Quality Trial in Store

Katherine Grainger emerged a winner from amongst the six Olympic medallists who made the final of the women’s single scull event at the annual GB Rowing Senior Trials twelve months ago.

This year the fight for places in lead British boats for the early racing season, due to take place on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 April in Hazewinkel, Belgium, looks set to provide a contest of similar quality for the leading women despite the recent retirement of world champion Rebecca Romero.

For Grainger, a Scot who is twice world champion and twice an Olympic silver medallist, the main opposition is likely to come from world-champion crew-mates Fran Houghton, racing under Uni of London colours, and Sarah Winckless of  & Royal Club, as well as Olympic medallists Debbie Flood and Elise Laverick.

Anna Bebington, though, fourth in the recent long distance trials ahead of Winckless and Laverick, will be a new name to monitor.  The 23 year-old, originally from Leek in Staffordshire but now living in Berkshire, is a graduate of the lottery-funded world class start programme as is another potential contender for honours, Annie Vernon of Thames RC in Putney.

"Whilst the retirement of Rebecca Romero has caused a hole in the women’s squad it has also provided an opportunity for someone to take her place", explained Paul Thompson, GB Head Coach for Women.

"All other members of the 2005 GB women’s World Championship crews will be racing in singles sculls. This tests the individual and provides the trials with a strong depth of competition.

"Testing and training to date show that our medal winners are on track but will have to be on their mettle to stay ahead of some outstanding young talent. This bodes for some great racing during the trials and strong crew performances during the summer where the crews aim to defend their world title and build on another".

The leading sweep oarsmen will compete at the trials in men’s pairs.  In this event many eyes could be on Steve Williams and Alex Partridge, of Leander Club, rather than defending champions Peter Reed and Andy Hodge.  All four became world champions together in late 2005 but Williams, the Olympic champion, and Partridge did not show well at the final long distance trial in February and will want to make amends in Belgium.

Amongst their opponents will be some interesting combinations that have the talent to challenge effectively. These include Matt Langridge and Tom James, Oxford’s Tom Parker and Kieran West of Cambridge – who have quickly buried their Boat Race differences to team up in Belgium – as well as Tom Stallard and Josh West, the latter having won several senior medals already and who many thought might have retired before this season.

By contrast Toby Garbett, former world champion, is on the comeback trail.  He will race with Tom Solesbury whilst Sam Townsend, Rob Hollis, Hugo Lee, Toby Wallace and Marcus Bateman are new names to conjure alongside more established senior squad members such as Jonno Devlin, Phil Simmons, Simon Fieldhouse and Richard Egington.

The men’s single scull could turn into a two-man battle between Tideway Scullers’ Alan Campbell and Yorkshireman Ian Lawson. Both had successes in the winter season over longer, training-style distances and will want to prove a point in Belgium to the selectors.  Alex Gregory of Reading University, Steve Rowbotham and Matthew Wells will be amongst those who will see the script differently.

Helen Casey of Wallingford and Leander’s Mark Hunter must start as favourites for their respective lightweight single scull events.  As lightweights both will probably be hoping to win seats in the Olympic-class lightweight double scull.  Each has immense experience but neither is without some potentially strong challengers.

For Casey, these include Hester Goodsell, world U23 champion from the Rob Roy club and Jo Hammond of Leander.  

In Hunter’s case, these could feature James Lindsay-Fynn, Tim Male and Paul Mattick amongst others. All could be relieved that Zach Purchase, the talented world senior silver medallist in the men’s single scull, is not available to compete. He is recovering from a wrist injury.

The 2006 GB Rowing Senior Trials – ENTRIES
(Name of rower/club.  *= eligible for U23s)

Women’s pairs    

Vicky Etiebet (Auriol Kensington)/Rebecca Rowe (Rebecca)
Andrea Finn (Tideway Scullers)/Baz Moffat (Thames)
Laura Gater (Leander)/Naomi Hoogesteger (Durham Uni)
Hillary Powell (Osiris)Alice Freeman (Wallingford)
Louisa Rowbotham (Uni of London)/Georgina Menheneott (Mortlake & Anglian)
Florence Temple (Thames)/Rachel Loveridge (Thames)
Lucinda Gooderham  * (Durham Uni)/Jacqui Round  * (St Neots)
Lindsey Maguire * (Birmingham Uni)/Lizzie Hodges * (Uni of London)
Women’s single scull

