Shrewsbury pupils row for GB

Two Shropshire pupils have made their international debut for the GB rowing team.

George Patterson and Toby Thomas, who are both pupils at Shrewsbury School, were selected to race in the British under-16 eight in the recent annual fixture against France.

They took part in five days of intensive training at Dorney Lake at Eton College before the whole GB squad, made up of 13 different boats, moved to Docklands in London for the event.

“The crew produced ever-more encouraging times in training and the arrival of the French Team certainly sharpened the focus,” commented Rob Wilson U16 coach.

“The boys' eight was the last event and by that time GB were already 10-2 up in the match overall. This mattered little to the eight, who wanted to round off their first international vest with a win.

“They got off the line well and pulled out a narrow lead, which they extended to a length by 500m. This remained the lead during the middle of the race as the French clung on to the stern of the British boat. Into the last 500m the strength of the GB boat shone through and as the British piled on the power the French fell back for GB to win by three lengths. Great Britain won the overall match 11-2,” Rob said.

George, who is 16 and lives in Hereford, and Toby, also 16 and from Craven Arms, both represent Shrewsbury School at rowing.

Athol Hundermark, director of rowing at Shrewsbury School added: “George and Toby are amongst our most dedicated and talented young rowers and have bright futures ahead of them in this very competitive sport.”

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