The Bob Neill Scottish Schools Head of the River

On the 19th and 20th of March Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association hosted The Bob Neill Scottish Schools Head of the River on our home waters here on the Dee. It was a successful weekend with one hundred school children from across Scotland competing for their schools and clubs. ASRA walked away with a fantastic eighteen victories out of the twenty-eight titles competed for across the weekend, securing the Scottish Junior Club Team trophies in both sweeping and sculling. George Watson’s College took eight victories home to Edinburgh and The Glasgow Academy took home two. The ASRA winners were as follows:

Saturday Division 1

• OJ18 4+ Murray Bone, Sam Doherty, Christy Probart, William Lawson, cox: Sam Cordiner
• WJ18 4+ Rosie Wilson, Zoe Beeson, Maisie Aspinall, Freya Hughson, cox: Mackenzie Reid
• WJ16 4+ Charlotte Arthur, Emily Simpson, Sophie Sinclair, Anna Donald, cox: Ella Johnston
• WJ14 4x+ Grace Watt, Gabrielle Topp, Lily Arthur, Molly H (GWC), cox: Anna Taylor

Saturday Division 2

• OJ16 4x Harris Pearce, Magnus Lawson, Magnus Heidenreich, Gregor MacLeod
• OJ18 2x Murray Bone, Sam Doherty
• OJ15 2x Callum Sherwood, Jack Winton
• WJ18 4x Gemma Collins, Freya Cummine, Sophia Brew, Ella Brooks
• WJ18 2- Maisie Aspinall, Zoe Beeson
• WJ16 2x Maggie Seward, Sophie Sinclair

Sunday Division 1

• OJ18 4x Murray Bone, Sam Doherty, William Lawson, Christy Probart
• OJ16 2x Magnus Heidenreich, Harris Pearce
• WJ18 1x Maisie Aspinall
• W J14 1x Gabrielle Topp

Sunday Division 2

• WJ16 4x Emily Simpson, Charlotte Arthur, Sophie Sinclair, Maggie Seward
• OJ18 1x Murray Bone
• OJ16 1x Magnus Heidenreich
• OJ15 1x Callum Sherwood

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Scottish Schools' Head of the River 2018

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On Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October, the annual Bob Neill Scottish Schools’ Rowing Council Head of the River Races were held for the first time ever on the River Dee over a timed 3 kilometre course from the Victoria Bridge to the Ruthrieston Burn. 240 crews representing all the major junior rowing clubs in Scotland competed over the two days of the event. On Saturday, the Aberdeen Schools’ Rowing Association won the Scottish Junior Club Fours Champions’ Cup for the 9th year in succession, but by a much decreased margin, and on Sunday, despite collecting 8 category winners’ pennants and recording the fastest time in any sculling boat over the course, ASRA had to concede defeat in the end (and the Scottish Junior Club Champions’ Sculling Trophy) to brilliant opposition from the Glasgow Schools’ Rowing Association.

Winners’ Pennants went to the following ASRA crews listed here in finishing time order:

Saturday (SSRC Fours Head)

  • Men’s Junior 18 Coxed Fours and Fastest Crew overall: Jakub Zbikowski (Harlaw), Xander Beeson(Albyn), Ashley Geddes(Harlaw) & Seth Turner(Cults), coxed by Stephanie Low (Grammar)
  • Men’s Junior 16 Coxed Fours: Michel Dearsley (Cults), Scott Lewis (Mearns), William Penny (Grammar) & Harris MacDonald (Albyn), coxed by Angus White (Albyn)
  • Women’s Junior 18 Coxed Fours: Abigail Topp (Kemnay), Megan Hewison (Gordon’s),Megan Lewis (Mearns) & Maisie Aspinall (Cults), coxed by Skye Balance (Cults)

Sunday (SSRC Sculling Head)

  • Men’s Junior 18 Coxless Quadruple Sculls and Fastest Crew: Jakub Zbikowski (Harlaw), Xander Beeson (Albyn), Scott Lewis ( Mearns) & Seth Turner (Cults)
  • Men’s Junior 16 Coxless Quadruple Sculls: Matthew Hughson (Grammar), Archie Innes (Harlaw), Ashley Geddes (Grammar) & Oscar Forbes ( Albyn)
  • Men’s Junior 18 Double Sculls; Jakub Zbikowski (Harlaw) & Seth Turner (Cults)
  • Men’s Junior 16 Double Sculls: Matthew Hughson (Grammar) & Oscar Forbes (Albyn)
  • Men’s Junior 15 Sculls: Alex Fowler (Albyn) & Joe Ritchie (Grammar)
  • Men’s Junior 18 Single Sculls: Jakub Zbikowski (Harlaw)
  • Men’s Junior 15 Quadruple Sculls: Will Cooper Angus White, Alex Fowler (all Albyn) & Joe Ritchie (Grammar), coxed by Jayros James (Cults)
  • Women’s Junior 14 Single Sculls: Zoe Beeson (Albyn)


Photographs from the event are available to view in the Photo Gallery.



