General ASRA news

Scottish National Rowing Championships 2018

From the Scottish National Rowing Championships at Strathclyde Park, Motherwell, from the 8th – 10th June, ASRA athletes brought home 6 gold medals, 4 silver medals and a bronze.

Gold Medals:

  • Men’s Junior Coxed Fours: Sam Kelso, Mile Beeson, Robert Powell & Theo Stott, coxed by Skye Ballance
  • Women’s Junior 18 Coxless Pairs: Abigail Topp & Megan Hewison
  • Men’s Junior 18 Coxless Pairs: Sam Kelso & Theo Stott
  • Men’s Junior 16 Coxless Pairs: Chris Bardas & Xander Beeson
  • Men’s J15 Quadruple Sculls: Oscar Forbes, Michel Dearsley, Scott Lewis & Archie Innes, coxed by Skye Ballance
  • Men’s Open Novice Eight: Harris Macdonald, Ashley Geddes, Scott Lewis, William Bricknell, Michel Dearsley, Archie Innes, Oscar Forbes & Matthew Hughson, coxed by Skye Balance

Silver Medals:

  • Men’s Junior 15 Quadruple Sculls: Asley Geddes, Gregor Charles, Maisie Aspinall & Matthew Hughson, coxed by Steph Low
  • Men’s Junior 15 Doubles: Ashley Geddes & Archie Innes
  • Men’s Junior 14 Double: Joe Ritchie & Will Cooper
  • Men’s Open Eights: Sam Kelso, Miles Beeson, Xander Beeson, Chris Bardas, Danny Skinner, Theo Stott, Seth Turner & Jakub Zbikowski, coxed by Skye Ballance

Bronze Medal:

  • Women’s J14 Single Sculls: Maisie Aspinall

Other Noteworthy results:

  • Robert Powell and Miles Beeson won the Men’s Junior & Senior Coxless Pairs time trial on the Friday evening but were unable to take part in the final due to illness.
  • Seth Turner, Chris Bardas, Xander Beeson & Jakub Zbikowski, coxed by Will Cooper were 2nd in the Men’s Junior 18 Coxed Fours
  • Joe Ritchie, Harris Pearce, Alex Fowler & Will Cooper, coxed by Steph Low were 2nd in Men’s Junior 14 Quadruple Sculls
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Strathclyde Park Regatta 2018

On Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th April, newly returned from their Easter Camp in Regensburg on the Danube, athletes from the Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association (ASRA) put in strong performances at Scotland’s National Rowing Centre, Motherwell, to win a total of 9 golds and 6 silvers in this, the first multi-lane rowing event of the 2018 season.

Saturday Winners

  • Women’s Junior 18 Coxed Fours: Abigail Topp (Kemnay), Ellie Andrew (Mackie), Laura Barraclough (Cults) & Megan Hewison (Ellon) coxed by Will Cooper (Albyn)
  • Men’s Junior 16 Coxless Pairs: Chris Bardas (Harlaw) & Xander Beeson (Albyn)
  • Men’s Restricted 1 Pairs: Miles Beeson (Albyn) & Robert Powell (Albyn)
  • Men’s Novice Eights: Harris Macdonald (Albyn), Michel Dearsley(Cults), Scott Lewis (Mearns), William Bricknel (Grammar)l, Archie Innes (Harlaw), Ashley Geddes (Grammar), Oscar Forbes (Albyn) & Matthew Hughson (Grammar), coxed by Skye Balance ( Cults)
  • Men’s Restricted 2 Fours: Seth Turner (Cults), Chris Bardas (Harlaw), Xander Beeson (Albyn) & Jakub Zbikowski (Harlaw), coxed by Hannah Watson(RGU)
  • Men’s Junior 18 Pairs: Miles Beeson (Albyn) & Robert Powell (Albyn)

Sunday Winners

  • Men’s J14 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Joe Ritchie(Grammar), Alex Fowler (Albyn), Harris Pearce (Portlethen) & Will Cooper (Albyn), coxed by Hannah Watson (RGU)
  • Women’s Junior 18 Coxless Pairs: Abigail Topp (Kemnay) & Megan Hewison (Ellon)
  • Men’s Restricted 2 Eights: Sam Kelso (Albyn), Conrad Forbes (Albyn), Robert Powell(Albyn), Miles Beeson(Albyn), Daniel Skinner (Banchory), Theo Stott (Harlaw), Josh Berrie (Ellon) & Aidan Graham (Cults), coxed by Michael McCrory (Grammar)

Noteworthy silver medals went to ASRA athletes in Restricted 1 Coxed Fours, Junior 16 Coxless Pairs, Mens’ Novice Coxed Quadruple Sculls, Women’s Junior 14 Double Sculls, Men’s Junior 18 Coxed Fours & Men’s Novice Coxed Fours.

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ASRA at the HIR and the Coupe de la Jeunesse

At this year’s Home International Regatta, hosted by England on the 22nd July at Strathclyde Park, Abigail (15) and Megan (16) , as the Scottish select in  Women’s Junior Pairs , and Seth Turner (15),  Conrad Forbes (17) Theo Stott (17) and Aidan  Graham (16), with cox Emily Murdoch, in Men’s Junior Coxed Fours, did ASRA proud as always , but found the going predictably hard against opposition in almost every case one or two years above their own age level. It was of course a particularly savage reality check for Abigail, Megan, Seth and Aidan, who had medalled so outstandingly in J16 events at the British Junior Rowing Championships at Nottingham just a week earlier.

There is however consolation in the fact that all of this year’s Scottish caps are eligible to do it all again in 2018 and we have every reason to believe that some, if not all of them, given their present level of commitment, can equal, if not surpass, ASRA’s HIR successes of the past.   

