World Championships campaign opens on Sunday

Great Britain opens its 2007 World Championships campaign this Sunday (26th August) in Munich with a focus on winning medals but with an eye, too, on Olympic and Paralympic qualifying places from a record field of 1,285 athletes representing 68 nations.

The Camelot-backed British men’s four of stroke Andy Hodge, Naval Officer Peter Reed, Alton’s Alex Partridge and reigning Olympic champion Steve Williams as well as the women’s quadruple scull, also Camelot-sponsored, of triple world and double Olympic medallist Katherine Grainger, Olympic medallists Fran Houghton and Debbie Flood alongside this season’s newcomer Annie Vernon, are the reigning world champions in their events but know that the opposition could well be tougher than twelve months ago.

"Both of these leading boats have had their scares this year and each will know the severity of the task in hand", said GB Performance Director David Tanner today who arrived in Munich fresh from working with lead coaches Jurgen Grobler (men) and Paul Thompson (women and lightweights) at the squad’s pre-worlds training camps in France and Italy.  "Munich will be a tough test for us especially with the extra edge supplied by the fight for Olympic qualifying places".

Yet Britain also has potential strength in depth to field on Munich’s 1972 Olympic Games course from this Sunday until Sunday 2nd September. Matt Wells and Stephen Rowbotham have been consistent medal winners in their Siemens-backed double scull since taking a World Championships bronze a year ago at Eton.  Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter have impressed on their debut season in the Siemens-sponsored lightweight men’s double and the lightweight men’s four of James Clarke, Paul Mattick, James Lindsay-Fynn and Richard Chambers, also Siemens-backed, made history in Lucerne last month by winning Britain’s first world cup gold in this event.

Alan Campbell, meanwhile, continues to be part of an intriguing battle for the top spots in the Siemens-backed men’s single scull boat class which has captured the imagination again this season as a gladiatorial sporting contest.  He was a winner of the single scull event at Henley and was then involved in a tight tussle with Mahe Drysdale, the world champion, for honours at Lucerne.

Equally, the men’s and women’s eights – with the former stroked by the Army’s Alastair Heathcote –  have both taken podium spots during the world cup season.

World cups, though, can sometimes be a fickle guide to potential world championships form, an equation which will be spiced up this year by the need to qualify Olympic places.

The men’s pair of Colin Smith and Matt Langridge, a Siemens-backed boat, has had a roller-coaster season. They won world cup gold in Linz at the season’s opener and then joined forces with the men’s four, with James Orme and Marcus Bateman and cox Phelan Hill, to win gold in an eight in Amsterdam before putting in a "terrible weekend" in Smith’s words at the Lucerne world cup where they failed to make the final.

Britain’s men’s quadruple scull of Ian Lawson, Sam Townsend, Alex Gregory and Simon Fieldhouse,  offers a mixture of experience (Lawson and Fieldhouse) and emerging talent with Gregory and Townsend both graduates of the ARA’s World Class Start Programme, sponsored by Siemens.  The combination will seek to consolidate a tough debut season and grab one of the 11 available Olympic qualifying places.

Hester Goodsell and Helen Casey, meanwhile,  have made solid progress this season, reaching the  world cup final in Lucerne.  A repeat of this excellent form should see them pick up a qualifying spot for Beijing even with the Chinese back in the field for the first time since Amsterdam in June.

Beth Rodford and Natasha Page provide a new-look for Britain in the Siemens-backed women’s pair in Munich. Rodford and Page began the season in the women’s eight but have migrated into the smaller boat.  Page replaced
an injured Alison Knowles and reached the final with Natasha Howard in Lucerne last month.  Rodford has now stepped forward to replace Howard who moves to the eight.

Latent potential, meanwhile, has been unlocked by Anna Bebington‘s return to the sport from injury to compete in the Siemens-sponsored women’s double scull with 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Elise Laverick.  Their first outing of the year in Lucerne saw them reach the final and take a fourth place – a performance described by their coach Miles Forbes-Thomas as "knocking off the race-rustiness".

Finally, some last-minute tweaks have been made to the  line-ups in the past few days.  Oli Moore has won the  battle of the U23s emerging to take a spot over Charles Burkitt in the men’s coxed four.  Both men had already won world U23 medals this season.

