Two eights selected to represent Great Britain at European U23 Championships

Great Britian will send two boats to the inaugural European U23 Rowing Championships in Poland next month


The women's eight at the World Rowing U23 Championships (Naomi Baker)

Great Britain will send two boats to the inaugural European U23 Rowing Championships in Kruszwica, Poland, on the weekend of 2-3 September.

Following the success of the team at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Plovdiv in July, a men’s and women’s eight will travel to Poland to compete against their European rivals.

GB won five medals in Plovdiv, including bronze for the men’s eight in the final race of the regatta. Only cox Ian Middleton remains from that crew, but he is joined by silver medallists from the coxed four George Stewart and Oliver Wilkes in the middle of the boat.

Will Stewart, sixth in the pair at the Worlds, comes in to the bow seat, with a number of new faces taking the other seats. Rufus Biggs, in the seven seat, was part of the eight that finished fifth at the World Junior Championships in Rio in 2015, while Graham Ord finished ninth in the pair at the U23 Worlds in 2016.

Tom Strudwick, Sam Nunn and Alex Haynes complete the boat.

The women’s eight, meanwhile, contains six rowers who competed in Plovdiv, with each member of the four moving into the bigger boat. Chloe Brew, Lauren Irwin, Oonagh Cousins and Meg Saunders finished sixth at the Worlds – the same placing as the eight.

Issy Powell and Fiona Bell are the only two members of the Plovdiv eight to travel to Poland, with Oxford Brookes trio Grace MacDonald, Sophie Heath and Aisling Humphries-Griffiths come in at bow, stroke and cox respectively.

Men’s eight (BM8+)
Will Stewart (Hometown: Esher/Club: Newcastle Univ.)
Graham Ord (Hamilton/Edinburgh Univ.)
Tom Strudwick (Amersham/Cambridge Univ.)
Oliver Wilkes (Matlock/Edinburgh Univ.)
George Stewart (Esher/Molesey)
Sam Nunn (Bexleyheath/Oxford Brookes Univ.)
Alex Haynes (Cookham Dean/Newcastle Univ.)
Rufus Biggs (Marlow/Molesey)
Ian Middleton (Oxford/Goldie)
Coach: Peter Sheppard (GBRT)

Women’s eight (BW8+)
Grace Macdonald (Hawkhurst/Oxford Brookes Univ.)
Chloe Brew (Plymouth/Plymouth ARC)
Lauren Irwin (Peterlee/Durham Univ.)
Issy Powell (London/Imperial College)
Fiona Bell (Kilmacolm/Aberdeen Univ.)
Oonagh Cousins (Farnham/Cambridge Univ. Women’s BC)
Meg Saunders (London/Tideway Scullers School)
Sophie Heath (Stroud/Oxford Brookes Univ.)
Aisling Humphries-Griffiths (Reading/Oxford Brookes Univ.)
Coach: Peter Sheppard (GBRT)