Four golds including one-two for GB Rowing Team

Britain’s Olympic rowing medallists were in top form at the world cup this weekend in France backed by some exciting performances from newcomers.

In total the 15 crews in action today in the finals took four golds, three silvers and three bronzes. These followed two golds and a silver yesterday for Britain’s para-rowers.

As might have been anticipated, the women’s pair and men’s four were dominant in winning. But the men’s quadruple scull also took gold and Britain took the one-two in the lightweight women’s double scull.

Heather Stanning was back in harness, after a spell back in the Army last year, with Helen Glover to take the women’s pair gold.

“It feels fantastic to be back. I knew it was in us, we just had to get out there and do it”, said Stanning.

Andrew Triggs Hodge and Alex Gregory from the 2012 gold winning men’s four, in tandem with Moe Shihi and George Nash, put on a display of power combined with style to win by a considerable margin.

“Belgrade (the European Championships) were solid and strong but scrappy. We have stepped on since then and we have more confidence in our plan”, said Triggs Hodge.

Graeme Thomas, Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins and Peter Lambert backed themselves in the second half of their race to catch and beat the early-leading Germans in the men’s quadruple scull.

“We could hear that they (the Germans) were having to work hard to stay in front and that gave us confidence that we could do it”, said Lambert.

Kat Copeland, already an Olympic winner but never yet a world cup winner in the lightweight double scull put that straight today with Imogen Walsh in a race where the emerging crew of Charlotte Taylor and World U23 Champion Ellie Piggott surged through at the death to take silver.

“It’s beautiful here with such a great atmosphere. I feel like this was a general move up”, said Copeland, the Olympic Champion of her first world cup gold.

There were also bronzes for the lightweight men’s four, the new-look men’s pair of Matt Gotrel and Paul Bennett and the women’s eight in a nail-biting finish to hold off China.

The light four, featuring three of the London 2012 silver medallists – Chris Bartley and brothers Richard and Peter Chambers – with newcomer Mark Aldred were disappointed at this result, a clear measure of their thirst to improve.

By contrast there was delight for Gotrel, a sailor turned rower, and Bennett who have clearly shown their potential in this boat.

Frustration was the key emotion in the women’s eight boat despite their bronze medal. However Zoe Lee from the crew was upbeat about their potential: “Frustration is an exciting emotion to have at this point. We can see what we need to achieve and we know how to get there”.

Performance Director Sir David Tanner said: “Our rowers have really stepped up for the finals day as they did at the European Championships. There were some really impressive medals showing how savvy our team is when it comes to top level racing.

“We’ve had some stand-out performances from our top rowers and some real steps from some of our new talent. Overall it’s been a great weekend and a fantastic venue in France”.

Several members of the team will next be in action at the 175th anniversary Henley Royal Regatta from 2-6 July before the next World Cup which takes place in Lucerne, Switzerland, from July 11-13.


China’s Zhang Min and Tian Miao prevented the women’s pair final from being an all British-American affair. Drawn in lane three Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, the Olympic Champions, faced Tian and Zhang and four American crews – the top-ranked of which featured Olympic women’s eight gold medallist Megan Kalmoe.

Glover and Stanning stamped their trademark domination on this final from the outset. By 500m gone they had a lead, at halfway that was much bigger and with just 500m to go they were five seconds up.

The top-ranked Americans mounted a challenge in the final 300m but he British duo just lifted the pace to win in 7:02.60.

“It feels fantastic to be back. I knew it was in us, we just had to get out there and do it”, said Stanning.

“I think we have an air of confidence and we are a more mature pair after such a hard year for Heather in combat and a year in which in rowing I had to take more of the reins”, added Glover.

Eric Murray and Hamish Bond of New Zealand have made the men’s pair event their own in recent years, today they led out strongly just as the British women had done in the race before.

For Matt Gotrel and Paul Bennett, reaching the final was a considerable achievement in the time they have had together in the boat. They obviously wanted more than that, though, as at halfway they were in a strong third position, having rowed through France a few strokes before.

The French made a big effort to get back but the British duo – one identified from the GB Rowing Teams Start programme and the other “found” by Rusty Williams at the University of London – were not taking any nonsense. They dug in and rowed to a great debut bronze in 6:34.62 behind the New Zealanders and Germany.

“I think we stuck to our strengths well today and kept to our race pace. We had a long talk with our coach Jurgen [Grobler] before and he knows what those strengths are. That wasn’t a bad a race “. said Gotrel.

“We had to dig in through the middle of that race and that was one of our better finishes”, said Bennett.

He added in tribute to Murray and Bond: “That New Zealand pair are exceptional. There they are beside you and you are settling into your race pace and they’ve gone. Bye”.

The GB Rowing Team had two entrants in today’s lightweight women’s double scull final. Imogen Walsh and Olympic Champion Kat Copeland were the top-ranked of the two with World U23 Champion Eleanor Piggott and Charlotte Taylor racing in the other.

In the first half, the newer GB duo got the better start with Walsh and Copeland sitting in the pack. China led at 500m gone with the second GB boat in third and the top-ranked boat in fifth in a relatively closely packed field.

Walsh and Copeland began to pick up the pace just before halfway at which point only small margins separated the top five boats. They surged up to second place before taking the lead ahead of Germany and Sweden in that order with GB’s second boat in fourth and moving up quickly.

Whilst Copeland and Walsh extended out their lead, Piggott and Taylor were storming on the inside and came through Germany to take a debut silver at this level at the world cup.

“It’s beautiful here with such a great atmosphere. I feel like this was a general move up”, said Copeland, the Olympic Champion of her first world cup gold.

“It just felt really satisfying. To win a race in which you have also rowed well feels very good”, added Walsh.

“That race went exactly as we planned it”, said Taylor.

Piggott added: “We knew what we had to do in that last 250m. It was a case of heads down and go for it”.

The men’s four final offered the first opportunity for the GB Rowing Team crew of Alex Gregory, Mohamed Sbihi, George Nash and Andrew Triggs Hodge to test their mettle against Australia – perennial rivals in this event.

At the outset the top-ranked British boat showed their power and built a length by halfway. From the halfway to 1500m they added another slice of clearwater and looked somewhat majestic at the finish to win from Australia and Canada.

Having been somewhat majestic on the water, Moe Sbihi was inevitably understated off it. He said: “I think we put something decent together from 1100m onwards”.

Triggs Hodge said: “Belgrade (the European Championships) were solid and strong but scrappy. We have stepped on since then and we have more confidence in our plan. Every race we are getting closer to what we are capable of. I am looking forward to Lucerne and then our summer training camps before the Worlds”.

George Nash said: “That was better than our last regatta but I think we’ve got a bit more in there. Racing conditions are very different mentally than training and it’s really all about creating in racing what we can do in training. It’s great to row with these guys”.

Alex Gregory added: “That was our race plan today to build through the race. It was good to test it out today”.

GB was also racing a second boat in this field which reached the final juts weeks after coming together. Today they were in contention early but slipped back to sixth at the finish.

Beth Rodford, Lucinda Gooderham, Tina Stiller and Vicky Meyer-Laker lined up in lane six of the women’s quadruple scull final this afternoon. Germany were the favourites and went on to win from the USA and then New Zealand. The GB boat traded punches behind the leaders with Canada before finishing fifth ahead of China.

In the men’s quadruple scull Graeme Thomas, Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins and stroke Peter Lambert got off to a solid start in the pack behind the Olympic champions from Germany who made the early running. For much of the second quarter the British crew made up ground on Canada with whom they traded strokes. The Czech Republic were also looking strong..

At he halfway the GB boat had encroached on the German’s length lead and were closing up and moving away from Canada before the Czechs also put on a big push.

But it was the British boat that surged up just before 1500m to draw almost level with Germany. The effort was etched on the British faces in the boat and excitement on the British supporters faces in the crowd.

All that effort paid off as the British quartet pushed past Germany and then powered onto almost a length win in 5:44.40.

“We could hear that they (the Germans) were having to work hard to stay in front and that gave us confidence that we could do it”, said Lambert.

“We backed our second half today. Germany seemed intent on leading the race early so we thought we would let them have that. We had said that wherever we were with at halfway then we backed ourselves from there”, said Thomas.

“Yes, we had confidence we could do that today”, added Cousins. “We have had a very good few weeks of training before we came here so we knew that we had improved since the Europeans”.

The lightweight men’s four were fast in the first quarter of toddy’s race. Chris Bartley, Richard Chambers, Mark Aldred and Peter Chambers held the lead at this point over the fancied crews from New Zealand and Austria.

As the race approached halfway the British boats had dropped back to third behind New Zealand and Denmark in that order – but only just. The French, a danger, were also challenging.

Beyond halfway the NZ crew pushed again and moved out to a three-quarter length lead. The British crew were tenacious in third.

As the crews passed the packed bank at the finish New Zealand had built on their lead and the GB boat held off France to take bronze and were closing on a tiring Danish quartet.

“We just wanted to be in it at the start and make amends for Belgrade where we let everyone get away”, said Bartley.