Just a week later, at the annual Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, held this year in Hazewinkel, Belgium, on the 29th and 30th July, in which 13 European nations took part, our ASRA boys - not to be outdone by the girls’ J16 GB v France success -  won  yet another gold medal in a GB vest  - this time at J18 level. Miles Beeson and Robert Powell, having taken bronze in the “A” final of Men’s Junior Eights on the Saturday, snatched gold in a time of 5.56.78 in the same event the following day, pushing Switzerland with a time of 5.57.37 into second place and Saturday’s gold medallists, the Czech Republic, into third. The last time a Coupe medal went to an ASRA rower was back in 2000 in Switzerland , when David McNeill won bronze in the Pairs event.


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Scottish Championships

At the Scottish Rowing Championships held at the Scottish National Rowing Centre, Strathclyde Park, Motherwell from Friday 9th to Sunday 11 June, ASRA crews won 8 gold and 5 silver medals. A magnificent achievement given the lack of opposition in ASRA’s preferred sweep events and the gusting side winds at the start which made attachment a nightmare for less experienced crews.


  • Men’s Junior 18 Coxed Fours: Conrad Forbes, Miles Beeson, Robert Powell & Theo Stott, coxed by Emily Murdoch
  • Men’s Junior 18 Coxless Pairs: Miles Beeson & Robert Powell
  • Men’s Junior 16 Coxless Pairs: Seth Turner & Aidan Graham
  • Women’s Junior 16 Coxless Pairs; Abigail Topp & Megan Hewison
  • Men’s J15 Double Sculls : Seth Turner & Jakub Zbikowski
  • Men’s J14 Double Sculls: Harris MacDonald & Matthew Hughson
  • Wylie Cup (First year of Rowing): Michel Dearsley, Scott Lewis, Josh Berrie & Ben Milne, coxed by Stephany Low
  • Men’s Open Novice Eights: Jan Barraclough, Josh Berrie, Xander Beeson, Oscar Forbes, Matthew Hughson, Ashley Geddes, Archie Innes & Connor Kennedy, coxed by Ben Milne


  • Men’s Junior 18 Coxed Fours: Seth Turner, Chris Bardas, Xander Beeson & Jakub Zbikowski, coxed by Harris MacDonald
  • Women’s J16 Double Sculls: Abigail Topp & Megan Hewison
  • Men’s J15 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Seth Turner, Chris Bardas, Xander Beeson & Jakub Zbiikowski, coxed by Laura Barraclough
  • Men’s J14 Double Sculls: Ashley Geddes & Archie Innes
  • Men’s J13 Single Sculls: Ben Milne

Many thanks to the many parents who helped out either at the Champs in one capacity or another or with transport in getting us there and back. We cannot do it without you.

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World Record!

It's official! Chris "Leonidas" Bardas is a double world record holder for the half and full marathon row - congratulations!


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GB early ID Assessment Trials

On Saturday 19th November, at the GB Early ID Assessment Trials in Boston, Lincolnshire, ASRA's Robert Powell cannot have failed to impress as he came in a brilliant 18th in a field of 116 single scullers from all over Britain, all hoping to represent GB in the 2017 World Junior Rowing Championships on Lake Trakai, Lithuania.

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World Junior Rowing Championships


The photograph shows ASRA's Gregor Duncan (17) rowing at four in the GB Eight at the World Junior Rowing Championships in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday 8th August. The crew in the end came 5th in a closely fought final. It is an immense achievement to be selected to row at world level for the GB Junior Squad and Gregor is only the second boy in ASRA's history to have done so. The first was our Lewis "Nutter" McCue ,who just a week ago won silver at the World Under 23 Rowing Championships in Bulgaria. Both are eligible to row again at the same level next year.

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Home Countries International Regatta

At the 2015 Home Countries International Regatta held on Saturday 25th June at the Scottish National Rowing Centre, Strathclyde Park, Motherwell, ASRA's thirteen Scottish caps, despite spirited performances all round, struggled for the most part in the lashing rain to get the better of their opposite numbers from the other home nations.

The best ASRA performance of the day came in the Women's Junior Coxless Fours race, where Sade Hudgell-Igweke, Katherine Lawrie, Cara Napier and Sam Cassidy, having disposed of the challenge from Ireland and Wales in some style early in the contest, disappointingly failed to match the power and fitness level of their English rivals - the British National Champions in the event from Shiplake Vikings Rowing Club in the second kilometre of the race.

In the Men's Junior Coxless Fours race, which was won at a canter by the Irish quartet from Portora Boat Club, our silver medallists from the British National Championships - Lawrence Jennings, Alistair Frost, Andrew Main and Gregor Pittendreigh - drew some consolation from managing to turn the table on last week's gold medallists from the King's School, Canterbury, but were just pipped for second place by Wales in a nail-biting dash for the line.

Well done to all our athletes and our coaching team for their hard work during the year and leading up to the event and special thanks to Amy Fraser and her 15 year old partner Cara Leslie, who, having been asked at the last minute by the Scottish Management Team to sub into the Women's Junior Coxless Pairs event, put in a truly gutsy ASRA performance. of which they and we can all be proud.
ASRA's former pupils were also in great form. Brilliant golds went to Amelia Donovan (Edinburgh Uni) in Women's Senior Coxless Fours and Women's Senior Eights and to Ian Walker (Aberdeen Uni) in Men's Lightweight Coxless Pairs, whilst Gary Wilson (Aberdeen Boat Club), by coming second in Men's Senior Doubles, Men's Senior Coxless Quads and Men's Senior Eights made a massive contribution to the points total which gave the Men's Senior Team Trophy to Scotland for a second year in succession.



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