Tune-up continues for GB Rowing Team

GB Rowing Team members are busy tuning up for next week’s Henley Royal Regatta  – an exciting stepping stone en route to the season’s final World Cup in Lucerne in mid-July and the World Championships starting in August.

Beijing Olympic finalist Natasha Page will be racing in the Remenham Challenge Cup for women’s eights in front of the home crowds with team-mates Ro Bradbury, Polly Swann, Jess Eddie, Vicky Thornley, Louisa Reeve, Katie Solesbury, Lindsey Maguire and cox Caroline O’Connor.

The 26 year-old from Hartpury sees the presence at Henley of world champions, the USA, as a big bonus for the crew.

“It’s always really exciting to be competing at Henley because of all the noise and the crowds.  Racing the Americans will give us a very good guide as to how we’re going before Lucerne”, she said.

Page’s fiance Sam Townsend, from Reading, was equally  excited at the prospect of racing on UK waters for the last time before next year’s GB Rowing Team Senior Trials at Dorney Lake in March.

Speaking from the team’s training base this week he said:   “Our event will be really tough as we have the world champions Croatia and the Olympic champions Poland in the draw as well as a strong Australian crew.  It will be great racing for us but also a good test”, he said. 

Townsend competes at Henley with Bill Lucas, Tom Solesbury and Beijing Olympic medallist Stephen Rowbotham.

Alex Partridge will race in his home town and for the first time as a father after the birth of his daughter last week.  He has the bow seat in the men’s eight with James Foad returning from injury in a line-up that includes seven men who took world championships silver in New Zealand last Autumn.

They will face World Champions, Germany, in the Grand Challenge Cup as well as strong crews from the USA and Australia.

Dan Ritchie, who strokes the men’s eight,  described Henley as, “the closest thing we get to competing in a packed stadium” as every metre of the bank is lined with spectators.

He said of the crew which also features Henley Steward and 1992 Olympic gold medallist Greg Searle: “Having not raced at the second World Cup it has been a month since racing internationally and Henley is going to give us a great chance to test a few things between now and the Worlds.

“Henley is such a special place it really is the Mecca of rowing, nowhere in the world do you get the atmosphere of Henley.”

New Zealand have elected to sit out Henley so Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge, the 2010 world silver medallists, start as favourites to win the Silver Goblets and NIckalls’ Challenge Cup.

Tom James, Matt Langridge, Alex Gregory and Ric Egington are the new-look GB Rowing Team men’s four for 2011. They are out to build on their gold at the world cup in Munich in May in the Stewards’ Challenge Cup against crews from Australia, USA, China and Belarus.

Alan Campbell will race in the Diamond Sculls whilst the self-dubbed “Red Express” of ginger-haired Matt Wells and Marcus Bateman will compete in the men’s double scull event.   Both crews are part of a GB sculling programme which has developed enormously since the Athens Olympic Games.

The Amsterdam Regatta this weekend will see crews getting races across two days. 

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, world cup gold medal winners in Munich in May and world championships silver medallists in New Zealand last Autumn in the women’s pair, will be amongst the ones to watch.

They are joined there by Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking who form the GB lightweight women’s double scull – also winners in Munich – but for whom the opposition should be stiff as they will race in the open weight category on both days and this is a Regatta in which the Canadian Olympic team will also be competing.

Kat Copeland, aiming for the world U23 team this year, continues her development at the top level of the sport in the Dutch city. She will race the U23 lightweight women’s single on the Saturday and the senior event on the Sunday.

Stephanie Cullen and Imogen Walsh, contenders for seats in the lightweight women’s quadruple scull at the World Rowing Championships, will race the lightweight women’s double scull on Saturday and the open weight women’s double scull on Sunday.

There is a significant entry of U23 crews in Amsterdam seeking selection for this year’s World U23 Championships and a women’s eight crew seeking selection for the European Championships in September.

PICTURES OF THE GB ROWING TEAM SQUAD IN ACTION AND
AS HEAD AND SHOULDERS ARE AVAILABLE BY E-MAIL:  [email protected]

*SIEMENS is the high performance partner of the GB Rowing Team
(as such they sponsor all the Olympic and Paralympic Class
boats in the senior squad and add value to the GB Rowing
Teams’ Start and High Performance Programme in Clubs Schemes)

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GB CREWS FOR HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA

OPEN

WOMEN

EIGHT

Ro Bradbury (Leander/Banstead/17.12.88)
Polly Swann (Leander/Edinburgh/(05.06.88)
Jessica Eddie (Univ of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Victoria Thornley (Leander Club/Wrexham/30.11.87)
Natasha Page (Gloucester RC/Hartpury/30.04.85)/
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)/
Katie Solesbury (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC/Edinburgh/15.01.82)/
Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Ealing, London/25.04.83)

OPEN

MEN

Pair

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

Four

Matthew Langridge (Leander Club /Northwich/20.05.83)/
Richard Egington (Leander Club/Knutsford/26.02.79)/
Tom James (Molesey BC/Wrexham/11.03.84)/
Alex Gregory (Leander Club /Wormington, Glos/11.03.84)

Eight

Alex Partridge (Leander Club /Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/
James Foad  (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)
Cameron Nichol (Molesey BC/Glastonbury/26.06.87)/
Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell (Univ of London BC/Durham/13.04.88)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
Greg Searle (Molesey BC/Marlow/20.03.72)/
Tom Ransley (York City RC/Cambridge/06.09.85)/
Daniel Ritchie (Leander Club/Herne Bay/06.01.87)/
Phelan Hill (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)

Single scull

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers School/Coleraine/09.05.83)

Double scull

Matthew Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79)/
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/16.09.82)

Quadruple scull

Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)/
Tom Solesbury (Leander Club/Petts Wood, Kent/23.09.80)/
Bill Lucas (London RC/Kingswear/13.09.87)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)

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KEY DATES FOR 2011

This important season for the nation’s top rowers
culminates in the  World Championships and
Olympic qualifying regatta:

BLED, SLOVENIA, FROM AUGUST 28 – SEPTEMBER 4, 2011

Britain will seek to qualify boats into as many Olympic
and Paralympic classes as possible here rather than
through the last-chance final qualifying regatta in Lucerne
from May 20-23, 2012.

Meanwhile, here are some additional dates of note for the
GB squad for the remainder of 2011:

KEY DATES FOR YOUR 2011 DIARY

JUNE

29- July 3
Henley Royal Regatta

JULY

8-10
Rowing World Cup III, Lucerne, Switzlerand

19
Announcement of the World Championships Team

21-24
World Rowing U23 Championships, Amsterdam, Netherlands

29-31
Coupe de la Jeunesse, Linz, Austria

AUGUST

4-7
World Rowing Junior Championships, Dorney Lake, Eton
(this is also the Olympic test event)

28 – 4 September

WORLD ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS, Bled, Slovenia

SEPTEMBER

16-18
European Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

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CONTACT DETAILS
For media enquiries about The GB Rowing Teams please contact:

Caroline Searle or Miranda Edwards on:

T:  (01225) 443998
M:  (07831) 755351

e:  [email protected]

GB Rowing Team website www.gbrowingteam.org.uk – full biogs available
here.

Follow us on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/gbrowingteam
Follow us on twitter:  gbrowingteam
See our season’s preview on YouTube
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