“In that last 250m, it was heads down and although I think we were aware we were coming back on Denmark”, said Aldred.

“I think we are getting there”, said the younger Chambers brother, Peter, whilst his older sibling was receiving medical attention having as usual given his very all.

Jonny Walton and John Collins are still relatively new to this level of racing. In Belgrade at the Europeans they were full of scrap and effort to reach the final. They have done the same here and were in second place at 500m gone. At halfway they were still holding a medal position, third, before the Australians and then New Zealanders came through in a race won by Croatia with Azerbaijan taking silver and Australia the eventual bronze.

Frances Houghton and Vicky Thornley are the tallest women in the GB team. Each has had a different career path with a mix of sculling and sweep for Start graduate Vicky and an Olympic medal winning history of sculling for Houghton.

This crew is yet to find its mojo at this level but has all the ingredients to do so. Today they were fifth in a race won by Australia. They could not hold onto the tails of the early pace-makers.

At halfway they wed holding fourth and challenging for third before dropping back as the final sprint moved away.

The GB women’s eight has had some changes since Belgrade. Polly Swann has been brought across from the women’s pair to add her experience and skill in the six-seat in a crew stroked by Louisa Reeve and coxed by Zoe de Toledo.

The crew also featured Rosamund Bradbury, Zoe Lee, Katie Greves, Donna Etiebet, Jess Eddie and Caragh McMurtry.

Today they were on the ball off the start in a race where no-one expected the world and Olympic Champion USA crew to do anything other than take gold. But Canada had other ideas and led early with the GB boat behind the USA and battling with China for third slot.

With 500m to go the USA wound its rate up but the Canadians were not budging yet. Neck and neck the British and Chinese boats traded punches. And at the line it was so, so close with the GB boat taking bronze. Up ahead, the Americans astonishingly had pulled back and pipped Canada.

Reeve said: “China weren’t on our radar until the last 500m, we had some good calls to hold it together”.

de Toledo said: “We had a great start and then held it together all the way down the course against China.

Swann said: “It was hard fought all the way down the course. We had some world class opposition and we put together a world class race. We have a lot more up our sleeves to come. So watch this space”.

Eddie said: “Elise Laverick, (former GB Olympian) said to me before leaving the UK that we should remember that we won a medal here in 1997 so we had something to live up to”.

Greves said: “We were very pleased to get a good start but perhaps our rhythm wasn’t as good as in Belgrade. It’s a bit frustrating as we know that we can do better than that in the middle of the race”.

McMurtry said: “Looking at it positively we still got a medal and it is a big step on from last year. We know thought that we have moved closer to countries like Canada and the USA”.

Etiebet said: “I really do think we can go on upwards. We need to replicate what we are doing in the middle 1000m in training when we are racing”.

Bradbury said: “It is right to be frustrated as there is more to come. We really trusted ourselves, though, not to let the Chinese through”.

Lee said: “Frustration is an exciting emotion to have at this point. We can see what we need to achieve and we know how to get there”.

The GB Rowing Team men’s ieght put themselves where they needed to be in the opening 500m of their final today. Coxed by Henry Fieldman, stroked by Will Satch and featuring – Scott Durant, Alan Sinclair, Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell, Matt Langridge, Pete Reed, James Foad and Mat Tarrant – the eight were tucked behind the American leaders with Poland challenging.

The Poles came through strongly just after halfway with Belarus moving with them.

In the final 700m the GB boat was holding on tightly to second whilst France and Belarus moved through to contend.

Just when it looked as if the British boat might be caught, they lifted themselves to a Herculean effort which saw them take sliver in 5:43.15. Belarus were came through to take bronze but almost a second adrift of the GB combination.

Ruth Walczak won World bronze in the lightweight women’s single scull in Korea last Autumn and has returned to the GB Rowing Team after a tricky few months. Today she raced in lane five with Pan Dandan of China on the inside – the sculler who beat her in yesterday’s semi-finals.

With the first frenetic phases of the race behind them the crews settled down with New Zealand’s Julia Edward at the head of the race, Pan in second and Walczak in third.

At halfway Walczak had edged past Pan but by only a tenth of a second whilst Edward had built on her lead.

Using her consistency, Walczak moved away from Pan to secure an opening silver of the regatta for Britain.

“The big goal today was to go out and leave everything I had on the lake. If you go out and do that and you finish first, second or last you can’t be upset with that. Today I think the Chinese woman gave more at the start and I had a bit more left”, said Walczak.

