Successful start to season in Varese
GB’s adaptive rowers had a strong start to their season, winning four golds, three silvers and a bronze as well as the overall team cup trophy at the Varese International Regatta this weekend (2-3 May, 2009).
Reigning Paralympic champion Tom Aggar was a double gold medallist, winning the men’s arms-only single scull event on both days and setting an unofficial World Best Time of 4:58.5 on Sunday.
In the same event, Andy Houghton, a newcomer to the British adaptive squad, won two silver medals behind Aggar.
For the mixed adaptive coxed four, the Regatta was an opportunity to test out a new combination, with newcomers to the GB adaptive squad James Roe and Dave Smith racing alongside Paralympic bronze medallists Vicki Hansford, Naomi Riches and cox Alan Sherman.
On Saturday, the British crew raced well to win the gold, beating an Italian combination that included two of their Paralympic line-up from the Beijing Games. The following day, the Italian crew featured all four rowers from the Beijing Paralympic Games. This newly-strengthened line-up took the silver, and the British team once again took the gold.
Meanwhile the British mixed double scull were involved in a extremely tight finish on Saturday, finishing less than a second behind a Polish combination to take silver. On Sunday the crew suffered a poor start, but showed impressive resilience to go on to take the bronze behind Italy and Poland.
GB High Performance Projects Officer Louise Kingsley said "This has been a really positive start to the season and I am pleased that the new squad members have performed well this weekend.
"As the season progresses and the World Championships get closer, however, we will expect the quantity and quality of the competition to rise."
Men’s single scull
2) Andy Houghton (GBR) 5.05.20
3) AUS 5.26.20
4) RUS 5.33.80
5) ITA2 5.34.70
6) ITA 5.44.70
Mixed double scull
1) ITA 4.15.80
2) POL 4.18.30
3) James Roberts, Samantha Scowen (GBR) 4.19.80
4) ITA2 4.34.30
Mixed coxed four
1) Vicki Hansford, James Roe, David Smith, Naomi Riches,
Alan Sherman (GBR) 3.31.00
2) ITA2 3.31.60
3) RUS 3.55.50
4) ITA 4.48.50
5) POL 3.54.90
6) RUS2 4.21.00
(club/home town/d.o.b in brackets)
VARESE INTERNATIONAL REGATTA
Men’s Arms-only Single Scull
Tom Aggar (Royal Docks RC/Barnet, London/24.05.1984)
Andy Houghton (Maidenhead RC/Newbury/06.04.1981)
Trunk and Arms Double Scull
James Roberts (City of Swansea RC/Swansea/11.05.1986)/
Samantha Scowen (Dorney BC/Wokingham/29.10.1987)
Legs, Trunk and Arms Coxed Four
Vicki Hansford (University of Surrey BC/Farnborough/31.10.79)/
James Roe (Stratford-upon-Avon BC//Stratford-upon-Avon/
28.03.1988)/Dave Smith (Reading University BC/Aviemore/21.04.78)
/Naomi Riches (Marlow RC/Harrow, London/15.06.1983)/Alan Sherman
(cox) (Thames Tradesmen RC/London/22.10.1951)