Hat-trick for Hodge

Andy Hodge knotched up a hat-trick of GB Senior Rowing Trials titles today when he won the men’s pair in Hazewinkel, Belgium, with Peter Reed.

The duo were defending champions and, as predicted, found the toughest opposition in  Steve Williams and Alex Partridge the other half of British rowing’s world champion men’s
four which is sponsored by Camelot.

Katherine Grainger was totally dominant in the women’s single scull final despite a field which included three other Olympic and world medallists.

Alan Campbell sculled his way to a second consecutive title in the men’s single scull, beating his Olympic Games crew mate Matt Wells into second place.

Qualified doctor Helen Casey found stiff opposition from Hester Goodsell, the world U23 champion, before holding on for victory in the lightweight women’s single scull final.

London-based James Lindsey-Fynn hopes he has put down a marker for a place in the Olympic-class lightweight men’s double scull by winning the title here in the single.

Vicky Etiebet and Rebecca Rowe were winners of the women’s pair final.

"We’ve seen a quality and depth of racing here which has been inspiring", said GB Performance Director David Tanner.  "We now have plenty to think about before naming the team for the opening world cup of the season in Germany in May".

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RACE REPORTS

Andy Hodge won his third GB Senior Rowing Trials men’s pair title in Belgium today – his second in  tandem with Peter Reed with whom he was defending champion.

The Yorkshire/Gloucestershire duo edged out in front early in the race.  They built on that lead to move a length ahead of the chasing pack at the half-way point.

Olympic champion Steve Williams and Hampshire’s Alex Partridge, part of last year’s world champion men’s four with Reed and Hodge, emerged from that chasing pack to push away from the remaining pairs.  For a while it looked as if they might  mount a challenge but the verdict at the line was almost a length in favour of Hodge and Reed in a time of 6:38.52.

"It was totally different to last year when we came through as the jokers in the pack.  This year we were favourites to win. We’re glad we’ve lived up to that ", said Hodge after the race.

"Halfway down the course today I was feeling good and I signalled that to Andy and that I still had some reserves there. !’m proud of the way we raced today", said Reed.

Tom James, of Cambridge, and Matt Langridge, originally from Cheshire, won the intense battle that developed down the final 1000m of the course for third place from newcomer Tom Solesbury and Toby Garbett, a former world champion who has returned to the sport  after  break of a year.

Alan Campbell retained his men’s single scull title and showed a greater maturity as a racer here.  Each of his opponents, like Campbell, went off hard at the start but it was the Northern Ireland rower who emerged quickly to take control.

He was tracked by Matthew Wells, a previous winner of the title himself, but Campbell  kept him at arms’ length to the line.

Behind the leading duo a battle royal developed between Colin Smith, a member of the recent Oxford Boat Race winning crew, Ian Lawson and Stephen Rowbotham. Only Cambridge’s Charlie Palmer dropped out of contention by the halfway mark.

Ultimately it was Rowbotham who triumphed to take the third slot but under a second ahead of Smith with Lawson fading into fourth.

"I’m happy to have consolidated what I did last year and to prove that wasn’t a fluke. I hope I’ve shown my potential to produce the goods for Great Britain", said a clearly
proud Campbell afterwards.

The women’s single final was always going to be one of the best quality events on the programme here.  After all, Katherine Grainger, Sarah Winckless, Debbie Flood and Fran Houghton are all either Olympic medallists or world champions or both.

They were joined in today’s final by two talented younger rowers – Anna Bebington, from Leek in Staffordshire and Cornwall’s Annie Vernon.

Grainger, from Scotland, made the race her own from the outset, though.  She led from almost the first few strokes to the finishing line and admitted afterwards that she hadn’t
truly needed to use her very top gear.

"Even though it was a domestic race you had to treat today like a world championship final. This is the highest standard we’ve ever had in the women’s squad", said Grainger
afterwards.

Grainger also talked of having taken a leaf out of the Sir Steve Redgrave book of racing. "After watching six or so years of Steve winning races by going out in front first, I’ve tried to do the same. It isn’t always possible but today
went exactly according to plan".

Behind her Debbie Flood and Sarah Winckless battled bowball-to-bowball in the inside two lanes.  Winckless showed her ability and strength in the later stages by gradually pulling ahead to take second.

Both must have had half an eye,though on Bebington. She has started every race here slowly but wound up the pressure in the second half.  Today was no exception. She came from a length off the back of the pack to take fourth.

The women’s pair title here was won by Vicky Etiebet and Rebecca Rowe.  500m into the race the boats were virtually together in a line across the course. But Rowe and Etiebet then put in a push to move ahead of the field and never relinquished their lead.

Andrea Finn and Baz Moffat beat off Florence Temple and Rachel Loveridge of Thames to take the third slot after a good tussle.

James Lindsay-Fynn juggles his day job as a banker with the Bank of America with his rowing training. Today he proved that, although difficult, he can make the combination work by winning the lightweight men’s single scull final from Tim Male.

Male, an Olympian, did not get the best first 500m and burnt up a lot of energy getting back in contention. Fynn meanwhile knew that he needed to keep enough in reserve for the final stages.  Both are canny racers and Fynn came off best today.

"It’s a tick in the box this early in the season", he said after the race.  "I knew that I’d have to scull well to beat Tim, because he’s a very  experienced racer".

Helen Casey was clearly delighted to win the equivalent
women’s race after many years of coming second here.

"It’s been a long time in coming", she said afterwards, "but it had to be this year if any".