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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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Scottish Schools HORR

On Saturday 15th March at the Scottish Schools Head of the River Race held this year for the first time on the Forth & Clyde Canal between Banknock and Auchinstarry, Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association crews won two divisional pennants.

Rosie Morton (Robert Gordon's College), Iona Riley (Hazlehead Academy), Catriona Bain (Aberdeen Grammar School) & Jamie Steel (Harlaw Academy) coxed by Niall Ford (Aberdeen Grammar School)) won the Women's Junior 16 Coxed Fours event and were the fastest female crew at the head beating the Women's J18 time by 2 seconds and Lewis McCue (Harlaw Academy), Nicolas Riddock (Harlaw Academy), Robert Hamlet, Blair Sorbie & cox Bruce Sorbie (all Robert Gordon's College) won the Men's Junior 14 Coxed Quads event in the fantastic time of 12 minute 35 seconds over the 4 kilometre course to take third place overall.

Boys J14 Quad at the Scottish Schools Head 2008

Our J15 Girls were only 9 seconds behind the winning Heriot's crew in WJ15 and our J15 Boys a disappointing, but not insurmountable 22 seconds behind the Clydesdale composite in their division. Three whole months to Scot. Champs. It's all about commitment between now and then.

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Scottish Schools' HORR

On Saturday 10th March on the Clyde at the Scottish Schools Head of the River Race, ASRA failed for the first time in a decade to win a divisional pennant. Our Boys' Junior Under 14 Quad - Blair Sorbie, Niall Rundle, Daniel McSherry, Atholl Wallace & cox Robert Hamlet - was the most successful of our crews and came home only 9 seconds adrift of the all-conquering boys of George Watson's College at the end of the 3 kilometre course and our scratch Girls' Junior Under 18 Four - Lucy Bonnamy, Catriona Bain, Danielle McNaughton & Joy Davies - also did reasonably well to finish in a time only 11 seconds short of Strathclyde Park's winning time of 9.44.

Our J15 Boys on the other hand with two complete beginners aboard were given a comprehensive mauling by a brilliant Watsonian J15 quartet which finished the Head as second crew overall, while our Girls' J14 Quad on their first outing as a crew did well not to come in last.

Crumbs of comfort are difficult to find. Hopefully however the message will finally have been brought home to our crews that this drubbing was almost totally attributable to their failure to turn up and train as units on a regular basis (ie 3/4 times per week). Strathclyde Park Regatta is only 6 weeks away!

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Scottish Schools HORR

At the Scottish Schools' Head of the River Race on the Clyde on Saturday 18th April, ASRA won both the Women's Junior 15 and the Men's Junior 15 Pennants.

Our ASRA Girls' J15 Four - Katie Hiscox (Cults Academy), Iona Riley (Hazlehead Academy), Catriona Bain (Aberdeen Grammar School), Jamie Steel (Harlaw Academy) coxed by Niall Rundle (Aberdeen Grammar School) were quite outstanding with their winning time of 15 minutes 51 seconds over the 4K course and not only crossed the finishing line 44 seconds ahead of their nearest opposition in the WJ15 division - George Watson's College - but also beat the best Womens' Junior 16 time by a phenomenal 24 seconds.

Not to be outdone, our ASRA Boys' J15 Four - Gary Wilson (Aberdeen Grammar School), Jonathan Wright (Harlaw Academy), Johnathan Lockhart (Robert Gordon's College), Atholl Wallace (Meldrum Academy) coxed by Daniel McSherry (Harlaw Academy) put an almost incredible 61 seconds between themselves and their nearest opposition - the MJ15 crew from George Heriot's of Edinburgh.

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Scottish & Scottish Schools' Championships

At the Scottish & Scottish Schools' Championships, at Strathclyde Park, Motherwell on the 11th and 12th June, crews from ASRA won five golds over the two days. This is clearly slightly down on our 1999 - 2003 average of eight wins at the Scottish Championships, but given the relative youth and inexperience of the majority of our present members, the future remains reasonably bright.

  • Schoolgirls' Under 15 Coxed Fours: Katie Hiscox, Jenny Hiscox, Rhona Miller, Lucy Bonnamy (Cults Academy) cox Shanna Taylor
  • Women's Under 14 Double Sculls: Jamie Steel (Harlaw Academy) with Morna Spence (George Watson's College)
  • Wylie Cup (Novice Schoolboys): Arthur Tutenuit (Aberdeen Grammar School), Gareth Bonnamy & Ibrahim Dali-Ahmed (Cults Academy), Lewis McAra (Hazlehead Academy) cox Gary Wilson (Aberdeen Grammar)
  • Men's Under 12 Double Sculls: Atholl Wallace (Meldrum Academy) & Daniel McSherry (Broomhill Primary)
  • Men's Under 12 Single Sculls: Atholl Wallace (Meldrum Academy)

Our J15 sweep crews - boys and girls- lost out in nail-biting finishes by just about a length to strong opposition from George Watson's College and Strathclyde Park Rowing Club respectively, but given continued commitment and hard graft they can confidently look forward to closing the gap still further (or altogether!) when battle is next rejoined.

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