12 University Of London Boat Club athletes were set to race at the February GB trials in Boston, Lincolnshire this weekend. The trial was for those athletes seeking selection to the GB teams for the World U23 Championships or the FISU World University Championships this summer, and also allowed athletes without an automatic invite to the Olympic Trial in April to gain one.
Sadly World U23 silver medalist Rich CLARKE and his partner Paddy SULLIVAN (UCL) had to pull out due to sickness. The pair of Charlie MIDDLETON (UCL) and Patrick BOOMER (Kings) still raced, coming in 11th overall and as the 5th fastest all U23 pair. Two ULBC athletes competed in the Lightweights Men’s category, having to race the single scull, with Matthew BEDFORD (UCL), also a World U23 silver medalist, the fastest UL lightweight athlete to cover the course.
Six open weight ULBC women raced. Women at this stage have to compete in the single scull regardless of their preferred discipline. The highest finisher amongst the ULBC starters was Charlotte HODGKINS-BYRNE (Royal Holloway), who was the 3rd fastest U20 and 8th fastest U23, closely followed by Emma REISER (Royal Holloway) and Ailish SHEEHAN (Goldsmiths).
ULBC Great Britain senior team athletes Nathaniel REILLY-O’DONNELL, Ollie COOK, Paul BENNETT, Fran HOUGHTON and Emily CRAIG all received automatic invites to the Olympic Trial, and GB para-olympic rower James FOX has recently returned from training camp in Portugal with the GB para team.
The next event for the University of London Boat Club is BUCS Head this coming weekend in Newcastle.