Drawn in lane six the lightweight men’s pair of Sam Scrimgeour and Jonno Clegg got off to a good start in today’s final. With 250m gone they were showing at the head of the field alongside Austria. In the second 500m the Czech Republic also began to contest with all the crews closely bunched.

The British boat had a sliver of a lead at the halfway mark with all six crews still in the medal fight. Just beyond halfway the Czechs pushed ahead with France challenging and bringing Argentinians with them.

In the final 500m wind up to the finish the Czechs, French and Argentines surged away in a three-boat fight with Scrimgeour and Clegg rowed into that most hurtful of places in sport – fourth.

In the early morning B Finals session, Zak Lee Green was third in the lightweight men’s single scull. He paced his race to move up to third with 350m to go, pushing past the home country’s entrant. The race was won by Paul O’Donovan of Ireland and David Afandiyev of Azerbaijan was second.

Will Fletcher had recovered well from the drama of yesterday which saw him fade out from sheer effort at the finish line in the semis of the lightweight men’s double scull and fall back, turning the boat into the water. In the B Final today, he and Jamie Kirkwood were challenging the two leading boats strongly at the finish, taking third by a narrow margin even recording the same time as the Hungarians who were second.

Monica Relph and Olivia Carnegie-Brown were brought together only recently and today concluded their first senior world cup as a combination in fifth place in the B final, pushing strongly to the line in a race dominated by New Zealand.





Pair – Final A

1. Helen Glover/Heather Stanning (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:02.91
2. Megan Kalmoe/Kerry Simmonds (USA) 7:06.98
3. Grace Laczak/Caroline Lind (USA) 7:09.12
4. Victoria Opitz/Meghan Musnicki (USA) 7:11.41
5. Min Zhang/Tian Miao (China) 7:14.79
6. Amandamandy Polk/Lauren Schmetterling (USA) 7:16.90

Eight – Final A

1. USA 6:04.77
2. Canada 6:05.82
3. Rosamund Bradbury/Zoe Lee/Katie Greves/Donna Etiebet/Jessica Eddie/Polly Swann/
Caragh McMurtry/Louisa Reeve/Zoe de Toledo (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:11.39
4. China 6:11.51
5. Germany 6:17.30

Double scull – Final A

1. Olympia Aldersey/Sally Kehoe (Australia) 6:53.90
2. Meghan O’Leary/Ellen Tomek (USA) 6:55.33
3. Magdalena Fularczyk/Natalia Madaj (Poland) 6:56.53
4. Claudia Belderbos/Inge Janssen (Netherlands) 6:57.66
5. Frances Houghton/Victoria Thornley (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:59.25
6. Ekaterina Karsten/Bichyk Yuliya (Belarus) 7:01.30

Quadruple scull – Final A

1. Annekatrin Thiele/Carina Baer/Julia Lier/Lisa Schmidla (Germany) 6:16.85
2. Grace Latz/Tracy Eisser/Eleanor Logan/Felice Mueller (USA)6:20.87
3. Sarah Gray/Georgia Perry/Lucy Spoors/Erin-Monique Shelton (New Zealand) 6:22.27
4. Emily Cameron/Katharine Goodfellow/Carling Zeeman/Antje von Seydlitz-Kurzbach (Canada)
5. Beth Rodford/Lucinda Gooderham/Kristina Stiller/Victoria Meyer-Laker (GREAT BRITAIN)
6. Jie Wang/Xiaoxing Shen/Min Wang/Xinyue Zhang (China) 6:29.59



Pair – Final A

1. Eric Murray/Hamish Bond (New Zealand) 6:22.51
2. Bastian Bechler/Anton Braun (Germany) 6:33.00
3. Matthew Gotrel/Paul Bennett (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:34.62
4. Valentin Onfroy/Laurent Cadot (France) 6:36.64
5. Rodrigo Murillo/Martin Lasserre (Argentina) 6:37.05
6. Patrick Loliger Salas/Leopoldo Tejada Rios (Mexico) 6:46.68

Four – Final A

1. Alex Gregory/Mohamed Sbihi/George Nash/Andrew Triggs Hodge (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:50.27
2. Christopher Cunningham-Reid/Spencer Turrin/Fergus Pragnell/Joshua Dunkley-Smith
(Australia) 5:55.85
3. Grant James/Michael Gennaro/Henrik Rummel/Seth Weil (USA) 5:55.94
4. Will Crothers/Rob Gibson/Conlin McCabe/Kai Langerfeld (Canada) 5:56.59
5. Bjoern Birkner/Toni Seifert/Maximilian Munski/Kristof Wilke (Germany) 6:00.29
6. Oliver Cook/Phil Congdon/Tom Ransley/Daniel Ritchie (GREAT BRITAIN 2) 6:07.76

