Close call and a sizzling sprint finish

A close call for the GB men’s four and a sizzling sprint from the men’s pair caused a stir with British spectators today at the World Championships in Munich on a day when eight British boats qualified for Saturday’s finals from semi-finals – five in Olympic, two in Paralympic and one in international classes.

The Camelot-backed men’s four, who are defending world champions, were winners of their semi-final after being tested by France,  Italy and the USA. "We wanted to win but not use up too much fuel", said Olympic champion Steve Williams afterwards of the split-second victory.

Meanwhile, the Siemens-sponsored men’s pair, part of Jurgen Grobler‘s "coxless six" of the leading GB men, looked out of their semi with 600m to go before unleashing an almost unbelievable sprint to take second behind New Zealand and qualify for the final.

Both British open double sculls – sponsored by Siemens –  will also feature in the finals after a win for Elise Laverick and Anna Bebington in the women’s semi-finals and a second place for Matt Wells and Stephen Rowbotham in the men’s.

They will be joined by Siemens-backed single sculler Alan Campbell whose semi-final performance today was described as "perfect all the way" by GB Performance Director David Tanner.  Campbell capitalised on a good start and held off a challenge from Sweden to win a race which included the Olympic champion Olaf Tufte of Norway.

Beth Rodford and Natasha Page missed out on a place in the final of the women’s pair but can still gain an Olympic quota place by finishing in the top two of Saturday’s B Final.

Andrea Dennis was within half a second of reigning world champion Marit van Eupen to take third place in the  international class lightweight women’s single to qualify for the A final but Alasdair Leighton-Crawford narrowly missed out in fourth.

Tom Aggar continued to impress in winning his Paralympic or "adaptive" class single scull semi. The Siemens-sponsored sculler will be joined in the finals by the British defending world champions in the mixed adaptive coxed four who also won today whilst the adaptive double will race a B final after a fourth place in their semi-final.

Tomorrow will see semi-finals featuring GB boats in the lightweight men’s four and double as well as the men’s eight and the lightweight women’s double as well as a repechage for the lightweight men’s pair. Racing for these boats starts at 10.30 UK time and finishes at 12.40pm.

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RACE REPORTS

The British men’s four, sponsored by Camelot, were better pleased today with the first half of their semi-final than they were with the same phase of their heat here at the World Championships.

"That was a much better first half", said Andy Hodge. "We just put in some really long and good strokes", added Peter Reed of today’s race on a morning characterised by strong head winds.

The start put the British four ahead of the field by 500m where they were chased by the USA. By the 1500m mark the Americans had closed the gap to under a second with the Italians not far behind.  Yet it was the French who got within a whisker of an upset with a big sprint to bring them up to second at the line by just over a tenth of a second.  Italy were third, again by a split second, leaving the USA in fourth.

Matt Wells and Stephen Rowbotham were  philosophical after today’s semi-final second place to the seasoned Itzok Cop and Luka Spik of Slovenia.  The latter duo went out hard from the start and put a length between them and the British by the 750m mark.  Wells and Rowbotham dug in and closed the gap but the Slovenians held on to win in 6:40.81.

"We knew that we were coming back at them", said Matt Wells afterwards, "but probably let them get a bit too far out front".

"It’s going to be a tight final and whoever has the best day is going to win it", he added. Estonia and France from the opposing semi-final are also likely to be contenders.

Alan Campbell once more gave a demonstration of his growing race maturity. He got a good start, coped with the pressure to his early lead from Lassi Karonen of Sweden and kept a weather eye on Olympic champion Olaf Tufte in third. 

"I was surprised it was Lassi who was pushing hard early in the race", said Campbell afterwards.  "In the final 500m, though, I felt that maybe he had overcooked it earlier on and I was able to hold on and win".

Karonen’s early efforts also meant that Norway’s Tufte was able to take second place. 

By contract Britain’s Colin Smith and Matt Langridge, in the Siemens-back men’s pair, were in no danger of overcooking the first half of their semi-final today. Even the normally silent and sanguine Jurgen Grober, their coach, was moved to exhort them from the bank to close the gap on the leading four boats from Serbia, Croatia, the USA and New Zealand.

With just 550m to go, stroke Matt Langridge turned to look at the race leaders and, perhaps, realised that they needed something special so that when most observers felt the duo had been left for dead they surged through to second place, overhauling the USA and Serbia in the final few metres to take second behind the New Zealanders. This was one of the more exciting races of the day.

"We felt comfortable we could do it", said Smith afterwards.  "We knew that the Americans had used up a lot of cookies to get where they were and that we could come through".

After the drama of the men’s pair, the women’s double scull performance was more serene. Elise Laverick and Anna Bebington, sponsored by Siemens, were behind Romania for some of the opening 500m before moving out of the chasing to take the lead only for the Romanians to respond and move out to a lead again.

