The past weekend saw a number of Brookes athletes head to the GB Rowing headquarters at Caversham Lake for the final set of trials for this summer’s World Rowing Senior and U23 Championships. Overall, Brookes had 23 athletes racing across the weekend.
The most impressive result was Josh Bugajski, 2019 Head of the River Race and 2017 Ladies’ Plate winner, taking the overall win in the M2- with his partner James Rudkin following a 3rd place finish last season. Current Brookes athletes Rory Gibbs and Morgan Bolding also had their best ever result by finishing 4th- beating 5 Caversham-based pairs in the process. Both these athletes have been part of BROOKES|Rowing’s Olympic Pathway Programme, and this result demonstrates the impact it has had on the top end of the squad in just eight months.
In the same event Matt Tarrant, a bronze medallist from the Men’s 8 at last year’s World Championships, finished 2nd in the B Final, with Matt Rowe and Henry Blois-Brooke finishing third in the C Final- making them the second fastest U23 pair.
In the Women’s Pairs, Brookes had three athletes competing in composites. Esme Booth, with partner Lauren Irwin joined a number of Caversham athletes in the B final after a stellar time trial and semi-final performance. This made Esme the highest ranked U23 strokesider from this set of trials. A dominant performance from start to finish in the C final meant Jo Gannon and partner Emily Lindberg took the win, with Sophia Heath and Georgia Francis finishing in 4th place.
Brookes has two athletes racing in the Lightweight Men’s Single category- Olympic medallist Peter Chambers and Jamie Copus- who raced in last year’s lightweight double at the World Championships. It was Copus who made the best impression on the weekend, who after a late surge which made up three seconds on the rest of the field, eventually finishing in second place. After a very close first 1000 metres, Chambers eventually took 5th place.
While athletes take part in further testing this week at Caversham, the majority of the squad have been preparing at Cholsey for BUCS Regatta, which starts on 4th May.
📸 All images courtesy of All Mark One