supported athlete

Jack Burns, James Temple and Jane Hardie (all Edinburgh University Boat Club) were all unfortunately forced to withdraw from these trials due to illness / injury.