Second GB Winter Assessment Trials this weekend
Olympic champion Steve Williams and Peter Reed, half of the British men’s four that won the world title in the Autumn, have teamed up to race in a men’s pair at the second Winter Assessment trials at Boston, Lincolnshire, this weekend (Saturday 17 December). Anna Bebington is amongst a host of new talent hoping to impress, too.
Races at Boston will take place as a time trial over a 5km course. The event is an important part of the selection process for next year’s GB senior squad.
Andy Hodge, from that same world champion crew, sponsored by Camelot, will take part but in a single as Alex Partridge, the fourth member of that crew, is carrying a continuing and niggling knee injury.
Tom James, stroke to the GB eight at the Athens Olympic Games, returns from a year out to try once more for the squad. He is paired at Boston with his current Cambridge University crew-mate and 2000 Olympic Games gold medallist Kieran West.
Leander’s Richard Egington and Matt Langridge could provide powerful opposition. Langridge, former World junior champion, has moved to try out with a sweep oar this winter after being part of Britain’s world cup medal winning men’s quadruple scull last season.
Toby Garbett, a world champion in 2001 and twice a former world silver medallist in the four, has also returned to trial for the GB team this winter after a break of over a year. He races in a pair with Molesey’s Tom Solesbury.
Langridge’s former quadruple scull team-mates – Alan Campbell and Steve Rowbotham – are competing in the single scull trials which take place at the same venue and on the same day.
This event also features Ian Lawson, Athens Olympian in the single and a former World Cup finalist, who is enjoying a good training season and could be favourite to take the title.
Gregory, who showed much promise last year in a double scull at senior level with Colin Smith before suffering from asthma at the World Cup Finals in Lucerne, races in a single. Townsend competes in a pair with James Orme.
Three from four of the world champion women’s quadruple scull boat, sponsored by Camelot, will be amongst the main contenders to win the women’s single scull trial. Katherine Grainger, twice world champion and twice Olympic silver medallist, will be joined by Frances Houghton and Sarah Winckless. Rebecca Romero is currently having treatment to a back injury and will not race.
Elise Laverick and Debbie Flood, both Olympic medallists, are also in the frame.
Annie Vernon, who competed in the single scull at the World Championships in the Autumn, will hope to impress. Like Gregory, she has emerged in the past twelve months from the World Class Start programme into senior Olympic class boats and must be a name to watch for the future. Anna Bebington, of Leander, has also caught the eye in training this winter. She is another graduate of the World Class Start programme.
All athletes seeking selection in 2006 are required to race in Boston unless ill or injured. This is a significant season for the GB squad which will culminate in a home-based World Championships at Dorney Lake, Eton, from August 20-27th.
"These trials mark the mid-point of Winter training", explained David Tanner, GB Rowing’s Performance Director. "We can judge the progress made by those who were in the squad last year and assess any newcomers. After this trial, we have a final winter assessment trial in Boston in February followed by final GB Rowing Senior trials in April during which we select the squad for the season".[Visit www.ara-rowing.org and link to Boston
Rowing Club site for details and results]
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ROWING DATES FOR 2006
Tickets go on sale for the World Championships
Third GB Winter Assessment Trials, Boston, Lincs
Women’s Head of the River, London
Men’s Head of the River, London
GB Rowing Senior Trials, Belgium
GB Rowing Junior Trials, Eton
28 – May 1
World Cup Regatta, Munich
World Cup Regatta, Poznan, Poland
Henley Women’s Regatta
28 – 2 July
Henley Royal Regatta
World Cup Regatta, Lucerne, Switz
12 or 13 TBC
Announcement of British team for the
World U23 Championships, Belgium
Coupe de la Jeunesse, Groningen, Holland
World Junior Championships, Amsterdam
World University (FISU) Championships,
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, ETON
First GB Winter Assessment Trials
Second GB Winter Assessment Trials
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British Rowing website www.biro.org.uk – full biogs available
International Rowing returned to GB for the World Cup in May
2005 and will be back once more for the 2006 World
Rowing Championships – both at Eton.
You’ll be kept up to date by British Rowing News.
Official website www.wrc2006.com
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