Boston Trials Round-Up

It was frozen, it rained and then the wind picked up its pace
but the GB Rowing Team Winter Assessment went ahead
in Boston, Lincolnshire, today pitting Britain’s top rowers against
the elements and the clock on a 5km course.

“Yes it’s tough but it’s also a good thing to do and it’s feels like
the start of the Olympic campaign. The time trial’s not my favourite
form of racing, it’s a bit processional but it had to be done”,
said Alan Campbell, winner of the men’s single from Tom
Solesbury in a time of 18.15.97.

Anna Watkins won the equivalent women’s event in 19.45.55,
beating her world champion crew-mate and three-times
Olympic silver medallist Katherine Grainger who finished third
in 19.53.70.  Gloucester’s Beth Rodford produced a strong
performance to take second behind Watkins in 19:48.96.

Watkins was delighted with her win but like all the established
squad rowers was mindful of the ability of others to spring a
surprise.

“That’s what’s good about this event. Anyone who has met the
criteria can turn up and race and there may be some people
here today who we weren’t aware of before but that we
will have to watch more closely in the future”.

Grainger meanwhile, was not enthusiastic about her own efforts
in today’s gruelling test.  “It was ok but I can’t say I’m totally
pleased”.

“This is the last Open trial of the season”, explained
Andy Triggs Hodge winner of the men’s pair with Alex
Partridge in 17:03.41.  “Anyone who wants to lay a claim
to getting into the squad gets a chance to come here
and take on the squad rowers.  It’s a great sport to be
in right now because we have so many good rowers coming
through”.

Olympic champion Hodge rowed in a scratch pairing
today with world and Olympic eights silver medallist Partridge
whilst his normal partner, Pete Reed, is recovering from the
winter virus that ruled out a number of top rowers from today’s
trial.

He underlined the confidence but not arrogance felt by
the whole GB Rowing Team as 2012 rapidly approaches.
“This is a great squad to be in. We have so many good rowers
all challenging hard for their seats in the squad. You know
that you have to put in a good show here or someone else
will do it and may take your seat.

“We have more testing in January, February and then the
GB Rowing Senior Trials in March so we won’t know for
some time yet which boat we will be in next year.  Everyone
is fighting hard and wants to be the best they can be
in the Olympic year”.

Moe Sbihi and Alex Gregory – both strong contenders for
top seats in the men’s squad were second today whilst
World U23 champions Constantine Louloudis and George
Nash laid down a marker by taking third slot ahead ahead
of Greg Searle and Cameron Nichol.

Not renowned for their prowess over the longer distance
rather than the 2km Olympic distance, 2011  men’s four
World Champions Matt Langridge and Richard Egington
were fifth. 

“We know this is not our strength”, said Langridge afterwards.
“But it’s important to be here and to be in the mix over the
longer distance. That will stand us in good stead for when we get
to side by side, 2km racing”.

Richard Chambers held off his younger brother Peter to
win the lightweight men’s single scull contest at the
GBR Team in 18.20.64 – with the younger sibling just
under three tenths of a second behind. Rob Williams came home
third with Olympic lightweight men’s double sculler Mark Hunter
in fourth.

Sophie Hosking won the lightweight women’s single event in
19:51.73 followed by world U23 gold medallist Kat Copeland
in 19:58.36 with Imogen Walsh third.

“I quite like coming here I quite enjoy it.  I think it’s all about
the bare bones of rowing.  It’s about getting back to basics
and taking away the glamour of the summer and just racing
hard”, said Hosking.

“It does bring up different challenges, the weather the coldness
but you’ve just got to get on with it”, she said.

After Boston, the next milestone will be the GB Rowing Team Senior
Trials on the Olympic course at Eton-Dorney in March (10-11).

RESULTS

Fuller results can be found at:

http://www.britishrowing.org/gb-rowing-team/events/trials