Two medals for GB eights

Britain’s men took gold and bronze in the final of the men’s eight at the world cup in Amsterdam today to make a little piece of history all of their own.

Britain had never qualified two eights for a world cup final and never won two medals.

Small wonder that Chief coach Jurgen Grobler said that it had been one of the most exciting 14 days of his coaching career.  Behind the headlines, there were also four world cup silvers in Olympic boat classes, a gold in the lightweight men’s pair and a gold in the first world cup race of all-time for the Paralympic boat class of the  mixed adaptive four.

"What an amazing result for our men’s eights", said GB Performance Director David Tanner. "Our gold medal winners demonstrated that they are world class rowers but the best story for me is the huge step forward that’s been taken by our squad eight who took bronze".

This was also a regatta in which China began to reveal its potential Beijing 2008 firepower more than ever before with a large number of podium places.

The third and final world cup is in Lucerne in mid-July before the world championships in August in Munich.

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RACE REPORTS

Britain saved the best til last on Amsterdam’s Bosbaan lake with Great Britain’s two men’s eights leading the final at the 500m mark and halfway.  China, though, with Germany were not far behind.

With just a third of the race remaining Britain’s composite eight – made up of the Camelot-sponsored world champion men’s four and the Siemens-backed men’s pair plus James Orme and Marcus Bateman and coxed by Phelan Hill – were still leading with the squad GB eight in second. China continued to close and, although, they just nudged ahead of the squad eight, they failed to catch the new eight who went on to take gold by just half a canvas in a dramatic race to the line

"That was a huge step forward for our squad eight who were third", said David Tanner, GB Performance Director today. "I’m particularly pleased with that result".

This was the first time that Britain had qualified two eights for the final of a world cup and most certainly the first time they had taken two medals – gold and bronze.

Matt Wells and Stephen Rowbotham faced
the world championships silver and gold medallists from Slovenia and France respectively in their final today.

Winners in Linz three weeks ago, including victory over the world champions, the British world championships bronze medallists in a Siemens-backed combination were fourth at the 500m mark with Iztok Cop and Luka Spik of Slovenia in the lead.

At half-way the Slovenians were still ahead tracked by Australia and Great Britain.  Wells and Rowbotham put in push before the 1500m to overhaul by a slender lead the Australians with Slovenia still in front.

Just when it looked as if it would be a three-boat sprint to the line, Estonia came up on the inside by the grandstands to pip Great Britain at the line – Wells and Rowbotham having rowed through the Slovenians with 175m to go.

"Full credit to Estonia", said Rowbotham after the race. "We didn’t expect that and they put in a really good race", he said. "For us, it was the first time that we beat the Slovenians in a world cup race so its a step on", added the man who dedicated his medal to his uncle David Rowbotham who passed away in the week leading up to Amsterdam. "He was a big part of my support team", he said.

Alan Campbell, in the Siemens-sponsored single scull, stormed out early in his final today in one of the toughest fields possible, featuring the Olympic and world champions as well as other world medallists.

Early in the race, Campbell held a length lead but Olympic champion Olaf Tufte responded by coming back to within half a canvas at the 1000m timing point.  Tufte didn’t stop there, surging through to a three-quarter length lead tracked by world silver medallist Marcel Hacker of Germany and Czech Ondrej Synek – the eventual winner.

At the 1500m point Tufte led with  Synek, Hacker and world champion Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand behind them and Campbell in fifth.  In a hard and long sprint to the line Tufte took silver behind Synek with Hacker third and
Campbell sixth behind Sweden’s Lassi Karonen, leaving the reigning world champion without a medal  in fourth.

"Alan sculled a technically better race than yesterday", said his coach Bill Barry after the race.  "It was a fast race though with world and world cup medallists and he held his own to the 1500m mark".

Just as the heavens opened to pour heavy rain over the Bosbaan lake, Great Britain’s Camelot-sponsored and world champion women’s quadruple scull went off the start line. 

