Strathclyde Park, Scotland
2-5 August 2018
Leander athletes returned from the European Championships with nine silver medals and three bronze, including a first international medal for Sam Mottram in the lightweight single scull.
Yet overall it was a disappointing championships for the GB team, who failed to pick up a single gold and finished twelfth in the medal rankings, which were led by Romania and France.
The four-day regatta at Strathclyde Park culminated in two days of finals last weekend where the all-Leander GB men’s four were first to reach the podium with second place behind Romania.
Adam Neill, Jacob Dawson, Tom Ford and James Johnston had already etched their place in the record books by winning the Stewards’ Challenge Cup at Henley last month – the 200th win for Leander at the Royal Regatta.
But despite beating Romania in their heat earlier in the week they were no match in the final for the Under-23 world champions who led from start to finish.
Great Britain’s second silver came in the final race on Saturday when the women’s eight, with five Leander athletes on board, overhauled the Netherlands to finish in second place behind Romania.
The following day it was the turn of Jack Beaumont and Harry Leask to notch up bronze in the double sculls behind France and Romania.
The medal was unexpected since Leask, who was due to race the single scull, only climbed into the crew the previous week after Angus Groom was pulled out to protect a niggling injury.
The event marked a return to home water for Edinburgh-born Leask, who attended George Heriot’s School before moving to Leander in 2012.
The final medal for the GB Team was bronze for Sam Mottram, marking his first international medal for the lightweight sculler, who started his rowing career at Upper Thames.
“I’ve worked for so many years – I started rowing when I was eight – with little glimmers of success here and there. To go out in the single and win a medal in a race that probably wasn’t perfect – it was staggering, fantastic” he said.
He paid tribute to the GB Supporters at Strathclyde, where the atmosphere helped bring back memories of the ‘Dorney Roar’ which provided the backdrop to the Olympic regatta at London 2012.
“The noise coming from both sides – it was one of those rare moments you don’t get very often in this sport – it was just an incredibly feeling to be part of it” he added.