World Rowing Championships: Day One

Nine British boats in action on the opening day of racing in Sarasota-Bradenton as four crews claimed heat wins and two secured A final places in Florida


Tom Barras wins his heat at the 2017 World Rowing Championships (Naomi Baker)

Day one of the 2017 World Rowing Championships saw four British boats claim opening race victories as the action got underway in Sarasota-Bradenton.

The men’s four (M4-), quadruple scull (M4x), single scull (M1x) and coxed pair (M2+) all got their championships off to a flying start with heat wins as nine British boats took to the water in Florida.

There were also second place finishes for the men’s pair (M2-), lightweight men’s pair (LM2-), the lightweight men’s double scull (LM2x) and the women’s quadruple scull (W4x).

Britain’s men’s four of Matt Rossiter, Moe Sbihi, Mat Tarrant and Will Satch led from the off in their heat and comfortably saw off Germany by 4.5 seconds to qualify for Thursday’s semi-final.

The World Cup title winning quad of Jack Beaumont, Jonny Walton, John Collins and Pete Lambert will also race for a place in the final on Thursday as they looked in fine form, crossing the line half a length clear of nearest rivals Germany.

There was a third semi-final place for Tom Jeffery and Tom George in the men’s pair, finishing second behind a strong New Zealand boat in what is their first senior race of the year.

The coxed pair of Tom Ford and Tim Clarke, coxed by Harry Brightmore, had the honour of being the first British boat out on the water this morning and the two Newcastle University graduates, competing in their first ever senior World Championships, qualified fastest for Friday’s final in a time of 06:59.160.

Beth Bryan, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, Holly Nixon and Jess Leyden in the women’s quad scull also secured an A final spot, pipping USA in a thrilling finish to clinch the second and final place.

Tom Barras, also racing in his debut senior Worlds, then served up a fourth British victory with the final outing of the day in the men’s single, beating World Cup winner Robbie Manson from New Zealand with a fine display in his heat to progress through to Wednesday’s quarter-finals.

>>> Tom Barras looking to fuel Tokyo dreams with strong showing in Sarasota-Bradenton

The lightweight double of Sam Mottram and Jamie Copus will race the repechages after finishing second in their heat, as will the lightweight men’s pair and women’s lightweight double (LW2x) after finishing their heats in second and fifth respectively.

Today marks the start of eight days of racing at the 2017 World Championships with boats competing for the medals from Friday to Sunday. The event begins just 12 days after Hurricane Irma passed through the Sarasota area and British Rowing Performance Director Sir David Tanner paid tribute to the Organising Committee for their efforts.

Sir David said: “The facilities and set up here at the World Championships have been first-class for the opening day of racing and the work the Organising Committee have put in during the build-up, particularly given the issues caused by Hurricane Irma, should be applauded. They have created an event which will no doubt be enjoyed by both rowers and spectators and is a fitting setting for our major regatta of the year.”


Men’s coxed pair heat (One progresses to final)
1. Great Britain (Tim Clarke, Tom Ford & Harry Brightmore (cox)), 6:59.16
2. France, 7:03.50
3. Italy, 7:05.15

Lightweight men’s pair heat (One progresses to final)
1. Ireland, 6:33.20
2. Great Britain (Joel Cassells & Sam Scrimgeour), 6:38.57
3. Italy, 6:40.39

Men’s pair heat (Two progress to semi-final)
1. New Zealand, 6:24.49
2. Great Britain (Tom Jeffery & Tom George), 6:27.89
3. Romania, 6:34.35

Lightweight men’s double scull heat (One progresses to semi-final)
1. Italy, 6:29.13
2. Great Britain (Sam Mottram & Jamie Copus), 6:36.69
3. Spain, 6:39.97

Lightweight women’s double scull heat (Two progress to semi-final)
1. New Zealand, 7:05.97
2. Romania, 7:07.28
3. Denmark, 7:10.82

5. Great Britain (Katherine Copeland & Emily Craig), 7:13.69

Men’s four heat (Three progress to semi-final)
1. Great Britain (Will Satch, Matthew Tarrant, Moe Sbihi & Matt Rossiter), 6:00.18
2. Germany, 6:04.68
3. Austria, 6:05.73

Women’s quadruple scull heat (Two progress to final)
1. Poland, 6:26.73
2. Great Britain (Holly Nixon, Jessica Leyden, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne & Beth Bryan), 6:27.87
3. USA, 6:27.88

Men’s quadruple scull heat (Three progress to semi-final)
1. Great Britain (Peter Lambert, John Collins, Jonny Walton & Jack Beaumont), 5:49.47
2. Germany, 5:50.27
3. Italy, 5:51.88

Men’s single scull heat (Two progress to quarter-final)
1. Great Britain (Tom Barras), 6:51.20
2. New Zealand, 6:56.97
3. USA, 7:01.13