Best world cup yet for GB
Britain’s performance at the opening world cup of the 2007 season, in Linz, Austria, was nothing short of outstanding with eight Olympic class boats taking medals – four of them gold – from one of the world’s toughest fields.
Britain also took the overall world cup trophy on points from Germany.
The men’s four, sponsored by Camelot, extended their unbeaten run to 27 races by making light of the Dutch challenge and the women’s quadruple scull, stroked by Katherine Grainger, built on an early lead to win gold.
One of the more spectacular victories of the day came from Colin Smith and Matt Langridge in a newly-formed Siemens-sponsored men’s pair which is coached by Jurgen Grobler. They were last at the 1000m mark but stormed through the second half to win their first world cup gold.
Siemens-backed Matt Wells and Stephen Rowbotham, world championships bronze medallists last year, also picked up their first world cup gold of all time in the men’s double scull.
And the British men’s lightweight four of James Clarke, Paul Mattick, James Lindsey-Fynn and Richard Chambers, sponsored by Siemens, made history by taking the country’s first world cup medal in this boat class.
There was a silver for Alan Campbell in the men’s single scull and for the lightweight men’s double scull of Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter as well as a silver for the women’s eight – all Siemens-backed boats.
Lottery-backed Daniel Harte and Matt Beechey,
were bronze medallists in the lightweight men’s pair – a non-Olympic boat class.
"This was an extremely good start to our season with some outstanding performances from new combinations", said David Tanner, the GB Performance Director, "especially given the quality of the field". But he sounded a note of caution. "It will get harder as the season progresses, though, as we approach the World Championships in Munich".
The next world cup regatta is in Amsterdam from June 22-24.
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Matt Langridge and Colin Smith, in the Siemens-
sponsored men’s pair, were placed within
a five-boat chasing pack behind the Skelin brothers
of Croatia, 2004 Athens Olympic silver medallists, who
produced a blistering start in today’s final in Linz.
At the half-way point the Germans had hauled back
the Croatians but Britain were last. In a remarkable
turn of fortunes, Matt Langridge in the stroke seat
lifted the effort and the rate and brought Britain
up into the silver medal place at 1500m.
To the gasps of the grandstands they continued
their momentous charge to take their first world cup
gold – all the more remarkable for it being on their
debut at world cup level in this pairing – in 6:29.77.
"Taking the lead with 250m to go is a good
feeling", said Langridge. "You know that you’re
In the men’s double scull final Matt Wells and
Stephen Rowbotham positioned themselves well
in third place in the first half of the race with the
French in the lead. Just past that 1000m mark they
made a move to push past the Australians and
just as the 1500m marker arrived they were
a whisper in the lead.
No-one in this world class field, was about to give
up, though, and there was a dog-fight in the final
500m with Wells and Rowbotham getting the
strongest finish and holding on to win their
first world cup gold to add to world championship
bronze of last year in 6:18.55.
"It’s all about staying as controlled as we can
for as long as we can", said Wells afterwards.
"We know that if we’re still in contention at
1000m we have a good chance of doing
something", said Rowbotham.
Britain’s men’s four of Steve Wililams, Alex Partridge,
Peter Reed and Andy Hodge, sponsored by Camelot,
were next to race in the same heavy rain
which dogged the afternoon’s racing in Austria.
By 500m they had a second in hand over the
second-placed Dutch and the margin remained
the same through 1000m and 1500m with
France tucked behind the Dutch in third place.
By the line the Dutch had an overlap – but only
just – with the French in third. This was another
statesmanlike performance from the men’s four
who are now unbeaten in 27 international races.
"Races like the ones we’ve had this weekend
keep us on our toes", said Olympic and world
champion Williams after the race, "but there
is more work to do".
"I thought we raced maturely here to win but
we won’t ever stop trying to improve until
the Olympic final", added strokeman Hodge.
Reed, recently promoted in his job with the
Royal Navy to lieutenant, added: "I think the
win here is a result of the hard work that we’ve
put in already this year. I’m very pleased".
Former world champion Marcel Hacker
of Germany and Alan Campbell of
GB got a storming start to the men’s
single scull final in Linz. Campbell, though,
was more than a second ahead by the 500m mark
with Olympic champion Olaf Tufte, of Norway,
in the background.
By the 1000m mark Campbell, the overall
world cup winner last year from Coleraine, had
created clear water over the field to lead by more
than two seconds.
In the next phase Ondrej Synek of the Czech
Republic made a move to narrow Campbell’s
lead to half a length by the 1500m mark. Tufte
and Hacker were not that far behind.
In the final 250m Synek overhauled Campbell
who tried to unleash his sprint finish. The result
was a dramatic race to the line with the Czech
just taking the edge by mere parts of a second, with
Campbell winning silver in 6:47.96. Hacker was third.
