Squad of 28 off to World University Rowing Championships
This weekend 28 of Great Britain’s best young rowers will compete at the 13th World University Rowing Championships which is taking place in Gravelines, France.
The competition begins with heats on Friday, then repechage races and semifinals on Saturday and the finals will take place on Sunday. In an event which has been growing in stature in recent years, 34 countries spanning five continents will compete across thirteen events, beating the previous record of 30 participating nations.
A number of the current GB Rowing Team senior squad have competed at the event since its inception in 1984, including World Champion in the men’s four, George Nash, and men’s eight World Champion Mat Tarrant, who were both in the men’s eight which won gold at the University Championships in Hungary in 2010.
The 28 rowers (including one cox) selected by British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) to race for GB this weekend will represent 15 universities, with the largest representation coming from Newcastle, who have six rowers in the squad. The event provides an excellent opportunity for these up and coming athletes to leave a lasting impression on GB’s coaches for the winter months ahead, as well as a final chance to add to successes they have had throughout the 2014 season.
Zak Lee-Green, of Manchester University, and Rebecca (Becca) Chin, of Manchester Metropolitan, are two members of the squad who have already managed to break into the senior GB Rowing Team this year. Chin was a member of the victorious women’s eight which competed at the Windermere Cup in Seattle at the start of the season, whilst Lee-Green raced in the lightweight men’s single scull at the second World Cup in Aigbuebelette, finishing 9th overall.
The 23-year old from Cardiff was then selected as a racing spare in the lightweight single for the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, where he performed extremely well at his first major championships, finishing in the top 10 in the world.
There are also several athletes who represented Great Britain at this year’s World U23 Rowing Championships in Varese. Tim Richards, Jamie Copus, Will Warr, Tom Ford, George Rossiter, Emily Craig, Ellie Lewis and Gemma Hall all competed in Italy, with Richards and Copus the most successful of the group as they won a fine silver medal in the lightweight men’s four.
Three members of the team won student titles at this year’s Henley Royal Regatta. Sam Arnot and Tom Ford, of Newcastle University, were victorious in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup and Rory Copus coxed the Oxford Brookes University men’s eight to a Temple Challenge Cup win.
This weekend’s women’s four of Karen Bennett, Becca Chin, Michelle Vezie and Pippa Whittaker were part of a composite women’s eight which won the the Women’s Elite Eights at the 2014 Henley Women’s Regatta.
Karl Hudspith, who will race in the men’s eight at Gravelines, is another athlete who has enjoyed success with his university, competing for Oxford in the Boat Race four times, winning on three of the occasions.
Half of the team which will compete in France have also been supported by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) in recent years, which is a programme that aims to help its athletes to balance academic life with training and competing as a performance athlete.
GB’s Team Manager for the event, Lee Boucher, commented ahead of the Championships, saying: “It has been an outstanding year for student rowing in Britain, highlighted by GB universities winning both of the student events at Henley Royal Regatta for the first time since 2006”.
Boucher added: “This year’s FISU BUCS team has a strong mix of experience and first time internationals and we look forward to following the rowers journeys to France this year and hopefully beyond”.
Live coverage of the event can be found here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1mi49j_live-world-university-rowing-championships-2014_sport
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GB SQUAD FOR WORLD UNIVERSITY ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS, GRAVELINES, FRANCE
12-14 SEPTEMBER, 2014
Francis Highton (Durham University)
Dominic Meyrick-Cole (University of Amsterdam)
Barney Stentiford (Durham University)
Louis Paterson (Oxford Brookes University)
Will Warr (Durham University)
Josh Tonnar (St Mary’s, Twickenham)
Karl Hudspith (Oxford University)
Sam Arnot (Newcastle University)
Tim Clarke (Newcastle University)
Tom Ford (Newcastle University)
Tim Richards (Imperial College)
George Rossiter (Newcastle University)
Rory Copus (cox) (Oxford Brookes University)
Emily Craig (University of London)
George McKirdy (Nottingham Unviersity)
Stuart Heap (University of East London)
Donald Evans (Queens, Belfast)
Nick Buckle (Newcastle University)
Lead Coach: Pete Sheppard (GB Rowing Team)
Team Manager: Lee Boucher (Scottish Rowing)
Physio: Anna Green
Franz Imfeld (Surrey University & Molesey BC)
Hamish Burrell (GBRT Start & Agecroft RC)
Phil Gray (University of London BC)
BUCS are the National Governing Body for Higher Education sport, and enter teams into the World University Championships on behalf of Great Britain and NI with the support of National Governing Bodies of sport. The World University Rowing Championships are one of eleven World University Sport Championships organised by FISU in 2014. For more information on the World University Championships click here.
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