Local Rowers Reach final GB Rowing Team Senior Trials
Five Somerset based rowers, led by reigning world champion Paul Mattick, have reached the final GB Rowing Team Senior Trials to be held this weekend on the chosen 2012 Olympic Course at Dorney Lake near Eton.
Rowers will aim to perform well, impress the selectors and potentially secure a place in the coveted senior squad for the first World Cup event in May this year to be held in Munich, Germany. The announcement of that team will come on May 11th.
Double World champion, Paul Mattick, born and bred in Frome, was part of the lightweight men's four that recently raced to a World Championship gold back in November.
Off the back of an exceptional 2010 World Cup season and a wealth of experience including the Beijing Olympic Games, Mattick will be confident ahead of this weekend's trials. As will Olympic bronze medallist Stephen Rowbotham, from Winscombe, with five World Championships under his belt.
Glastonbury's Cameron Nichol, who was part of the men's eight that narrowly missed out on a gold at the World Rowing Championships by six-tenths of a second, will be looking to impress this weekend.
Ex University of Bath student Marcus Bateman who raced to a silver at the 2010 World Rowing Championships, also a graduate of 'Start', GB Rowing Team's talent identification and development programme which is lottery-funded and sponsored by Siemens will be trialling this weekend. 2009 World U23 Champion Vicky Thornley, who learnt to row in Bath, will also make an appearance.
All of the top names in the GB Rowing Team will be on trial this weekend including Olympic medallists and most of the squad from last November's World Championships held in New Zealand.
All rowers must prove themselves each year through the trials process regardless of experience and previous world medals to impress selectors in order to secure their seat for the first World Cup of the season in late May.
There are two further world cups this season and then the World Championships in Bled Slovenia in late August and early September at which Britain can qualify boats of the 2012 Olympic Games. So it is an important season for everyone concerned.
With several rowers also coming from the lottery-backed and Siemens-sponsored Start programme the trials could be a chance for exciting, new talent to make their mark and challenge the likes of the current senior squad.
GB Rowing Team Performance Director David Tanner identified that all the rowers competing this weekend will undoubtedly have "London 2012 firmly set in their sights" or the World U23 Championships for the younger age group.
It is certainly a significant event in the rowing calendar and will hold even greater importance this year. The Trials are usually held in Belgium every year but have been switched to Eton-Dorney so that rowers can familiarise themselves with competing under pressure at the 2012 venue.
Mattick says, "Training has been going well over the winter, the lightweight squad has been getting stronger and faster so I'm looking forward to seeing the results of all the training in the summer racing."
"I hope to fulfill my potential in the single scull and start the summer racing season in a similar manner to 2010."
The senior trials are the final stage of a selection process that started in October .
Saturday 16 April:
10.00 - 11.00 Time Trials (1900m course)
14.00 - 16.22 Semi-finals (2000m course)
Sunday 17 April:
09.00 - 11.45 FINALS (2000m course)