As predicted by stroke Katherine Grainger in her post race interviews with the media yesterday, China had put together a stronger combination for this world cup. They led the British by around three-quarters of a length at the halfway point.  At the two-thirds mark Britain had made no impression on the leaders and were down by several seconds.

In the final 200m, Great Britain pulled back to a slight overlap on the leaders but as the boats crossed the line there were understandable scenes of jubilation from the Chinese winners and despondency from the British with Germany taking third.

"I’d rather know now what they can do that only find out in Beijing next year", said Houghton after the race.

Nothing much separated the top five crews in the women’s eight final at the 500m which Britain reached in fourth place. The Siemens-backed crew also knew they had a taller task here than the one they faced when winning silver behind Germany in Linz.

Halfway through the 2000m course they were holding onto fourth but the Netherlands had overtaken China and Germany to take the lead.

The Dutch continued to build their lead whilst Germany made a move on China.  On the inside the British continued to try and make an impression. Roared on by the home crowd the Dutch held onto their lead to take eventual victory with Germany second, China third, Australia fourth and Britain in fifth. For this developing crew this was still a solid result at world cup level and something on which they can continue to build.

In the lightweight women’s double scull, a Siemens-backed boat, Helen Casey and Hester Goodsell were fourth at the halfway point of their race and still in contention in a race led by China.  With two-thirds of the race behind them the British, winners of the B final three weeks ago in Linz, were in fourth place but two seconds down on the USA in third with China’s second string double in the lead.

As the crews sprinted for the line Denmark surged  forward but dropped just short of taking bronze away from the USA with Britain finishing in fifth and China taking gold and silver – perhaps a sign of things to come in Beijing at next year’s Olympic Games.

Next onto the Bosbann regatta course for GB were Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, who were silver medallists in Linz behind the Danish world champions on their debut as a combination at world cup level. Denmark set a world best time in the semi-final here so the British duo, backed by Siemens, knew it would be tough today.

By halfway the Danes – who had gone out strongly right from the start – were more than three seconds ahead. At two-thirds the British had pulled them back by a second. By the finish line, though, the Danes had clear water in a repeat of the result from Linz with GB taking silver by holding off the fast-finishing Poles.

"We’ve moved on a lot in training", said Hunter afterwards. "Now we need to show that more in racing. The standard in this event is so high. We need to work even harder".

Britain’s quartet of Richard Chambers, Paul Mattick, James Clarke and James Lindsey-Fynn made history by taking bronze – Britain’s first ever world cup medal in the lightweight men’s four – in Linz and they obviously felt like another podium visit today.

This is always a strongly contested class and at the halfway point China were ahead by a whisker with Britain second and the Dutch in third.  Just past the halfway point, GB put in a push and almost drew level. A big cheer went up from the British supporters in the grandstand with 500m to go as GB edged its bow ahead.  It didn’t last for more than a few seconds as China surged ahead again but it felt good.

"Yesterday (in the semi) we got dropped a little off the start and we made sure that didn’t happen today.  It was a good race", said strokeman Clarke afterwards.

In the final 100m GB came back for another attempt but were just held at bay, taking silver behind China with the Netherlands in third.

Britain’s Matt Beechey said that he and his lightweight men’s pair partner, Daniel Harte, had a "bad race" despite their gold medal win here in Amsterdam.

"We didn’t put into place the things we did in training", he explained. Nonetheless their victory, during which they took the race on from the front, was a good way for GB to open its account in Linz.

Britain also capped the morning’s programme of racing by winning the inaugural adaptive world cup race – the mixed adaptive four, sponsored by Siemens.

Coxed by Tamsin Cottle, the four which  includes Naomi Riches, Vicki Hansford, Alan Crowther and Alastair Mckean used their mid-race pace to win after the Dutch got a flying start.

"It feels pretty special to have won the first world cup gold", said Mckean afterwards. "I think it’s a sign of things to come because there is so much more we can achieve", added Hansford.

