Six semi wins for GB Rowing Team in successful spell at Lucerne world cup

Six successive semi-final wins provided the fulcrum around which a particularly successful mid-afternoon spell of racing was turning for the GB Rowing Team at the season’s final world cup in Lucerne before racing was suspended for more than 90 minutes due to a buoy-line failure on the course.

Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge, set the run in motion in the men’s pair and they were followed by Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins in the women’s double scull, the two lightweight double sculls of of Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter as well as Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking.

The world champion men’s four, stroked by Matt Langridge, were next to win with Marcus Batemen and Matt Wells in the open double scull as well as the lightweight men’s four, stroked by Chris Bartley, adding to the tally.

Mid-way through the men’s quadruple scull semi-final with GB lying in a tight third place, the six boats in this semi-final were put under rowing’s version of F1’s safety car to row slowly to the finish. This  semi-final and the opposing one will now be raced at 7.20pm Swiss time tonight.

In between, the GB Rowing Team still has races ahead for the men’s and women’s single scull and the men’s eight before the names of all of those who are set to join today’s six British winners and yesterday’s two direct British qualifiers – the women’s quadruple scull and the women’s eight – in tomorrow’s finals are known. There are also two finals to be contested this evening in the International classes of the lightweight women’s single scull and the lightweight men’s pair. Both will feature British contenders.

“We have had a particularly successful afternoon so far’, said GB Rowing Team Performance Director David Tanner.  “This is the biggest world cup ever and there are no dominant nations in most boat classes so we will have some tough racing ahead tomorrow”.

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RACE REPORTS

Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins made short order the their women’s double scull semi-final. They got out early, built a lead and then stayed there – holding the rest of the field at bay.  Winning the final here would give them the overall world cup title with a hat-trick of golds at this level.

Nothing today suggested that they would be derailed. The USA chased the British duo down the course with the Czech Republic close behind. Neither had the firepower, in high temperatures amidst the faintest of breeze on Lucerne’s Rotsee, to do any damage with the British producing a slow and strong rhythm to the finish

“We had a really good start today and got ahead quickly and felt very in control.  Tomorrow we have  big job on our hands as the Australian crew did a good job in the other semi. We are looking at one great race in the final”, said Watkins.

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning were forced to forego their place in today’s women’s pair repechage after Glover became ill overnight and was unable to race.

The GB Rowing Team’s men’s four are through to tomorrow’s final with some style. Before halfway in today’s semi-final they took the lead from the fast-starting French and a New Zealand combination. By the mid-point they were two seconds up and coming into the grandstand zone they were obviously in control. 

In a more than solid performance they were able to hold off the French who were pipped to third by the New Zealanders. The winning time was 5:51.99. Australia and the two New Zealand crews as well as the Americans will be amongst the strongest contenders with GB in tomorrow’s final.

“We had a really good race”, said Alex Partridge the bowman of the quartet – which also includes Matt Langridge, Alex Gregory and Ric Egington – who trained last week rather than race at Henley.

“It was frustrating missing Henley but it was the right thing to do. This season seems to be the same as last with a good first world cup and a not so good second one which gave us some thinking time before Lucerne”, he added.

Matt Wells and Marcus Bateman reached today’s semi-final of the men’s double with a top-class quarter-final victory over their French rivals Cedric Berrest and Julien Bahain. These two units have been amongst the world’s top two crews this season. The British won in Bled and Munich but the French sought and got revenge at Henley Royal Regatta last week. So victory yesterday, with a controlled race, felt significant.

In today’s semi-finals the Slovenian Spik brothers were the early leaders before Wells and Bateman moved through them to take the lead and record a time of 3:05.74 at halfway.  Slovenia slipped back into the pack with Switzerland challenging in second at 1500m accompanied by a cacophony of cow-bells from the home crowd.

in the final 500m New Zealand made a challenge. Their bowman Nathan Cohen is an Olympic silver medallist in this event and is racing this season with a new partner Joseph Sullivan. They could not make an impression on  the British duo who went onto win in 6:13.20 from the Kiwis and the Swiss in third.. Almost inevitably, Berrest and Bahain won the earlier of the two semi-finals setting up an interesting canvas onto which tomorrow’s final can be painted.
 
Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge were beaten to the 500m marker by the Gkountoulas brothers from Greece in their semi-final race today.  From there, though, the British duo, who were world men’s pair silver medallists in 2009 and Olympic men’s four champions in 2008, took control.

They eased out to a 1.5 second lead at halfway and from there piled on the pressure to win by almost five seconds in 6:29.26. Italy were second and Greece third.

“That was a better race than yesterday.  Andy’s rhythm in the first half set us up well. There were three fast crews around us and some of them were racing for selection for the world championships but that didn’t put us under pressure.  Felt we came home with our heads high and in relaxed form”, said Reed.

“We know who the big opposition will be tomorrow”, he added.

Interestingly, a similar race pattern ensued in the other semi-final with world champions, New Zealand, second to Greece’s second-ranked pair at 500m before moving away from the field to win in 6:27.78.  Behind them Cameron Nichol and Tom Burton, in the no.2 British pair, were fourth at 500m before losing out to Germany in the final push to finish sixth in 6:43.45.

Once more, the New Zealanders and British have proven to be the top two pairs in the world. They will meet each other for the tenth time tomorrow in the final with the British closing the gap but without a win yet.

Stephen Rowbotham, Charles Cousins, Sam Townsend and Bill Lucas – the latter three having emerged into international reckoning through the Siemens-sponsored and lottery-backed Start scheme – were well-placed in the semi-finals of the men’s quadruple scull event here in Lucerne in sticky and hot conditions.

They were third but firmly in contention behind Germany and Russia. Somewhat dramatically, at that stage, the race was stopped by the umpire and the crews dropped down to snail’s pace to complete the course.  A re-row was called for later this evening because of buoy-line failure on the course.

Leaders Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter looked both connected and determined as they raced past the British supporters in the grandstand during today’s lightweight men’s double scull semi-final.  This was a race they had controlled virtually from the outset with Italy and Germany their nearest contenders.

At 1700m, and already in the lead, the Olympic champions who are still race-rusty after over a year away from racing, put in a push and moved away from the chasing pack.  That gave them the luxury of easing down in the last seven strokes.

The world champions, New Zealand, as well as good Chinese and Canadian doubles will join the fray in tomorrow’s final which could prove a tougher test.

The lightweight men’s four were in top form yesterday evening in qualifying from a tough quarter-final for today’s  semi-finals.

This afternoon they faced strong Danish – world champion calibre – Swiss and Czech opposition.  Switzerland delighted their home crowd by being in the chase at the end having been the first boat to the 1500m timing point. They were there and there abouts but not quite strong enough in the final 300m.

That left Denmark to battle it out with Richard Chambers, Paul Mattick, Rob Williams and Chris Bartley.  No wonder Chambers, who is from the same school and town – Coleraine – as the GB men’s single sculler Alan Campbell, looked round several times in the final 30 strokes.  It was tight going to the line.  Perhaps it was to keep an eye on the other crews or perhaps it was in the hope that the line would come sooner than expected.

Whichever was closer to the truth, the British won in 5:58.80 with Denmark second in 5:59.22.  Tomorrow could prove to be a re-run. The opposing semi-final also proved a close affair and was won by Italy with Serbia second and Holland third.

The 2009 overall world cup winners Sophie Hosking and Hester Goodsell timed their race well today. They were behind Jo Hammond, previously with the GB squad but now rowing for Belgium, and Evi Geent Jens for the majority of the race before taking the lead in the final 500m.

Britain won in 7:09.72 with Belgium second and Poland third.  The British duo, on paper, are now favourites to take the title here and the overall world cup series having taken silver in Bled and gold in Munich, especially given the absence here of the American winners from Bled.

On a mirror-like surface in the early morning session Andrea Dennis qualified for this evening’s final of the lightweight women’s single scull. She was second behind Marie-Louise Draeger, an experienced German sculler, but pushed back ahead of Fabiana Beltrame of Brazil after being overtaken by her temporarily at one stage.

