General ASRA news

Aberdeen Sprint Regatta

At the annual Aberdeen Sprint Regatta on Saturday 25th August on the Dee, ASRA was the most successful of the 8 clubs taking part, amassing a total of 81 points over the day’s racing. Runners up were the rowers from Stirling Boat Club with 64 points. ASRA won 14 categories in all, the spoils being equally divided between boys and girls.

  • Women’s Restricted 2 Coxed Fours: Abigail Topp, Megan Hewison, Maisie Aspinall & Zoe Beeson, coxed by Skye Ballance
  • Women’s Open Single Sculls: Megan Hewison
  • Women’s Restricted 1 Double Sculls: Abigail Topp & Megan Hewison
  • Women’s Junior 16 Single Sculls: Abigail Topp
    Women’s Junior 16 Double Sculls: Maisie Aspinall & Zoe Beeson
  • Women’s Junior 14 Single Sculls: Maisie Aspinall
  • Women’s Duathlon Winner: Megan Hewison
  • Open R2 Coxless Pairs: Alex Beeson & Chris Bardas
  • Open Junior 14 & Junior 15 Coxed Quadruple Sculls: Joe Ritchie, Alex Fowler, Jayros James & Will Cooper, coxed by Jakub Zbikowski
  • Open Restricted 1 Double Sculls: Jakub Zbikowski & Chris Bardas
  • Open J16 Double Sculls: Alex Beeson & Euan Fowler
  • Open R2 Single Sculls: Seth Turner
  • Open Junior 16 Single Sculls: Will Cooper
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ASRA at the World Rowing Junior Championships 2018

At the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships in Racice in the Czech Republic on the 10th to the 12th August, after a long and unbelievably arduous selection process going right back to November of last year, Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association’s Robert Powell and Miles Beeson were finally selected to represent Great Britain in Junior Men’s Coxless Pairs, an event in which 21 leading rowing nations from across the globe had entered crews.

Having come a comfortable fourth in their heat, Robert and Miles were then unfortunate enough to progress into the faster of the A/B semi-finals, where they were denied an A Final place by the three eventual medallists, Rumania, Germany & Croatia.Despite their disappointment at missing out on the A Final, they then went on to produce a commanding performance in the B Final against Argentina, Belarus, Serbia, Turkey and the Netherlands, leading the field out from the first 500 metres and fighting off a grandstand challenge from Argentina in the last 100 metres of the race.

Miles and Robert once again did ASRA and Scotland proud and they carry our best wishes with them as they leave us now to take up sports scholarships at Yale and Princeton Universities respectively.

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BRJC and Home Countries International

At the 2018 British Rowing Junior Championships, held from the 20th to the 22nd July at the English National Rowing Centre , Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham, ASRA’s J15 gold medal winning Eight from the London Schools’ Head - in the absence of a J15 Eights event – split up to test their mettle this time around against the best of British in two fours events.

Scott Lewis , Michel Dearsley, William Bricknell & Gregor Charles, coxed by Stephany Low , stepped up an age range and fought their way through to a brilliant bronze in Men’s Junior 16 Coxed Fours, only being bettered on this occasion by older, seasoned outfits from Chester-le-Street and Walton Rowing Clubs, whilst their crewmates, Oscar Forbes, Ashley Geddes, Archie Innes & Matthew Hughson, coxed by Skye Balance, powered their way to a magnificent silver in Men’s J15 Coxed Quadruple Sculls, losing by less than a length in the end to Tideway Scullers’ School in one of the most exciting finals of the day.

Meanwhile, on Saturday in Cork, Southern Ireland, their senior teammates were rowing for Scotland in the 2018 Home Countries International Regatta, where ASRA’s Abigail Topp & Megan Hewison together with Sarah Johnston & Heather Gordon from Inverness Rowing Club put in an exceptional row in the Women’s Junior Coxless Fours event to record Scotland’s only Junior gold and one of only five wins overall for the Scottish team. ASRA’s Xander Beeson, Chris Bardas, Theo Scott & Sam Kelso also did club and country proud and were unlucky to lose by a canvas to England in a tantalisingly close race for the Men’s Junior Coxless Fours title.

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Henley Women's Regatta

On the 22nd June our ASRA Senior Girls travelled down to the prestigious 3-day Henley Women’s Regatta on the Thames in order to enter the lists again after a gap of three years in the Girls’ Champion Coxed Fours event for the Groton Cup. 18 clubs including all the usual household names from the length and breadth of England and three crews from the USA took part in the event this year.

ASRA’s Abigail Topp, Ellie Andrew, Megan Lewis & Megan Hewison, coxed by Will Cooper had not had the best of preparations for this regatta due to heavy exam commitments and illness, but put up a good performance to come 7th out of 18 in the Time Trials on Saturday and then made short work of the girls from Maidstone Invicta in the first round in order to progress to the last eight on Sunday morning. The USA Scholastic Junior Champions from Lower Merion High School, Pennsylvania, proved however to be a much tougher proposition, and having slipped in the second 500 metres to a three length deficit, our girls’ heroic challenges in the last 500 metres were just not enough in the end to secure a place in the semi-final.

This crew is eligible to compete in this event again in 2019 and there is little doubt that, given sufficient commitment, they are eminently capable of emulating ASRA’s Christie Duff, Emily Geddes, Holly Reid & Morven Shaw ,who brought the Groton Cup back to Aberdeen in 2012, despite having been eliminated in the quarter final of the event in 2011.

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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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