Alan Campbell was surprisingly beaten in the final of the men’s single sculls at the GB National Championships and Trials.
The Olympic bronze medalist was returning to serious competitive action for the first time in eight months since London 2012 and was looking for his ninth national title.
Campbell led for three-quarters of the race and looked well placed in the final quarter to unleash his trademark sprint but after three races in two there was nothing left in the tank and in the dying stages Charles Cousins caught him to come through and win in 6:51.49.
“I’m really pleased for Charles,” said a gracious Campbell afterwards. “I felt that I gave a good account of myself especially after a bit of time away and training away from the squad. Tactically, I feel that I went too early and I went with Peter Lambert. It was a question of tactics rather than anything else. I’ll live to fight another day.”
Beginning this week Campbell will be back training with the full Great Britain squad and although disappointed not to win this weekend the Coleraine sculler should be fully fit and prepared for the second world cup regatta of the season at the Olympic course at Eton Dorney in June.
The results were better for the Chambers brothers in the lightweight single sculls.
Younger sibling Peter led from start to finish to win the title ahead of Adam Freeman-Pask with Richard a close third.
“I knew it was going to be a tough field today especially with us being the top three in training,” explained Peter. “I found it especially difficult that the event was at Caversham. It’s where we train everyday. I needed to psyche myself up more. Once I was in the mind-set it became a lot easier.”
The rest of the season sees two more world cup regattas at Eton from 21st-23rd June and at Lucerne three weeks later with the world championships in Korea in August.