GB Olympic hopefuls on trial at Boston
The event described recently by Alan Campbell – Britain’s top single sculler – as the one “where it all begins for the Olympics” will go ahead this Saturday in Boston, Lincolnshire. Boston perennially hosts the second GB Rowing Team Winter Assessment of the season – an endurance trial on a 5km stretch of water. This is third time lucky for the sport following cancellations in 2009 and 2010 because of snow.
Rowing is all about endurance, power and speed as well as technique and the “Boston Trials”, as they are more commonly known, are designed to test the first element at a crucial stage of winter training.
For the Siemens-sponsored and lottery-backed national squad rowers it’s a chance to impress the coaches and is the first step in a series of internal and external testing and trials which will culminate in the GB Rowing Team Senior Trials on the Olympic course on March 10 and 11.
The event pitches the top names in the sport against each other and the clock.
Names like defending Olympic champion Mark Hunter as well as world champions such as Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger will go back to basics to race in singles on the gruelling stretch of water.
Olympic champions Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge will be amongst the open-weight men who will race in pairs on the same course along with World Champions Alex Gregory, Matt Langridge, and Ric Egington.
This is the time when contenders outside of the current senior squad can stake a claim for consideration in the Olympic season. It is also an opportunity for those seeking World U23 Championship places potentially to draw the eye.
So the event has attracted a significant entry across the divisions. On Saturday Division One will start at 10.30am and features open weight races in the men’s pair, women’s single and and men’s single (where Campbell will start as favourite closely followed by Olympian Stephen Rowbotham as well as names like Marcus Bateman, Sam Townsend and Charles Cousins).
Division Two will start at 13.00 and will include the lightweight men’s and women’s singles showcasing the talents of scullers like Sophie Hosking as well as some of the world lightweight men’s four medallists, Chris Bartley, Rob Williams and Richard Chambers whose brother Peter, winner of world lightweight pairs gold this year, also competes.
It is December, though, and the GB squad is not immune to the same bout of colds and coughs being endured by the wider British public currently. So, whilst the majority of the GB squad will participate, some have been ruled out by the medical team.
The tradition of using this stretch of water for two annual assessments (the first was in October but did not feature the 2011 World Championships squad) goes back many years now. It is a rare stretch of suitable water for this kind of endurance trial.
Performance Director David Tanner knows that the competition will be intense in Boston in the run-up to the Olympic season. He will be hoping that the test will show just how well his squad’s winter training is progressing.
“Boston always provides a challenging test for the rowers. All the “greats” of our sport like Sir Matt Pinsent, Sir Steve Redgrave and James Cracknell have been through the process, just like today’s crop of talented rowers. They all know how valuable it is not only to gauge winter training but to provide a route into the squad for any serious challenger”.
After Boston, the next milestone will be the GB Rowing Team Senior Trials on the Olympic course at Eton-Dorney in March (10-11).
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ARRANGEMENTS FOR MEDIA WISHING TO COVER THE BOSTON EVENT
Members of the media are welcome to attend the trials at Boston on the 17th but should RSVP in advance (if they have not yet done this) to:
[email protected] OR (07831) 755351
As facilities at Boston Rowing Club are limited and large numbers of rowers will be on site throughout the day.
For those wishing to stay overnight on the Friday there are a number of hotels located nearby for overnight accommodation:
The White Hart Hotel
1-5 High Street
Premier Inn Boston
The New England Hotel
49 Wide Bargate
Travel Lodge Sleaford (18 miles from Boston)
A17 / A15 Sleaford Bypass
Details of how to get to Boston Rowing Club plus greater ranges of accommodation in the area can be found at: www.bostonrowingclub.btinternet.co.uk
The postal address for Boston Rowing Club is:
The Boat House Carlton Road
Entry details will be available in the week beginning Monday 12 December.[Visit www.gbrowingteam.org.uk/trials for details and results]
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Full details of the entry list will be available from later today at: https://www.britishrowing.org/gb-rowing-team/events/trials
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5km Winter Assessment, Boston, Lincs – open to the media and featuring all members of the GB Rowing Team in their first, big test of the Winter’s training. To attend the event please e-mail [email protected] in advance as facilities for the media at Boston are “minimal”.
Interview opportunities at the six months to go to the Olympic Games milestone – men, women and lightweight crews; National Training Centre, Caversham. Reserved for specific and commissioned interviews/broadcast opportunities only.
Interview opportunities at the six months to go to the Paralympic Games milestone – adaptive (Paralympic) crews only; National Training Centre, Caversham. Reserved for specific and commissioned interviews/broadcast opportunities.
Media preview of GB Rowing Team Trials – Dorney Lake – TBC
GB Rowing Team Senior Trials
Eton-Dorney (& National Training Centre)
All potential members of the 2012 world cup squads will be in action at events which are open to the media – men, women, lightweights and adaptive (Paralympic) squads.
4 or 5
Media Open day to announce the first world cup squad of the season venue and time TBC. Will include all crews.
Adaptive squad taking part in Boat Race activities – open to the media
Media invited to “experience” the Varese, Italy, training camps – all squads.
28 (changed from 29)
Media welcome to visit Varese International (adaptive squad)
First world cup – Belgrade
Second world cup – Lucerne
Interview opportunities with the adaptive squad to mark the three months to go to the Paralympic Games milestone.
Venue and timing TBC
Team GB OLYMPIC announcement
Munich World Cup
27 (changed from 28)
ParalympicsGB announcement TBC by ParalympicsGB
ParalympicsGB Team Launch – London
TeamGB pre-Games on-site preview – Dorney (TBC by TeamGB)
Media access to adaptive squad pre-Games 30 Announcement of teams for World University and European Champs
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For enquiries about this press information notice please contact:
M: Caroline Searle (07831) 755351
e: [email protected]
GB Rowing Team website www.gbrowingteam.org.uk – full biogs available here.
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The GB Rowing Squad is supported by the National Lottery