Men’s eight round off another good day

There will be plenty of action for home
supporters to cheer this weekend, as the GB team qualified a further 4 boats for ‘A’ finals in a thrilling day’s racing at Eton. The sun shone on the Rowing World Championships – sponsored by Siemens – and today’s performances from both the eight and GB’s lightweight division set the seal on another good day for the home team.
The men’s eight reached the first marker towards the back of the field, but a sustained improvement saw them pick off the pack one by one until only the Australians remained ahead of them. The last two races will have told the GB eight a lot about their character and they will hope to be in the mix Sunday’s final.

With superb performances from the men’s lightweight four, light pair and women’s light double, GB can now boast a total of 14 ‘A’ finalists for the concluding weekend of the 2006 World Championships.

But the hard work remains to be done, according to GB Rowing’s Performance Director, David Tanner, "Obviously I’m really pleased with today’s results and the number of ‘A’ finalists, particularly in the Olympic classes, that we qualified for the weekend. That being said, now we have to go on and finish the job – medals are going to be very hard to win."

The day also saw GB’s adaptive rowers in action for the first time, with Helene Raynsford in the single scull and the mixed coxed four winning their heats to qualify for Sunday’s finals. All of the adaptive boats are sponsored by Siemens. GB are the defending World Champions in the mixed four and this Championship has seen a huge increase in entries reflecting rowing’s new Paralympic status.

FRIDAY’S RACING IN FULL

GB Rowing’s high-performance sponsor Siemens will have been delighted to see 3 out of 4 of their Olympic class boats qualify for Sunday’s ‘A’ finals today.

The semi-final of the men’s eights produced a suitable finale to the day’s racing for the GB team. Australia were the fastest starters and the GB eight was at the back of the field after the first quarter. As the race neared the halfway mark, the GB boat – sponsored by Siemens – had worked its way back into contention for one of the top three places that would guarantee a place in Saturday’s ‘A’ final. After the day’s pattern of close races, no-one was certain which way this one was going to go, but the GB challenge never faltered. The end result was an excellent 2nd place behind Australia and ahead of the dog-fight for 3rd between Poland and Canada, which had to be separated by the photo finish judge, who will have had one of his busier days.

Matthew Langridge explained that although the eight was at the back of the field after 500m, there were no panic stations within the boat, "In the boat we stayed calm and didn’t get too flustered. We knew we were in a good rhythm and that we were going to build from the last 1500m. I felt the momentum of the boat getting up and we were in a position where we could really come through."

Jane Hall and Helen Casey produced their best race of the Championships in their semi-final of the light double sculls. The first half of the race saw the crew from Finland make the early running, with Australia, America and hall and Casey in the chasing pack. Hall and Casey stepped up their rate in the third 500m and were back on terms with the Finns at three-quarter distance. But it was Australia who were to make the final move and snatch the heat, with the determined GB pair just pipped for second on the line by Finland. Hall and Casey still achieved their objective of making the starting line-up for Sunday’s final.

The race was a significant step up for Hall and Casey and the result being a first ‘A’ final for the boat for four years. Jane Hall explained that it was largely down to self-belief, "We were more alive and we raced our race today. We believed in our race plan – it was as simple as that and it paid off. That was the sort of race that Helen and I really cherish and get our teeth into. We feel we’re in the process of realising our potential now – so we’ll believe in ourselves on Sunday."

The men’s lightweight four produced yet another thrilling performance for GB. The French four made the early running, with the USA, Ireland and GB leading the chasing pack. The USA fell away and GB moved through in the third quarter of the race to contest the lead with France. It was neck and neck through the last 250m and amid the deafening roars of the packed grandstands, the French just stole the race on the line in another finish where places were determined by mere tenths of seconds.

Chris Bartley and Richard Chambers also secured a place in the lightweight men’s pair ‘A’ final on Sunday with a gutsy performance in their semi-final. The race was dominated by the Australian pairing of Smith and Wurf, but the GB boat kept a solid and consistent rhythm to keep the pursuing Russians at bay.

James Lindsay-Fynn and Mark Hunter had a tougher time in the lightweight men’s double. The Danish crew were the first to show at the start and quickly established a comfortable lead, with GB and Poland tucked in behind. Lindsay-Fynn and Hunter moved into outright second ahead of the Poles and that was the way it stayed until the final stages. The Polish crew mounted a charge in the last 250m and to Lindsay-Fynn and Hunter’s despair edged them out on the line. With only the first two progressing to the ‘A’ final, it was a cruel blow to the GB boat.

