What a day! Perfect conditions, racing on the exclusive 2000m course at Caversham, the HQ of British rowing surrounded by Olympic and World Championship medalists. It was a privilege to be there with Callum and he raced his socks off.
There was a high quality entry of 11 lightweight mens scullers, a mixture of senior and U23 athletes. Callum therefore found himself up against people who had already represented GB at Olympic and World Championships level. In fact everybody in the draw had a GB vest of some description, senior, U23 or junior – except Callum. However, he was not outclassed – quite the opposite, he stepped up and took them on. He raced hard in the time trial to finish 5th. In fact he was the fastest over the first 500m out of the entire field. However you could hear the scrape of the fingernails as he hung on in the last 500m, paying for the over eager start.
Five hours later he then raced even harder in the semi final to finish third behind Zac Lee Green of Agecroft and Jamie Copus of Oxford Brookes, both of whom have represented GB at the World Championships. Third place earned him a place in the A final in a field where every other sculler has either an Olympic or World Championships medal. Daunting stuff if you stop to think about it too hard. So the plan is not to think about it at all.
Callum has done exceptionally well to get this far, and every race was done wearing bright orange Lea kit. He was also interviewed by British Rowing for their twitter feed. you can view the interview here. I think it’s fair to say that he sculls better than he interviews ...