Molesey up with rowing elite
3:30pm Saturday 14th April 2012 in Sport
Molesey Boat Club drew within touching distance of their arch-rivals Leander Club when six of their members were named in the Great Britain squad for the start of the 2012 season, writes Martin Gough.
Henley-based Leander saw seven members named in the men’s heavyweight sweep squad, which is made up of a pairs, a coxless four and an eight and is likely to look very similar to the Olympic squad.
Molesey can now be considered among the sport’s elite clubs and Andrew Triggs-Hodge, who became captain at Barge Walk shortly after becoming Olympic champion in the coxless four in 2008, admitted it had been a long time coming.
“It’s fantastic. It’s where we need to be,” he said.
“It’s what we’ve been trying to achieve for a long time and it’s great that it’s finally happening.”
The club controversially overhauled its junior and talent development programme two years ago, to make better use of its strong links with the Great Britain set-up.
It is hoped the move, rubberstamped by Triggs-Hodge in 2010, will ensure a succession of future Olympians graduate through the club’s ranks to maintain its top level status.
Triggs-Hodge has moved back into the Team GB men’s four along with Pete Reed, who has been his pairs partner for the past three years.
Club-mate Tom James could join them in that crew, but faces a late selection decision after returning to fitness following problems with an irregular heartbeat.
Former Olympic champion and comeback king Greg Searle remains in the men’s eight, along with James Foad, Mohamed Sbihi – who was talent-spotted while at Hollyfield School in Surbiton – and Cameron Nichol.
The first World Cup starts on May 4 in Belgrade.