Alasdair Leighton-Crawford has already shown the signs of progress by qualifying for today’s lightweight men’s single scull final. The former Southampton University student finished sixth overall in today’s final. He was contending for the first half, holding third place at 500m and fourth place at the half-way point before dropping back in a race won by New Zealand.

Andrea Dennis yesterday came within a whisker of making the final of the lightweight women’s single scull final after a courageous scull in the semi-final. Today she confirmed her challenge to the top six by winning the B Final by more than four seconds in 7:53.05.

The lightweight women’s quadruple scull were also B final winners – but in the open weight category. They overhauled the  GB U23 quad at around the halfway point to win in 6:38.12.

The GB men’s quadruple scull, unlucky to catch a crab in yesterday’s semis when it seemed as if they might qualify for today’s A final were second to the USA in their B final today.

Alison Knowles and Natasha Howard were fourth in their B Final of the women’s pair whilst the two British boats in the men’s pair were third and sixth.

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GB RESULTS – Finals Day
World Cup – Amsterdam (22-24 June)

FINALS

OPEN

WOMEN

Eight

1.  Netherlands 6:12.76
2.  Germany 6:14.98
3.  China 6:15.64
4.  Australia 6:17.45
5.  Baz Moffat/Carla Ashford/Georgina Menheneott/Jess Eddie/Beth Rodford/ Natasha Page/Katie Greves/Louisa Reeve/
Caroline O’Connor (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:19.37
6.  Belarus 6:29.59

Quadruple scull

1.  China 6;5.90
2.  Annie Vernon/Debbie Flood/Frances Houghton/
Katherine Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:28.55
3.  Germany 6:31.10
4.  France 6:38.71
5.  Ukraine 6:41.53
6.  Netherlands 6:48.06

MEN

Single scull

1.  Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) 6:40.60
2.  Olaf Tufte (Norway) 6:41.64
3.  Marcel Hacker (Germany) 6:43.97
4.  Mahe Drysdale (New Zealand) 6:44.95
5.  Lassi Karonen (Sweden) 6:46.33
6.  Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:46.69.

Double scull

1.  Tonu Endrekson/Jueri Jaanson (Estonia)  6:10.66
2.  Matthew Wells/Stephen Rowbotham (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:11.49
3.  Scott Brennan/David Crawshay (Australia) 6:12.11
4.  Luka Spik/Iztok Cop (Slovenia) 6:12.12
5.  Joseph Sullivan/Nathan Cohen (New Zealand) 6:19.08
6.  Jean-Baptiste Macquet/Adrien Hardy (France) 6:22.59

Eight

1. (GREAT BRITAIN 1)  5:34.03
2. China 5:34.47
3  (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:35.78
4.  Germany 5:36.70
5.  Swizterland 5:40.19
6.  Poland 5:45.21

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Double scull
1.  Chen Haixia/Yu Hua (China 2) 7:03.66
2.  Xu Dongxiang/Yan Shimin (China 1) 7:05.11
3. Wendy Tripician/Jana Heere (USA) 7:06.87
4.  Katrin Olsen/Sine Christiansen (Denmark 2) 7:07.84
5.  Helen Casey/Hester Goodsell (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:09.52
6.  Berit Carow/Marie-Louise Draeger (Germany) 7:12.25

MEN

Pair

1.  Matt Beechey/Daniel Harte (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:42.10
2.  Kasper Winther/Asbjoern Joensen (Denmark)  6:44.95
3.  Justin Gevaert/Olivier Ek (Belgium) 6:46.39

Four

1.  China 5:58.69
2.  Richard Chambers/James Lindsey-Fynn/Paul Mattick/
James Clarke (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:59.31
3.  Netherlands 2 6:01.02
4.  France 1 6:01.85
5.  Denmark 6:03.94
6.  Poland 1 6:08.56

Single scull

1. Duncan Grant (New Zealand) 6:56.72
2.  Uru Storm (New Zealand) 6:59.93
3.  Jaap Schouten (Netherlands 1) 7:02.11
4.  Pierre Etienne Pollez (France 1) 7:04.98
5.  Tim Heijbrock (Netherlands 2) 7:05.16
6.  Alasdair Leighton-Crawford (GREAT BRITAIN)  7:09.93

