World Rowing Cup I day one: Men’s four power into final; afternoon racing postponed

World Rowing Cup I gets underway, with wins in the heats for Great Britain’s men’s pair, men’s four and lightweight men’s double


(c) Naomi Baker

The Great Britain men’s four guaranteed themselves a Saturday off by coming from behind to win their heat and progress straight to the final of World Rowing Cup I in Belgrade.

The second of the three Russian boats went out of the blocks like a rocket, leading the Brits by three seconds by the 500m mark. They increased their lead through the halfway point but an uptick in pace by Moe Sbihi, Will Satch, Mat Tarrant and Callum McBrierty saw them close quickly in the last quarter to win by over a second.

Also winning their heat were Matt Rossiter and Jacob Dawson in the men’s pair – the first British boat to race. Like the four, Rossiter and Dawson were behind at the halfway mark, but they took the lead by 1,250m and never looked back, beating the Netherlands by nearly four seconds.

>>> All you need to know about World Rowing Cup I in Belgrade

Rossiter and Dawson head into Saturday afternoon’s semi-final, as do Will Fletcher and Peter Chambers in the lightweight double sculls. Fletcher and Chambers never looked in trouble in their heat, leading virtually from start to finish. The second British boat, featuring Zak Lee-Green and Sam Mottram, finished third in heat one, meaning they enter the repechage.

Olympic silver medallist Vicky Thornley must also come through the repechage in the women’s single, finishing second to the dominant Swiss Jeannine Gmelin, who led the field over the line by eight seconds.

Pete Lambert finished fourth in a very competitive men’s single heat, with the top four boats separated by less than four seconds. Lambert returns to the water on Saturday for the repechage.

>>> ‘We have the experience and the power to be the boat that everyone fears in five months’ time’

And both British boats in the men’s quadruple sculls will need to go through the repechage, finishing second and fourth in their heat. GBR1, containing Tom Barras, John Collins, Jonny Walton and Jack Beaumont, pushed Lithuania through the first 1,000m but couldn’t push past the quartet in the second half of the race.

The afternoon’s racing was abandoned at lunchtime, with strong winds picking up after the morning’s heats and causing damage to the start pontoon.


Men’s pair
Heat two
1. Dawson, Jacob & Rossiter, Matthew (GBR) 6:42.81
2. Versluis, Mechiel & Steenman, Mitchel (NED) 6:46.34
3. Sigurbjonsson, Alexander & Vela Maggi, Pau (ESP) 6:50.69

Men’s four
Heat one
1. Great Britain (McBrierty, Callum; Tarrant, Matt; Sbihi, Moe & Satch, Will) 6:03.29
2. Russia 2 6:05.06
3. Netherlands 1 6:10.23

Men’s single
Heat two
1. Ryabcev, Vladislav (RUS) 7:03.25
2. Shcharbachenia, Stanislau (BLR) 7:04.76
3. Graves, John (USA) 7:06.45
4. Lambert, Peter (GBR) 7:07.13

Men’s quad
Heat one
1. Lithuania 5:47.15
2. Great Britain 1 (Barras, Tom; Beaumont, Jack; Walton, Jonny; Collins, John) 5:50.43
3. Czech Republic
4. Great Britain 2 (Leask, Harry; Law, Rowan; Glenister, Harry; Joel, Andrew) 6:01.57

Women’s single
Heat one
1. Gmelin, Jeannine (SUI) 7:41.80
2. Thornley, Victoria (GBR) 7:49.37
3. Diaz Rivas, Virginia (ESP) 7:53.54

Lightweight men’s double
Heat one
1. Kowalski, Jerzy & Jankowski, Milosz (POL) 6:32.93
2. Gonzalez Alvarez, Jesus & Rojas Aznar, Patricio (ESP) 6:36.33
3. Lee-Green, Zak & Mottram, Sam (GBR – boat two) 6:42.06

Heat two
1. Chambers, Peter & Fletcher, Will (GBR – boat one) 6:35.22
2. Fraga, Pedro & Mendes, Nuno (POR1) 6:38.99
3. Jovanovic, Petar & Josic, Marco (SRB) 6:43.78