Five wins for GB Rowing Team crews at Henley Royal Regatta
The GB Rowing Team beat records as well as World and Olympic Champions to claim five top trophies during an exceptional day of racing in front of large crowds at the Henley Royal Regatta.
The scullers led the five-trophy haul in the unique, head-to-head Regatta with Alan Campbell winning his third Henley title in the single scull, the men’s double defeating the reigning Olympic Champions from Australia and then the men’s quadruple upsetting the form book to humble the World Champions from Croatia.
And to the crowd’s delight, in the GB squad’s last international races on home water before London 2012, the men’s four set a new course record to beat the Americans – a day after defeating the Australian four featuring double Olympic gold medallist Drew Ginn.
Andrew Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed won the Silver Goblets and Nickalls’ Challenge Cup for men’s pair, equalling Sir Steve Redgrave and Matt Pinsent’s course record of 6:56 set in 1995.
The GB women’s eight, although beaten, pushed the American world champions into equalling the course record in their final and the GB men’s eight, stroked by Dan Ritchie were just a length behind their German nemesis in the final GB race of the day.
GB Rowing Team’s international manager and performance director, David Tanner, said: “I’m very very pleased with today’s results with five wins from seven boats and some exceptional performances, just topped by the win from our quad over the world champions. It was also good to see some young guys coming up and doing well in the under-23 boats.
“And it was nice to have former rower Sir Chris Hoy out on the water watching our men’s eight.”
First off for GB were the senior women’s eight against the American World champions, racing as Princeton Training Center, after Matt Wells and Marcus Bateman’s race in the Double Sculls Challenge Cup was postponed due to a broken footboard.
The GB eight, racing as Leander Club and Gloucester R.C., won silver in the first world cup of 2011 in Munich and took a brief early lead on the Americans in front of the Henley crowd before they drew level at the quarter-mile mark.
The world champions kept the power on and led all the way home to win by a length and three-quarters but had to match the new course record of 6:38 they set on Friday to keep the GB boat at bay.
Cox Caroline O’Connor took the positives from the encounter. “Obviously we are disappointed. You don’t go into any race thinking that you might lose. But they are the best opposition for us to race at the moment as they are world and Olympic champions.
“We’re frustrated but we know we have the raw speed, we’ve just got to work on maintaining that through the race. We’re looking forward to Lucerne”.
World bronze medallist Alan Campbell held up three fingers in celebration after securing the GB Rowing Team’s first trophy of the day at Henley with a comfortable win over Australian sculler Nicholas Hudson to claim his third Diamond Sculls Challenge Cup title.
“That was absolutely brilliant, I’m really proud,” said Campbell who won the event in 2003 and 2007. “It is the best trophy and the best bragging rights of the year.
“It is good to see so many Australians and Americans come over and take on the challenge and the crowd were exceptional.
“I’m really pleased. It is a really good build-up for Lucerne. This has shown me I’m back on form but obviously Lucerne will be a bigger test.”
Olympic men’s four gold medallists Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge put down a marker ahead of renewing their men’s pair rivalry with the New Zealand world champions at the world cup in Lucerne next week (JULY 8-10) – by equalling the 16-year-old course record belonging to Sir Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent.
Reed said: “It was a really good two days of racing. We felt quite well rested coming into the event and it’s nice to race in flat conditions here.
“It was good to win today and the two “easily” verdicts here were great for us. But we know that Lucerne [for the world cup] is going to be a tougher battle.”
Racing in their club colours of Molesey B.C. and Leander Club they blew away the Italians, who finished second to them in Munich, to win the Silver Goblets and Nickalls’ Challenge Cup in 6:56.
Triggs Hodge said: “We know we had a good race yesterday and today we moved on. In still conditions, to equal the course record, was great, too.”
On Thursday the world silver medallists beat the Barrier record held by Redgrave and Pinsent and were proud to have matched another of their achievements.
“It’s a great honour to go into the record books alongside names like Steve Redgrave
and Matt Pinsent,” said Triggs Hodge.
The “Red Express” of Wells and Bateman further whipped up the partisan crowds lining the course on finals day with a win over the reigning Olympic champions from Australia, David Crawshay and Scott Brennan – who are just getting back to racing together after a two-year break.
The red-headed world silver-medallists in the GB double scull again broke the previous course record to claim the Double Sculls Challenge Cup – a significant win ahead of the Lucerne world cup.
“It’s good to be back in the momentum of racing. It’s a great feeling to get one on the Olympic champions,” said Bateman. “But inthe doubles event you can’t write anyone off. I’m sure they will be in the mix at the worlds”.
“It was great to see that 29 year-old record go,” he added, reflecting on the Barrier record belonging to Adam Clift and Redgrave and which they beat on Friday before demolishing the overall course record by five seconds on Saturday.
Wells, who won bronze in Beijing with Stephen Rowbotham, said: “Henley is very different to everything else we do. It’s side by side racing and very intense.
“It is fantastic to win here. It was also good to beat the Australians but this was really only their second serious outing this year. So they will be back.
“But we’ve been in the event for a year now as a crew and we’re pushing on,” he added.
The 2009 men’s four world champions Matt Langridge, Ric Egington and Alex Gregory and 2008 Olympic gold medallist, Tom James, then further fuelled the crowd’s fervour with an exemplary, controlled victory over the Americans, knocking three seconds off the 1995 course record and en route beating the record time to the Barrier by a second.
Gregory said: “We’re really pleased. If we had been beaten here it would have been hard going to Lucerne. But we just have to keep performing as we are. And there’re still improvements we can make.
Egington said: “It was never going to be a smooth row down this water but we performed and go to Lucerne on the back of a really good win.”
