GEORGE Lawton, from Northwich Rowing Club, was a winner on his debut at the World Rowing Junior Championships on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old, part of a Great Britain men’s double scull with Rory Harris, progressed to the quarter finals following an impressive victory in their boat class’ first heat in Rotterdam.

Rival crews from Spain and Greece both made swift starts, but Harris and Lawton soon settled and began to close a gap that had opened in the opening 500m.

The duo soon pushed through, taking the lead in the final quarter before continuing to the line to win by clear water on the Willem-Alexander Baan course.

“It’s been a good morning with lots of learning and the rowers are all feeling positive,” said Robin Dowell, lead coach for the British team.

“A number of them are experiencing the world junior championships for the first time, so it’s good to get that first race under their belt.”

Lawton and Harris, from Pangbourne College in Reading, are back together in a crew following a medal-winning performance in national team colours - again in a double – at last year’s Coupe de la Jeunesse.

They took silver behind Italy in Hungary.

As a result, Lawton received the prestigious George Musker prize at Northwich Rowing Club’s annual awards ceremony in November.

He will return to action in Holland on Friday morning.