15 GB Rowing Team crews roared by home crowd into finals at Eton this morning

The GB Rowing Team gave a lively home crowd a lot to cheer for this morning with 15 crews moving from heats or preliminary races into the finals of the Samsung World Rowing Cup.

Olympic champion Helen Glover, racing here with Polly Swann, won her heat safely as did 2012 silver medallists and brothers Peter and Richard Chambers in the lightweight men’s double scull.

The new-look GB quadruple scull of Peter Lambert, Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins and Graeme Thomas looked strong in closing out their heat.

GB also won their men’s four heat which must have proved a special moment for Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell in the no.2 seat in front of over 1000 enthusiastic young school students who were attracted to the event by a scheme he devised.

2008 Paralympic Champion Tom Aggar, in the para-rowing men’s arms and shoulders single scull, won his heat by a significant margin, thereby laying to rest the ghosts of his under-par performance at last year’s Paralympic Games.

Five other crews progressed to semi-finals. Eight have second chances through repechages and the para-rowing mixed coxed four is yet to race today.

Brothers Richard and Peter Chambers in the lightweight men’s double scull were amongst the heat winners. Richard said: “I think the main thing for us was to stick to our race plan and to stick to what we’ve done in training. We did that and it was a pretty simple job, we got into the lead and then maintained it and kept it, trying to conserve as much energy as possible

“It has been a pretty good morning or racing. Our new rowers have stepped up and that was good to see”, said GB Rowing Team Performance Director, Sir David Tanner. “Overall for a first day we are at a good level”.

“I feel that the organisers have done an exceptional job here”, he added. “They have provided a great environment for people to enjoy the world cup. We have never had such an enthusiastic first day crowd at a world cup and that’s a big tribute to Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell from our men’s four whose scheme brought so many young schoolchildren and their teachers here”.

The World Cup finals will be televised live on BBC 2 from 11.30 – 13.30 on Sunday.

Today’s second session includes 21 repechages and preliminary races with GB’s Paralympic champion four in action.


Helen Glover, returning to the lake on which she won TeamGB’s first gold of the entire London Games, and racing here with Polly Swann instead of Heather Stanning, got away to a good start in this morning’s women’s pair heat. They were a length ahead of New Zealand and Germany by halfway.

Behind them Great Britain’s third-ranked pair here, Jess Eddie and Olivia Carnegie-Brown, kept focused and rhythmical. 

Metre by metre they clawed back New Zealand and then Germany to snatch a strong second place and book passage to Sunday’s final in a great one-two for the home nation.

“It was good to get the first race out of our system and lay down some groundwork,” Swann said. “Hopefully we can springboard off that and see how the final goes on Sunday.”

The third GB women’s pair of Louisa Reeve and Katie Greves were not quite so comfortable and will now face a repechage after taking third place.

Sydney double scull bronze medallists Frances Houghton and Victoria Meyer-Laker were winners of their heat to progress to the finals. They held off a strong challenge from China to win.

Wales’ Vicky Thornley had to settle for second in her heat of the single scull after finding herself neck-and-neck with Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig early on. Melanie Wilson took third place in the opposing heat and both move into semi-finals tomorrow.

The Austrian pulled clear over the second half of the race, but Thornley was content with how her race unfolded. “I was pleased to come in that position but tomorrow will be a tough race to get into the final,” she said.

“I am sure everyone will be gunning for it, so that will be a key race tomorrow.”

GB’s two women’s quads will race the repechage later today as they were fourth and fifth.

In the men’s squad, there was a strong showing from a much-changed men’s four compared to the crew that won Olympic gold on the same waters a year ago.

Alan Sinclair, Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell, Scott Durant and Matthew Tarrant pulled clear of the pack by the halfway mark and held off a challenge from New Zealand to claim a race win by just over a length to go directly through to Sunday’s final.

Reflecting on racing on home waters, Reilly-O’Donnell said the vocal crowd had made a big difference
“Having all the young kids here has made the atmosphere fantastic, being able to hear them from the water is amazing,” he said.

”The only time I’ve had this kind of noise is at Henley. It’s amazing”.

The Czech Republic blasted off the start to lead the second heat of the men’s quadruple scull at 500m gone.
The GB quartet of Graeme Thomas, Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins and Peter Lambert tracked them in second place ahead of Poland and Australia.

Winners in Sydney in March, GB surged into the lead in the second half to win in 5:50.55, looking smooth and connected to the line.  Australia were second and New Zealand third. Only GB progressed straight to Sunday’s final.
The two GB men’s eights – one of which featured Olympic men’s four champions Pete Reed and Andy Triggs Hodge – were not pleased with their morning’s work, however.

