First test of "new season" at Boston this weekend

22nd November

Several of the “young bucks” who won medals at this year’s European Championships in Italy are among those hoping to make an impression when the first GB Rowing Team Winter Assessment of the new Olympiad takes place in Boston, Lincolnshire, this weekend.

Sam Scrimgeour, William Fletcher and Jonathan Clegg were silver medallists in the lightweight men’s four along with 2012 Olympic reserve Adam Freeman Pask this September.

Of the quartet Scrimgeour and Clegg are racing in Boston where they will be joined by Olivia Carnegie-Brown, silver medallist in the women’s pair with Caragh McMurty at the event in Italy. Both women then doubled up into the women’s eight to win bronze in Varese in September.

In that eight 19-year-old Yasmin Tredell also won bronze having been identified through the GB Rowing Team’s Start programme in Evesham before moving to the high performance programme at Oxford Brookes University.

Tredell is amongst a large number of the weekend’s entrants who are still under-23.

Matt Tarrant, a former World under-23 champion in the men’s pair and fourth in the same boat at the Europeans will also contest the event as will Ruth Walczak, Imogen Walsh, Chris Boddy and Mike Mottram who were all bronze medallists in Varese.

The weekend’s line-up also includes emerging names like John Collins from Leander Club and Graeme Thomas of Agecroft R.C.

Collins showed well at the recent Diamond Jubilee Rowing Championships at Dorney Lake in winning the double scull. Thomas raced and made his mark in a single at world cup level last season after switching to rowing from a promising rugby career and also took a close fourth in the final of the European Championships.

“We are constantly looking to renew our squad. This weekend will give us the chance to see some of the younger rowers in action,” said Jurgen Grobler Men’s Head Coach, as he watched training at the Redgrave-Pinsent training lake.

Over 250 rowers across weight and age categories will contest a 2k ergo (indoor rowing machine) at the Princess Royal Sports Arena, Boston on Saturday 24 and a 5km on-water time trial on Sunday 25 November.

Kat Copeland will be the lone Olympic gold medallist to contest the Assessment as other returning Olympians continue to follow differing training regimes after the unique experience of the home Games.

Others are making a supreme effort of a different kind to attend. “Jess Eddie is coming back from Australia where she won a head of the river race with Sophie Hosking last weekend,” said Paul Thompson, Chief Coach for Women and Lightweights about the remarkable time-zone switch the women’s eight Olympic finalist is hoping to pull off.

Sculling Olympians Alan Campbell, who took bronze at Eton-Dorney in the single, Charles Cousins and Sam Townsend are also set to line up.

Cousins who competed in the men’s quadruple scull at the Games said: “It feels like the start of the next four years. A few of us are back at the training base regularly already. It is a chance at the weekend to get racing and to put down a good ergo. I wanted to come back strong and show the coaches that I am still an ideal candidate for the team.”

Their female counterparts include 2010 World Champion and 2012 Olympic finalist Beth Rodford, as well as Victoria Thornley an Olympian who switched to the eight from sculling in 2011 to win World Championships bronze, and Mel Wilson, 2012 Olympic finalist with Rodford in the women's quadruple scull in August.

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