Katherine Grainger among celebrities to attend Doddie Weir regatta

Sports stars including Olympic gold medal winner Dame Katherine Grainger and former Scotland rugby captain Rob Wainwright are set to race each other in a Doddie Weir charity rowing challenge in Edinburgh.

The event comes just months after the death of Weir, the former Scotland International who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 2016.

Eight teams of celebrities will compete to see who can row the furthest in three hours at the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith on Saturday.

The event is run by Doddie Aid, which was founded in 2020 by Weir’s former teammate Wainwright, and which promotes mass-participation sports across the UK.

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Katherine Grainger, who won gold in the double sculls at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is taking part in the rowing challenge (Isabel Infantes/PA)

It is the largest annual fundrasing event for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which is committed to raising funds to fight motor neurone disease.

Six-time rowing world champion Dame Katherine, who won gold in the double sculls at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is among a host of famous faces from rugby, television and the wider sporting world who will be on deck to rack up as many miles as possible to fund MND research.

Speaking ahead of the challenge, she said: “Doddie Aid is an amazing event that brings so many people together through a shared passion for exercise, teamwork, camaraderie and commitment to helping find a cure for MND.

“As the first event since Doddie’s death, this year’s event, of course, takes on added significance, and the tens of thousands of people already signed up and racking up miles shows how much people care.

“The Doddie Aid Britannia Regatta is the perfect focal point for Doddie Aid 2023, and will embody so much of what Doddie stood for – hard work and unbridled fun.”

The Doddie Aid Britannia Regatta is open to teams competing remotely across the UK, with participants able to keep up via a live stream from the top deck of the Royal Yacht Britannia, with a leaderboard and prizes for those wishing to join and support the cause from home, the gym, their local rugby club, or anywhere else with a rowing machine.

Wainwright added: “The Doddie Aid Britannia Regatta is particularly poignant as it’s the first since Doddie’s passing in November, but this only drives us forward to continue making progress and raising awareness of MND.

“It will be incredible to see everyone rallying together at the event, as well as those joining from home, the gym, or anywhere else. Doddie started something special and it is our responsibility to continue his legacy.”