"It was a good final for me. I pushed it all the way. I’ve still
more work to do. This isn’t the finished article yet",
said Campbell afterwards.
The British men’s eight, in the final men’s open
weight race of the day, showed that it had not
quite yet found a spark in its racing. Stroked
by newcomer and British Army officer Alastair
Heathcote, the crew put in a solid race and were
still in contention for most of the course. In the
final 500m they could not quite find enough to
power into the medals and finished fifth.
Britain’s most successful female rower
of all-time, Katherine Grainger had
stroked her Camelot-sponsored crew to a length
and a half lead by the mid-way point of
the women’s quadruple scull final today in
Linz. With three-quarters of the race behind
them the reigning world champions were
almost five seconds ahead of the Chinese
in second place.
Small wonder that,with the British having
expended such machine-like effort, that the Chinese had
pulled back to within a length by the finish but
there was no cause for concern for the defending
overall world cup champions.
"We have wanted to get a fast start for the past
few seasons but we’ve never really managed
to achieve it", said Grainger. "Today we were thrilled
to get out quickly and demolish the field early".
"Today was the kind of race that you dream of",
said Houghton. "We know it will get harder with
other countries amalgamating and strengthening
but today was one fantastic".
Caroline O’Connor, cox to the British women’s
eight, sponsored by Siemens, knew that her
crew were battling for second and third throughout
their final today. Every time she called for
more, the crew responded.
"You could feel the boat lift each time", said
Baz Moffat afterwards. "That gave us great
"Our coach John Keogh has given us such
a clear idea of what is needed", said Carla
Ashford, "and we’ve tried to put it together".
The women’s pair of Natasha Howard and Alison
Knowles have been enjoying their world cup
debut in this event. At the 500m mark in the final
they were holding third place with Canada and
Australia out in front. By the half-way point, though,
they had dropped back to fourth behind the Americans.
For the next 500m the Americans and British traded
the bronze medal slot between them with Britain taking
the honours at the timing point of 1500m. Yet in the
final 500m Howard and Knowles could not sustain
their place and finished fifth in 7:15.81 in a race won
In the Siemens-backed lightweight men’s double scull
Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase were in second place at the
500m mark behind the leaders Denmark with
Canada third. In the next quarter of the race
the British duo held on to their place well whilst
the Danes marginally extended their lead.
With 500m to go, the Danish world champions
had moved out to a two length lead but GB had
created a length over a chasing pack of three
boats – Canada, Japan, Hungary. The positions
remained unchanged as the boats crossed the
line. This was a solid debut for the duo in this
boat class, bettering Hunter’s bronze with
James Lindsey-Fynn a year ago in Poznan.
"I’d like to think we were gaining ground on
the Danes at the finish", said Purchase afterwards.
"We work well as a unit", added Hunter. "Just
when I felt we should be pushing on, Zac
was already making the calls. It was poetry".
In the ensuing lightweight men’s four final
Great Britain’s new Siemens-backed line-up
were second at 500m – just 0.25 behind
China. By the halfway mark the crew,
stroked by James Clarke, were in third
with Italy having surged into the lead in
a tightly-contested field.
With two-thirds of the race gone, the leading trio
had reshuffled several times before
settling into Italy, China, Great Britain
in that order once more.
As bowman Richard Chambers looked over his
shoulder going towards the line he would
have been able to confirm that Italy had
won, with China a close second, and Great
Britain in bronze to win their first-ever
world cup medal in this boat class.
A quarter-way through the lightweight men’s
pair final Daniel Harte and Matt Beechey, for
Great Britain, were in third place behind Italy
and the Netherlands but the gap was measured
in half-metres rather than boat lengths. By
the three-quarter mark Italy still had a lengthening
lead but there were mere millimetres between
the Netherlands and GB behind them. As the crews
approached the grandstands Holland found
something extra to take second by three-quarters
of a length from the British who finished third
in 6:48.68 to take bronze.
"We were aiming to win so we’re slightly
disappointed", said Harte afterwards.
Ismaray Aria Marrero made all the early
running in the lightweight women’s single
scull final, featuring British newcomer
Andrea Dennis – a lab technician at Oxford
By the 1000m mark Dennis was in fourth
place with a tightly-packed head of the race
still headed by eventual winner Cuba but with a
strong challenge from Austria and Italy. At the
1500m timing point Dennis had slipped back to
fifth and in the final 500m she was overhauled by
Orla Duddy of Ireland to finish in sixth. Home
nation Austria, meanwhile, celebrated an early
medal with Michaela Taupe taking silver.
