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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
GB ROWING TEAM
Samsung World Rowing Cup, Eton Dorney, 21-23 June, 2013
Pair – three boats
Single scull – two boats
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
Bill Lucas (London RC/Kingswear/13.09.87)/
Matt Langridge (Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)
Coach: Mark Banks
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
Double scull – two boats
Pair – two boats
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
Chris Boddy (Leander Club/Thornaby-on-Tees/16.11.87)
Coach: Darren Whiter
Arms-shoulders single scull – two boats
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
For media enquiries about this event please contact:
Miranda Edwards or Caroline Searle: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01225 384 211 – PLEASE NOTE NEW NUMBER or 07831 755351
GB Rowing Team website, including full rower biogs: www.gbrowingteam.org.uk
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