The weather meant that testing could only be done indoors indoors on the indoor rowing machines with the 5km on-the-water small boat time trial having to be cancelled. Although there were very few of the London Olympic team athletes at the trials the rowers who attended, more than 250 of them, showed the depth of potential available to the British rowing selectors.

For the 2000m ergometer test Graham Thomas came out as the fastest of the heavyweight men. Thomas raced earlier this year as Great Britain’s number two men’s single sculler and finished fourth at the Samsung World Rowing Cup in Munich. Thomas finished with a time of 5:50, five seconds faster than Matthew Tatlock, the second fastest. Matthew Tarrant was third and Olympic medallist, George Nash was fourth fastest.

Amongst the heavyweight women Victoria Meyer-Laker recorded the fastest time of 6:40. Meyer-Laker trialled to be in the Olympic women’s eight but missed out. Lucinda Gooderham was eight seconds back in second and Laura Wheeler was third fastest.
Olympic Gold medallist from the lightweight women’s double sculls Katherine Copeland was first in the lightweight women’s test recording a time of 7:05. This was four seconds faster than Kathryn Twyman in second with Elleanor Piggot finishing third fastest.
Of the lightweight men’s Donald Evans was first with a time of 6:14 with Michael Mottram just a second back. James Ellison was third fastest.

This trial was compulsory for all newcomers while those that competed at the Olympics were still making their plans on their future in the sport.

Meanwhile across in the Netherlands the Hell of the North head race was dealing with weather disruptions. After the 2011 Hell of the North was cancelled organisers were doing their best to make sure that this year’s race happened.

After being cancelled last year, the Hell of the North was not prepared to let the weather push over the head race this year. It partially did. The wind meant that a number of boats capsized with rescue craft having a busy job. Organisers considered cancelling the race, but not before a number or rowers managed to finish.

Roel Braas was first over the 6km race course which includes a 10km row up to the start line on the Ems Canal. After the 6km race, rowers must then row another 4km back to the Groningen Rowing Club.

Roel Braas was the first rower home in a time of 27:14. Braas last raced at the London Olympics in the Dutch men’s eight. Thijs van Luijk (NED) was second with Portugal lightweight Olympic rower, Pedro Fraga in third in a time of 27:39. The Muda twins, Vincent and Tycho took out first and second respectively in the lightweight men’s category, Vincent’s time was 28:51.

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