Great Britain’s pre-Christmas trials
The expected did not always eventuate at Great Britain’s national team winter assessment in Boston, Lincolnshire. The best of British rowing raced in small boats for one day of trials that inclement weather nearly stopped from happening.
Rowers battled rain and wintery winds with Anna Watkins proving once again that she had the speed to keep ahead of her World Champion doubles partner and Great Britain’s most medalled woman rower, Katherine Grainger. Racing in the single, Watkins clocked a time of 19.45.55 with Beth Rodford coming in second. Rodford has spent most of her recent years racing in the women’s quadruple sculls. Grainger finished third.
In the men’s single sculls Alan Campbell, who has dominated the British single since 2006 and this year finished third at the World Rowing Championships, was the winner with Tom Solesbury finishing second.
A cautious approach by the high performance team meant that a number of top rowers stayed on the bench due to not being at 100 per cent health. One of these was World Champion in the men’s four Tom James. Peter Reed, who has been regularly in the men’s pair for Great Britain also missed the trials. Reed’s partner, Andy Triggs Hodge thus paired up with Alex Partridge and together they won the pair. Partridge has been part of the country’s silver medal eight over this last season. Moe Sbihi and Alex Gregory were second with the 2011 under-23 Champions, Constantine Louloudis and George Nash took third.
The lightweight men’s single scull turned into a family affair when older brother Richard Chambers beat his younger brother, Peter with the Chambers taking first and second respectively. Rob Williams finished third with lightweight doubles World Champion Mark Hunter in fourth.
There is further national team testing in March 2012 with crews racing on the Olympic course at Eton-Dorney. In April crews for the first Samsung World Rowing Cup for 2012 will be announced.