December saw six men's squad athletes and two women invited to Caversham for the first 'Olympic Potential'. Despite pretty tough conditions, this trial ran smoothly, with all athletes completing 2x1900m time trials and the openweight men then going on to side by side racing over 2k.
From the development men's side this trial proved to be a very exciting weekend with Chris Lawrie and George Stewart finishing a very tight 1st and 2nd place in the C final (9th and 10th overall), resulting in them finishing the trial as the top two U23 scullers. On the lightweight front, Sam Tuck, just pipped Ali Douglass, with Ali coming in 3rd U23 and top stroke sider. Sam came out as second none-Team athletes, putting him in an excellent position for a development boat through the Summer. Tom Marshall unfortunately struggled a little with the conditions, being relatively inexperienced in the scull and finished 20th overall.
All five were then invited, along with Luke Towers and Luke Moon, to be part of the crew work with the senior squad athletes in the following days. George and Chris made a strong claim in an U23 double, finishing ahead of all the other U23 doubles from Leander, Reading Uni and Tees RC, in the racing in crew boats. All the others just trainined in their respective units.
In the openweight sweep, Sam Whittaker was pairing with Rich Clarke and managed to just pip a Leander pair in the time trial, finishing 11th out of 12, but unfortuantely had the tables turned on them in the side by side, finishing last.
On the women's side, Aimee Jonckers and Beccy Girling were both invited, but unfortunately, struggeled with the condtions. Aimee finished last overall and Beccy did not finish.