Bedford’s Charlotte Taylor and Phelan Hill have been named in the GB Rowing Team for next month’s European Championships – the first major international regatta of the Rio 2016 Olympic season.
Taylor will reprise her lightweight women’s double scull partnership with Olympic champion Kat Copeland having shown great promise together during 2015.
Their first competitive outing ended with an eye-catching victory at last year’s European Championships in Poznan, Poland and they will be keen to retain that title in Brandenburg, Germany.
Taylor – who only took up rowing as a hobby six years ago – and Copeland finished first and second respectively in the lightweight women’s single scull at the recent GB Rowing Team Trials.
The 30-year-old, who won silver with Copeland at last year’s World Championships, said: “Kat and I were pushing each other on the whole way in the Trials and it’s great for the summer that we were able to show that speed.”
Looking to guide the GB men’s eight to a first-ever European Championships gold medal is Hill, now in his eighth season as cox.
The eight won bronze and silver at the past two European regattas but have struck gold at the last three World Championships.
Hill will be coxing a boat packed with quality and experience, including Olympic men’s four champions Pete Reed and Andrew T Hodge. Matt Gotrel, Scott Durant, Paul Bennett, Tom Ransley, Matt Langridge and Will Satch are also in the crew.
The European Championships, taking place from May 6-8, will be the first big chance for rowers to impress as they look to secure their seats for this summer’s Olympic Games.
Sir David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director, said: “We are clearly ambitious to do well in Rio and will race and then review the Europeans combinations announced today.”