Eight British crews through to finals at World Rowing Cup II

After a thrilling day of racing, four more GB Rowing Team boats qualify for Sunday’s A finals

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After a thrilling day of racing, four GB Rowing Team boats have joined the four from yesterday, to race in A finals on Sunday at the World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Vicky Thornley, in the women’s single sculls (W1x) won her semi-final with an outstanding performance against some tough competition. Commenting after the race, Vicky said: “That felt good and I’m really happy with the outcome. I felt like I executed the race in the way I wanted and could enjoy it out there. It’s nice to cross the line first and I’m looking forward to the final tomorrow.”

Winning in their repechage races were the men’s quad (M4x) of Harry Leask, Angus Groom, Thomas Barras and Jack Beaumont and the men’s pair (M2-) of Oli Wilkes and Mat Tarrant.

Speaking after the race, Jack from the men’s quad said: “We have had very few chances to race this year, so it’s really exciting to get every opportunity to see what we can do, especially because quad racing is always fierce. I can’t wait for the final. It’s what we do it for, it’s what we train really hard for, what the long ergs are for and it’s our last chance to race before the Olympics. So we’re really looking forward to putting everything into practice and leaving it all out there tomorrow!”

Oli Wilkes from the men’s pair said: “It was a good race and we managed to get our noses out ahead at the start. We were able to hang on with a little bit left in the tank. This is my first World Cup and first senior vest so I’m excited to get out there and race in the A final.”

The men’s double (M2x) semi-final saw the GBR1 crew of John Collins and Graeme Thomas finish second ahead of the sixth place GBR2 crew of Jonny Walton and Sam Meijer, with GBR1 booking a place in the A final and GBR2 into the B final. Collins commented: “It was very tough, tough conditions and a lot of pressure. Not just because it’s a semi but because we’re racing our own teammates, but I think we handled ourselves well. We got put under a lot of pressure and managed to keep our heads the whole way, and we got the job done, so we’re happy with that.”

Madeleine Arlett in the lightweight women’s single (LW1x) finished fifth in her semi-final and tenth overall. After the B final, she said: “I feel pretty deflated to be fair. This was my fourth race this weekend and I just didn’t have a sprint finish in me. It’s one of the toughest regattas I’ve done, but now my goal is just to keep getting fitter, keep improving and ultimately support and learn from the rest of the squad.”

British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell reflected on the day’s performances: “Day two repechages and semi-finals is always a tough day of racing and what was really important for the coaching team today was for them to see the athletes execute the clear plans that they’d developed together with the coaches for their races. They’ve done a really good job of delivering that today and under the pressure of semi finals. Tomorrow should be an entertaining and exciting day of finals racing!”

The remaining boats racing for Great Britain in Sunday’s finals are the women’s four (W4-), the lightweight women’s double (LW2x), the men’s eight (M8+) and the men’s four (M4-).

Full results & crews

Event Crew Round Position Time
Lightweight Women’s Single (LW1x) Madeleine Arlett (Edinburgh Univ. BC) Semi-Final 5th 8:43.25
B Final 4th (10th overall) 8:26.38
Men’s Pair (M2-) Oliver Wilkes (Oxford Brookes Univ BC)/, Matthew Tarrant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC) Repechage 1st 6.57.79
Mens’ Double (M2x) – GBR1 Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC), John Collins (Leander Club) Semi-Final 2nd 6:28.16
Mens’ Double (M2x) – GBR2 Jonathan Walton (Leander Club), Samuel Meijer (Elizabethan BC and Tideway Scullers School) Semi-Final 6th 6:54.62
Women’s Single (W1x) Vicky Thornley (Leander Club) Semi-Final 1st 8:05.03
Men’s Quad (M4x) Harry Leask (Leander Club), Angus Groom (Leander Club), Thomas Barras (Leander Club), Jack Beaumont (Leander Club) Repechage 1st 5:57.14
Event:
Lightweight Women’s Single (LW1x)
Crew:
Madeleine Arlett (Edinburgh Univ. BC)
Round:
Semi-Final
Position:
5th
Time:
8:43.25
Event:
--
Crew:
--
Round:
B Final
Position:
4th (10th overall)
Time:
8:26.38
Event:
Men’s Pair (M2-)
Crew:
Oliver Wilkes (Oxford Brookes Univ BC)/, Matthew Tarrant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC)
Round:
Repechage
Position:
1st
Time:
6.57.79
Event:
Mens’ Double (M2x) – GBR1
Crew:
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC), John Collins (Leander Club)
Round:
Semi-Final
Position:
2nd
Time:
6:28.16
Event:
Mens’ Double (M2x) – GBR2
Crew:
Jonathan Walton (Leander Club), Samuel Meijer (Elizabethan BC and Tideway Scullers School)
Round:
Semi-Final
Position:
6th
Time:
6:54.62
Event:
Women’s Single (W1x)
Crew:
Vicky Thornley (Leander Club)
Round:
Semi-Final
Position:
1st
Time:
8:05.03
Event:
Men’s Quad (M4x)
Crew:
Harry Leask (Leander Club), Angus Groom (Leander Club), Thomas Barras (Leander Club), Jack Beaumont (Leander Club)
Round:
Repechage
Position:
1st
Time:
5:57.14

