Boat Race rivals Cook and Tredell team up to finish fourth at GB Rowing Team trials

Oliver Cook and Lance Tredell put aside their Oxford and Cambridge rivalry to finish fourth at the GB Rowing Team Senior and U23 Trials this weekend


Ollie Cook and Lance Tredell during the GB Rowing Team Senior & U23 Trials 2017 - Naomi Baker

Boat Race rivals Oliver Cook and Lance Tredell became partners at the weekend as they joined forces to battle for selection at the GB Rowing Team Senior and U23 Trials in Caversham.

Just two weeks ago, Cook was celebrating victory on the Tideway in after his Oxford crew defeated Cambridge by over a length; on Sunday he finished fourth with Tredell in the final of the men’s pair at trials.

Once the pair came together in a boat at the recent GB Rowing Team camp in Portugal there was no bitterness, just the desire to put in a strong performance to impress chief coach Jurgen Grobler, whose idea it was for the two to race together.

“It has been an interesting few weeks,” said Cook after the final race.

“We were both trialling and Jurgen knew that we didn’t have a partner, so he suggested that we row together.”

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The pair reportedly ended up watching the Boat Race back with each other in the run up to the trials but put their recent rivalry aside to perform well on the water.

“Lance was brilliant – he was a real sportsman about it all. I thought he would find it tough [rowing with me] but it didn’t seem like he did,” Cook added.

“We put the Boat Race to one side and almost forgot about it. We started afresh and got on with the new project.”

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Tredell, president of Cambridge University BC, said of the unlikely partnership: “It was good [rowing with Ollie] – he’s a good friend and a good oarsman.”

“We’ve rowed together before, but it was strange that a couple of weeks ago we were rivals in the Boat Race for opposite clubs. It was good to come back together and we’ve been progressing all the time over the last few weeks.”

The GB Rowing Team starts its season of international racing at the year’s first World Cup event in Belgrade between 5-7 May. The international season culminates with the team’s main goal – the World Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, at the end of September.