Hunter back in GB Rowing Team for first time since Beijing Olympic Games
Mark Hunter renews his Beijing 2008 Olympic gold partnership with Zac Purchase in the lightweight men’s double scull at the Munich world cup next weekend (18-20 June) after more than a year out of the sport.
Hunter coached in California during a post-Olympic sabbatical year. His 2010 return to action was delayed by injury leading up to the world cup in Bled last month, forcing Purchase into a single scull. Munich, then, is a tentative first outing.
‘It’s exciting to see Zac and Mark back together again after almost two years apart – they will be champing at the bit to get racing again as they start their run toward the Worlds in November”, said GB Rowing Team Performance Director David Tanner.
Britain also fields an open men’s quadruple scull for the first time this season. Bill Lucas and Sam Townsend, silver medallists in Bled in the double scull behind their compatriots Matt Wells and Marcus Bateman, form a quadruple scull with seasoned campaigner Stephen Rowbotham and Charles Cousins. Townsend, Cousins, and Lucas have all come through the GB Rowing Team’s Start programme as has Bateman.
This Siemens-sponsored and lottery-backed scheme identifies potential, young talent mainly at school level, introduces them to the sport and creates a support package at club level before the best emerge into the senior squad.
After another defeat – but this time a close one – to the New Zealand world champions in Bled, Andrew Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed continue with their “pairs project” as they have dubbed it.
“We are not frightened of a challenge”, said Reed. “They are a class act but I’m sure we will have our day”.
Matt Langridge will once more stroke the GB Rowing Team men’s four containing Alex Gregory, Alex Partridge and Ric Egington. Whilst gold medallists in Bled, each man was quick post-race to point to the improvements that need to be made to return to their racing best from last season.
Opposition in most events in Munich is likely to be tougher than the good Bled start lists with Australia, Germany and Canada making an entrance in strength for the first time and with New Zealand deepening their squad.
Alan Campbell, in the men’s single scull, will wait to see if world champion Mahe Drysdale has recovered from a back injury in time to race in Munich and will be wary of the man who beat him in Bled, Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic amongst others.
The British men’s eight line-up which took gold in Bled will enjoy another run out together. Speculation that Tom James and Tom Ransley might battle back into the crew from injury has been stalled with both needing a longer term to recover.
Watkins is still thrilled to be racing with one of the world’s best female rowers. “I’ve daydreamed in the past few years about racing with Katherine and it’s such a brilliant opportunity”, she said.
“We already have intuition between us and now we have to look at ways in which we can improve”, said Grainger after their victory in Bled.
Beth Rodford and Annabel Vernon will complete the quadruple scull after the combination’s victory over the Ukrainians, world champions, last month.
The GB Rowing Team’s women’s eight also made a mark in Bled with victory in their debut competition. Before the new-look crew attempt a repeat in Munich, four of the women will race in the women’s pair in slightly different combinations to last month.
Britain’s lightweight men’s four, second behind a fast-finishing Denmark in Bled, is unchanged as is the lightweight men’s pair.
Peter Chambers, younger brother of Richard from the lightweight men’s four, will race as an U23 entry in the lightweight men’s single scull.
Britain once more fields two lightweight women’s double scull boats. Hester Goodsell and Andrea Dennis are the lead pairing and will look to make improvements after their silver medal in Bled. But Stephanie Cullen, who made her senior world cup debut in a double scull last month, and Andrea Dennis also have the potential to contest for honours.
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GB ROWING TEAM ENTRIES
2010 Rowing World Cup, Bled, Slovenia (28-30 May)
(listed bow to stroke plus cox)
Pairs – three boats
Jo Cook (Leander Club/Sunbury-on-Thames/22.03.84)/
Louisa Reeve (LeanderClub/London/16.05.84)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni BC/Hartpury/30.04.85)/
Victoria Thornley (Minerva Bath/Wrexham/30.11.87)/
Jessica Eddie (Uni of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC/Edinburgh/15.01.82)/
Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft RC/Warrington/16.09.85)/
Alison Knowles (Thames RC/Bournemouth/27.03.82)/
Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Ealing/25.04.83) (cox)
Double scull – two boats
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)
Annabel Vernon (London RC /Wadebridge/01.09.82)
Pair – two boats
Peter Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/03.03.79)
Cameron Nichol (Molesey/Glastonbury/26.6.87)/
Tom Burton (Leander Club/Barton-le-Clay, Beds/24.05.80)
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Uni of London/Durham/13.04.88)/
James Clarke (London RC/London/31.12.84)/
James Orme (Leander Club/Colchester/01.04.84)/
James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
Greg Searle (Molesey BC/Marlow/20.03.72)/
Tom Broadway (Leander Club/Newport Pagnell/21.08.82)
Daniel Ritchie (Herne Bay RC/Herne Bay/06.01.87)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Single scull – two boats
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/09.05.83)
Brendan Crean (Agecroft/Lewes/07.02.85)
Matthew Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79)
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/16.09.82)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)/
Charles Cousins (Reading Uni BC/Cambridge/13.12.88)/
Bill Lucas (Reading Uni BC/Kingswear/13.09.87)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Uni BC/Reading/26.11.85)
Double scull – two boats
Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni BC/London/27.06.84)/
Sophie Hosking (London RC/Wimbledon/25.01.86)
Stephanie Cullen (London RC/Putney, London/27.11.80)/
Andrea Dennis (Reading Uni BC/Oxford/03.01.82)
Chris Boddy (Leander Club/Stockton-on-Tees/16.11.87)/
Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC/Windsor/19.06.85)
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Uni RC/Coleraine/14.03.90)
Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury/02.05.86)/
Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/01.07.78)
Management & Support Staff
David Tanner, Team Manager
Maggie Netto, Assistant TM
Fran Bullock, Sponsor Liaison
Tom Jenkins, Doctor
Mark Edgar, Physiotherapist
Sally Brown, Physiotherapist
Maurice Hayes, Resources Manager
John Tetley, Boatman
John Brockway, Driver
Karl Offord, Driver
Caroline Searle, Press Officer
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THIS SEASON’S DATES
WORLD CUP, Munich, Germany
30 – 4 July
Henley Royal Regatta
WORLD CUP, Lucerne, Switzerland
GB v France Match (Juniors), France
National Rowing Championships (clubs), Nottingham
World Rowing U23 Championships, Brest, Belarus
Couple de la Jeunesse (Juniors), Hazewinkel, Belgium
World Rowing Junior Championships, Racice, Czech Republic
FISU World University Championships, Szeged, Hungary
Youth Olympic Games, Singapore
European Rowing Championships, Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal
Pre-World Championships press conference
GB Rowing Team Crews depart for New Zealand
WORLD ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS