8 medals for British Nations at the Commonwealth Rowing Association Beach Sprint Championships
England, Jersey, Scotland and Wales competed at the Commonwealth Rowing Association Beach Sprint Championships in Walvis Bay, Namibia from 2-4 December
British Nations had a successful weekend bringing home a total of three gold, four silver medals and one bronze across all four of the events; Women’s Coastal Solo, Men’s Coastal Solo, Mixed Coastal Double and the Team Relay.
Scotland topped the medal table with three golds in the Men’s Coastal Solo, Mixed Coastal Double and the Team Relay. England came third overall, winning three silvers in the Women’s Coastal Solo, Men’s Coastal Solo and Team Relay, while Wales came fourth in the medal table with a silver in the Mixed Coastal Double and joint bronze in the Team Relay with Canada.
The island of Jersey was also represented for the first time at a Commonwealth Rowing event. Making their way through time trials and securing places in the quarter finals in each of the categories.
Clare Jamison (Christchurch RC/England) was the first to get on the podium, taking silver in the Women’s Coastal Solo after narrowly losing to Elizabeth Newell of Australia. Elizabeth’s win put Australia second in the medal table.
Next came the Men’s Coastal Solo with a Home Nation race off in the final between Charles Cousins (Rob Rob BC/England) and Gregor Hall (Stirling RC/Scotland). The two scullers were closely matched, making for a thrilling race in which Gregor came out ahead to take the Gold.
Gregor said, “Being part of the Scotland Team in Namibia is one I will never forget, I am greatly appreciative to be one of the few to experience it.
“Coming away with 2 Golds in CM1x and Team Relay has ended the year on a real high. The best part of the trip and Beach Sprints is the camaraderie between nations, this spirit made the whole experience so great to be a part of.”
The Mixed Double saw another exciting race between two Home Nations, this time between Laura McKenzie (Glasgow University BC) and Sam Scrimgeour (Glasgow RC), representing Scotland Thea Adamson (Tideway Scullers School) and George Cowley (London RC), for Wales. The two crews had a terrific battle but Scotland won out to take the gold with Wales bringing home silver.
On the final day of competition, Scotland and England met for one last race in the final of the Team Relay with the event seeing all three boats racing over the course. Scotland and England were closely matched early on before the Mixed Double from Scotland pulled out a lead over their English rivals. Clare Jamison (Christchurch RC/England) took the final leg and put in a valiant effort in trying to close the gap to Isla MacCallum (Stirling RC/Scotland) but was unable to catch her and Isla secured the victory for Scotland.
Scottish Rowing’s Team Manager Lee Boucher said, “It’s been a memorable Championships for the Scotland Rowing Team and we are delighted to be returning home with three gold medals and many fantastic performances as we build towards the Commonwealth Games in 2026.
“The Namibian Organising Committee have delivered an exceptional Championships, with lots of excellent racing, and we’d like to thank them for their incredible hospitality. We look forward to seeing coastal rowing growing in the region and across the Commonwealth in the years ahead.”
In all, 12 Commonwealth nations competed with Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia taking on the waves against the four home nations. Canada won three bronze medals in the Women’s Coastal Solo and Mixed Coastal Double, and tied for third place in the Team Relay with Wales.