THE Great Britain senior and under 23 final trials at Caversham featured significant performances for Oxford Brookes and Oxford University rowers as well as former pupils from local schools, writes John Wiggins.
Pride of place went to Brookes’ Matt Tarrant and St Edward’s School old boy Stewart Innes, who were a close third behind Olympic gold medallists, Moe Sbihi and Will Satch, in a blanket finish to the men’s pairs race.
Tarrant and Innes were unlucky, having suffered an equipment failure in the last 200m.
They had finished first in the initial time trial and won their semi-final, so there is clearly more to come from this pair.
Oxford University Blue, Ollie Cook, rowing with Cambridge president, Lance Tredell, was fourth.
Other Oxford Blues William Warr and Josh Bugajski were second in the B final ahead of Brookes’ Rory Gibbs and Matthew Aldridge – one of the highest placed under 23 rowers.
Reaching the C final were the Brookes duo of Michael Glover and Morgan Bolding – another former Teddies’ rower now at Newcastle University – plus Oli Knight and 2015 Oxford Blue,Will Geffen.
Absent from the trials on medical exemptions were Olympic gold medallists Tom Ransley and Oxford Blue Peter Reed along with fellow Rio Olympian, Alan Sinclair.
In the lightweight men’s single sculls, the Oxford Brookes duo of Jamie Copus and Pete Chambers came fourth and fifth respectively in the A final.
The lightweight women’s race was dominated by Olympians, Kat Copeland and Charlotte Booth. There was no Wallingford RC representation with Brianna Stubbs retired, Gemma Hall on medical exemption and Ellie Piggott, having been withdrawn after the semi-final.
In the absence of Oxford Blue, Zoe Lee (recovering from surgery) and the retirement of most of the Olympic eight, Karen Bennett won the women’s pairs with fellow Leander rower, Holly Norton.
Former Headington School pupil Fiona Gammond was in the fourth-placed pair with Oxford Brookes’ Annie Withers in fifth.