"Bebo (Anna Bebington) is really strong, especially in a head wind", said Laverick afterwards.  "So we knew we could come back".  With perfect timing the British did just that, moving past the Romanians in the final phase to take victory in 7:30.86.

After a season blighted by injury to Bebington this late-flourishing combination have now put themselves in Saturday’s medal zone with China and New Zealand the main threats.

Natasha Page and Beth Rodford, brought together latterly in the Siemens-backed women’s pair because of injuries to their team-mates, were in contention for the first half of today’s race before fading marginally in the second phase to take fifth place and move to the B final where they will want to take one of the top two slots to qualify a GB boat in this category for Beijing. Belarus won today’s race with New Zealand second.

Andrea Dennis became GB’s first qualifier for Saturday’s finals today when she took third place behind the USA and the Netherlands in a well-fought lightweight women’s single scull semi-final. The Wallingford sculler was fifth at 500m but gradually worked her way up through to tuck in behind the leaders and hold on at the line ahead of France.

Alasdair Leighton-Crawford, though, narrowly missed out in the equivalent men’s semi. He was well-placed in a tight leading pack of four boats until, at 1300m, the lead boats made a move he could not cover.  He finished fourth in 7:48.91 with the race won by the host nation.

Three of Britain’s adaptive boat classes were also in action today in semi-finals. Tom Aggar won the arms-only men’s single scull from Israel whilst the mixed adaptive coxed four were also winners.  Karen Cromie and James Roberts will now race a B final after finishing fourth today.

"The competition is stepping up and we are trying to keep ahead of it. We are learning from each race and, hopefully, we’ll peak at just the right time", said Vicky Hansford of the mixed adaptive coxed four.

Finally, the men’s quadruple scull raced their consolation semi-final today and won. They were race leaders by the 1000m mark and held off China and Croatia to win by half a length.

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RACING TIMETABLE

Racing in Munich from now on takes place
as follows (full timetable
at www.worldrowing.com):

31 August

Semi-finals  – Featuring four British boats
Repechage  – Lightweight men’s pair only.

FINALS

1 and 2 September

(Full details:  www.worldrowing.com and click on media
center before selecting events).

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RESULTS – Day five/30 August
(races featuring GB crews only. Full results:
www.worldrowing.com)

SEMI-FINALS

OPEN

WOMEN

Pair

1. Yullya Bichyk/Natallia Helakh (Belarus) 7:45.38
2. Juliette Haigh/Nicola Coles (New Zealand) 7:46.45
3. Yago Zhang/Yulan Gao (China) 7:47.08
4. Portoa McGee/Anna Mickelson (USA) 7:47.93
5. Beth Rodford/Natasha Page (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:57.12
6. Vera Pochitaeva/Alevtina Podvyazigna (Russia) 8:04.30

Double scull

1. Elise Laverick/Anna Bebington (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:30.86
2. Ioana Papuc/Simona Musat (Romania) 7:33.11
3. Gabriela Varekova (Czech Republic) 7:34.14
4. Jennifer Kaido/Ala Piotrowski (USA) 7:40.70
5. Laura Schiavone/Elisabetta Sancassani (Italy) 7:46.58
6. Ailz Konya/Lidia Verci (Hungary) 7:52.89

MEN

Pair

1. Nathan Twaddle/George Bridgewater (New Zealand) 7:07.25
2. Colin Smith/Matthew Langridge (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:08.49
3. Goran Jagar/Nikola Stojic (Serbia) 7:11;66
4. Morten Nielsen/Thomas Larsen (Denmark) 7:15.54
5. Jason Read/Kyle Larson (USA) 7:16.18
6. Sinisa Skelin/Niksa Skelin (Croatia) 7:38.92

Four

1. Steve Williams/Peter Reed/Alex Partridge/Andy Hodge
(GREAT BRITAIN) 6:16.44
2.  France 6:16.56
3.  Italy 6:16.68
4.  USA 6:17.11
5.  Czech Republic 6:36.82
6.  Belarus 6:45.94

Single scull

1. Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:27.22
2. Olaf Tufte (Norway) 7:28.14
3. Lassi Karonen (Sweden) 7:28.27
4. Sjoerd Hamburger (Netherlands) 7:44;71
5. Peter Hardcastle (Australia) 7:55;15
6. Andre Vonarburg (Switzerland) 8:01.63

Double scull

1. Luka Spik/Iztok Cop (Slovenia) 6:40.81
2. Matthew Wells/Stephen Rowbotham (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:41.92
3. Dziania Mihal/Stanislau Shcharbachenia (Belarus) 6:45.31
4. Stijn Smulders/Christophe Raes (Belgium) 6:49.37
5. Christian Schreiber/Rana Burmeister (Germany) 6:52.56
6. Michal Sloma/Marcin Brzezinski (Poland) 6:57.31

