Three golds amongst the World Cup headlines
Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter’s third win from three world cups in the lightweight men’s double scull, Elise Laverick’s first world cup gold of all time – with Anna Bebington in the women’s double scull – the medal-winning return to racing of the men’s four and gold and bronze for the two GB eights were the headlines at the season’s final world cup in Poznan, Poland, this weekend.
Britain also won the overall world cup trophy for the second successive season.
Purchase and Hunter, backed by Siemens, won the world cup overall title in their event, too, and now become favourites for Beijing.
"But there’s a long way to go", said Purchase. "The biggest pressure is the pressure we put on ourselves, to be honest", he said after their win today.
Laverick and Bebington’s win will give them confidence over the next six weeks of training. "We couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish before Beijing", said Laverick.
"It’s good to win races and nice to win the world cup", said Colin Smith stroke of the men’s eight who took gold today.
And the men’s four rowed to silver after a few months of disruption through injury. "We showed we’re still up there", said Tom James afterwards. "That was a good effort and there were lots good parts to the race.
GB’s lightweight men’s four and women’s double were sixth in today’s finals.
"Winning the overall world cup trophy is a good achievement in what has been a challenging summer so far", said GB Performance Director David Tanner. "We won some good medals today despite three top boats being at home but we know that there is still a lot to do".
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Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter were the star performers amongst the GB squad in Poznan today. They picked up a hat-trick of world cup golds when they won the lightweight men’s double scull final today in 6:45.86.
The Siemens-backed duo put in a mature performance. Italy made the early race pace and were a length of the British by halfway.
"But we have this confidence in ourselves", said Hunter after the race. "We can be patient and then make a move".
That’s exactly what they did, gradually pulling level and then pushing past Italy to take the title whilst still being aware of the fast-finishing world-champion Danes on the inside.
"We know the Danes are a good crew. I was aware of what they were doing. They showed that they still have something left in them".
The British men are now the leading boat in this category going into the Games. However, Purchase was quick to play down the pressure. "The biggest pressure is th pressure we put on ourselves, to be honest. There’s a long way to go yet".
Anna Bebington and Elise Laverick made a positive and rhythmic start to their women’s double scull final here. With a quarter of the race behind them the Siemens-sponsored duo were in pole position – over a second up on Italy who were trailed by Finland.
At the halfway mark they were still ahead but were having difficulty sustaining the pace against a concerted fight-back from Italy with Finland coming back as a threat, too. With 500m to go the British duo were still ahead by half a length. Italy came back at them again and seemed about to go through in front of the grandstand crowd when Laverick and Bebington dug into their reserves and pulled away again to win in 7:15.62. Finland were third.
"We wanted to get everything right and create a good platform for the Olympics", said Laverick afterwards.
The GB Rowing men’s eight showed a good turn of pace today in their final which, although a small field, contained the world silver medallists, Germany. GB built a lead throughout the race. By 500m they were almost a second ahead. At 1000m they had moved to a 2.35 second lead and they were never going to let that margin go.
"It was good to win but a shame that there were not more crews here", said Alex Partridge after the race. "I guess everyone’s got their priorities in Olympic year, including us".
The GB men’s four, racing here in their chosen line-up for the first time this season of Tom James, Steve Williams, Peter Reed and Andy Hodge, did not blast out to their customary fast start but sat in the pack. Holland made the early pace with the Slovenians in second on the grandstand side. These were the lead two positions at the 1000m mark.
Gradually the Camelot-backed GB boat began to build a push. They levelled with Slovenia and pushed forwards. But the Dutch had a length on them at 1500m. Stroke by stroke the British attacked the leaders. Momentarily they looked as if they might get ahead but the Dutch still had a sprint left in the tank and unleashed it to win in 6:11.61. GB were second, showing that they are back on track for Beijing, and Slovenia were third.
"I thought that was a great effort", said Tom James afterwards. "We stuck at it and there were lots of good parts to the race. I’ve been out of the boat for five weeks so it’s good to be back".