Karen Cromie and James Roberts have been confirmed in the adaptive double scull after gaining a place in the final last year.  They join a  GB contingent which is hoping to defend its titles in the mixed adaptive four and women’s single scull (Helene Raynsford) in Munich as well as picking up Paralympic spaces.

Tom Aggar is the newcomer in the men’s single scull, having leapfrogged 2006 world championships bronze medal winner Shaun Sewell in the selection race.

Britain also fields crews in the FISA International Classes of the women’s four, lightweight women’s and men’s single, lightweight men’sand women’s quadruple scull and the lightweight men’s pair of Matt Beechey and Danny Harte – several of whom have already competed at world cup level and won medals.


Racing in Munich takes place as follows (full timetable at

26 and 27 August


28 and 29 August


30 August and 31 August


1 and 2 September

(Full details: and click on media
center before selecting events).

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(Munich, August 26 – September 2, 2007)
(NB – listed from bow to stroke with
athlete name followed by club, home town
and date of birth in brackets).




Beth Rodford (Thames RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni/Hartpury/30.4.85)

Coach: John Keogh


Georgina Menheneott (Mortlake, Anglian & Alpha RC/North Bradley,
Wilts/18.12.79)/Rebecca Rowe (Rebecca/Bridgend/16.5.81)/
Vicki Etiebet (Auriol Kensington/Ottowa, Canada/12.2.79)/
Vicky Myers (Leander/Cheshire/31.3.81)

Coach: Nathan Williams


Carla Ashford (Thames RC/Northallerton/13.3.79)/Baz Moffat
(Thames RC/Bradford/8.4.78)/Alice Freeman (Wallingford RC/Oxford/
6.9.78)/Louisa Reeve (Leander/London/16.05.84)/Natasha Howard (Tideway Scullers/West Runton/3.9.80)/Alison Knowles (Thames RC/
Bournemouth/27.3.82)/Katie Greves (Uni of London/Oxford/2.9.82)
Jess Eddie (Uni of London/Durham/7.10.84)/Caroline O’Connor
(Oxford Brookes/Ealing/25.4.83) (cox)

Coaches: John Keogh

Double scull

Elise Laverick (Thames RC/Poling, W.Sussex/27.7.75)/
Anna Bebington (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.2.83)

Coach:  Miles Forbes Thomas

Quadruple scull

Annie Vernon (Thames RC/Wadebridge/1.9.82)/Debbie Flood
(Leander Club/Leeds/27.2.80)/Fran Houghton
(Uni of London/Oxford/19.9.80)/Katherine Grainger
(St Andrews BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)

Coach: Paul Thompson



Colin Smith (Leander/Henley on Thames/23.9.83)/
Matt Langridge(Leander Club/Northwich/20.5.83)/

Coach:  Jurgen Grobler


Steve Williams (Leander Club/Cheltenham/15.4.76)/Peter
Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.7.81)/Alex Partridge
(Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.1.81)/Andy Triggs Hodge
(Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/3.3.79)

Coach: Jurgen Grobler

Coxed four

Oli Moore (Imperial/Burford)/James Orme (Leander Club/
Colchester/1.4.84)/Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/
16.9.82)/Tom James (CUBC/Wrexham/11.3.84)/Phelan Hill (London
RC/London/21.7.79) – cox

Coach: Richard Tinkler


Tom Parker (OUBC/Winchester/24.10.82)/Tom Stallard
(Leander/Welwyn, Herts/11.9.78)/Tom Lucy (Oxford Brookes/
Monmouth/1.5.88)/Tom Solesbury (Molesey BC/Petts Wood, Kent/23.9.80)/Josh West (Leander/Santa Fe/25.3.77)/Richard Egington (Leander/Knutsford/26.2.79)/Robin Bourne-Taylor (Army RC/Oxford/22.7.81)
/Alastair Heathcote (Army RC/London/18.8.77)/Acer Nethercott (OUBC/Harlow/28.11.77) (cox)

Coaches:  Mark Banks, John West

Single Scull

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/9.5.83)

Coach: Bill Barry

Double Scull

Matt Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.4.79)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)

Coach: Mark Earnshaw

Quadruple scull

Simon Fieldhouse (Molesey/Thames Ditton/4.9.76)/Sam Townsend
(Reading Uni/Reading/26.11.85)/Alex Gregory (Reading Uni/
Wormington/11.3.84)/Ian Lawson (Leander/Otley, W.Yorks/4.3.77)

