New-look Men's Four named
3 May 2013
ROWING: Rowing Australia has revamped their priority boat - the new-model Oarsome Foursome which won silver at the London Games - as they chase gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Selectors on Friday dropped veteran James Chapman from the men's four crew which won the World Cup in Sydney five weeks ago, while fellow Olympian Josh Booth has stood down to focus on his medical studies.
Victorians Josh Dunkley-Smith and Will Lockwood remain from the London Games crew while rising NSW pair Spencer Turrin and Alexander Lloyd have forced their way in through impressive trials form and results.
RA head coach and former Oarsome Foursome member Drew Ginn, who retired after taking silver behind Great Britain in London, said the surprise change was designed to take the boat to another level.
"Chappo is a good friend of mine and he's naturally disappointed," Ginn told AAP. "It's a tough call but he knows that the door won't be closed.
"Consolidating for me is always a dangerous principal.
"We've got to say the London Games are over now and move forward ... we've got to challenge ourselves.
"We're not taking a gamble but we're trying to pave the way for Rio."
Under-23 representatives Turrin and Lloyd won the pairs at selection trials at Penrith to earn their way into a squad of six fighting for the four spots in the priority boat.
Booth, in his first year of a medicine degree at Melbourne University, decided to stand down midway through the trials in Penrith after travelling home for an exam.
"He didn't want to jeopardise his studies," Ginn said. "I think it's quite a courageous decision; I think he showed a lot of maturity there."
Chapman is now considering whether to race in the men's eight or take the rest of the year off.
Dunkley-Smith and Lockwood are among 16 2012 Olympians named in the 53-strong Australian squad for the world championships in South Korea in August.
Most of the 10 Olympic-class and six non-Olympic class crews will attend the second and third World Cup regattas in Eton (June 21-23) and Lucerne, Switzerland (July 12-14) in preparation, including the women's quad crew that took gold at the Sydney World Cup.
But some, including the women's eight and dual Olympic sculling medallist Kim Crow, will bypass the European World Cups in an individualised preparation.