Rowing: Grobler facing Olympic dilemma

Perfect conditions for the finals of the British rowing trials rocked a few boats yesterday, particularly among the top end of the men's team.

Perfect conditions for the finals of the British rowing trials rocked a few boats yesterday, particularly among the top end of the men's team.

Men's chief coach Jürgen Grobler, in the absence of his benchmark pair James Cracknell and Matthew Pinsent because of the latter's illness, is faced with the fact that the remaining members of his coxless four, Steve Williams and Josh West, are only fifth in the pairs' pecking order. He has to pick crews for the first World Cup regatta in Poznan, Poland in three weeks.

The strategy announced in February is that the coxless four is the lead boat of the men's team when it comes to the attempt to win gold in Athens in August. But yesterday's result could throw its membership into disarray, as Britain's performance director, David Tanner, admitted. "This challenges the make up of the lead boat. In terms of the membership of that four there is a question mark - there has to be," he said.

Toby Garbett and Rick Dunn who came out of the four to allow Cracknell and Pinsent into it, were beaten into second place, the winners being Alex Partridge and Andy Hodge from the eight which won a World bronze medal last year. Tom James and Jonno Devlin from that boat were in third place, and Dan Ousely, paired with Tom Stallard, was the fifth man from the eight in the final and finished in fourth place.

Of the remaining three from the eight, Robin Bourne-Taylor and Phil Simmons won the B final in a much faster time than the sixth-placed Oxford students, Peter Reed and Dave Livingston, who certainly made an impact by reaching the last six and put down a marker for the future, but are unlikely to displace anyone in the Olympic line-up.

This leaves Ed Coode, world champion in fours in 1999 and 2001, who with partner Kieran West, the Olympic champion from the Sydney eight, managed only third in the B final, giving them a ranking of ninth.

Stallard stands in his way. Still, this is what these trials are for - a real test in tough racing conditions against the people you train with month in month out. "We come here to find things out," Tanner said.

On the women's side, things are clearer cut. There is no competition as lead boat for Katherine Grainger and Cath Bishop, 2003 world champions in pairs who were totally dominant. Frances Houghton won the single sculls with conviction, while surprising herself in the way she did it.

"I wouldn't have raced it like this in my dreams," she said. "Debbie Flood always leads me. When she didn't, I thought that someone else would be ahead."

Although she may be turning into a single sculler, Houghton is likely to be in a double or a quad because these boats are already qualified for the Olympics, whereas the single is not. "I think it is hard to qualify for the Olympics and then do well there," she said. "But in the future, yes."

Top men's sculler was Matthew Wells. Cracknell had a gritty weekend as a surprise entry in the singles, finishing by winning the B final.

GREAT BRITAIN TEAM TRIALS FINALS

(A finals, places 1-6; B finals, places 7-12)

MEN: Single sculls: 1 M Wells (UL) 7min 15.74sec; 2 M Langridge (Leander) 7:19.27; 3 S Rowbotham (Molesey) 7:25.41; 4 S Cottle (Leander) 7:27.64; 5 A Campbell (Tideway Scullers) 7:27.76; 6 P Gardner (Leander) 7:30.60; 7 J Cracknell (Leander) 7:29.96; 8 I Lawson (Leander) 7:33.29; 9 C Sith (OUBC) 7:33.80; 10 J Dunley (ULBC) 7:34.30; 11 S Fieldhouse (Molesey) 7:35.77; 12 P Wells (ULBC) 8:07.26. Pairs: 1 A Partridge and A Hodge (Molesey) 6:52.62; 2 T Garbett and R Dunn (Leander) 6:55.07; 3 T James (Cambridge Univ) and J Devlin (Oxford Brookes Univ) 6:56.00; 4 T Stallard (Broxbourne) and D Ouseley (Imperial Coll) 6:57.96; 5 S Williams and J West (Leander) 7:02.20; 6 P Reed and D Livingston (OUBC) 7:07.68; 7 R Bourne-Taylor (Leander) and P Simmons (Molesey) 7:06.34; 8 R Davies and H Bailhache-Webb (Oxford Brookes Univ) 7:08.22; 9 E Coode (Leander) and K West (Kingston) 7:10.51; 10 H Adans (ULBC) and S Trapmore (Notts County) 7:12.90; 11 R Smith and T Broadway (ULBC) 7:17.02; 12 J Livingston (Molesey) and J von Maltzahn (Leander) 7:30.49. Lightweight single sculls: 1 H Mackworth-Praed (Leander) 7:37.33; 2 J Stephenson (Molesey) 7;37.96; 3 N Wakefield (Leander) 7:42.21; 4 R Hoskins (Tideway Scullers) 7:43.45; 5 R Hunter (Leander) 7:45.26; Withdrew: R Chisholm (Tideway Scullers); 7 D Currie (Leander) 7:40.34; 8 P Hone (Tideway Scullers) 7:44.96; 9 P Mattick (Wallingford) 7:42.11; 10 G Shaw (Aberdeen Univ) 7:42.27; 11 S Jones (Nottingham and Union) 7:45.44; 12 T Hanna (Leander) 7:50.98. Lightweight pairs: 1 M Hennessy (Tideway Scullers) and John Warnock (London) 7:03.86; 2 B Webb and M Hunter (Leander) 7:05.29; 3 J Lindsay-Fynn and D Harte (London) 7:13.47.

WOMEN: Single sculls: 1 F Houghton (Univ of London) 8:05.49; 2 D Flood (Leander) 8:07.98; 3 A Mowbray (Leander) 8:09.27; 4 R Romero (Leander) 8:10.32; 5 S Winckless (Walbrook and Royal Canoe) 8:13.00; 6 E Laverick (Thames) 8:21.12; 7 A Vernon (Rob Roy) 8:29.44; 8 H Austin (ULBC) 8:42.28. Pairs: 1 K Grainger (St Andrew) and C Bishop (Marlow) 7:36.72; 2 B Gough (Notts County) and R Carslake (Leander) 7:46.14; 3 L Crichton and J Eddie (Univ of London) 7:48.37; 4 N Howard and K Stewart (Univ of London) 7:54.72; 5 A Knowles and B Rodford (Thames) 7:54.97; 6 A Skailes (Globe) and E James (Thames) 7:58.12; 7 N Page (Reading Univ) and A Bebington (Rob Roy) 8:0015; 8 V Myers and C Ashford (Oxford Brookes Univ) 8:05.07; 9 S Waldron and H Powell (Osiris) 8:14.88; 10 J Cook and L Tatman (Notts County) 8:27.51. Lightweight single sculls: 1 T Langlands (Leander) 8:24.14; 2 J Hammond (Kingston) 8:26.65; 3 L Greenhalgh (Wallingford) 8:31.76; 4 L Ralston (ULBC) 8:34.55; 5 H Casey (Wallingfrod) 8:34.87; 6 L Norris (Mortlake and Anglian) 8:37.66; 7 J Warren (Molesey) 8:32.18; 8 T Pollitt (Wallingford) 8:33.58; 9 S Birch (Kingston) 8:38.85.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there