Gloucester-Hartpury rowers claim bronze despite lost oar

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Tough conditions and a lost oar prevented a unique Gloucester-Hartpury crew from showing their full potential as the crew of varying age-group internationals still managed to claim a bronze medal at the British Rowing Senior Championships.

The crew, made up of senior Great Britain international Beth Rodford, junior internationals Flo Pickles and Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne and Under-23s GB rower, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, finished in third despite a lost oar costing them time.

This was the first time the senior rowers had the opportunity to partner the most exciting talent now coming out of the Gloucester-Hartpury club.

Tom Pattichis, Hartpury’s rowing coach, said: “In a field made up of the country’s top rowers, including the GB senior team – who went on to win the event, finishing third is a remarkable achievement for a team only rowing together at competition level for the first time. It was great to see former and current Gloucester-Hartpury rowers together and performing well in difficult conditions.”

The top-ranked crew in the quads event comprised four senior international GB rowers, including Olympic gold medallists Helen Glover and Heather Stanning.

Promise was also shown by a crew made up of current Hartpury students. A-level students Frances Russell, Sophia Heather and Alice Bowyer and BTEC Diploma Sports Coaching student Frances Ford teamed up to finish as the highest ranking Under-19s crew in the same event. Their time was enough to crown them national Under-19s women’s quadruple scull champions.

Pickles and Bowyer were then pipped into second by last year’s main rivals, Marlow Rowing Club, in an Under-19s double scull.

Pattichis added: “There were some very encouraging results across the board, especially considering it is so early in the season.”

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