The leading eight, had to settle for third in their preliminary race to decide the lane draw for Sunday’s final.
The French crew were quick out of the blocks just ahead of Poland, and the two crews managed to hold off the British challenge up to the finish line. Britain’s second men’s eight squad came home in fourth position.

Olympic men’s four champion Peter Reed said of the leading eight’s performance said: “It wasn’t brilliant but I’ve spoken to some of the younger guys and said that we (Andy Triggs Hodge and Reed) have had races in the pair and the four to start regattas that haven’t been our best but we’ve gone on to have good races in the final.”

Popular single sculler Alan Campbell, bronze medal winner in 2012, was cheered home to a heat win in the men’s single scull.

He moves into the semis with team-mate Jonny Walton who was third in the opening heat. This was an exciting race which saw the top three all finish within a second of each other.

Walton fought hard to finish in third position behind the Czech Ondrej Synek and Bulgaria’s Georgi Bozhilov.

The Northern Irishman Campbell was “very happy” with how the race unfolded:
“I got a really nice start, a really good opener. It’s not every day you get an Olympic champion alongside you and I know that Joseph has come back slowly so has the New Zealander but it was a good opener.”

A new pairing of Bill Lucas and Matt Langridge finished second in their heat behind a vastly experienced German crew in the men’s double sculls. They will now have to go through the repechage if they are to reach the weekend’s final.

In the men’s pair Ertan Hazine and James Cook were edged into third by China in a race dominated by the Olympic champions from New Zealand, Hamish Bond and Eric Murray.

The GB pair will be joined in the repechage by teammates Karl Hudspith and Paul Bennett, who finished fourth.
Britain’s lightweight double scullers all had a good morning.

Brothers Peter and Richard Chambers booked their place in the semi-finals of the men’s lightweight double sculls after being in control throughout their opening race of the regatta.

In the equivalent women’s event two British pairings of Kathryn Twyman & Imogen Walsh, and Brianna Stubbs & Eleanor Piggott pulled clear of the rest of the pack by the halfway mark.

They then maintained their positions at the front through the final 1000m, receiving a rapturous reception from spectators who had packed in the grandstand.

Earlier, in the lightweight women’s single scull, Ruth Walczak put in a solid and consistent row in her heat to book her place in the A-final relatively untroubled.

In the men’s lightweight single scull, Jamie Kirkwood and Chris Boddy found themselves drawn in the same heat.
The two scullers will both have to contest the repechage later this afternoon after missing out on overhauling Germany’s Konstantin Steinhuebel in the final 500m, who finished second just behind Portugal’s Pedro Fraga.

In the lightweight men’s four, the British crew battled with New Zealand for first position throughout the race in an entertaining battle.

The British crew, however, were forced to settle for second after they couldn’t overhaul the Kiwis and now race a repechage.

In the lightweight men’s pairs, the two British crews ensured favourable lane draws in their final with a one-two in the preliminary race.

Sam Scrimgeour and Mark Aldred finished just over a second ahead of Matthew Bedford and Wilf Kimberley.

In the morning’s heats of the para-rowing classes, Tom Aggar dominated his heat from start to finish to book his place in Saturday afternoon’s A-final, winning by a massive 46 seconds.

His domestic rival Andrew Houghton, meanwhile, finished second in his heat and will have to compete in the repechage if he is to join Aggar in the final.

Speaking afterwards, Aggar was delighted with his performance:
“It’s good to get back out for the first big race here since the Paralympic Games,” he said.

“I was trying not to force it and be too physical, just trying to relax a bit more to get into the rowing and to pace it a bit more sensibly, easing myself into the racing rather than getting too aggressive. It was good; I’m really pleased”.

For full results meanwhile visit: www.worldrowing.com

Samsung World Rowing Cup, Eton Dorney, 21-23 June, 2013



Pair – three boats

Helen Glover (Minerva Bath/Penzance/17.06.86)/
Polly Swann (Leander Club/Edinburgh/05.06.88)
Coach: Robin Williams

Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)

Jessica Eddie (London RC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Oxford/28.13.91)

Single scull – two boats

Victoria Thornley (Leander Club/Wrexham/30.11.87)
Coach: Jane Hall/Paul Reedy

Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC/London/25.06.84)
Coach: Paul Reedy

Double scull

Frances Houghton (Leander Club/Oxford/19.09.80)/
Victoria Meyer-Laker (Leander Club/Premnay/18.03.88)
Coach: Paul Thompson

Quadruple scull – two boats

Caragh McMurtry (Reading Univ BC/Southampton/22.08.91)/
Monica Relph (Leander Club/Cambridge/15.01.88)/
Rosamund Bradbury (Leander Club/Banstead/17.12.88)/
Kristina Stiller (Tees RC/Yarm/23.06.87)
Coach: Nick Strange

