Alan is GB’s leading single sculler and has established himself as a strong and respected competitor in the solo world of the men’s single.
In the 2009 World Cup series he showed himself to be in the top ranks, winning in Banyoles and taking silver in Munich against the Olympic medalists from Beijing. At the World Championships in Poznan Alan led for the first 750m of his final before Mahe Drysdale from New Zealand moved through just before half way. Rowing a tactically astute race Alan stalked Drysdale in the third quarter and despite closing the gap with a final attack, he could not quite catch him, finishing just under a second behind gold with both scullers beating the former World’s Best Time. An excellent performance. He confirmed his position as GB’s leading male sculler by successfully defending his singles title at the 2009 GB Rowing Senior Trials in Belgium.
In 2008 Alan made a great start to his Olympic season by winning the World Cup in Munich ahead of the 2007 silver and bronze medallists from Norway and the Czech Republic. At the Lucerne World Cup he placed 4th. However, he then suffered an infection which seriously affected his knee, requiring surgery, and meant it was “touch and go” whether he would race at the Olympics at all. With fantasic back up from the medical and science teams, and strength of character from Alan and his coach Bill Barry, Alan raced in Beijing. Once there he claimed his place in the A Final finishing a creditable 5th.
In 2006 he won the World Cup series and finished 6th at the the World Championships and stepped up again at the 2007 Worlds with a medal zone finish in 4th place.
Alan also represented GB in the quad at the Olympic Games in 2004 and was a member of GB’s first ever World Cup medal winning men’s quad in 2005.
Alan started rowing at school, Coleraine Academical Institution for Boys, in his hometown in Northern Ireland and was then ‘found’ by Tideway Scullers School and encouraged to aim high through their development programme.
He made his GB debut at the World U23 Championships in 2003 where he raced in the single scull, finishing 8th. This was no mean achievement as he was selected in the double and switched to the single just five days before the regatta when his partner became ill and was unable to race.
A month before, Alan had made his mark by winning the Diamond Sculls at Henley.
Alan is Lottery Funded through UK Sport and his personal sponsor is Jones Lang LaSalle.