Great Britain wins World Rowing Cup series: Nine medals see GB come out as top team across the three regattas
Great Britain has added eight medals today to the bronze won yesterday at World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, topping the medal table and winning the overall World Rowing Cup trophy, having attended two of the three regatta series
Director of Performance for the GB Rowing Team, Louise Kingsley, collected the overall World Rowing Cup Trophy in front of athletes, friends and families after racing and said: “The athletes have given us some excellent races – with some that I can only describe as edge-of-your seat stuff but all showing class and great technique to deliver these medal winning performances. Full credit and thanks to the coaches and support team too. We will now be focusing on our preparations for the World Championships and qualifying boats for the Paris 2024 games.”
The Women’s Eight (W8+) was one of the ‘races of the day’, with Natasha Morrice, Rebecca Edwards, Lauren Irwin, Karen Bennett, Esme Booth, Emily Ford, Hattie Taylor, Annie Campbell-Orde and cox, Henry Fieldman taking the gold medal thanks to a sprint finish in the final seconds. Becca said: “This means so much, I can’t even really believe it’s happened. I think a lot of us have had plenty of races and put in so much work. This has been a big turnaround in the team and means so much to every single one of us.”
Lauren added: “Henry was just calling ‘Go now, go now!’ and we trusted every word that he said. Inching back, inching back, trusting in the process that we would come through in the end. It’s a great feeling.” And Karen said: “It feels really good to be World Cup Winners, that was a surprise! We are just stoked that we came out and put that performance together!”
The Men’s four (M4-) final was a thrilling race with GBR2 Dan Graham, James Robson, Sam Bannister and Sam Nunn just missing out on a podium spot in the final strokes. The GBR1 crew of Oli Wilkes, David Ambler, Matt Aldridge and Freddie Davidson however, continued their winning streak with another commanding victory.
David said: “It was quite a tough race, the competition is very fierce in this event and it’s also pretty hot. We always find the heat challenging. Being out there was quite energy-sapping, but we enjoyed the challenge.” Matt added: “I think we just trusted our rhythm. We know we have a very strong base speed, and the kiwis and Australians do as well. We hold consistently through the middle, trust the legs, trust that it carries us across the line and hope what happens in the last 500m takes care of itself. We don’t really think about that, we just step on and hope for the best.”
“We’re all looking forward to the Worlds,” said Freddie, adding, “ We have a lot of training to do before then, training camps and hard work, so it goes back to square one for us. It’s the end of the World Cup season, we’re happy with the results and now it’s back to square one to find out if we can get some more speed before Worlds.”
A dominant row and clear water win gave Emily Craig and Imogen Grant their second 2023 World Rowing Cup gold in the Lightweight women’s double sculls (LW2x). Imogen said: “It’s amazing. It’s the first time we’ve had the opportunity to wear the yellow as World Cup leaders and it felt pretty good to cross that line first. Over the world cup season we’ve raced most of the combinations, and it’s been good to see crews from Romania and New Zealand come back in. We had a great race with the US double too in the Varese World Cup so we feel like we’ve got a good sense of the field. But, no one ever sits on their laurels when they’re trying to win races so we’ll go back to 2 months of hard training and see if we can get every single thing that we can out of this double.”
It was a second 2023 World Cup gold for Ollie Wynne-Griffith and Tom George in the Men’s pair (M2-) after a thrilling tussle with the Romanians which saw the GB pair cross the line 0.34 ahead. Ollie said: “I think we’ve been learning a lot throughout the week, certainly yesterday we raced very differently from how we did today. We were trying things out, so it’s nice to see them pay off. Romania are a top quality crew, we’re under no illusions and they’re doing about 85 races this weekend doubling up those two lads and they do strange things, crazy things at the line, so we didn’t immediately know we had won it when we crossed the line.”
Tom added: “It’s one of those weird races where now I’m thinking it’s one of the hardest ones I’ve done. At the time it was very internal, we had our race plan – Ollie was really calm, I was probably less calm but he kept me honest and focused which was great. I’m happy with it. It’s nice to win today but we’ll go back to the drawing board next week and see if we can get a couple more seconds because the field is very tight. Everyone is going to go away and get faster, so we’ll have to go away and get faster.”
It was another World Cup silver for Georgie Brayshaw, Lucy Glover, Hannah Scott and Lauren Henry in the Women’s quadruple sculls (W4x). The race saw China lose its unbeaten run to finish fourth. “China were unbeaten and three crews got ahead of them today so this leaves this event wide open for the worlds,“ said Lauren. Hannah added: “I’m really proud of the GB women’s sculling squad. We’ve had Lucy jump in this week and hats off to her and everyone, because we’re able to adapt and hold our position on the world cup series, I couldn’t be prouder. We haven’t slipped at all, we’ve been challenged but it’s great to see.”
Varese World Cup II bronze medallists, Callum Dixon, George Bourne, Matt Haywood and Tom Barras improved with a silver medal in the Men’s quadruple sculls (M4x) to win the overall world cup. “It’s another step on our treadmill which keeps on rolling,” said Tom, adding, “Hopefully we are going to crank up the speed as we head to the world champs, so two training camps to come and hopefully then we’ll be fresh and qualify the boat for Paris 2024, which is the main aim of the year.”
The men’s eight (M8+) race was neck and neck throughout with Australia just getting the edge on the GB crew of Will Stewart, Morgan Bolding, Jacob Dawson, Sholto Carnegie, Rory Gibbs, Tom Digby, James Rudkin, Tom Ford and cox, Harry Brightmore. Picking up silver medals, James Rudkin said: “We wanted to get the win but fair play to the Aussies for putting together a really good race. They’re a very fast crew so no shame in getting beaten by them. They’re very strong. It’s a chance for us to learn from it and try to come back stronger.”
The Women’s four (W4-) of Heidi Long, Rowan McKellar, Helen Glover and Rebecca Shorten won bronze behind Romania and Australia. Heidi said: “It’s always good to get on the podium, but it’s not quite the race or result we would’ve liked. We’ve stuck to our processes and I think we have stepped on through this regatta. We’re ready for a big block of training and to see what’s to come in September.”
In the B finals, the Women’s pair (W2-) of Chloe Brew and Juliette Perry racing for just the fourth time as a combination finished in fifth place (11th overall) and Aidan Thompson and John Collins, racing at their second event, were sixth (12 overall) in the Men’s Double sculls (M2x).