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Single scull

1. Jennifer Goldsack (USA) 8:37.49
2. Marit van Eupen (Netherlands) 8:42.01
3. Andrea Dennis (GREAT BRITAIN) 8:42.32
4. Benedicte Dorfman (France) 8:48.23
5. Laura Tasch (Germany) 8:50.64
6. Valentina Galmarini (Italy) 8:57.31

MEN

Single scull

1. Jonathan Koch (Germany) 7:42.76
2. Ivan Baldychev (USA) 7:45.18
3. Takahiro Suda (Japan) 7:46.91
4. Alasdair Leighton-Crawford (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:48.91
5. Timothy Colsn (Canada) 7:51.95
6. Valeri Prosvirnin (Estonia) 8:05.26

ADAPTIVE (1000m course)

MEN

Single scull

1. Tom Aggar (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:40.94
2.  Eli Nawi (Israel) 5:45.46
3.  Patrick Laureau (France) 5:56.20
4.  Simone Miramoti (Italy) 5:59.61
5.  Tibor Serenyi (Hungary) 6:15.93
6.  Luis Miguel Castro Carmona (Spain) 6:18.96

MIXED

Four

1.  Vicky Hansford/Alan Crowther/Alastair Mckean/Naomi Riches
(GREAT BRITAIN) 3:51.56
2.  Canada 3:52.50
3.  Netherlands 4:03.69
4.  Israel 4:19.70
5.  China 4:38.85
6.  Ukraine 4:44.79

Double scull

1.  Lucas Pagani/Josiane Lima (Brazil) 4:40.47
2.  Stefania Toscano/Daniele Stefanoni (Italy) 4:45.38
3.  Dmytro Ivanov/Iryna Kyrychenko (Ukraine) 4:49.18
4.  Karen Cromie/James Roberts (GREAT BRITAIN) 4:58.00
5.  Evangelios Karelis/Konstantina Gkaratsa (Greece) 5:12.42
6.  Igor & Mary Kogan (Israel) 5:13.94

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GB CREWS FOR THE 2007 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Munich, August 26 – September 2, 2007)
(NB – listed from bow to stroke as on the day
of the selection announcement – with
athlete name followed by club, home town
and date of birth in brackets. NB some seat order
changes have taken place – see above results each
day).

OPEN

WOMEN

Pair

Beth Rodford (Thames RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni/Hartpury/30.4.85)

Coach: John Keogh

Four

Georgina Menheneott (Mortlake, Anglian & Alpha RC/North Bradley,
Wilts/18.12.79)/Rebecca Rowe (Rebecca/Bridgend/16.5.81)/
Vicki Etiebet (Auriol Kensington/Ottowa, Canada/12.2.79)/
Vicky Myers (Leander/Cheshire/31.3.81)

Coach: Nathan Williams

Eight

Carla Ashford (Thames RC/Northallerton/13.3.79)/Baz Moffat
(Thames RC/Bradford/8.4.78)/Alice Freeman (Wallingford RC/Oxford/
6.9.78)/Louisa Reeve (Leander/London/16.05.84)/Natasha Howard (Tideway Scullers/West Runton/3.9.80)/Alison Knowles (Thames RC/
Bournemouth/27.3.82)/Katie Greves (Uni of London/Oxford/2.9.82)
Jess Eddie (Uni of London/Durham/7.10.84)/Caroline O’Connor
(Oxford Brookes/Ealing/25.4.83) (cox)

Coaches: John Keogh

Double scull

Elise Laverick (Thames RC/Poling, W.Sussex/27.7.75)/
Anna Bebington (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.2.83)

Coach:  Miles Forbes Thomas

Quadruple scull

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

Coach: Paul Thompson

MEN

Pair

Colin Smith (Leander/Henley on Thames/23.9.83)/
Matt Langridge(Leander Club/Northwich/20.5.83)/

Coach:  Jurgen Grobler

Four

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/3.3.79)

Coach: Jurgen Grobler

Coxed four

Oli Moore (Imperial/Burford)/James Orme (Leander Club/
Colchester/1.4.84)/Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/
16.9.82)/Tom James (CUBC/Wrexham/11.3.84)/Phelan Hill (London
RC/London/21.7.79) – cox

Coach: Richard Tinkler

Eight

Tom Parker (OUBC/Winchester/24.10.82)/Tom Stallard
(Leander/Welwyn, Herts/11.9.78)/Tom Lucy (Oxford Brookes/
Monmouth/1.5.88)/Tom Solesbury (Molesey BC/Petts Wood, Kent/23.9.80)/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/18.8.77)/Acer Nethercott (OUBC/Harlow/28.11.77) (cox)

