Men stick, women twist in the GB Rowing Team for world cup

Anna Watkins, née Bebington

Britain’s women have a changed line-up for the opening world cup of the 2010 season with Katherine Grainger teaming up to race a double scull in Bled, Slovenia, over the weekend of May 28-30 with Anna Watkins.

It means another new adventure for Grainger, the versatile Scot who has won three Olympic silver medals and who capped a 2009 season with World Championships silver in the single scull after previous successes in the women’s quadruple scull and pair.

Grainger has not yet won international honours in the double – a boat from which Watkins, previously Bebington, has savoured world and Olympic medals.

While the double is the priority for Grainger and Watkins, the plan is also for them to race the quadruple scull with Annabel Vernon and Beth Rodford, Britain’s second double scull for Bled.

Returning Olympian Debbie Flood races the single scull in her first world cup since the Beijing Olympic Games as does Mel Wilson. Katie Solesbury is injured.

“We have an interesting season ahead with early season world cups but a World Championships in early November in New Zealand’, said GB Rowing Team Performance Director David Tanner. “The rowers are raring to go after a long winter of training. They will also get the chance in Bled to familiarise themselves with the 2011 World Championships venue where the 2012 Olympic qualifying process will begin”.

Three women’s pairs have been selected for Bled including 2008 Olympians, Louisa Reeve and Olivia Whitlam, who won the 2010 GB Rowing Team Senior Trials.

Former “Start” – the GB Rowing Team’s lottery-backed and Siemens-sponsored talent development scheme – rower and world U23 gold medallist Heather Stanning who is now serving in the Army, will race with Helen Glover and the more established Jess Eddie and Alison Knowles will be the third pair.

Reeve, Whitlam, Eddie and Knowles will double up into the eight which will be coxed by Caroline O’Connor who juggles science teaching at the Oxford Academy school with her international duties.

Britain’s men, meanwhile, have stuck with a winning formula – more or less. GB will race an unaltered reigning world champion men’s four of Matt Langridge, Alex Gregory, Ric Egington and Alex Partridge in Bled.

Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge stay in the men’s pair combination which won silver at the World Championships in Poland. But there are some changes in the men’s sculling squad which is led by Alan Campbell, also a winner of silver in Poznan, in the men’s single scull.

“We’ve got such a strong sculling squad, it’s awesome”, said Campbell who won his sixth consecutive single scull title at the GB Rowing Senior Team Trials last month. “There are so many guys that are pushing up the standard”, he added.

One of those men is Marcus Bateman who will race the men’s double with Matt Wells in Bled. Also a product of “Start”, Bateman moved into the sport from a Devon athletics background.

The decision to put Bateman in the double interrupts a long-running partnership between Wells and Somerset’s Stephen Rowbotham who took Olympic bronze together in Beijing.

Sam Townsend and Bill Lucas will race the second GB double in Bled whilst Rowbotham and Charles Cousins are recovering from injury. Townsend, Lucas, Bateman and Cousins formed a GB quadruple scull last season which won world cup medals and showed serious potential.

1992 Olympic gold medallist Greg Searle continues his comeback trail with selection to the men’s eight for Bled. Tom James, Olympic gold medallist in the four in 2008 but who then took a year out from the sport, is recovering from injury and misses out on Bled, making Munich the likely scene for his competitive return.

The GB Rowing Team fields a strong lightweight squad, too, in Bled. This should have been spearheaded by Londoner Mark Hunter, back from a year of coaching in California and due to race in a lightweight double with Zac Purchase – rekindling their Olympic gold partnership.

However, Hunter has a slight injury and will miss Bled but is fully expected to be fit for Munich in June. Purchase, therefore, races a single in Bled.

Both men’s places in the double have been under pressure over the winter from the likes of Paul Mattick and Rob Williams, showing the competitive drive to succeed in this squad.

Williams and Mattick, World Championships finalists in 2009 in the lightweight men’s double, will now be part of the lightweight men’s four along with Richard Chambers and Chris Bartley whilst Adam Freeman-Pask and Chris Boddy race the lightweight men’s pair.

Peter Chambers, younger brother of 2007 world champion Richard, makes the squad for Bled in an U23 double with Ben Rowe.

Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking have emerged from testing and trialling to race in Bled in the lightweight women’s double. The duo were world bronze medallists last year. Andrea Dennis and Steph Cullen team up in a second GB Rowing Team entry in this Olympic category of boat.

Bled will also offer the only world cup racing this year for the Paralympic boat classes.

Britain will arrive in Bled fresh from success at the recent Varese International Regatta where Tom Aggar twice fended off a strong challenge from his team-mate Andy Houghton to win the two arms and shoulders-only single scull races. Both men will race the same category in Bled as the tempo rises between them for the one world championships place on offer.

The GB Rowing Team mixed adaptive coxed four has been described as a work in progress. Kelsie Gibson and Ryan Chamberlain have been added to the line-up since the 2009 World Championships but still includes Naomi Riches, James Roe and cox Rhiannon Jones.

According to team manager Louise Kingsley they “raced beyond expectations” to win in Varese where Chamberlain was flown in as a last-minute replacement for Dave Smith who is injured.

Britain will not race a mixed adaptive double scull in Bled, leaving 2009 world championships finalist Sam Scowen on the sidelines after her partner James Roberts fell on the wrong side of the new classification for this boat. A frenetic search is on for a replacement for Roberts otherwise Scowen may miss out on her 2012 dreams.

Paralympic single scull champion Helene Raynsford has retired recently due to ill health and the GB Rowing Team will also be on the hunt for a replacement for this boat.

