Sibling support helping Emily Ford thrive in debut GB Rowing Team season

Emily Ford has joined her brother Tom in the GB Rowing Team in 2018 and is looking forward to building on a successful debut at World Cup 2 in Linz


Emily Ford (left) with Emily Ashford in the W2- at World Cup 1 in Belgrade (Naomi Baker)

Three weeks after making her senior GB debut, Emily Ford is enjoying the chance to go from the smallest sweep boat to the fastest for World Cup 2 in Linz

The Leander rower had a regatta to remember at World Cup 1 in Belgrade, reaching the A final of the women’s pair with Emily Ashford, who was winning her first GB vest.

Now she sits in the seven seat of the women’s eight in a new look crew, which also features Ashford, that is hoping to emulate the silver medallists from the Belgrade regatta.

“The main memory [from Belgrade] is probably from the semi-final where we went in and treated it as our final with a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude. We crossed the line third and were very very happy that we’d exceeded our expectations,” she said.

“It was really special to have a friend I’ve known for a while beside me. We could talk to one another and speak our minds, rather than beating around the bush we told it as it is!

“It has been a good change and has been nice having a bigger group of people, rather than just two of you. It has been really fun and I didn’t really expect to be sat in the seven seat, but that’s really exciting.”

Ford has represented GB at at Junior level and is a double World Rowing U23 Championships medallist, winning silver and bronze in 2016 and 2015 respectively.

She joins her brother Tom in the GB Rowing Team, training full time at the National Training Centre in Caversham. While many of the faces in the women’s squad are ones she recognises from her U23 days, Ford admits her first days as a full-time member of the national team were daunting.

“One of the scariest things is walking into the changing room and not knowing where anyone’s space is,” she said. “You don’t know where to put your bag because you don’t want to tread on anyone’s toes! Everyone has been really friendly, so it’s been easy to fit in.

“Obviously having Tom on the team has also made it easy. If I have any issues I just talk to him; we go for coffee and sort our problems.

“We’ve never really had competition between each other. I’d say we’re really good friends as well as brother and sister, so we help each other out rather than have any competition between each other.

“Maybe if we were two brothers or two sisters, racing on the same side of the squad, there would be some rivalry, but there isn’t.”

Ford begins her World Cup 2 campaign with the exhibition race for the women’s eight at 1.10pm (BST). You can follow all the action from Linz on British Rowing’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.