Junior rowers ready to stake their claim for GB Rowing Team vest

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Preparations are under way on the River Witham in Boston for this weekend's February Junior Assessment

Around 300 young rowers from across the country will have the first chance of 2016 to stake their claim for a coveted GB Rowing Team vest when the February Junior Assessment takes place this weekend.

The two-day event in Boston, Lincolnshire will see the rowers compete in singles, pairs and doubles on Saturday before racing in crew boats on Sunday as the GB coaches start to piece together the Junior Team for the season ahead.

Robin Dowell, Lead Coach for the GBRT Junior Team, said: “We staged an early ID assessment in November but now it is important that the rowers show they are ready to step up to a championship level of performance.

“I am looking to see who can do that and this weekend will really help me formulate a team and strategy for the coming months.

“The next trials [the Spring Assessment in Nottingham from March 22-25] are by invitation only, so we want to see people earn their invitation.”

There are 55 boys’ pairs, 20 boys’ doubles and 70 girls’ singles entered in the J18 age group this weekend, as well as an impressive turnout of 40 boys and 40 girls in the J16 singles.

Britain’s juniors have a busy summer of international competition ahead, starting with the Munich International Regatta from May 7-8.

The annual J16 match between GB and France will take place on July 10, while this year’s Coupe de la Jeunesse is being staged in Poznan, Poland from July 29-31.

The World Junior Championships will then place alongside the Senior and U23 competitions in Rotterdam, the Netherlands from August 21-28. GB will be looking to build on last year’s fine performances in Rio where they won three medals, including a historic gold for the men’s quadruple scull.

A host of rowers in the current senior squad represented GB as juniors, including Olympic medallists Chris Bartley, Kat Copeland, James Foad, Frances Houghton, Matt Langridge, Constantine Louloudis, George Nash and Moe Sbihi.

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