Monday, 20 April 2009

WCS Update March < April 2009

Phew! Well, rather a lot has been going on recently! Since my last post Gemma, Helen and Vicky have finished 3rd at the Women's Head of the River.

Gemma, Helen, Vicky and Anna all came out to Paris with me for a training camp i organised for a group of WCS athletes. We hooked up with the WCS group that trains out of Tees RC and spent 10 days on a 2k lake just outside Paris. The weather was great, the water was great, the poeple were great, the food was great.... the hotel was... an educational experience!

Off the back of the camp Vicky and Gemma travelled straight to Belgium to the lake at Hazewinkel for the Great Britain Senior/U23 Trials where they competed in their pair. They finished 7th overall, winning the B-Final. This was a solid performance from them after such a short time in the sport but we were a bit disappointed not to have made the A-final and finished higher.

Following the trials in Belgium we were up at GB's training lake near Reading for a week's assessment to sort out the Under 23 crews that will race in Germany at a top European regatta in Essen in a few weeks time. Gemma and Vicky are now both on strokeside and are competing for places in the U23 boats for the World Championships in Racice, Czech Republic this summer.

Heather was also out in Belgium following a late invitation to the trials. Due to her Army commitments Heather wasn't planning on trialling this year but ended up back in a pair racing in Hazewinkel. She finished a creditable 5th overall.

Helen and Anna will be racing at Wallingford in their singles as they continue their campaigns to race for the Senior Women's Singles title at Women's Henley this year. We're hoping Minerva can retain the title after Vicky won it last year! Gemma and Vicky will be racing at Wallingford as well but will be in a GB U23/Development boat that i've organised so they get some more experience of fours racing.

Lucy continues her fantastic progress back into the boat and is now paddling (quite fast!) on the river for a few km's at a time. Rachel had been making similar progress but appears to have slipped back a little in her rehab and is undergoing further physiotherapy input.

The Amateur Rowing Association's World Class Start Scheme sponsored by Siemens is a unique talent identification and development scheme. The programme is funded by UK Sport with Lottery money and since 2006 is sponsored by Siemens. The programme at Bath has identified four athletes for Great Britain teams in the past five years including one U23 World Champion. The athletes in Bath train at the University of Bath and at Minerva Bath Rowing Club. For more information on this article or the World Class Start Programme please contact Paul Stannard, Performance Development Coach, GB Rowing: paul.stannard@gbrowing.org.uk

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