World Champions in action at Boston this weekend

The GB Rowing Team’s 2013 World Champions will be in action at the 2nd Winter Assessment over a 5km course in Boston, Lincolnshire, this weekend.

Hosted by Boston Rowing Club, the event is one of the more gruelling fitness tests of the winter. Every rower who wishes to be considered for the squad in 2014, and who has matched the entry standards, must attend.

Members of the World Champion men’s eight, including Olympic gold medallists Andrew Triggs Hodge, Pete Reed and Alex Gregory, will compete in pairs.

Leander Club’s Alex Greogry said: “It is always tough going to Boston and doing this assessment. Tough physically, but also mentally as you are pitched against your team-mates and friends as well as against the clock”.

The 2013 men’s sculling World medallists, Graeme Thomas, Charles Cousins and Peter Lambert, will race in singles as will World single scull finalist Alan Campbell from Tideway Scullers. Sam Townsend misses out on medical grounds.

Leander’s Cousins, winner of the GB Rowing Team Senior Team Trials in the single in April of this year, said: “December trials can be tough. It can get pretty chilly in Boston and 5km is a long way in a single scull. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to racing and seeing where I rank in the team”.

Britain’s World Champion women’s pair of Helen Glover, from Minerva Bath, and Polly Swann, of Leander, will be pitted against each other in singles along with all the open weight women’s squad, including members of the women’s double and eight who so narrowly missed a medal in Korea in August.

Performance Director, Sir David Tanner, Chief Coaches Jurgen Grobler (men) and Paul Thompson (women and lightweights) will keep a keen eye on the proceedings which comprise a time trial with some of the hundreds of participating boats also battling for World student games consideration.

“We have the opportunity at Boston, where we always get fantastic support in staging these complex Assessments from Boston Rowing Club, to view the rowers under pressure. It is a great benchmark at the mid-winter point. We can see who is responding well to the training programme”, said Sir David Tanner.

Grobler has mixed and matched his more experienced sweep men with emerging talent to produce some interesting pairs. Alex Gregory and former World U23 Champion Mat Tarrant of Oxford Brookes University, for instance, rather than Gregory’s more usual pairing with Reed. So some tight margins might be in store in the time trial format.

The top names from the 2013 squad will be joined in Boston by the winners of the November Assessment, including Oxford University’s Constantine Louloudis, a 2012 Olympic bronze medallist in the eight who races with Karl Hudspith, and Heather Stanning, returning to challenge for a squad place after a year on Army duty in Afghanistan.

Jessica Leyden, of Hollingworth Lake RC, winner of the open weight single in the November precursor which did not feature the current senior squad, could also be a name to watch alongside Stella D’Arch Smith of Agecroft RC, a GB Rowing Team Start athlete and Apogee Scholar, who was second in this event in November.

Competition will undoubtedly be tight at the top of the lightweight men’s and women’s single scull events this weekend.

2012 Olympic lightweight men’s four medallists Peter and Richard Chambers and Chris Bartley, of Leander, will have top-drawer opposition from Adam Freeman-Pask and a group of newer rowers who all won medals at the World Championships including Will Fletcher, Jonno Clegg, Mark Aldred and Sam Scrimgeour.

Olympic Champion Kat Copeland is on the entry list for Boston and is now in a toughly contested training group in the squad which includes Imogen Walsh, World finalist in 2013, and World U23 Champions Brianna Stubbs and Eleanor Piggott.

In the two lightweight singles categories Agecroft’s Zak Lee Green, another Apogee Scholar and Start athlete, and Charlotte Taylor of Putney Town RC, were both November winners and will be seeking to impress.

ENTRY LIST: Available at www.gbrowingteam.org.uk/trials

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=============================================THE SEASON AHEAD

GB Rowing Team Diary Dates for 2013/2014:
December

14

2nd Winter Assessment Trials (Boston, Lincs) – full squad
Para-rowing 2nd Ergo Assessment, Caversham

March

1-2
Para-rowing 3rd Assessment, Caversham

15

Women’s Head of the River, London

29

Men’s Head of the River, London

April

5
GB Rowing Team Para-Rowing Trials, Caversham

19-20

GB Rowing Team Senior Team Trials – Caversham

May

28 – 1 June

European Championships, Belgrade

June

20-22

World Cup II, Aiguebelette, France (includes para-rowing)

July

2-6

Henley Royal Regatta – TBC

12-13

World Cup III, Lucerne, Switzerland

23-27

World U23 Championships, Varese, Italy

August

6-10

World Junior Championships, Hamburg, Germany

16-28

World Youth Olympic Games, Nanjing, China

24 – 31

World Championships, Amsterdam

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