Katherine Douglas (Leander Club/Midlothian/03.08.89)/
Zoe Lee (Sport Imperial BC/Richmond, N. Yorks/15.12.85)/
Sarah Cowburn (Leander Club/Redditch/01.02.89)/
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)


Pair – two boats

Karl Hudspith (Oxford Uni BC/Twickenham/31.03.88)/
Paul Bennett (Univ of London BC/Leeds/16.12.88)
Coach: Sean Bowden

Ertan Hazine (Univ of London BC/Maidenhead/01.08.91)
James Cook (Univ of London BC/Windsor/02.07.92)/
Coach: Brian Young


Alan Sinclair (Leander Club/Inverness/16.10.85)/
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Univ of London BC/Durham/13.04.88)/
Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Lancaster/12.02.88)/
Matthew Tarrant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Shepperton/11.07.90)
Coach: Christian Felkel

Eight – two boats

Oliver Cook (Univ of London BC/Windsor/05.06.90)/
Dan Ritchie (Leander Club/Herne Bay/16.01.87)/
Tom Ransley (Leander Club/Cambridge/16.09.85)/
James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/09.06.89)/
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth/27.07.81)/
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden/03.03.79)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Coach: Jurgen Grobler

Nick Middleton (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/12.08.88)/
James Edwards (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/26.09.91)/
Colin Williamson (Molesey BC/Perth/03.04.83)/
Philip Congdon (Molesey BC/East Molesey/06.06.89)/
Matthew Gotrel (Leander Club/Chipping Campden/01.03.89)/
John Collins (Leander Club/Twickenham/24.01.89)/
Mason Durant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Lancaster/12.02.88)/
Lance Tredell (Leander Club/Hale/25.10.88)/
Henry Fieldman (cox) (Cambridge Univ BC/Barnes/25.11.88)
Coach: Rob Dauncey

Single scull – two boats

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers School/Coleraine/09.05.83)
Coach: John West

Jonathan Walton (Leander Club/Leicester/06.10.90)
Coach: Paul Stannard

Double scull

Bill Lucas (London RC/Kingswear/13.09.87)/
Matt Langridge (Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)
Coach: Mark Banks

Quadruple scull

Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC/Preston/08.11.88)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)/
Charles Cousins (Leander Club/Willingham/13.12.88)/
Peter Lambert (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/03.12.86)
Coach: Paul Stannard



Single scull

Ruth Walczak (Molesey BC/Rochdale/15.09.88)
Coach: Paul Reedy

Double scull – two boats

Kathryn Twyman (Wallingford RC/Oxford/29.03.87)/
Imogen Walsh (London RC/Inverness/17.01.84)
Coach: Paul Reedy

Brianna Stubbs (Wallingford RC/Headington/13.07.91)/
Eleanor Piggott (Wallingford RC/Olney/16.05.91)
Coach: Peter Sheppard


Pair – two boats

Sam Scrimgeour (Imperial College BC/Fofar/28.01.88)/
Mark Aldred (London RC/London/18.04.87)
Coach: Rob Morgan

Matthew Bedford (Univ of London BC/Maidenhead/21.01.91)/
Wilf Kimberley (Imperial College BC/London/15.07.92)
Coach: Brian Young


William Fletcher (Leander Club/Chester-le-Street/24.12.89)/
Adam Freeman-Pask (Reading Univ BC/Windsor/19.06.85)/
Jonathan Clegg (Leander Club/Maidenhead/14.07.89)/
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)
Coach: Rob Morgan

Single scull – two boats

Jamie Kirkwood (Leander Club/Cresswell/30.08.89)
Coach: Darren Whiter

Chris Boddy (Leander Club/Thornaby-on-Tees/16.11.87)
Coach: Darren Whiter

Double Scull

Richard Chambers (Leander Club/Coleraine/10.06.85)/
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)
Coach: Darren Whiter



Arms-shoulders single scull – two boats

Tom Aggar (Royal Docks RC/London/24.05.84)
Coach: Tom Dyson

Andrew Houghton (Maidenhead RC/Newbury/06.04.81)
Coach: Tom Dyson


Legs-trunk-arms mixed coxed four

Pamela Relph (Leander Club/Aylesbury/14.11.89)/
Naomi Riches (Marlow RC/Harrow/15.06.83)/
James Fox (Univ of London BC/Peterborough/02.05.92)/
Oliver Hester (Henley RC/Henley-on-Thames/18.02.90)/
Oliver James (cox) (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/05.10.90)
Coach: Mary McLachlan

For full biogs visit: www.gbrowingteam.org.uk
For club, home towns & dates of birth – see entry list below
Tickets for Eton Dorney: www.wrcupetondorney2013.com

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GB Rowing Team website, including full rower biogs: www.gbrowingteam.org.uk

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