World class rowing under the sunshine at the GB Rowing Team Trials

The GB Rowing Team Senior & U23 Trials took place from 20-21 April 2019

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James Rudkin & Josh Bugajski win the men's pair at the GB Rowing Team Senior & U23 Trials (c) Nick Middleton

It was blistering racing in the April bank holiday sunshine on the final day of the GB Rowing Team Senior & U23 Trials.

In the men’s pairs final, James Rudkin & Josh Bugajski (Newcastle University BC/Oxford Brookes University BC) hit the front from the start and rowed ferociously to take the win. At the third 500m the field opened up, with Bugajski & Rudkin taking a clear water lead over Jacob Dawson & Tom Ford (Leander/Leander) who came in to take second place, with the Leander pair of Harry Glenister & George Rossiter (Leander/Leander) taking third.

Moe Sbihi and Mat Tarrant were surprise omissions from the A final, instead racing a hotly contested B final, with Sbihi & Matt Rossiter (Molesey BC/Leander) taking the win over Tarrant & Tom George (Oxford Brookes University BC/Leander) in second and James Johnston & Adam Neill (Leander/Leander) in third.

In the women’s pair, Leander’s Karen Bennett & Holly Norton continued their dominance from Saturday’s racing to take the win. The action was all behind them in a race to the line for second place, with Anastasia Posner & Rebecca Shorten (Leander/Imperial College BC) rowing through Harriet Taylor & Rowan McKellar (Leander/Leander) to take second on the line.

In a hotly contested lightweight men’s final, Will Fletcher (Leander) put in a classy performance to lead from start to finish. Jamie Copus (Oxford Brookes University BC) and Zak Lee-Green (Agecroft RC) battled hard for second and third, with Copus leaving it all out on the water to take second ahead of Lee-Green.

A relentless row from Imogen Grant (Cambridge University Women’s BC) saw her take the win in the lightweight women’s final, with another close battle for second and third coming from Ellie Piggott (Wallingford RC) and Maddie Arlett (Edinburgh University BC). With 500m to go, they each made their move to reduce Grant’s lead and matched each other stroke for stroke, with Arlett narrowly pipping Piggott to take second.

There was a stacked final for the men’s single, with nothing to separate the crews at the first 1000m, before Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC) pushed on to take a commanding lead ahead of the scullers behind him. Jack Beaumont (Leander) and John Collins (Leander) were locked in a battle for second at the 1500m mark but Tom Barras (Leander) made a final push and went though both scullers in the last 500m to take second, with Beaumont coming in third.

There were no surprises in the women’s singles, which was dominated by Vicky Thornley (Leander) as she took a quarter length clear water win over the field. The Hodgkins Byrne sisters pushed each other all the way to the line, with Mathilda (Reading RC) taking second over Charlotte (University of London BC).

Brendan Purcell, Director of Performance at British Rowing said: “We’ve had an electric weekend of racing under the sun at the Senior & U23 trials. The standard of racing was exceptional and really shows how well the squads have come through their winter training programme. It sets us up nicely for selection ahead of the European Championships in Lucerne at the end of May.”

A final results

Men’s pair

1. James Rudkin/Josh Bugajski (Newcastle Univ BC/Oxford Brookes Univ BC), 6:35.87
2. Jacob Dawson/Tom Ford (Leander Club/Leander Club), 6:37.76
3. Harry Glenister/George Rossiter (Leander Club/Leander Club), 6:40.70

Women’s pair

1. Karen Bennett/Holly Norton (Leander Club/Leander Club), 7:41.23
2. Anastasia Posner/Rebecca Shorten (Leander Club/Imperial Coll BC), 7:43.09
3. Harriet Taylor/Rowan McKellar (Leander Club/Leander Club), 7:43.88

Lightweight men’s single

1. Will Fletcher (Leander Club), 7:16.73
2. Jamie Copus (Oxford Brookes Univ BC), 7:18.93
3. Zak Lee-Green (Agecroft RC), 7:21.56

Lightweight women’ single

1. Imogen Grant (Cambridge Univ Women’s BC), 8:03.62
2. Maddie Arlett (Edinburgh Univ BC), 8:06.20
3. Ellie Piggott (Wallingford RC), 8:08.52

Men’s single

1. Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC), 7:04.79
2. Tom Barras (Leander Club), 7:08.05
3. Jack Beaumont (Leander Club), 7:08.67

Women’s single

1. Vicky Thornley (Leander Club), 7:52.20
2. Mathilda Hodgkins Byrne (Reading RC), 7:54.57
3. Charlotte Hodgkins Byrne (Univ of London BC), 7:58.07

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