The GB women’s eight came back strongly in the second half of their final to take a confidence-building bronze medal. They were lying in close fourth for much of the race but pulled themselves up in the last 500m to overtake Germany to take bronze.
"We had a difficult start to the season but that was pleasing", said Caroline O’Connor afterwards. "We have worked really hard in the last few weeks".
Conversely, Britain’s world champion lightweight four have still to find their race pace. They were sixth today and, apart from the middle section of the race, did not look like challenging the leaders. France, Italy and Australia battled at the head of the race whilst GB, the Netherlands and Denmark were slightly off the pace.
Hester Goodsell and Helen Casey were sixth in their lightweight women’s double scull final today. At the finish they were closing back on the Greeks in fifth place. Perhaps the best section of their race today came in the opening 500m where they were well in contention in a race led by Canada throughout with Germany their only real challengers taking silver.
Robin Bourne-Taylor and Tom Solesbury were eighth overall in Poznan after rowing to second place in today’s B final of the men’s pair. The duo tracked the early race leaders, Poland, for much of the first 800m until Poland put in a push and moved away before holding on for victory.
The young club-based four were fourth in their B final today in 6:24.62. They were second at the 500m before dropping back in the second half of the race.
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(Races featuring GB crews only – full
1. Romania 6;22.74
2. Canada 6:22.75
3. Beth Rodford/Carla Ashford/Natasha Howard/Natasha
Page/Jess Eddie/Sarah Winckless/Alison Knowles/
Katie Greves/Caroline O’Connor (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:23.77
4. Germany 6:24.74
1. Elise Laverick/Anna Bebington (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:15.62
2. Laura Schiavone/Elisabetta Sancassani (Italy) 7:16.58
3. Sanna Sten/Minna Nieminen (Finland) 7:17.83
4. Gabriela Varekova/Jitka Antosova (Czech Republic) 7:20.39
5. Janine Hanson/Krista Guloien (Canada) 7:25.37
6. Juliane Domscheit/Jeannine Hennicke (Germany) 7:35.76
1. Netherlands 6:11.41
2. Tom James/Steve Williams/Peter Reed/Andy Triggs Hodge
(GREAT BRITAIN) 6:13.01
3. Slovenia 6:14.19
4. Germany 6:16.23
5. New Zealand 6:16.41
6. Czech Republic 6:20.71
1. Alex Partridge/Tom Stallard/Tom Lucy/Rick Egington/Josh
West/Alastair Heathcote/Matt Langridge/Coiln Smith
Acer Nethercott (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:41.29
2. Germany 5;44.99
3. Poland 5:56.63
1. Melanie Kok/Tracy Cameron (Canada) 7:27.23
2. Berit Carow/Marie-Louise Draeger (Germany) 7:29.51
3. Amber Halliday/Marguerite Houston (Australia) 7:29.80
4. Katrin Olsen/Juliane Rasmussen (Denmark) 7:33.41
5. Chrysi Biskitzi/Alexandra Tsiavou (Greece) 7:35.13
6. Hester Goodsell/Helen Casey (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:35.56
1. France 6:08.76
2. Italy 1 6:09.98
3. Australia 6:10.00
4. Denmark 6:13.03
5. Netherlands 6:14.50
6. Richard Chambers/James Lindsay-Fynn/Paul Mattick/
James Clarke (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:14.77
1. Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:45.66
2. Mads Rasmussen/Rasmus Quist (Denmark) 6:46.59
3. Marcello Miani/Ella Luini (Italy 1) 6:47.03
4. Lorenzon Bertini/Daniele Gilardoni (Italy 2) 6:48.91