Britain enjoyed two B Final wins in the early
morning session of racing at Linz today.
Helen Casey and Hester Goodsell paced their
race to come up through the field and win
the lightweight women’s double scull in 7:19.73
Earlier Sophie Hosking won the lightweight
women’s single, leading by leading from just
beyond the 500m mark to the finish.
The British men’s quadruple scull put in a major
push with 300m to go to draw level with
the leading Australian boat and overtake
them by a a few feet. In one of the best
contested finishes of the morning, the Australians
responded just in time to take back the lead
at the line, with Britain in second by just five
tenths of a second.
Alasdair Leighton Crawford was fourth in the
lightweight men’s single.
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(British crews only, listed bow to stroke –
full results: www.worldrowing.com)
1. Kim Crow/Sarah Cook (Australia 4) 7:03.39
2. Megan Cooke/Anna Nickelson (USA 1) 7:10.49
3. Susan Francia/Caroline Lind (USA 2) 7:11.97
4. Darcy Marquardt/Jane Rumball (Canada) 7:12.38
5. Natasha Howard/Alison Knowles (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:15.81
6. Robyn Selby Smith/Natalie Bale (Australia 2) 7:20.45
1. Germany 1 6:16.81
2. Baz Moffat/Carla Ashford/Georgina Menheneott/Jess Eddie/
Beth Rodford/Natasha Page/Katie Greves/Louisa Reeves/
Caroline O’Connor (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:18.07
3. Netherlands 6:18.31
4. Canada 6:20.15
5. Australia 6:21.93
6. China 1 6:22.79
1. Annie Vernon/Debbie Flood/Frances Houghton/Katherine
Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:26.90
2. China 1 6:29.43
3. Germany 6:33.13
4. China 2 6:34.66
5. Romania 6:36.38
6. France 6:36.57
1. Colin Smith/Matt Langridge (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:29.77
2. Sinisa & Niksa Skelin (Croatia) 6:31.06
3. Andreas Penkner/Jochen Urban (Germany 1) 6:32.24
4. Jakub Makovicka/Jan Schindler (Czech Republic) 6:32.28
5. Scott Frandsen/Barney Williams (Canada) 6:32.78
6. Erwan Peron/Luarent Cadot (France) 6:35.69
1. Steve Williams/Peter Reed/Alex Partridge/Andy Hodge
(GREAT BRITAIN) 5:56.44
2. Netherlands 5:58.30
3. France 5:58.85
4. Czech Republic 6:01.86
5. Germany 1 6:02.64
6. Slovenia 1 6:04.24
1. Canada 5:40.98
2. Belarus 5:43.00
3. China 5:43.45
4. Russa 5:43.98
5. Jonno Devlin/Tom Stallard/Tom Lucy/Hugo Lee/Josh West/
Richard Egington/Robin Bourne-Taylor/Alastair Heathcote/
Acer Nethercott (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:44.98
6. Netherlands 5:46.26
1. Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) 6:47.96
2. Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:48.36
3. Marcel Hacker (Germany) 6:50.80
4. Olaf Tufte (Norway 1) 6:52.19
5. Iztok Cop (Slovenia 1) 6:52.21
6. Sjoerd Hamburger (Netherlands) 7:05.69
1. Matthew Wells/Stephen Rowbotham (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:18.55
2. Rene Bertram/Robert Sens (Germany 1) 6:19.01
3. Igor Kuzmin/Allar Raja (Estonia 2) 6:19.67
4. Jean-Baptiste Macquet/Adrien Hardy (France) 6:19.79
5. Tonu Endrekson/Jueri Jaanson (Estonia 1) 6:19.85
6. Scott Brennan/David Crawshay (Australia) 6:19.87
1. Ismaray Aria Marrero (Cuba 1) 7:57.46
2. Michaela Taupe (Austria) 7:59.05
3. Luara Tasch (Germany 1) 8:00.04
4. Erika Bello (Italy 1) 8:01.81
5. Orla Duddy (Ireland) 8:07.21
6. Andrea Dennis (GREAT BRITAIN) 8:08.19
1. Andrea Caianiella/Armando Dell’Aquila (Italy) 6:45.33
2. Roleand Lievens/Paul Drewes (Netherlands) 6:47.27
3. Matt Beechey/Daniel Harte (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:487.68
4. John Sasi/Terence McKall (Canada) 6:53.80
5. Nicola Moriconi/Fabrizio Gabrielle 6:56.34
6. Kasper Winther/Asbjoern Joensen (Denmark) 6:58.03
1. China 6:03.13
2. Italy 1 6:03.71
