NORTHWICH rower Matthew Langridge, a medallist at the past two Olympic Games, returns this weekend to competitive action for the first time since last summer.

The 29-year-old joins a host of others who grabbed gongs in London at GB Rowing’s second winter assessment tomorrow, Saturday.

He races a single, against the clock, over a 5km stretch of water in Boston.

Langridge, who started his career at Northwich Rowing Club, was part of a men’s eight crew to win a bronze medal in the capital.

He adds that to a silver one, won in the same boat, brought back from Beijing.

Three teenagers from clubs in Northwich join him in Leicestershire.

Northwich Rowing Club duo Lucy Burgess and Ed Grisedale, both medal winners in GB colours at last month’s Australian Youth Olympic Festival, hope to impress selectors for the under 23s squad.

Joining them is Emily Ford, from Grange School Rowing Club.

“Emily will be rubbing shoulders with Olympians, how good is that?!” said Graham Jump, head coach at the Hartford school.

“This weekend is where she takes a step to the next stage, and it will be another valuable experience in her development.”

The international regatta season gets underway next month with the first Samsung World Cup event in Australia.

“This is very much a transitional season for us,” said David Tanner, GB Rowing’s performance director.

“A home Games is a unique experience and many of our rowers have taken extended breaks, but [the assessment at] Boston will help us shape the team for Sydney.”

Saturday’s time trial, at Boston Rowing Club, starts at 10.30am, with the results `to be published later the same day.