Carla Ashford (Thames)    
Natasha Page (Reading Uni)
Anna Bebington (Leander)
Beth Rodford (Thames)
Jess Eddie  (Uni of London)
Annie Vernon (Thames)
Debbie Flood (Leander)
Sarah Winckless (Walbrook & Royal)
Katherine Grainger (St Andrew)
Jo Cook  * (Leander)
Katie Greves (Uni of London)
Anna McNuff  * (Uni of London)
Frances Houghton (Uni of London)
Louisa Reeve  * (Durham Uni)
Natasha Howard (Tideway Scullers)
Tina Stiller  * (Notts County RA)
Elise Laverick (Thames)        

Men’s pairs    

Tom James (Cambridge Uni)/ Matthew Langridge (Leander)
Jonno Devlin (Oxford Brookes)/Richard Egington (Leander)
Simon Fieldhouse (Molesey)/Marcus Bateman (Reading Uni)
Toby Garbett  (Leander)/Tom Solesbury (Molesey)
Sam Townsend  * (Reading Uni)/ James Orme  * (Leander)
Tom Parker (Oxford Uni)/ Kieran West (Cambridge Uni)
Alex Partridge (Leander)/ Steve Williams (Leander)
Peter Reed (Leander) /Andy Triggs Hodge (Molesey)
Phil Simmons (Molesey)/Toby Wallace  (Molesey)
Tom Stallard  (Leander)/ Josh West (Leander)
Ryan Davies  * (Oxford Brookes)/Rob Rayner  * (York Uni)
Rob Hollis  * (Oxford Brookes)/Hugo Lee  * (Oxford Brookes)
Jonny Hunt  * (Uni of London)/Lucas Dalglish  * (Uni of London)
Will Robinson  * (Oxford Brookes)/ Robin Ejsmond Frey * (Oxford Uni)
Ben Smith  * (Imperial College)/ Oli Moore   * (Imperial College)
Tom Wilkinson  * (Leander)/Nick Clark  * (Leander)

Men’s single scull

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers)
Ben Duggan * (Notts County)
Ian Lawson (Leander)
James Dunley * (Uni of London)
Nick Lloyd (Leander)
Jon Foster  * (Durham Uni)
Richard Ockendon (Molesey)
Alex Gregory  * (Reading Uni)
Charlie Palmer  (Cambridge Uni)
Mike Lambourn  * (Henley RC)
Henry Pelly  (Newcastle Uni)
George Laughton  * (Newcastle Uni)
Steve Rowbotham (Leander)
Will Laughton  * (Imperial College)
Colin Smith (Oxford Uni)
Bill Lucas  * (Dart Totnes)
Matthew Wells (Uni of London    )
David Read  * (Henley RC)
Richard Chambers  * (Agecroft)            
Chris Covey  * (Durham Uni)            

Women’s lightweight single scull
Helen Casey (Wallingford)
Lorna Norris (Mortlake Anglian)
Lindsay Dick (Glasgow RC)
Laura Ralston (Rob Roy)
Annabel Hagon (Auriol Kensington)
Mel Sage (Mortlake Anglian)
Jane Hall (Leander)
Hester Goodsell  * (Rob Roy)
Jo Hammond (Leander)
Sophie Hosking  * (Durham Uni)
Katrina Lythgoe (Thames)
Helen Ralston  * (Rob Roy)
Helen Mason (Thames)            

Men’s lightweight single scull
Matt Beechey (Leander)
Chris Bartley  * (Notts Uni)
Nick English (Wallingford)
Richard Chambers  * (Oxford Brookes)
Daniel Harte (London)
Henry Chin  * (Durham Uni)
Mike Hennessy (Tideway Scullers)
James Clarke  * (Durham Uni)
Mark Hunter (Leander)
Marco Espin  * (London)
Simon Jones (Leander)
Phil Evans  * (Durham Uni)
James Lindsay-Fynn (London    )
Stephen Feeney  * (Newcastle Uni)
Tim Male (Tideway Scullers)
Adam Freeman-Pask  * (Uni of Bath)
Paul Mattick (Wallingford)
Doug Perrin  * (Cambridge Uni lwt)
James Stephenson (Molesey)
Rob Williams  * (London)
Simon Barr  * (Durham Uni)            
Acer Nethercott (Oxford  Uni)
Nick Brodie  * (Oxford Uni)
Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes)