Drew GINN and Duncan FREE of Australia racing at the 2006 World Rowing Championships in Eton, Great Britain.Current World Champions in the men’s pair, Duncan Free and Drew Ginn are almost certain to be back in the same boat for their country. Last month they convincingly won the event at the Australian Rowing Championships and at this week’s selection trials they won again. This could leave Ginn’s 2004 Olympic gold partner, James Tomkins to fight it out for another boat position on the squad.

Tomkins first competed at the Olympic Games 19 years ago when he finished fourth in the eight at Seoul. The eight could be the boat Tomkins ends up in this year with its sights set on 2008 Olympic qualification at this year’s World Rowing Championships in Munich.

Tomkins, with new pair partner Sam Conrad, finished second behind Ginn and Free in the men’s pair race.

Sam Beltz and Tom Gibson of Australia racing their heat at the 2006 World Rowing Championships in Eton, Great Britain. Also up for early selection is the men’s and women’s lightweight doubles. Sam Beltz and Tom Gibson finished fourth last year at the World Rowing Championships and have shown their squad-making credentials again this week at the trials.

Following this same path is Amber Halliday and Marguerite Houston. Halliday and Houston won silver last year and are likely to be the same combination to again represent Australia in 2007.

Current World Champion in the adaptive men’s single, Dominic Monypenny has gained pre-selection for this event, placing him one step closer to his goal of competing at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 where rowing will debut. Kathryn Ross and John McLean have also been given the nod for pre-selection in the adaptive double event.

Amber Halliday (b) and Marguerite Houston of Australia compete in their semifinal and qualify for Final A at the final stage of the 2006 Rowing World Cup on the Rotsee in Lucerne, Switzerland.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)Australian trials continue with new rowing phenomenon Pippa Savage leading the women’s sculling way after winning the women’s single. The women’s four’s race ended with an unofficial World Best Time when Kate Hornsey, Sally Kehoe, Robyn Selby Smith and Sarah Heard went under the official World Best Time (of 6.25.35) in their trials race.

Meanwhile pair defenders Ginn and Free could be faced with a new threat. Last weekend’s trials for Great Britain flagged the talent of Andy Hodge and Peter Reed in the pair. Hodge and Reed have been part of their country’s winning men’s four for the last two years but with pressure on head men’s coach, Juergen Grobler to win more medals, Grobler may re-sort the men’s four with Hodge and Reed being taken out and put into the pair.

Great Britain’s trials will help selectors decide their nation’s squad for the first Rowing World Cup in Linz/Ottensheim, Austria at the start of June. Australia also plans to attend this World Cup.

Australian trials continue until 22 April.