Casey got out ahead at around the 150m mark and  sculled in her words "a great first 1500m".  Then it was a case of hanging on whilst Hester Goodsell, the World U23 champion, stalked her to the line.

"For the last ten strokes I was just holding on and hoping for the line", said Casey who says that she has enjoyed single sculling this year under the eye of Rob Dauncey and Pete Sudbury at Wallingford rather than seeing the single scull winter training only as a means to get into the Olympic double.

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The 2006 GB Rowing Senior Trials – Results

A Finals

WOMEN

Pair
1.  Vicky Etiebet (Auriol Kensington)/Rebecca
     Rowe (Rebecca)  7:41.71
2.  Andrea Finn (Tideway Scullers)/Baz Moffat (Thames)
     7:45.41
3.  Florence Temple (Thames)/Rachel Loveridge (Thames)
     7:46.04
4.  Laura Gater (Leander)/Naomi Hoogesteger (Durham Uni)
     7:50.27

Single
1. Katherine Grainger (St Andrew)  7:44.87
2.  Sarah Winckless (Walbrook) 7:48.21
3.  Debbie Flood (Leander)  7:50.25
4.  Anna Bebington (Leander)  7:50.41
5.  Frances Houghton (Uni of London)  7:50.76
6.  Annie Vernon (Thames)  7:55.40

MEN

Pair
1.  Peter Reed (Leander)/Andy Hodge (Molesey)
     6:38.52
2.  Alex Partridge (Leander)/Steve Williams (Leander)
     6:41.85
3.  Tom James (Cambridge Uni)/Matthew Langridge
     (Leander)  6:45.39
4.  Toby Garbett (Leander)/Tom Solesbury (Molesey)
     6:46.14
5.  Tom Parker (Oxford Uni)/Kieran West (Cambridge Uni)
     6:48.49
6.  Rob Hollis (Oxford Brookes)/Hugo Lee (Oxford Brookes)
     7:02.79

Single scull
1.  Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers)  7:01.56
2.  Matthew Wells (Uni of London)  7:05.64
3.  Steve Rowbotham (Leander)  7:09.80
4.  Colin Smith (Oxford Uni)  7:10.08
5.  Ian Lawson (Leander)  7:11.25
6.  Charlie Palmer (Cambridge Uni)  7:19.38

LIGHTWEIGHTS

WOMEN

Single
1. Helen Casey (Wallingford)  8:03.37
2.  Hester Goodsell (Rob Roy)  8:03.87
3.  Lindsay Dick (Glasgow RC)  8:05.92
4.  Sophie Hosking (Durham Uni)  8:10.50
5.  Laura Ralston (Rob Roy)  8:11.30
6.  Antonia van Deventer (Leander)  8:13.41

MEN

Single
1.  James Lindsay-Fynn (London)  7:14.32
2.  Tim Male (Tideway Scullers)  7:15.13
3.  James Clarke (Durham Uni)  7:23.10
4.  Daniel Harte (London)  7:26.36
5.  James Stephenson (Molesey)  7:26.62
6.  Paul Mattick (Wallingford) 7:32.23

B FINALS

WOMEN

Pair

1.  Laura Rowbotham (Uni of London)/Georgina
     Menheneott (Mortlake & Anglian)  7:47.27
2.  Lucinda Gooderham (Durham Uni)/Jacqui Round
     (St Neots)  7:52.25
3.  Lindsey Maguire (Birmingham Uni)/Lizzie Hodges
     (Uni of London)  8:00.14

Single

1.  Elise Laverick (Thames)  8:00.37
2.  Beth Rodford (Thames)  8:03.80
3.  Natasha Page (Reading Uni)  8:05.15
4.  Natasha Howard (Tideway Scullers)  8:05.97
5.  Carla Ashford (Thames)  8:06.00

MEN

Pair

1.  Jonno Devlin (Oxford Brookes)/Nick Lloyd
     (Leander)  6:53.88
2.  Simon Fieldhouse (Molesey)/Marcus Bateman
     (Reading Uni)  6:54.88
3.  Ben Smith (Imperial College)/Oli Moore (Imperial
     College)  6:57.69
4.  Ryan Davies (Oxford Brookes)/Matt Tucker (Oxford
     Brookes)  6:59.94
5.  Sam Townsend (Reading Uni)/James Orme (Leander)
     6:59.96

Single

1.  Alex Gregory (Reading Uni)  7:16.59
2.  James Dunley (Uni of London)  7:17.98
3.  Richard Ockenden (Molesey)  7:20.93
4.  Henry Pelly (Newcastle Uni)  7:22.85
5. George Laughton (Newcastle Uni)  7:28.67
6.  Will Robinson (Oxford Brookes)  7:30.96

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Single scull

1.  Annabel Hagon (Auriol Kensington)  8:12.92
2.  Jane Hall (Leander)  8;14.31
3.  Mel Sage (Mortlake Anglian)  8:14.47
4.  Katrina Lythgoe (Thames)  8:15.68
5.  Helen Mason (Thames)  8;18.93
6.  Helen Ralston (Rob Roy) 8:30.11
7.  Jo Hammond DNS

MEN

Single scull

1.  Adam Freeman-Pask  7:23.98
2. Matt Beechey 7:25.83
3.  Rob Williams 7:27.17
4.  Henry Chin 7:27.51
5.  Marco Espin 7:27.86
6.  Richard Chambers 7:34.21

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Rowing Championships – both at Eton.

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