Harriet Housam marked her international debut by claiming bronze at the Coupe de la Jeunesse.
Competing in the single sculls event, the 18-year-old Boston Rowing Club member was representing Great Britain in the sport’s version of the junior European championships.
But Housam had to use every last ounce of strength on Switzerland’s waters at Lucerne to claim third place.
“It was a relief to win the medal, it was really close for third and fourth,” said Housam, who was called to the podium following a photo finish.
“I really thought I was fourth until they told me to come up.
“It was just amazing to get bronze, it’s even more than I had hoped for.”
Austria claimed gold over the 2k course, with Spain taking second and Housam having to see off her Belgian rival to finish in the top three.
The teenager - who is hoping to break into the Durham University rowing team as she heads north to read natural sciences later this year - also finished in third spot in her heat.
However, in that race a Chilean boat, competing in an invitation only capacity, finished ahead of her, but wasn’t eligible for the A final.
“It was a totally different experience,” Housam added.
“I’m used to rowing in Boston. At Lucerne there were these beautiful mountains all around.”
After making her first appearances in a Great Britain boat, Housam will tak a month’s rest from the sport to prepare for her studies.