Six of the best at International Para-Rowing Regatta

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A top-notch performance from the GB Rowing Team saw them win six gold medals, one silver and a bronze during an outstanding weekend at the International Para-Rowing Regatta in Gavirate, Italy.

Two of the golds were won by the LTA mixed coxed four, a boat class in which Britain are the reigning Paralympic and World Champions.

The TA men’s single scull finals saw Laurence Whiteley record a double victory for the second year running, while Scott Meenagh won gold and bronze during an impressive GB debut.

And Beijing 2008 Paralympic champion Tom Aggar finished the regatta with a gold and a silver in the AS men’s single scull.

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Friday’s heats were cancelled due to the weather but the British crew of Pamela Relph, Grace Clough, Dan Brown, James Fox and cox Oliver James – the World Championship winning team from 2014 – were soon into their stride in Saturday morning’s final.

Their winning time of 3:28.50 put them nine seconds clear of Germany and 17 seconds ahead of third-placed Brazil.

Debutant Rose Linden replaced Relph in the boat for that afternoon’s heats, which Britain won comfortably to ease into the following day’s A final.

And the crew of Linden, Clough, Brown, Fox and James were again the class of the field on Sunday, clocking 3:24.70 to finish eight seconds clear of Italy.

Aggar finished more than a minute clear of the field to win gold in his AS men’s single scull race on Saturday, with his rapid time of 5:05:50 being the fastest overall.

Russia’s Aleksei Chuvashev was second-quickest but the positions were reversed when they raced side by side in Sunday’s A final, with Aggar finishing runner-up in 4:53.70.

In Saturday’s TA men’s single scull finals, Whiteley set the quickest time of 4:15.30 and British team-mate Meenagh was third-fastest overall as he won gold in his final in 4:31.10.

And those positions were repeated when racing side by side in Sunday’s A final, with Whiteley and Meenagh clocking 4:19.40 and 4:30.00 to win gold and bronze respectively. Italy’s Daniele Stefanoni was second-fastest on both days.

Tom Dyson, GB Rowing Team lead coach for para-rowing, was delighted with the weekend’s performances.

“The squad had a strong showing this regatta with some great results across the board,” he said.

“The LTA4+ showed the strength of competition for this season’s crew with dominant performances in both combinations we raced here.

“The singles also produced some great racing for this stage of the season, with Laurence dominant in the TAM1x and Scott producing a brilliant debut performance on the international stage.

“Tom opened his season with some very solid speed but the Russian, Chuvashev, has clearly taken a step on over the winter and the ASM1x continues to be a real dogfight.

“In addition to the Russian sculler there were particularly strong performances from the Israeli and Norwegian ASW1x and a strong field in the TA2x that highlight the fight we can expect for qualification places in Aiguebelette.”

The British team will remain in Italy for a training camp in Varese, the venue for the second World Cup – which will also feature para-rowing – from June 19-21.

The big target for the year ahead is the World Championships in Aiguebelette, France, which doubles as a qualification regatta for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.

Gavirate results: http://canottaggioservice.canottaggio.net/menu_reg.php?reg=15IBAD&&k1=D

CREW LISTS (Includes club, home town, date of birth)

GB Rowing Team for 2015 International Para Rowing Regatta in Gavirate, Italy, 15-17 May

LTA 4+

Grace Clough (Nottingham RC/Sheffield/21.06.91)
Rose Linden (Durham University BC/London/27.06.92)
Pamela Relph (Leander Club/Aylesbury/14.11.89)
Daniel Brown (Upper Thames BC/Reading/29.11.82)
James Fox (Univ of London/Peterborough/02.05.92)
Oliver James (cox) (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/05.10.90)
Coach: Tom Dyson

ASM 1X

Tom Aggar (Marlow RC/Maidenhead/24.05.84)
Coach: Nick Baker

TAM 1X

Scott Meenagh (Army BC/Cumbernauld/16.09.89)
Lawrence Whiteley (Tees RC/Northallerton/29.08.91)
Coach: Nick Baker

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