Pairs Head of the River kick-starts head season

Pairs Head boating - Image Conscious

The head season got back underway on Saturday, with a host of GB Rowing Team rowers heading to the River Thames to take part in the 2011 Pairs Head of the River.

Beth Rodford and Ro Bradbury were among the GB rowers to take to the water alongside over 400 crews, but it was Windsor-born Adam Freeman-Pask , Leander’s Katie Greves, and the mixed double of Hester Goodsell and Rob Williams who took top honours at the first major head event of the season.

Freeman-Pask – who came sixth in the lightweight men’s single sculls at this year’s World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia – claimed first place in the elite men’s double, alongside partner Jamie Kirkwood.

The Imperial College double crossed the finishing line at Hammersmith Bridge in 11 minutes and 36.82 seconds, comfortably clear of the Tideway Scullers double who finished some 18 seconds back.

The second-fastest finish of the day went to the senior double of Matt Bedford and Ertan Hazine – from the University of London Boat Club – who finished in 11 minutes and 43.61 seconds.

Greves, meanwhile, claimed victory in the elite women’s double – racing alongside her sister Caroline to complete the 4,000m course in 12 minutes and 39.80 seconds.

The 29-year-old won a bronze medal with the women’s eight in Slovenia, but went two better on the Thames with an impressive 15-second winning margin over the second-placed London Rowing Club crew.

Goodsell and Williams – who both claimed bronze medals in the Bled in the lightweight women’s double and lightweight men’s four, respectively – teamed up to take top spot in the mixed elite double, finishing in 12 minutes and 3.75 seconds.

The GB duo finished 10 seconds faster than fellow squad-member Rodford – competing with her brother Ben – and 15 seconds clear of third-placed Bradbury, who raced alongside her brother Robert.

In the fourth and final elite racing event of the day, Ben Smith and former GB rower Dan Ouseley of Molesey Boat Club demolished their rivals in the elite men’s pair, crossing the finishing line just under a minute ahead of the second-placed crew from Thames Rowing Club.

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