GB Rowing announces crews for first world cup of 2009 season

[img_assist|nid=3047|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=252|height=234] GB Rowing today announced the crews who will compete at the season-opening world cup in Banyoles, Spain, from May 29-31.

A total of 18 senior crews plus an U23 women’s pair will race on the course which staged the 1992 Olympic Games rowing regatta.

David Tanner, GB Rowing’s Performance Director said: "I am really looking forward to the start of the 2009 racing season. We have some truly outstanding rowers, some of whom are racing in fresh combinations. I’m sure that this season will be one of rebuilding but also one with some exciting potential".

Andy Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed, racing in the Siemens-sponsored men’s pair, and Katherine Grainger in the women’s single, also backed by Siemens, have already drawn attention after making the switch to these boats from the men’s four and women’s quadruple scull respectively.

"I’m looking forward to trying the single scull", said three times Olympic silver medallist Grainger recently of the event which is considered the toughest challenge for any rower. "I’m sure it will be scary when I’m on the start line but also quite exciting. It will be something new and refreshing".

Reed also talked of his excitement at the new challenge
n the men’s pair: "Andy and I have always done really well at the national trials and it will be exciting to see what we can produce in a pair in international racing".

GB Rowing confirmed that it will also field a men’s four and eight – the former including Olympic men’s eight silver medallists Alex Partridge, Richard Egington and Matt Langridge as well as newcomer Alex Gregory. The eight looks set to be stroked by James Clarke, a world champion in the lightweight men’s four in 2007, who has decided to race this season as an open weight rower.

This boat is being rebuilt after the Beijing Games and includes some rowers making their senior world cup debuts as well as some more experienced competitors. Tom Solesbury returns to this boat after featuring in it for much of 2007 and 2008. Mohamed Sbihi makes the step up from the youth and U23 ranks. Dubbed "big Moe" because he is over 2m tall (2.03m/6’7"), Sbihi was identified as having talent as a 16 year-old schoolboy through rowing’s world class start scheme which is lottery-backed and sponsored by Siemens. Former U23 rower, Tom Ransley, is also selected and has rowed in the past two Boat Races for Cambridge.

Alan Campbell, meanwhile, will lead a full complement of GB’s top scullers. He will race a single whilst Matt Wells and Stephen Rowbotham reunite in the double scull that won Olympic bronze in Beijing. World U23 champions Charles Cousins and Bill Lucas team up with Sam Townsend and Marcus Bateman in a new-look men’s quadruple scull.

GB’s other leading women will race in double sculls. This means that Annabel Vernon and Anna Bebington return to the boat class in which they won world cup medals together in 2006. Bebington is also an Olympic bronze medallist at this event.

The women’s eight will include Olivia Whitlam and Louisa Reeve who will double up into this boat as well as racing in the women’s pair – an event in which they reached the Olympic final in Beijing. It looks set to be stroked by Jess Eddie, a returning Beijing Olympian and will feature Natasha Page and Alice Freeman, also part of the eight in Beijing. Debutante rowers in this boat at this level of competition will be Jo Cook, Jennie Farmer and Lindsey Maguire. The eight will be coxed by Caroline O’Connor.

GB Rowing also field a fresh-looking lightweight men’s four with newcomer rowers Bob Hewitt, Stephen Feeney, Chris Boddy and Chris Bartley. Zac Purchase, Olympic champion in the lightweight men’s double scull, will not race in Banyoles as he is yet to get back to form following illness. Rob Williams and Paul Mattick will, therefore, race in the lightweight double scull. They combine to race together after a titanic struggle in the final of the GB Rowing Senior Trials last month.

Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking will race in the equivalent women’s boat as will Andrea Dennis and Laura Greenhalgh.

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(club/home town/d.o.b in brackets)
May 29-31




Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft/Warrington/16.09.85)/Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)

Single scull

Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)

Double scull – two boats

Annabel Vernon (Marlow RC/Wadebridge/01.09.82)/Anna
Bebington (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.02.83)

Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)

Quadruple scull

Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)/
Anna Bebington (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.02.83)/
Annabel Vernon (Marlow RC/Wadebridge/01.09.82)


Alice Freeman (Wallingford RC/Oxford/06.09.78)/
Jennie Farmer (Molesey BC/Isleworth/26.03.85)
Jo Cook (Leander/Nottingham/22.03.84)/
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford/Edinburgh/15.01.82)/
Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft/Warrington/16.09.85)/
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni BC/Hartpury/30.04.85)/
Jess Eddie (Uni of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Ealing/25.04.83) (cox)

Additional U23 Pair

Jacqui Round (Nottingham RC/St Neots/01.07.87)/
Monica Relph (Nottingham RC/Cambridge/15.01.88)



Peter Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/Andy Triggs Hodge
(Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/03.03.79)


Matt Langridge(Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)/Richard
Egington (Leander Club/Knutsford/26.02.79)/Alex Gregory (Reading
Uni BC/Wormington/11.03.84)/Alex Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.01.81)


Tom Wilkinson (Leander Club/Reading/04.07.85)/
James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)
James Orme (Leander Club/Colchester/01.04.84)/
Tom Burton (Leander Club/Barton-le-Clay, Beds/24.05.80)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
Tom Solesbury (Isis BC/Petts Wood, Kent/23.09.80)/
Tom Ransley (Cambridge University BC/ Ashford, Kent/06.09.85)/
James Clarke (London RC/London/31.12.84)/
Phelen Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)

Single scull – two boats

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/09.05.83)

Ian Lawson (Leander Club/Otley, W Yorks/04.03.77)

Double scull

Matt Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)

Quadruple Scull

Charles Cousins (Reading Univ BC/Cambridge/13.12.88)/
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/16.09.82)/
Bill Lucas (Reading Univ BC/Kingswear/13.09.87)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Uni BC/Reading/26.11.85)



Double scull – two boats

Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni BC/London/27.06.84)/
Sophie Hosking (London RC/Wimbledon/25.01.86)

Andrea Dennis (London RC/Oxford/03.01.82)/
Laura Greenhalgh (London RC/Oxford/02.09.85)


Single scull

Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC/Windsor/19.06.85)

Double scull

Rob Williams (London RC/Maidenhead/21.01.85)/Paul Mattick
(Leander Club/Frome, Somerset/25.04.78)


Bob Hewitt (Tees RC/Scarborough/27.04.87)/
Stephen Feeney (London RC/Coleraine/12.05.85)/
Chris Boddy (Tees RC/Stockton-on-Tees/16.11.87)/
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)