Race by race report

Maddie Arlett kicked the day off for the GB Rowing Team taking on the semi-final of the lightweight women’s single. After racing twice yesterday, it wasn’t to be today and Arlett finished in 5th place taking her through to the afternoon’s B-Final. In the afternoon’s B-Final, despite a gruelling schedule of four races in two days, Maddie was able to secure a 4th place finish giving her 10th place overall. Arlett recognised that the bar was set high in this event, “I felt like I’d improved coming into this [regatta] but the field is so high in an Olympic year. It’s all the people who just didn’t make the double. That was my fourth race and I’m pretty tired and just didn’t have a sprint finish in me.”

The men’s pair of Matt Tarrant and Oli Wilkes showed good progress building on yesterday’s heat by getting out of the blocks well and leaving the Spanish and Belarussian crews to battle it out for second place. The solid first place sees them through to tomorrow’s A-Final. Wilkes felt like the pair had more to give in tomorrow’s A-Final, “It was a good race with a pretty hot start. We managed to get our noses out ahead. The Spanish and the Belarus guys were battling it out for second place at one point so we had to assert our lead at 750 out and separate ourselves from that little battle. We were able to hang on though with a little bit left in the tank.”

In the men’s double, it was double vision for Great Britain with both crews racing in the same semi-finals. It was the Germans though who led the field right up to 1500m before fading away to the charging crews in the centre of the course including the GBR1 double of John Collins and Graeme Thomas who came through to finish 2nd and qualify for tomorrow’s A-Final. The second British double of Jonny Walton and Sam Meijer finished 6th and will compete in the B-Final. Collins was pleased with how they had dealt with the challenge today, “It was very tough and a lot of pressure, not just because it’s a semi-final but because we were racing our own teammates. We got put under a lot of pressure but managed to keep our heads the whole way.”

Meijer, in the second GBR double, was looking forward to the learnings their crew could take from tomorrow’s B-Final, “Obviously every crew comes in wanting to win the event but this is where we’re at and we’re in the B-Final. I know we can make the most out tomorrow.”

The women’s single semi-final saw Great Britain’s Vicky Thornley pull ahead of the field alongside 2019 World Champs medallists, Kara Kohler and Sunita Puspure. Whilst all three scullers relaxed comfortably qualifying for the A-Final, it was Thornley who took the win. Thornley was happy with the outcome, “I did the race I wanted to so I really enjoyed it and it’s nice to cross the line first in a pretty good semi. I’m looking forward to the final now and to see what I can put down there.”

Despite a quick start from the Polish who led through to 1500m, they didn’t have enough to hold off the British sprint finish. Harry Leask, Angus Groom, Tom Barras and Jack Beaumont turned on the gas in the final 500 to take the win and see them through to tomorrow’s A-Final. Beaumont was looking forward to tomorrow’s final, “I can’t wait. It’s what we do it for, it’s what we train really hard for, what the long ergs and stuff are for and it’s our last chance to race before the Olympics. So really looking forward to putting everything into practice and leaving it all out there.”

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