All you need to know about the GB Rowing Team first winter assessment

The 2019 GB Rowing Team Trials process gets underway in Boston, Lincolnshire, this weekend as over 300 athletes compete on land and water to catch the eye of the coaches

How does the GB Rowing Team trials process work?

Every year, the GB Rowing Team holds an open selection process for athletes hoping to win a place on the Olympic squad at the year’s major championships – the World Rowing Championships and European Rowing Championships for both seniors and U23s.

The Trials process is comprised of three assessments and a final head-to-head test at Caversham, taking place between November and April each year.

Athletes are able to enter one of three categories – singles, pairs and lightweight singles. Seniors and U23s compete alongside each other in the assessments.

The first and third assessments are open and compulsory for all trialling athletes, while the second assessment and the final Senior & U23 Trials are by invitation only.

>>> Click here for more information on the 2019 Trials process

What happens at the first winter assessment?

Prospective squad members will descend on Boston, Lincolnshire this weekend (10-11 November) to undergo two tests – a 2km rowing machine test on Saturday followed by a 5km time trial on the River Witham, finishing at Boston RC, on Sunday.

The first assessment is compulsory for all candidates, with the exception of those who rowed at the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv in September.

Who is competing this weekend in Boston?

Over 300 athletes have signed up to be part of the first assessment, with Olympic and world champions in the mix.

Among the entries are returns to action for a few notable names. Olympians Pete Chambers, Peter Lambert and Will Fletcher all missed the 2018 season as they were rehabilitating from injuries and they will look to get their Tokyo 2020 campaigns back on track in the key 2019 season.

London 2012 champion Kat Copeland also returns to competition having taken time away from the squad last season.

There are also returns for Polly Swann and Charles Cousins. Swann won silver with the women’s eight at Rio 2016 before focussing on her medical studies for the last two years.

Cousins, meanwhile, missed the Rio Games through injury but has worked back to full fitness ahead of the 2019 season. The London 2012 Olympic finalist finished seventh at the 2017 British Rowing Indoor Championships and recently won the Wingfield Sculls race on the Tideway.

A number of rowers who represented the Senior team in 2018 but missed out on selection for the World Championships will be challenging for a place on the squad for 2019. And many of the team from the World Rowing U23 Championships will also be in action, including champions in the men’s quad Josh Armstrong and Matt Haywood.

How can I follow the action?

Results from Saturday’s 2km test will not be made public, however the placings for Sunday’s 5km time trial will be released on the British Rowing website and social media channels shortly after racing in Boston concludes.