ADAPTIVE RACING GETS UNDERWAY

Helene Raynsford opened the account for GB team in the adaptive events at Eton. In the heats for the arms single sculls, she quickly established a lead over Shira Golden from Canada in the first 250m. The Canadian was never able to close the margin and Raynsford progresses directly to Sunday’s final.

With GB the defending World Champions, expectations on the mixed coxed four were high – but they didn’t disappoint. The start was not without its confusion, but once racing was evidently underway, the GB four moved through the field and won their heat comfortably ahead of the Canadians second.

Elsewhere in the trunk and arms double scull Karen Cromie and James Roberts finished second to run-away victors USA in their heat and must pursue a final place through Saturday’s repechages. The same fate also awaits Shaun Sewell who finished fourth in his heat of the arms single sculls.

"We’ve entered a full team here at Eton and many of our athletes have not raced internationally before and are relatively new to rowing. In particular, Helene Raynsford in the arms only women’s single had an excellent race today to win, but equally very creditable were our other two boats – the arms only men’s single and the mixed double – in their first senior international competition.

"Our mixed four had a very difficult start today, when it was not clear how the start was being given and they were disadvantaged by that. But they came through the field to win in a very creditable time, so I’m very happy with their performance."

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ETON, GREAT BRITAIN RESULTS DAY SIX (Races involving British crews only)

OPEN

MEN

Eight
1. Australia 5:47.80
2. Toby Garbett/Tom Solesbury/Jonno Devlin/Richard Egington/Josh West/Kieran West/Matt Langridge/Tom Stallard/Acer Nethercott (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:49.90
3. Poland 5:50.47
4. Canada 5:50.47
5. France 5:52.57
6. China 5:58.89

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Double Sculls
1. Marguerite Houston/Amber Halliday (Australia) 7:14.03
2. Sanna Sten/Minna Nieminen (Finland) 7:15.58
3. Jane Hall/Helen Casey (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:15.65
4. Renee Hykel/Julia Nichols (USA) 7:17.64
5. Sinead Jennings/Niamh Ni Cheilleachair (Ireland) 7:18.23
6. Lena Karlsson/Sara Karlsson (Sweden) 7:27.75

MEN

Pair
1. Tim Smith/Cameron Wurf (Australia) 6:47.73
2. Chris Bartley/Richard Chambers (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:49.04
3. Mikhail Belikov/Sergey Bukreev (Russia) 6:50.92
4. Kazuhiro Takahashi/Yuta Hamada (Japan) 6:55.17
5. Lasse Dittmann/Daniel Graff (Denmark) 6:59.71
6. Richard Montgomery/Andrew Bolton (USA) 7:02.59

Double Sculls
1. Mads Rasmussen/Rasmus Hansen (Denmark) 6:30.46
2. Tomasz Kucharski/Robert Sycz (Poland) 6:34.64
3. James Lyndsay-Fynn/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:34.86
4. Juliusz Madecki/Sebastien Sageder (Austria) 6:39.94
5. Miguel Cerda Silva/Felipe Leal Atero (Chile) 6:41.14
6. Cody Lowry/Daniel Urevick-Ackelsberg (USA) 6:43.62

Four
1. France 6:10.32
2. Matt Beechey/Daniel Harte/Paul Mattick/James Clarke (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:10.74
3. Ireland 6:11.35
4. Germany 6:12.33
5. USA 6:16.45
6. Poland 6:20.18

ADAPTIVE

Arms Women’s Single Sculls
1. Helene Raynsford (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:55.06
2. Shira Golden (Canada) 6:59.63
3. Agnese Moro (Italy) 7:19.64
4. Marie-Pierre Baskevitch-Six (France) 7:33.47

Arms Men’s Single Sculls
1. Ron Harvey (USA) 5:48.69
2. Simone Miramonti (Italy) 6:08.85
3. Pierre Paugam (France) 6:13.67
4. Shaun Sewell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:18.99
5. Moacir Rauber (Brazil) 6:41.84
6. Wo Chau Wong (China) 6:49.52

Trunk and Arms Double Sculls
1. Scott Brown/Angela Madsen (USA) 4:32.29
2. Karen Cromie/James Roberts (GREAT BRITAIN) 4:50.92
3. Igor Kogan/Mary Kogan (Israel) 5:13.35
4. Valeria Corazzin/Enio Billiato (Italy) 5:18.31
5. Chi Yeung Puk/Yuen Wah Chan (Hong Kong) 5:24.02

Legs, Trunk and Arms Mixed Coxed Four
1. Naomi Riches/Victoria Hansford/Alastair Mckean/Alan Crowther/Alan Sherman (GREAT BRITAIN) 3:41.97
2. Canada 3:43.29
3. Italy 3:47.31
4. Hong Kong 4:02.86
5. Brazil 4:06.63

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