PICTURES AVAILABLE BY E-MAIL: caroline@matchtight.co.uk

*SIEMENS is the high performance partner of the GB Rowing Team (as such they sponsor all the Olympic and Paralympic Class boats in the senior squad and add value to the GB Rowing Teams’ Start and High Performance Programme in Clubs Schemes)

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GB ROWING TEAM ENTRIES

2010 Rowing World Cup, Bled, Slovenia (28-30 May)

(listed bow to stroke plus cox)

OPEN WOMEN

Pairs – three boats

Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft RC/Warrington/16.09.85)/
Louisa Reeve (LeanderClub/London/16.05.84)

Jessica Eddie (Uni of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Alison Knowles (Thames RC/Bournemouth/27.03.82)

Helen Glover (Reading Uni BC/Penzance/17.06.86)/
Heather Stanning (Army RC/Lossiemouth/26.01.85)

Eight

Jo Cook (Leander Club/Sunbury-on-Thames/22.03.84)/
Louisa Reeve (LeanderClub/London/16.05.84)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni BC/Hartpury/30.04.85)/
Victoria Thornley (Minerva Bath/Wrexham/30.11.87)/
Jessica Eddie (Uni of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC/Edinburgh/15.01.82)/
Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft RC/Warrington/16.09.85)/
Alison Knowles (Thames RC/Bournemouth/27.03.82)/
Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Ealing/25.04.83) (cox)

Single scull – two boats

Melanie Wilson (Molesey BC/London/25.6.84)

Debbie Flood (Leander Club/Guiseley/27.02.80)

Double scull – two boats

Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)/
Anna Watkins (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.02.83)

Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)
Annabel Vernon (Marlow RC/Wadebridge/01.09.82)

Quadruple scull

Annabel Vernon (Marlow RC/Wadebridge/01.09.82)/
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)/
Anna Watkins (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.02.83)/
Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)

OPEN MEN

Pair – two boats

Peter Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/03.03.79)

Cameron Nichol (Molesey/Glastonbury/26.6.87)/
Tom Burton (Leander Club/Barton-le-Clay, Beds/24.05.80)

Four

Alex Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/
Richard Egington (Leander Club/Knutsford/26.02.79)/
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)/
Matt Langridge(Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)/

Eight

Tom Wilkinson (Leander Club/Reading/04.07.85)/
James Clarke (London RC/London/31.12.84)/
James Orme (Leander Club/Colchester/01.04.84)/
James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
Greg Searle (Molesey BC/Marlow/20.03.72)/
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Uni of London/Durham/13.04.88)/
Daniel Ritchie (Herne Bay RC/Herne Bay/06.01.87)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)

Single scull – two boats

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/09.05.83)

Brendan Crean (Agecroft/Lewes/07.02.85)

Double scull – two boats

Matthew Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79) /
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/16.09.82)

Bill Lucas (Reading Uni BC/Kingswear/13.09.87)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Uni BC/Reading/26.11.85)

LIGHTWEIGHT WOMEN

Double scull – two boats

Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni BC/London/27.06.84)/
Sophie Hosking (London RC/Wimbledon/25.01.86)

Stephanie Cullen (London RC/Putney, London/27.11.80)/
Andrea Dennis (Reading Uni BC/Oxford/03.01.82)

LIGHTWEIGHT MEN

Pair

Chris Boddy (Leander Club/Stockton-on-Tees/16.11.87)/
Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC/Windsor/19.06.85)

Four

Richard Chambers (Leander Club/Coleraine/10.06.85)/
Paul Mattick (Leander Club/Frome, Somerset/25.04.78)/
Rob Williams (London RC/Maidenhead/21.01.85)/
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)

Single scull

Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury/02.05.86)

Double scull

Ben Rowe (Tees RC/Middlesbrough/05.11.88)/
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Uni RC/Coleraine/14.03.90)

ADAPTIVE

LTAMix 4+

Kelsie Gibson (Maidstone Invicta RC)/
James Roe (Stratford-upon-Avon BC//Stratford-upon-Avon/28.03.88)/
Ryan Chamberlain (King’s College London BC/London/03.04.86)/
Naomi Riches (Marlow RC/Harrow, London 15.06.83)/
Rhiannon Jones (Reading Uni BC/Hereford/16.09.87) (cox)

ASM1x – two boats

Tom Aggar (Royal Docks RC/Barnet, London/24.05.84)

Andy Houghton (Maidenhead RC/Newbury/06.04..81)

COACHES

MEN’S SQUAD
Jurgen Grobler/
Christian Felkel/
Mark Earnshaw/
Mark Banks/
John West/
Bill Barry/
Paul Stannard

WOMEN AND LIGHTWEIGHTS SQUAD
Paul Thompson/
Miles Forbes-Thomas/
Ade Roberts/
Darren Whiter/
Rob Morgan/
Paul Reedy/
Peter Sheppard

ADAPTIVE SQUAD
Tom Dyson/
Mary McLachlan

MANAGEMENT & SUPPORT STAFF
David Tanner, Team Manager
Maggie Netto, Assistant TM
Louise Kingsley, Adaptive TM
Fran Bullock, Sponsor Liaison
Ann Redgrave, Doctor
Mark Edgar, Physiotherapist
Andrew Griffin, Physiotherapist
Pat Dunleavy, Adaptive Physiotherapist
Chris Shambrook, Psychologist
Wendy Martinson, Nutritionist
Maurice Hayes, Resources Manager
John Tetley, Boatman
Drew Robertson, Driver
Andy McCartney, Driver
Caroline Searle, Press Officer

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