Members of the media are welcome to attend GB Rowing’s vital “Closed Trial” being staged on the Olympic rowing regatta course at Eton Dorney next weekend (March 10-11).
From more than 400 rowers who started the trials and assessments journey in October 2011, only 93 remain. These rowers will race on the Olympic course and seek to impress, their aim to win one of the coveted slots – around 60 will be on offer for the World Cups in May and June – in the 2012 season senior squad.
From those 60, 48 could win the ultimate prize of returning to the same Eton Dorney course in July to race for their country at the first home Games since 1948.
Next weekend, there will be modest media facilities will be available on the finish tower side of the course, but this does not include high-speed wi-fi or cabled internet capabilities, so members of the media should make their own connectivity arrangements.
Bona fide members of the media should email Miranda@matchtight.co.uk to let the organisers know if you are attending with an indication of whether you are coming solely on the Sunday for the finals or whether you will also be on site on the Saturday. We also need to know if you will be arriving on site by car and the registration number of your vehicle. On arrival, please check in at our media welcome area near the finish tower.
The media centre will be open from 9am until 7pm on Saturday, and from 8am to 1pm on Sunday.
The GB Rowing Team High Performance Partner, Siemens, will provide catering for the media and results and information will be available throughout the weekend. The GB Rowing Team press office members on site will be able to arrange one-to-one interviews with rowers after racing on Sunday. Rowers may be available for interview post semi-finals on Saturday, but this is at their discretion and is not obligatory.
The main focus of the weekend will be the finals session on Sunday morning. This is the “sharp end” of the trials regatta.
Eton Dorney has a number of public footpaths which traverse the site but this is not a spectator event and the site will be closed to vehicle access except for rowers, coaches, the event team and the media
Next weekend will be significant in the identification of rowers and the selection and honing of crews for this Olympic summer.
There are still hurdles to overcome – including more testing and crew formation racing at the Redgrave-Pinsent national training centre – before the squad is announced on April 4 for the first World Cup of the season. In the words of men’s chief coach Jurgen Grobler, “The trials are all about showing you can race under pressure when it counts”, so it will weigh heavily in the decision-making process ahead.
“Our rowers are very familiar with the venue,” said GB Rowing team performance director, David Tanner. “This event is one of the toughest of the whole calendar, though, when they have to race against their team mates and friends”.
Alex Gregory, a member of the 2011 world champion men’s four, said: “It is the hardest time of the year for me. It is so easy to go out and race against other countries, but when it comes to racing your friends and team mates, that’s tough.”
Anyone participating in the trials who is an under-23 rower will also have the chance to be considered for the U23 world championships and put themselves in a prime slot for the Rio Olympic cycle.
Racing takes place on a 2km course in six boat categories and all the top British names will be in action:
Open weight: men’s and women’s pairs; men’s and women’s single scull
Lightweight: men’s and women’s single sculls
Saturday March 10
Time trials and heats* 10.00 – 11.00
Semi-finals: 16.00 – 17.15
Sunday 11 March
FINALS – for all categories: 09.30 – 11.45
Note: As the winners of heats in some events will gain direct qualification for Sunday’s finals, not all triallists will be in action on Saturday afternoon.
Note: Rowing is an outdoor sport. Please check the GB Rowing Team website, Facebook and Twitter sites before travelling to the venue where any changes to racing timetable, due to the weather or other circumstances, will be indicated.
Access by Road
* The nearest motorway access is M4, Junction 7
* Exit Junction 7 and go left at end of slip road to A4/Maidenhead
* Pass through one set of traffic lights
* Turn left after 500m at superstore roundabout onto
B3026, signposted Dorney/Eton
* Pass back over M4, entering Dorney village
* Right, at left-hand curve, into Court Lane, signposted Dorney
Reach and Lake
* Pass Dorney Court and Walled Garden Centre entrance
* After 400m enter Dorney Lake site through large double gates
* Follow perimeter road left of water to Boathouse at far end
* Park in main car park and make your way to Finish Tower media
Note: Satnavs and computer maps may lead you astray at Dorney Court, which has the same postcode, so please follow above guide.
Main stations for Dorney Lake are Slough (Paddington line) and Windsor & Eton Riverside (from Waterloo) but the Lake is also near Burnham, Taplow, Maidenhead and Windsor & Eton Central (branch of Paddington line).
All these stations are within a quarter-hour taxi ride of Dorney Lake.
Contact details and further information
For media enquiries about this event please contact:
- Miranda Edwards or Caroline Searle on (01225) 443998 or e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org
- GB Rowing Team website, including full rower biogs: www.gbrowingteam.org.uk
- Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gbrowingteam
- and Twitter: @gbrowingteam
UPCOMING SJA EVENTS
Tue Mar 6: SJA Ladbrokes Lunch with former England rugby star Simon Halliday. Click here for booking details.
Mon Mar 12: SJA British Sports Journalism Awards in London. A gala dinner celebrating our colleagues work. For ticket details, click here.
Mon Apr 16: SJA Spring Golf Day, Surbiton GC. Watch the SJA website for booking details.
Thu Apr 19: SJA Annual General Meeting. Details to be announced on the website and in members’ emails.
Thu May 10: SJA Ladbrokes Lunch with former England cricket captain Alec Stewart. Booking details to be announced.