The race of the day for the GB team was the quad’s victory over the world champions from Croatia.
Steve Rowbotham said: “To beat the world champions like that on home water is pretty nice ahead of the Olympic Games. We were waiting for them to keep coming but they didn’t.
Bill Lucas said: “We felt after the first world cup we were making good progress and were very confident in what we were doing.
“Fortunately there was no need for a sprint in to the line which is always nice, especially with Lucerne coming up.”
The eagerly awaited clash between the world and silver-medal crews in the men’s eight proved lightly confrontational after the German boat, racing as Hansa Dortmund, was warned a number of times for crossing into the path of the GB boat after taking an early lead.
The GB boat, stroked by Dan Ritchie, pulled back the Germans to less than a length but the Germans held them off with a new course record.
Ritchie said: “It was really difficult the whole way down with them being in our water. Credit to our cox (Phelan Hill) for avoiding a collision. It is a difficult pill to swallow.
“We did what we wanted to do but we definitely weren’t the best boat on the day. It has added a bit more fuel to the fire. As long as we win in London I can handle losing today.”
33 new records were set at this year’s Henley Royal Regatta and 24 records equalled. A total of 60 seconds were removed from the record books in an exceptional year’s racing on the course which staged the 1908 and 1948 Olympic regattas.
Strong crews from a host of countries attended the regatta in preparation for the Lucerne world cup next weekend and the world championships in Slovenia at the end of August which doubles as the qualifying regatta for London 2012.
GB RESULTS AT HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA JULY 3, 2011
Remenham Challenge Cup (W8+)
1. Princeton Training Center, USA 6:38 (by 1 3/4 lengths)
2. Leander Club & Gloucester R.C., GB
Diamond Sculls Challenge Cup (M1x)
1. Alan Campbell, GB 7:37 (easily)
2. Nicholas Hudson, AUS
Silver Goblet & Nickalls’ Challenge Cup (M2-)
1. Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs Hodge 6:56 (easily)
2. Lorenzo Carboncini and Niccolo Mornati
Double Sculls Challenge Cup (M2x)
1. Matt Wells and Marcus Bateman, GB 6:52 (by 2 1/2 lengths)
2. David Crawshay and Scott Brennan, AUS
Stewards’ Challenge Cup (M4-)
1. Leander Club & Molesey B.C., GB 6:19 (by 2 1/2 lengths)
2. Chula Vista Training Center, USA
Queen Mother Challenge Cup (M4x)
1. Leander Club & Reading University 6:17 (by 1 1/4 lengths)
2. Mladost & Tresnjevka, CRO
Grand Challenge Cup (M8+)
1. Hansa Dortmund, GER 5:57 (by 1 length)
2. Molesey B.C. & Leander Club
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*SIEMENS is the high performance partner of the GB Rowing Team
(as such they sponsor all the Olympic and Paralympic Class
boats in the senior squad and add value to the GB Rowing
Teams’ Start and High Performance Programme in Clubs Schemes)
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GB CREWS AT THE HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA
Ro Bradbury (Leander/Banstead/17.12.88)
Polly Swann (Leander/Edinburgh/(05.06.88)
Jessica Eddie (Univ of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Victoria Thornley (Leander Club/Wrexham/30.11.87)
Natasha Page (Gloucester RC/Hartpury/30.04.85)/
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)/
Katie Solesbury (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC/Edinburgh/15.01.82)/
Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Ealing, London/25.04.83)
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N. Yorks/03.03.79)
Alex Partridge (Leander Club /Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/
James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)
Cameron Nichol (Molesey BC/Glastonbury/26.06.87)/
Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell (Univ of London BC/Durham/13.04.88)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
Greg Searle (Molesey BC/Marlow/20.03.72)/
Tom Ransley (York City RC/Cambridge/06.09.85)/
Daniel Ritchie (Leander Club/Herne Bay/06.01.87)/
Phelan Hill (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers School/Coleraine/09.05.83)
Matthew Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79)/
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/16.09.82)
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)/
Tom Solesbury (Leander Club/Petts Wood, Kent/23.09.80)/
Bill Lucas (London RC/Kingswear/13.09.87)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)
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KEY DATES FOR 2011
This important season for the nation’s top rowers
culminates in the World Championships and
Olympic qualifying regatta:
BLED, SLOVENIA, FROM AUGUST 28 – SEPTEMBER 4, 2011
Britain will seek to qualify boats into as many Olympic
and Paralympic classes as possible here rather than
through the last-chance final qualifying regatta in Lucerne
from May 20-23, 2012.
Meanwhile, here are some additional dates of note for the
GB squad for the remainder of 2011:
KEY DATES FOR YOUR 2011 DIARY
29- July 3
Henley Royal Regatta
Rowing World Cup III, Lucerne, Switzlerand
Announcement of the World Championships Team
World Rowing U23 Championships, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Coupe de la Jeunesse, Linz, Austria
World Rowing Junior Championships, Dorney Lake, Eton
(this is also the Olympic test event)
28 – 4 September
WORLD ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS, Bled, Slovenia
European Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
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For media enquiries about The GB Rowing Teams please contact:
Caroline Searle, Andy Sloan or Miranda Edwards on:
T: (01225) 443998
M: Caroline Searle (07831) 755351
M: Andy Sloan (07714) 168391
GB Rowing Team website www.gbrowingteam.org.uk – full biogs available
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/gbrowingteam
Follow us on twitter: gbrowingteam
See our season’s preview on YouTube
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Sports Fund as part of UK Sport’s Podium Programme.
GB Rowing Team News bulletins are issued by the GB Rowing Team office