Double scull

1.  Mads Rasmussen/Rasmus Quist (Denmark) 6:20.80
2.  Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:24.19
3.  Tomasz Kucharski/Robert Sycz (Poland) 6:26.53
4.  Fabrice Moreau/Frederic Dufour (France)  6:29.99
5.  Maros Sloboda/Lukas Babac (Slovakia) 6:31.22
6  Juliusz Madecki/Sebastian Sageder (Austria) 6:31.29

ADAPTIVES

1.  Naomi Riches/Alastair Mckean/Alan Crowther/Vicky Hansford
(GREAT BRITAIN)  3:35.75
2.  Netherlands 1 3:41.91
3.  Netherlands 2 3:51.08
4.  South Africa 4:03.80

B FINALS

OPEN

WOMEN

Pair

1.  Nadine Schmutzler/Lenka Wech (Germany 3)  7:10.27
2.  Lea Jacobsen/Fie Graugaard (Denmark)  7:10.95
3.  Kerstin Naumann/Silke Guenther (Germany 4) 7:11.87
4.  Alison Knowles/Natasha Howard (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:14.00
5.  Nienke Kingma/Helen Tanger (Netherlands) 7:19.75
6.  Cheng Ran/Yan Yangeng (China) 7:25.35

Quadruple scull

1.  Laura Geenhalgh/Jane Hall/Mathilde Pauls/Sophie
Hosking (GREAT BRITAIN)  6:38.12
2.  Kristina Stiller/Jacqueline Round/Lauren Fisher/Francesca
Jus-Burke (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:41.68
3.  Switzerland 6:44.35

MEN

Pair

1.  Piotr Hojka/Jaroslaw Godek (Poland 2) 6:30.10
2.  Lukasz Kardas/Dawid Paczes (Poland 1) 6:30.99
3.  Tom Solesbury/Tom James (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:35.62
4.  Olaf van Andel/Jozef Klaassen (Netherlands 2) 6:36.83
5.  Gregor Novak/Bostjan Bozic (Slovenia) 6:39.16
6.  Jonno Devlin/Kieran West (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:41.53

Quadruple scull

1.  USA 5:46.39
2.  Simon Fieldhouse/Sam Townsend/Alex Gregory/Ian Lawson
(GREAT BRITAIN) 5:48.08
3.  Belarus 5:50.54
4.  Netherlands 5:52.24
5.  China 5:55.74
6.  Egypt 5:57.86

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Single scull

1.  Andrea Dennis (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:53.05
2.  Orla Hayes (Ireland 3)  7:57.42
3.  Marie Gottlieb (Denmark 1) 7:58.51
4.  Coralie Ribeil (France 2) 8:00.25
5.  Evi Geent Jens (Belgium) 8:00.59

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GB CREWS FOR SECOND WORLD CUP OF 2007
(Amsterdam, June 22-24)
(NB – listed from bow to stroke with
athlete name followed by club, home town
and date of birth in brackets).

OPEN

WOMEN

Pair – two boats

Alison Knowles (Thames RC/Bournemouth/27.3.82)/
Natasha Howard (Tideway Scullers/West Runton/3.9.80)

Second boat – see U23 section below

Eight

Baz Moffat (Thames RC/Bradford/8.4.78)/Carla Ashford (Thames
RC/Northallerton/13.3.79)/Georgina Menheneott (Mortlake,
Anglian & Alpha RC/North Bradley, Wilts /18.12.78)/
Jess Eddie (Uni of London/Durham/7.10.84)/Beth Rodford (Thames
RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)/Natasha Page (Reading Uni/Hartpury/30.4.85)/Katie Greves (Uni of London/Oxford/2.9.82)/Louise Reeve (Leander/…./16.05.84)/Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes/
Ealing/25.4.83)

