Sixty-two athletes have been selected to represent the GB Rowing Team at the European Rowing Championships from 25 – 28 May in Bled, Slovenia.
Double Olympic Champion and mum of three, Helen Glover returns to the squad for what will be her first international flat-water race since the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Helen joins Rebecca Shorten, Rowan McKellar and Heidi Long in the Women’s Four (W4-), which was unbeaten in the 2022 season.
Having previously raced in the Women’s Pair, this is a new challenge for Helen who said: “I’m very excited for this new challenge. It’s been fun training with such a talented and motivated crew. The Europeans will be a good chance to put some of the winter training to the test and hopefully give us something to build on throughout the season.”
Erin Kennedy, Paralympic Champion in the PR3 Mix4+ returns to cox the crew of Frankie Allen, Giedre Rakauskaite, Ed Fuller and Morgan Fice-Noyes, in her first race back from cancer treatment. Erin was diagnosed with breast cancer 12 months ago and last competed in the 2022 European Championships in Munich when, after winning gold, she announced she was taking a break from the team to focus on her cancer treatment. Following 15 rounds of chemotherapy, Erin had a double mastectomy in January and was given the all clear a few weeks later. Throughout her treatment she has set her sights on making her return to the team and the first day of competition is exactly one year to the day that she was diagnosed.
Our full coverage of the 2023 European Rowing Championships
Erin said: “To be selected for the European Championships means everything to me – it is something I have been dreaming about over the last year and I can’t believe I am finally here, about to compete, cancer free. Chemotherapy only finished in December and I started 2023 with a double mastectomy so I wasn’t sure if I would recover in time to make selection. I did everything I could to stay fit, mentally and physically and hit the ground running on my return to training. It will be emotional to mark one year since diagnosis at the Championships but it’s incredible to be able to look back at the year and know it’s only up from here.”
The GB squad also sees the return of European Champion crews from 2022 in both the Lightweight women’s double sculls (LW2x) of Emily Craig and Imogen Grant and the Men’s eight (M8+) of Rory Gibbs, Morgan Bolding, Jacob Dawson, Tom Digby, Charlie Elwes, Sholto Carnegie, James Rudkin, Tom Ford and cox, Harry Brightmore.
Also looking to defend their European title, will be the Men’s four (M4-) of Oli Wilkes, David Ambler, Matt Aldridge and Freddie Davidson and the Women’s quadruple sculls (W4x) of Lucy Glover, Georgie Brayshaw, Hannah Scott and Lauren Henry, who is making her senior team debut.
European silver medallists Ollie Wynne-Griffith & Tom George and Emily Ford & Esme Booth return to race in the Men’s pair (M2-) and Women’s pair (W2-) respectively.
Emily Ford and Esme Booth will again be doubling up to race in the European 2022 silver medal winning Women’s eight (W8+), alongside Sam Redgrave, Lauren Irwin, Annie Campbell-Orde, Natasha Morrice, Karen Bennett, Hattie Taylor and cox, Henry Fieldman.
The Men’s sculling team will see Callum Dixon, George Bourne, Matt Haywood and Tom Barras combine in the Men’s quadruple sculls (M4x) and Seb Devereux and John Collins in the Men’s Double sculls (M2x). Scotland’s Dan Jones and Dale Flockhart will also join together to race in the Lightweight men’s double sculls (LM2x).
Making her senior international debut will be Olivia Bates in the Lightweight women’s single sculls (LW1x). Completing the Women’s line up will be a new look Women’s double sculls (W2x) of Meg Saunders and Kyra Edwards.
Three additional Paralympic class boats will also take to the water. These include Double Paralympic Champion, Lauren Rowles teaming up with new partner Gregg Stevenson in the PR2 mixed double sculls (PR2 Mix 2x), Annie Caddick and Sam Murray racing in the PR3 mixed double sculls (PR3 Mix 2x) and Callum Russell returning to race in the PR1 men’s single sculls (PR1 M1x).
Commenting on the team selection, Louise Kingsley, British Rowing Director of Performance said: “After a long winter of training and testing, Bled will be the first opportunity to see how our crews perform this season as we look ahead to qualifying boats for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games later this year. We are in a good place and had some fantastic results last year, but we know we need to step on and keep improving to build on last season’s successes.”