3. Richard Chambers/James Lindsey-Fynn/Paul Mattick/
James Clarke (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:04.74
4. Netherlands 6:06.02
5. Italy 2 6:06.67
6. USA 6:06.89
1. Mads Rasmussen/Rasmus Quist (Denmark) 6:23.12
2. Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:26.83
3. Matt Jensen/Douglas Vandor (Canada) 6:29.68
4. Kazushige Ura/Diasaku Takeda (Japan) 6:29.93
5. Zsolt Hirling/Tamas Varga (Hungary 1) 6:30.13
6. Vasileios Polymeros/Dimitrios Mougios (Greece) 6:38.03
1. Sophie Hosking (GREAT BRITAIN) 8:08.22
2. Yaima Velazquez (Cuba 2) 8:09.78
3. Daniela Reimer (Germany 2) 8:10.38
4. Ilona Hiltunen (Finland) 8:11.47
5. Carola Tamboloni (Italy 2) 8:17.19
6. Ibtissem Trimech (Tunisia) 8:17.23
1. Helen Casey/Hester Goodsell (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:19.73
2. Magdalena Kemnitz/Ilona Mokronowska (Poland 1) 7:22.59
3. Sine Christiansen/Kirsten Jepsen (Denmark 2) 7:22.21
4. Sonia Boubeta Curras/Teresa Mas de Xaxars (Spain) 7:23.10
5. Laura Milani/Erika Mai (Italy) 7:30.17
6. Sinead Jennings/Niamh Ni Cheilleacher (Ireland) 7:36.43
1. Arnaud Pornin (France) 7:21.64
2. Rolandas Kazlauskas (Hong Kong 2) 7:22.51
3. Mete Yeltepe (Turkey 1) 7:22.66
4. Alasdair Leighton Crawford (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:24.78
5. Valeri Porsvirnin (Estonia) 7:27.04
6. Song Zhenggang (China) 7:28.46
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GB CREWS FOR FIRST WORLD CUP OF 2007
LINZ, AUSTRIA, 1-3 JUNE
(listed bow to stroke with club/home town/date of birth
in brackets after name)
Alison Knowles (Thames RC/Bournemouth/27.3.82)/
Natasha Howard (Tideway Scullers/West Runton/3.9.80)
Baz Moffat (Thames RC/Bradford/8.4.78)/Jess Eddie (Uni of
London/Durham/7.10.84)/Georgina Menheneott (Mortlake, Anglian & Alpha
RC/North Bradley, Wilts /18.12.78)
Louise Reeve (Leander/…./16.05.84)/Beth Rodford (Thames
28.12.82)/Carla Ashford (Thames RC/Northallerton/13.3.79)/
Katie Greves (Uni of London/Oxford/2.9.82)/Natasha Page
(Reading Uni/Hartpury/30.4.85)/Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes/
Colin Smith (Leander/Henley on Thames/3.9.83)/Matt Langridge
Four – two boats
Steve Williams (Leander Club/Cheltenham/15.4.76)/Peter
Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.7.81)/Alex
Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.1.81)/Andy
Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/3.8.79)
Marcus Bateman (Leander/Torquay/16.9.82)/Tom Parker
(OUBC/Winchester/24.10.82)/Kieran West (CUBC/West Byfleet/
18.9.77)/James Orme (Leander/Colchester/1.4.84)
Jonno Devlin (Oxford Brookes/Putney/17.3.76)/Tom Stallard
(Leander/Welwyn, Herts/11.9.78)/Tom Lucy (Oxford Brookes/
Monmouth/1.5.88)/Hugo Lee (Oxford Brookes/Jedburgh/5.3.84)/
Josh West (Leander/Santa Fe/25.3.77)/Richard Egington
(Leander/Knutsford/26.2.79)/Robin Bourne-Taylor (Army
Alastair Heathcote (Army RC/London/18.08.77)/Acer Nethercott
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/9.5.83)
Matt Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.4.79)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)
Single scull (two boats)
Andrea Dennis (Wallingford RC/…../03.01.82)
Sophie Hosking (Durham Uni/Wimbledon/25.01.86)
Double scull (two boats)
Helen Casey (Wallingford RC/Oxford/6.2.74)/
Hester Goodsell (Rob Roy/Cambridge/27.6.84)
Jane Hall (Leander/Caversham/20.10.73)/
Mathilde Pauls (Imperial College BC/…../26.09.83)
Matt Beechey (Leander/Worcester/3.4.77)/Daniel
Richard Chambers (Oxford Brookes/Coleraine/10.6.85)/
James Lindsay-Fynn (London/Trim/29.9.75)/Paul Mattick
(Wallingford/Oxford/25.4.78)/James Clarke (London RC/
Alasdair Leighton-Crawford (Tideway
Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/1.7.78)/
Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury, Glos/2.5.86)