Quadruple scull – three boats

Debbie Flood (Leander Club/Leeds/27.2.80)/Annie Vernon
(Thames RC/Wadebridge/1.9.82)/Fran Houghton
(Uni of London/Oxford/19.9.80)/Katherine Grainger
(St Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)

Second boat – see LIGHTWEIGHT section below

Third boat – see U23 section below

MEN

Pair – two boats

Jonno  Devlin (Oxford Brookes/Putney/17.3.76)/
Kieran West (CUBC/West Byfleet/18.9.77)

Tom Solesbury (Molesey BC/Petts Wood, Kent/23.9.80)
/Tom James (CUBC/Wrexham/11.3.84)

Four

See U23 section below

Eight – two boats

Tom Parker (OUBC/Winchester/24.10.82)/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
RC/Oxford/22.7.81)/Alastair Heathcote (Army RC/London/18.08.77)/Acer Nethercott (OUBC/Harlow/28.11.77)

Alex Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.1.81)/
Colin Smith  (Leander/Henley on Thames/3.9.83)/
James Orme  (Leander Club/Colchester/1.4.84)/Marcus
Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/16.9.82)/Peter Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.7.81)/Andy Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/3.8.79)/Matt Langridge (Leander Club/Northwich/20.5.83)/Steve
Williams  (Leander Club/Cheltenham/15.4.76)/Phelan Hill
(London RC) (Cox)

Single Scull

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/9.5.83)

Double Scull – two boats

Matt Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.4.79)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)

Second boat – see U23 section below

Quadruple scull

Simon Fieldhouse (Molesey/Thames Ditton/4.9.76)/Sam Townsend
(Reading Uni/Reading/26.11.85)/Alex Gregory (Reading Uni/
Wormington/11.3.84)/Ian Lawson (Leander/Oltey, W.Yorks/4.3.77)

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Single scull

Andrea Dennis (Wallingford RC/Oxford/03.01.82)

Double scull

Helen Casey (Wallingford RC/Oxford/6.2.74)/
Hester Goodsell (Rob Roy/Cambridge/27.6.84)

Quadruple scull – NB racing in the Open weight category

Laura Greenhalgh/Jane Hall (Leander/Caversham/
20.10.73), Mathilde Pauls (Imperial College BC/Berlin &
Putney/26.09.83)/ Sophie Hosking (Durham Uni/
Wimbledon/25.01.86)

MEN

Pair

Matt Beechey (Leander/Worcester/3.4.77)/Daniel
Harte (London/Edinburgh/12.12.75)

Four

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/
London/13.12.84)

Single scull

Alasdair Leighton-Crawford (Tideway
Scullers/Richmond-upon-Thames/09.12.81)

Double scull

Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/1.7.78)/
Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury, Glos/2.5.86)

ADAPTIVE

Vicki Hansford )Guildford RC/Lewisham/31.10.79)
/Naomi Riches (Marlow RC/Harrow Weald/15.6.83)/
Alastair Mckean (Herne Bay ARC/Whitstable/14.4.79)/
Alan Crowther (Nottingham BC/Derby/29.7.65)/Tamsin Cottle
(cox)

UNDER-23 CREWS

OPEN

WOMEN

Pair

Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft/Warrington/19.9.85)/Heather
Stanning (Uni of Bath/Lossiemouth/26.1.85

Quadruple scull

Tina Stiller (Nottingham RC/Yarm, N.Yorks/23.6.87/Jacqui
Round (Nottingham RC/St Neots/1.7.87)/Lauren Fisher
(Reading Uni/Reading/17.2.86)/Franki Jus-Burke (Nottingham RC/
Nottingham/3.1.87)

MEN

Four

Oliver Moore (Imperial BC/Burford/3.1.87)/Mohamed Sbihi
(Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.3.88)/ Cameron Nichol (Uni of London/
Chiswick/22.12.85)/Colin Scott (CUBC/Cambridge/6.4.85)

Double scull

Bill Lucas (Reading Uni/Dartmouth/13.9.87)/Charles Cousins
(Rob Roy/Willingham, Cambs/13.12.88)

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