GB’s next generation show promise at Coupe and GB v France match
While the GB Rowing Team’s senior crews have been going through their final preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the team’s under-18 and under-16 crews have tested themselves against their European rivals.
GB finished second overall at the Coupe de la Jeunesse last weekend with a gold, two silvers and six bronze medals, and earlier this month won the annual GB v France match for the first time in five years.
COUPE DE LA JEUNESSE
The 2012 Coupe was held at Lake Banyoles in Spain, 20 years after it hosted the Olympic regatta at which Greg Searle – in the GB men’s eight for 2012 – won gold in the coxed pair.
The standard of racing proved to be as high as the temperatures and, with final trials in Nottingham just 10 days before the competition, the GB team had to fight hard for their medals at the event from July 20-22 where crews compete twice, once on each day.
The high point was a fantastic gold for the GB men’s eight, who rowed through the Italian crew at 1,000m and then held off a spirited fight-back as the finish line approached.
The women’s four, men’s four, men’s coxed four and men’s pair all won bronze medals on Saturday to go with the men’s eight gold.
And on Sunday the men’s and women’s pairs won bronze before the women’s four and men’s eight both won silver behind the overall winners Italy.
Worthy of note was the fact GB crews finished fourth on eight occasions, just outside the medals.
The Italians won the overall team prize, winning at least a bronze medal in each of the 13 events on both days and the GB Rowing Team did well to secure second place ahead of Spain and the Netherlands.
“The team were a credit to GB, professional off the water and determined on it, they gave everything over the two days of the regatta and performed very well given the reduced preparation time,” said team manager Richard Follett.
“Congratulations to all the medallists, especially the boy’s pair who won two bronze medals, the girl’s coxless four who won bronze and silver, and the men’s eight who won silver and gold medals.
“We will return next year even more determined to win the team trophy back from Italy.”
Click here for the GB crews which raced at the 2012 Coupe de la Jeunesse: https://www.britishrowing.org/gb-rowing-team/meet-the-teams/team-selections/2012-coupe-de-la-jeunesse-banyoles-spain
Click here for the official results: http://www.couperowing.org/
GB v FRANCE MATCH
The GB Rowing Team sent a squad of more than 50 rowers and coxes to Gravelines in France for the 2012 GB v France match and returned having won both the boys and the girls sections of the under 16 contest to emerge as overall winners.
The GB boys won four of the seven boat classes raced, while the GB girls won four of the six classes in their competition at the match which is raced over 1,500m.
The last time France played host, two years ago, there was not a single victory for a GB girls’ crew. But 2012 saw wins for single sculler Olivia Kay from Nottingham Rowing Club, the double from Bedford Grammar School, pair from Headington and the quad from Wallingford.
In the boys’ match, the quad from Windsor Boys’ School gave the GB boys their opening win before the coxless four from Eton College won by a foot from their French opposition.
Ely’s Toby Rudkin from the King’s School won the single sculls and there was also victory for the coxed four from Dulwich College.
The GB v France match gives young rowers a first taste of being part of a GB team and travelling and racing in GB colours and has seen the likes of Kieren Emery from Newcastle go on to win World U23 and senior World titles last year in the lightweight men’s pair with Peter Chambers and a second World U23 title in 2012 in the openweight pair with Matthew Tarrant.
The 2013 match will be held at London Docklands.
Click here to see the GB crews which raced at the 2012 GB v France match: https://www.britishrowing.org/gb-rowing-team/meet-the-teams/team-selections/2012-gb-v-france-match-gravelines-france