Fabien Tilliet and Jean-Christophe Bette were the early race leaders in the lightweight men’s pair semi-final, creating a classic racing chevron with Britain’s Chris Boddy and Adam Freeman-Pask tucked in second behind them.  By  halfway these two pairs had created a gap over the rest of the field.

But in the race to the line, Boddy and Freeman-Pask were overtaken by Joris Pijs and Paul Drewes of the Netherlands. Third place was enough to see them into this evening’s final.

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RESULTS
(Events featuring GB crews only. Full results
worldrowing.com)

SEMI-FINALS

OPEN

WOMEN

Double scull

Semi-final 1
1. Anna Watkins/Katherine Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:53.87
2. Stesha Carle/Kathleen Bertko (USA 1) 6:55.97
3. Lenka Antosova/Jitka Antosova (Czech Republic) 6:59.90
4. Yan Jiang/Min Zhang (China) 6:59.90
5. Anastasiya Fadzeyenka/Katsiaryna (Belarus) 7:13.14
6. Lisbet Jakobsen/Lea Jakobsen (Denmark 2) 7:20.37

MEN

Pair

Semi-final 1
1. Peter Reed/Andrew Triggs Hodge (GREAT BRITAIN 1) 6:29.26
2. Niccolo Mornati/Lorenzo Carboncini (Italy) 6:34.02
3. Nikolaos Gkountoulas/Apostolos Gkountoulas (Greece 1) 6:35.89
4. Nanne Sluis/Rogier Blink (Netherlands) 6:48.15
5. Marko Marjanovic/Nikola Stojic (Serbia 1) 6:55.38
6. Shaun Keeling/Ramon Di Clemente (South Africa) 7:02.40

Semi-final 2
1. Eric Murray/Hamish Bond (New Zealand) 6:27.78
2. Andrea Kuffner/Felix Drahotta (Germany 1) 6:31.90
3. Georgios Tziallas/Ioannis Christou (Greece 2) 6:32.99
4. Jacob Cornelius/Charles Cole (USA) 6:39.11
5. Philipp Naruhn/Florian Eichner (Germany 2) 6:42.93
6. Cameron Nichol/Tom Burton (GREAT BRITAIN 2) 6:43.45

Four

Semi-final 1
1. Alex Partridge/Richard Egington/Alex Gregory/Matthew Langridge (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:51.99
2. New Zealand 1 5:53.75
3. France 5:54.20
4. Germany 1 5:55.78
5. Serbia 5:57.84
6. Slovenia 6:06.39

Double scull

Semi-final 2
1. Matthew Wells/Marcus Bateman (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:13.20
2. Nathan Cohen/Joseph Sullivan (New Zealand) 6:14.09
3. Andre Vonarburg/Florian Stofer (Switzerland) 6:15.15
4. Glenn Ochal/Warren Anderson (USA 1) 6:17.96
5. Luka Spik/Jan Spik (Slovenia) 6:25.99
6. Michal Sloma/Wiktor Chabel (Poland) 6:26.21

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Double scull

Semi-final 1
1. Hester Goodsell/Sophie Hosking (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:09.72
2. Jo Hammond/Evi Geentjens (Belgium) 7:10.59
3. Magdalena Kemnitz/Agnieszka Renc (Poland) 7:12.90
4. Rianne Sigmond/Maaike Head (Netherlands) 7:17.17
5. Maialen Arrazola Santesteban/Teresa Mas De Xaxars Rivero (Spain) 7:19.52
6. Manami Hayashi/Akiko Iwamoto (Japan) 7:24.83

MEN

Four

Semi-final 1
1. Richard Chambers/Paul Mattick/Rob Williams/Chris Bartley (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:58.80
2. Denmark 1 5:59.22
3. Switzerland 6:00.01
4. Czech Republic 6:02.77
5. Australia 2 6:04.60
6. France 6:05.68

Double scull

Semi-final 2
1. Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:23.02
2. Lorenzo Bertini/Elia Luini (Italy 1) 6:26.01
3. Linus Lichtschlag (Germany) 6:30.24
4. Pedro Fraga/Nuno Mendes (Portugal) 6:33.47
5. Panagiotis Magdanis/Eleftherios Konsolas (Greece) 6:36.69
6. Jonathan Winter/Brian De Regt (USA) 6:39.19

