At the weekend Boston RC played host to more than 300 rowers hoping to become part of the illustrious GB Rowing Squad.
All parts of Great Britain and Northern Ireland were represented with Oxford, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast Universities all sending strong candidates.
Saturday was the dreaded 2k on an ergometer, with strict time criteria to be met. The Princess Royal Sports Arena was buzzing as old hands and new stars gave it their best.
The famous Leander Club (home to stars such as Steve Redgrave) scored a 1-2-3 in the open weight men’s division with a fantastic time of 5.42 recorded by the winner. Sadly for some athletes, the journey ended here if times were not met, this included former World Champion and Olympic medallist Zac Purchase.
Sunday, was a 5,000m time trial on the river Witham. From 6am the place was thronged with athletes, parents, supporters and coaches. The river was picture perfect with mild temperatures and flat calm water. Fast times were expected.
The 2012 bronze medallist Constantine Louloudis was fastest home in the openweight men’s category in 18.42. Agecroft and Putney Town took the men’s and women’s lightweight category.
Reigning junior world champion Jess Leydon made the step to senior rowing with apparent ease. After a very strong third place finish in Saturday’s testing, she was the fastest woman by quite a margin on Sunday in 21.02.
Next Saturday are the Junior hopefuls, which will be a no less competitive event. For those lucky enough to be invited back for round two of the adult selection, they will make another trip to Boston on December 14.