This weekend, 18 BROOKES|Rowing athletes raced over two days at the GB Rowing Senior, U23 and FISU Final Trials at Caversham. The crews were blessed with great conditions which made for some tight racing throughout the weekend. The time trials and semi-finals were raced on Saturday, with the finals taking place on Sunday morning.
Matt Tarrant, who raced in the winning Men’s 1st VIII at the recent Head of the River Race, came away with a win in the M2- partnered by Alan Sinclair. Matt was in the bronze medal winning M4- at last year’s World Rowing Championships, and will be looking to gain selection for the top heavyweight men’s crew for the upcoming World Cup I which takes place in Belgrade in June.
Josh Bugajski, who was part of last year’s Ladies’ Plate winning crew, finished 3rd with his partner James Rudkin. Current students Rory Gibbs and Morgan Bolding came from behind to edge out two GB squad pairs to claim victory in the B final. This was the fastest performance in this event from a fully FISU eligible combination.
In the LM1x, Jamie Copus followed his win at the 3rd Assessment in February with an impressive final sprint to take victory. Copus raced in the LM2x in last year’s World Rowing Championships and will be looking to gain selection once again for the flagship lightweight men’s boat. Ben Reeves was victorious in the B final of the same event- the fastest FISU performance of the weekend.
“Pretty chuffed as it’s my first ever senior final trials win. Tough race, but just about managed to time it right and come away with the win.” – Jamie Copus, winner of the LM1x
GB squad athlete Annie Withers, partnered by Emily Carmichael, won the B final of the W2- by almost four seconds, with Sophia Heath finishing 3rd in the C final- the 3rd fastest U23 combination.
With regatta season just two weeks away, focus will now turn to preparations for the Windermere Cup on the 5 May, and BUCS Regatta, which runs from 5-7 May. The Men’s 1st VIII will spend a week in Seattle preparing for and racing against the University of Washington and the University of British Columbia, with the remainder of the squad looking to retain a number of British University titles won last year, including the Victor Ludorum for the most overall points over the three days of racing.