Coach: Steve Gunn



Single scull

Andrea Dennis (Wallingford RC/Oxford/03.01.82)

Coach: Rob Dauncey

Double scull

Helen Casey (Wallingford RC/Oxford/6.2.74)/
Hester Goodsell (Rob Roy/Cambridge/27.6.84)

Coach: Robin Williams

Quadruple scull

Sophie Hosking (Durham Uni/Wimbledon/25.01.86)Laura Greenhalgh (Rob Roy/Oxford/2.9.85)/Mathilde Pauls (Imperial College BC/Berlin & Putney/26.09.83)/ Jane Hall (Leander/Caversham/20.10.73),

Coach: Rob Dauncey



Matt Beechey (Leander/Worcester/3.4.77)/Daniel
Harte (London/Edinburgh/12.12.75)

Coach:  Paul Reedy


Richard Chambers (Oxford Brookes/Coleraine/10.6.85)/
James Lindsay-Fynn (London/Trim/29.9.75)/Paul Mattick
(Wallingford/Oxford/25.4.78)/James Clarke (London RC/

Coach: Robin Williams

Single scull
Alasdair Leighton-Crawford (Tideway Scullers/Richmond-upon-Thames/
09.12.81) – racing spare.

Double scull

Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury, Glos/2.5.86)/
Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/1.7.78)

Coach: Darren Whiter

Quadruple scull
Simon Jones (Leander/Henley/8.6.78)Rob Williams (London
RC/Maidenhead/21.1.85)//Chris Bartley (Wallingford/Chester/
2.2.84)/Dave Currie (Leander/Bridgend/10.1.82)

Coach:  Rob Morgan



Single scull

Helene Raynsford (Guildford RC/Frimley/29.12.79)

Coach:  Chad King


Single scull

Tom Aggar (Royal Docks/Barnet, London/24.5.84)

Coach: Chad King


Mixed adaptive coxed four

Naomi Riches (Marlow RC/Harrow Weald/15.6.83)/
Alastair Mckean (Herne Bay ARC/Whitstable/14.4.79)/
Alan Crowther (Nottingham BC/Derby/29.7.65)/
Vicki Hansford (Guildford RC/Lewisham/31.10.79)/
Alan Sherman (cox)

Coach: Chad King

Double scull

Karen Cromie (Royal Docks BC/Ballinamalllard, Co.Fermanagh/
24.9.79)/James Roberts (Swansea/11.5.86)

Coach: Chad King


Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft RC/Warrington/16.9.85)
Tom Wilkinson (Leander/Henley/4.7.85)
Charles Burkitt (Leander/Reading/28.4.86)
Bill Lucas (Reading Uni/Dartmouth/13.9.87)
Atlanta St John (Reading Uni/North Leigh, Oxon/13.1.87)


Team Manager:  David Tanner
Assistant Team Manager:  Maggie Netto
Doctor: Ali Sanders
Chief Coach Men: Jurgen Grobler
Chief Coach Women and Lightweights:  Paul Thompson
Adaptive boats coordinator:  Louise Kingsley
Lead Physio:  Mark Edgar
Physios:  Pam Gardiner, Gill Edmondson, Mike Chisholm
Physiologist:  Al Smith
Pyschologist:  Chris Shambrook
Nutritionist:  Wendy Martinson
Sponsorship Liaison Manager:  Fran Bullock
Drivers: Phil Tinsley, John Brockway
Press Officer:  Caroline Searle

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Each nation competing in Munich will be seeking to  qualify for Olympic Games’ quota places, available for each event.  It is important to remember, though, that it is the "boats" that qualify in Munich and at the later regattas (see below). In Britain’s case the individual "rowers’
names" will not be put to the places in each boat until late June, 2008.

Events (with quota places available in Munich)


Single scull (11)
Pair (11)
Double scull (11)
Four (11)
Quadruple scull (11)
Eight (7)


Single scull (9)
Pair (8)
Double scull (8)
Quadruple scull (7)
Eight (5)


Double scull (11)
Four (11)


Double scull (8)

If British boats do not gain a quota place in any given event in Munich, there will be one further chance via the final qualifying regatta in June of 2008 in  Lucerne, Switzerland where a small number of further quota places will be available but for which the competition will be fierce.


Each adaptive boat class has eight spaces available in Munich for Beijing 2008.  For those who do not qualify in Munich there will be a second-chances at the world cup from 9-11 May, 2007.