Coaches:  Mark Banks, John West

Single Scull

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/9.5.83)

Coach: Bill Barry

Double Scull

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

Coach: Mark Earnshaw

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/Otley, W.Yorks/4.3.77)

Coach: Steve Gunn

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Single scull

Andrea Dennis (Wallingford RC/Oxford/03.01.82)

Coach: Rob Dauncey

Double scull

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

Coach: Robin Williams

Quadruple scull

Sophie Hosking (Durham Uni/Wimbledon/25.01.86)Laura Greenhalgh (Rob Roy/Oxford/2.9.85)/Mathilde Pauls (Imperial College BC/Berlin & Putney/26.09.83)/ Jane Hall (Leander/Caversham/20.10.73),

Coach: Rob Dauncey

MEN

Pair

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

Coach:  Paul Reedy

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)

Coach: Robin Williams

Single scull
Alasdair Leighton-Crawford (Tideway Scullers/Richmond-upon-Thames/
09.12.81) – racing spare.

Double scull

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

Coach: Darren Whiter

Quadruple scull
Simon Jones (Leander/Henley/8.6.78)Rob Williams (London
RC/Maidenhead/21.1.85)//Chris Bartley (Wallingford/Chester/
2.2.84)/Dave Currie (Leander/Bridgend/10.1.82)

Coach:  Rob Morgan

ADAPTIVE CREWS

WOMEN

Single scull

Helene Raynsford (Guildford RC/Frimley/29.12.79)

Coach:  Chad King

MEN

Single scull

Tom Aggar (Royal Docks/Barnet, London/24.5.84)

Coach: Chad King

MIXED

Mixed adaptive coxed four

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)/
Vicki Hansford (Guildford RC/Lewisham/31.10.79)/
Alan Sherman (cox)

Coach: Chad King

Double scull

Karen Cromie (Royal Docks BC/Ballinamalllard, Co.Fermanagh/
24.9.79)/James Roberts (Swansea/11.5.86)

Coach: Chad King

SPARES

Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft RC/Warrington/16.9.85)
Tom Wilkinson (Leander/Henley/4.7.85)
Charles Burkitt (Leander/Reading/28.4.86)
Bill Lucas (Reading Uni/Dartmouth/13.9.87)
Atlanta St John (Reading Uni/North Leigh, Oxon/13.1.87)

TEAM MANAGEMENT AND SUPPORT

Team Manager:  David Tanner
Assistant Team Manager:  Maggie Netto
Doctor: Ali Sanders
Chief Coach Men: Jurgen Grobler
Chief Coach Women and Lightweights:  Paul Thompson
Logistics Manager:  Maurice Hayes
Adaptive boats coordinator:  Louise Kingsley
Lead Physio:  Mark Edgar
Physios:  Pam Gardiner, Gill Edmondson, Mike Chisholm
Physiologist:  Al Smith
Pyschologist:  Chris Shambrook
Nutritionist:  Wendy Martinson
Sponsorship Liaison Manager:  Fran Bullock
Drivers: Phil Tinsley, John Brockway
Press Officer:  Caroline Searle

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OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC QUALIFYING DETAILS

Each nation competing in Munich will be seeking to
qualify for Olympic Games’ quota places, available for
each event.  It is important to remember, though, that
it is the "boats" that qualify in Munich and at the later
regattas (see below). In Britain’s case the individual "rowers’
names" will not be put to the places in each boat
until late June, 2008.

Events (with quota places available in Munich)

MEN

Single scull (11) – qualified (30/08/07)
Pair (11) – qualified (30/08/07)
Double scull (11) – qualified (30/08/07)
Four (11) – qualified (30/08/07)
Quadruple scull (11) – will seek to qualify in June 2008
Eight (7)

WOMEN

Single scull (9)
Pair (8)
Double scull (8) – qualified (30/08/07)
Quadruple scull (7) – GB qualified (27/08/07)
Eight (5)

LIGHTWEIGHT MEN

Double scull (11)
Four (11)

LIGHTWEIGHT WOMEN

Double scull (8)

If British boats do not gain a quota place in any given
event in Munich, there will be one further chance
via the final qualifying regatta in June of 2008 in
Lucerne, Switzerland where a small number of
further quota places will be available but for which
the competition will be fierce.

ADAPTIVE BOAT CLASSES

Each adaptive boat class has eight spaces
available in Munich for Beijing 2008.  For those
who do not qualify in Munich there will be a
second-chances at the world cup from
9-11 May, 2007.

Women’s arms only single scull – qualified 28/08/07
Men’s arms only single scull – qualified 30/08/07
Mixed coxed four – qualified 30/08/07