INTERNATIONAL CLASSES

SEMI-FINALS

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Single scull

Semi-final 1
1.  Marie-Louise Draeger (Germany)  7:50.83
2.  Andrea Dennis (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:53.57
3.  Fabiana Beltrame (Brazil) 7:54.63
4.  Michaela Taupe-Traer (Austria) 8:00.73
5.  Sheryl Preston (Canada) 8:02.22
6.  Kristina Knejp (Sweden 2) 8:18.29

MEN

Pair

Semi-final 1

1.  Fabien Tilliet/Jean-Christophe Bette (France 1) 6:44.13
2.  Joris Pijs/Paul Drewes (Netherlands) 6:45.64
3.  Adam Freeman-Pask/Chris Boddy (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:46.16
4.  Daniel Zielinski/Lasse Dittmann (Denmark) 6:48.64
5.  Li Lei/Li Zhongwei (China) 6:54.03
6.  Livio La Padula/Salvatore Di Somma (Italy) 7:01.45

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GB ROWING TEAM ENTRIES
2010 Rowing World Cup, Lucerne, Switzerland (9-11 July)
(listed bow to stroke plus cox)

OPEN

WOMEN

Pair

Helen Glover (Reading Uni BC/Penzance/17.06.86)/
Heather Stanning (Army RC/Lossiemouth/26.01.85)

Eight

Jo Cook (Leander Club/Sunbury-on-Thames/22.03.84)/
Louisa Reeve (LeanderClub/London/16.05.84)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni BC/Hartpury/30.04.85)/
Victoria Thornley (Minerva Bath/Wrexham/30.11.87)/
Jessica Eddie (Uni of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC/Edinburgh/15.01.82)/
Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft RC/Warrington/16.09.85)/
Alison Knowles (Thames RC/Bournemouth/27.03.82)/
Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Ealing/25.04.83) (cox)

Single scull

Debbie Flood (Leander Club/Guiseley/27.02.80)/

Double scull – two boats

Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)/
Anna Watkins (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.02.83)

Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)
Annabel Vernon (Marlow RC/Wadebridge/01.09.82)

Quadruple scull

Annabel Vernon (Marlow RC/Wadebridge/01.09.82)/
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)/
Anna Watkins (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.02.83)/
Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)

OPEN

MEN

Pair – two boats

Peter Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/03.03.79)

Cameron Nichol (Molesey/Glastonbury/26.6.87)/
Tom Burton (Leander Club/Barton-le-Clay, Beds/24.05.80)

Four

Alex Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/
Richard Egington (Leander Club/Knutsford/26.02.79)/
Matt Langridge(Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)/
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)/

Eight

Tom Wilkinson (Leander Club/Reading/04.07.85)/
James Clarke (London RC/London/31.12.84)/
James Orme (Leander Club/Colchester/01.04.84)/
James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
Greg Searle (Molesey BC/Marlow/20.03.72)/
Tom Broadway (Leander Club/Newport Pagnell/21.08.82)
Daniel Ritchie (Herne Bay RC/Herne Bay/06.01.87)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)

Single scull – two boats

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/09.05.83)

Brendan Crean (Agecroft/Lewes/07.02.85)

Double scull

Matthew Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79)
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/16.09.82)/

Quadruple scull

Charles Cousins (Reading Uni BC/Cambridge/13.12.88)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Uni BC/Reading/26.11.85)/
Bill Lucas (Reading Uni BC/Kingswear/13.09.87)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)/

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Single scull

Andrea Dennis (Reading Uni BC/Oxford/03.01.82)

Double scull

Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni BC/London/27.06.84)/
Sophie Hosking (London RC/Wimbledon/25.01.86)

LIGHTWEIGHT

MEN

Pair

Chris Boddy (Leander Club/Stockton-on-Tees/16.11.87)/
Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC/Windsor/19.06.85)

Four

Richard Chambers (Leander Club/Coleraine/10.06.85)/
Paul Mattick (Leander Club/Frome, Somerset/25.04.78)/
Rob Williams (London RC/Maidenhead/21.01.85)/
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)

Double scull
Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury/02.05.86)/
Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/01.07.78)

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