5. Zsolt Hirling/Tamas Varga (Hungary 1) 6:49.97
6. Dimitrios Mougios/Vasileios Polymeros (Greece) 6:51.68
1. Morten Nielsen/Thomas Larsen (Denmark) 6;51.58
2. Robin Bourne-Taylor/Tom Solesbury (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:57.22
3. Piotr Hojka/Jarosaw Godek (Poland) 6:58.81
4. Martin Veit/Jan Dehoust (Germany 2) 7:05.08
5. Mostafa Zeidan/Bashir Attia (Egypt) 7:09.09
6. Dmitry Filimonov/Grigoriy Feklistov (Kazakhstan) 7:11.92
1. Italy 6:18.79
2. Belarus 6;20.37
3. Argentina 6:20.83
4. Tobias Garnett/Henry Pelly/Peter Marsland/Tom Ransley
(GREAT BRITAIN 2) 6:24.62
5. Ireland 6:24.91
6. Egypt 6:30.69
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GB CREW LISTS (with clubs/home towns/dates of birth)
Poznan World Cup 2008
Eight (NB – new seat order)
Beth Rodford (Thames RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)/Carla Ashford
(Oxford Brookes BC/Northallerton/13.03.79)/Natasha Howard
(Tideway Scullers/West Runton/3.9.80)/Natasha Page (Reading Uni/
Hartpury/30.04.85)/Jess Eddie (Uni of London/Durham/07.10.84)/
Sarah Winckless (Walbrook & Royal/Henley/18.10.73)/Alison
Knowles (Thames RC/ Bournemouth/27.3.82)/Katie Greves (Leander
Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes/Ealing/
Coach: John Keogh
Elise Laverick (Thames RC/Poling, W.Sussex/27.07.75)/
Anna Bebington (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.2.83)
Coach: Miles Forbes Thomas
Robin Bourne-Taylor (Army RC/Oxford/22.07.81)/Tom Solesbury (Molesey BC/Petts Wood, Kent/23.09.80)
Four (two boats)
Tom James (Molesey/Wrexham/11.3.84)/Steve Williams
(Leander Club/Cheltenham/15.04.76)/Peter Reed (Leander Club/
Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/Andy Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden,
Coach: Jurgen Grobler
Under 23s (Includes clubs/schools)
Toby Garnett (CUBC/London/29.07.87)/Henry Pelly (CUBC/London/30.07.83)/ Pete Marsland (CUBC/London/06.03.85)/Tom
Ransley (CUBC/Ashford, Kent/06.09.85)
Alex Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/
Tom Stallard (Leander/Welwyn, Herts/11.09.78)/
Tom Lucy (Oxford Brookes/Monmouth/01.05.88)/
Richard Egington (Leander/Knutsford/26.02.79)/
Josh West (Leander/Santa Fe, USA/25.03.77)/
Alastair Heathcote (Army RC/London/18.8.77)/
Matt Langridge(Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)/
Colin Smith (Leander/Henley on Thames/23.09.83)/
Acer Nethercott (University College Oxford BC/Harlow/28.11.77)
Spare: Tom Parker (Oxford Brookes/Winchester/24.10.82)
Coaches: Mark Banks, John West, Jonny Singfield
Coach: Mark Earnshaw
Helen Casey (Wallingford RC/Oxford/06.02.74)/
Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni/Cambridge/27.06.84)
Coach: Rob Morgan
Sophie Hosking (London RC/Wimbledon/25.01.86)/Andrea Dennis (Wallingford RC/Oxford/03.01.82)/Laura Greenhalgh (Reading Uni/Oxford/02.09.85)/Jane Hall (Leander/Caversham/20.10.73)
Daniel Harte (London/Edinburgh/12.12.75)/Chris Bartley
Richard Chambers (Oxford Brookes/Coleraine/10.06.85)/
James Lindsay-Fynn (London/Trim/29.09.75)/Paul Mattick
(Wallingford/Oxford/25.04.78)/James Clarke (London RC/
Coach: Robin Williams
Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury, Glos/02.05.86)/
Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/01.07.78)
Coach: Darren Whiter
Simon Jones (Leander/Henley/8.6.78))Alasdair Leighton-Crawford
(Tideway Scullers/Richmond-upon-Thames/09.12.81)/ Rob Williams
(London RC/Maidenhead/21.01.85)/Matt Beechey (Leander/Worcester/