Oxford's Andy Triggs Hodge suffered a rare defeat during the final winter trials at Caversham, near Reading, on Saturday, writes Mike Rosewell.
The competitors were put under some strain when a strong headwind produced some tough and rough conditions on Saturday.
Since the forecast for Sunday was even worse, team director, Sir David Tanner, decided to condense the two day schedule in to a one day endurance test. Double Olympic gold medallist Triggs Hodge finished second in the men’s pairs.
Coach Jurgen Grobler had reshuffled his pack with Triggs Hodge partnered by Molesey’s George Nash – and they were just pipped by fellow Olympic medallists Alex Gregory and Moe Sbihi.
Triggs Hodges’s normal partner Pete Reed was due to race with Will Satch from Leander but went ill.
His place was taken by Oxford Brookes’s Matthew Tarrant. Despite limited practice, they finished fifth.
Two other Oxford Brookes products, international Olympic lightweights Peter and Richard Chambers, were in the lightweight single sculls.
Younger brother Peter finished third, chased home by Richard, now at Leander.
Oxford University’s Constantine Louloudis, Olympic medallist at London and winner of the Boat Race for the third time this month, reached the B final of the Men’s sculls, but not the finish.
He succumbed to the rough conditions and capsized to receive a DNF (did not finish) verdict. Happuily, he was happily OK.
Frances Houghton, of Wheatley – a member of the GB Olympic and world team since 2000 – was second in the women’s sculls behind Victoria Thornley of Leander, a relative newcomer to the international rowing scene and a former model.
Eleanor Piggott and Brianna Stubbs, two of Wallingford RC’s now renowned women’s squad, finished fourth and sixth in the lightweight sculls. l Action returns to the Isis on Saturday with the staging of the Oxford City Bumping Races for men’s and women’s coxed fours.