Great Britain aims to add two more boats for Paris 2024

A men’s single and women’s double have been entered into the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland

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Great Britain has entered two boats into the 2024 World Rowing Final Olympic Qualification Regatta (FOQR) in Lucerne, Switzerland from 19-21 May, in a last attempt to add to its tally of nine boats already qualified for the Olympic Games this summer.

The Final Olympic Qualification Regatta is a brutal event, known as ‘the Regatta of Death’ in the rowing world. Its all or nothing approach sees athletes from across the world competing on the Rotsee to cross the finish line in first or second place, to win the biggest prize – a chance to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

It’s a case of the ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ for George Bourne as he will look to create his own legacy in the men’s single sculls (M1x) after impressing in A finals at both World Cup I in Varese and the European Championships in Szeged in the past few weeks. He said: “It’s obviously a nervy thing and there’s a lot resting on this one event, but I’m just going to go there and try to continue to do what I’ve been doing so far this season. I need to keep a level head and stay calm. If I do my job, hopefully what pops out at the end is a performance I can be proud of and something that qualifies me for the Olympics.”

Becky Wilde will race in the women’s double sculls (W2x) after making her international debut by winning the B final at the European Rowing Championships in April. Looking ahead to just her second competition, she said: “I didn’t think I’d be in this position a few months ago so it’s great to be given the opportunity and build my experience. It’s an exciting crew and I’m excited to be going to the FOQR. We learnt a lot at the Europeans and hopefully we can go to Lucerne and get the job done.”

Two women rowers and their coach

Becky is joined in the double by Tokyo 2020 Olympian Mathilda Hodgkins Byrne who has returned to the squad this season after having her son Freddie in 2022. “Although it’s a challenge to juggle elite sport and motherhood, having Freddie has given me a new sense of perspective,” she said, adding: “It has been great to get back into training, race internationally at the Europeans and to be given the chance to qualify for the Olympics at the FOQR.”

Commenting on the team selection Louise Kingsley, British Rowing Director of Performance said: “There are less fewer than 80 days until the Olympic Games and our aspiration is to have as many boats as possible on the start line in Paris. With the depth of talent in our squad, it will be great if we can add to the nine boats we qualified at the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade. Both of these crews have learnt from their racing this season and we know they will try their hardest to finish in the top two at the Final Olympic Qualifying Regatta hopefully securing those all important final Olympic spots.”

Racing at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta are:

Men’s single sculls (M1x)

George Bourne (Leander Club)
Coach: Kieran Clark

Women’s double sculls (W2x)

Rebecca Wilde (Leander Club/Bath University BC)
Mathilda Hodgkins Byrne (Upper Thames RC)
Coach: Tom Pattichis

Final Olympic Qualification Regatta Team Management, Coaching and Support staff:

Louise Kingsley: Team Leader
Jo Bates: Team Manager
Maurice Hayes: Resources Manager
Tom Pattichis: Women’s Coach
Kieran Clark: Men’s Coach
Becky Davison: Physiotherapist
Andrew Randell: Head Coach – Women
Paul Stannard: Head Coach – Men
Shelley Wyatt: Communications and Media

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