Eight – Final A

1. USA 5:41.51
2. Scott Durant/Alan Sinclair/Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell/Matt Langridge/Pete Reed/James Foad/
Matthew Tarrant/William Satch/Henry Fieldman (cox) 5:43.15
3. Belarus 5:44.03
4. France 5:44.45
5. Poland 5:48.27
6. China 5:53.85

Double sculls – Final A

1. Martin Sinkovic/Valent Sinkovic (Croatia) 6:12.70
2. Aleksandar Aleksandrov/Boris Yotov (Azerbaijan) 6:13.64
3. James McRae/Alexander Belonogoff (Australia) 6:13.69
4. Robert Manson/Karl Manson (New Zealand) 6:18.40
5. John Collins/Jonathan Walton (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:19.10
6. Nils Jakob Hoff/Kjetil Borch (Norway) 6:25.60

Quadruple sculls – Final A

1. Graeme Thomas/Sam Townsend/Charles Cousins/Peter Lambert (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:44.40
2. Karl Schulze/Philipp Wende/Kai Furhmann/Tim Grohmann (Germany) 5:46.49
3. Pascal Lussier/Michael Braithwaite/Will Dean/Matthew Buie (Canada) 5:47.47
4. Jian Ma/Zhiyu Liu/Dang Liu/Quan Zhang (China) 5:47.63
5. Allar Raja/Kaspar Taimsoo/Sten-Erik Anderson/Kaur Kuslap (Estonia) 5:49.66
6. Martin Basl/Petr Buzrla/Jakub Houska/David Jirka (Czech Republic) 5:51.13



Single scull – Final A

1. Julia Edward (New Zealand) 7:41.17
2. Ruth Walczak (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:42.83
3. Dandan Pan (China) 7:46.04
4. Julie Marechal (France) 7:53.54
5. Marie-Louise Draeger (Germany) 7:56.52
6. Christina Pultz (Denmark) 7:59.70

Double scull – Final A

1. Imogen Walsh/Katherine Copeland (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:01.85
2. Eleanor Piggott/Charlotte Taylor (GREAT BRITAIN 2) 7:05.23
3. Leonie Pless/Anja Noske (Germany) 7:06.01
4. Cecilia Lilja/Emma Fredh (Sweden) 7:06.15
5. Lindsay Jennerich/Patricia Obee (Canada) 7:08.56
6. Tianyu Teng/Wenyi Huang (China) 7:10.88



Pair – Final A

1. Jiri Kopac/Miroslav Vrastil Jr (Czech Republic) 6:39.48
2. Clement Duret/Theophile Onfroy (France) 6:39.83
3. Carlo Lauro/Agustin Campassi (Argentina) 6:40.34
4. Sam Scrimgeour/Jonathan Clegg (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:42.98
5. Maxime Labarthe/Ludovic Seureau (France) 6:49.11
6. Alexander Chernikov/Matthias Taborsky (Austria) 6:51.88

Four – Final A

1. James Hunter/Peter Taylor/James Lassche/Curtis Rapley (New Zealand) 5:53.81
2. Kasper Winther/Jacob Larsen/Jacob Barsoe/Morten Joergensen (Denmark) 5:56.17
3. Peter Chambers/Mark Aldred/Richard Chambers/Chris Bartley (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:57.32
4. Anthony Fahden/William Daly/Edward King/Robin Prendes (USA) 5:58.93
5. Augustin Mouterde/Thomas Baroukh/Franck Solforosi/Guillaume Raineau (France) 5:59.36
6. Tao Zeng/Chenggang Yu/Zhe Huang/Jiahao Li (China) 6:08.81




Pair – Final B

1. Louise Trappitt/Rebecca Scown (New Zealand) 7:10.55
2. Natalie Mastracci/Susanne Grainger (Canada) 7:15.16
3. Leonora Kennedy/Lisa Dilleen (Ireland) 7:16.53
4. Michaela Schmidt/Ronja Schuette (Germany) 7:24.64
5. Monica Relph/Olivia Carnegie-Brown (GREAT BRITAIN 2) 7:26.55
6. Marie le Nepvou/Melanie Cornille (France) 7:27.64



Single scull – Final B

1. Paul O’Donovan (Ireland) 7:07.46
2. Javid Afandiyev (Azerbaijan) 7:08.23
3. Zak Lee-Green (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:10.55
4. Alexandre Pilat (France) 7:13.96
5. Sid Boudina (Algeria) 7:17.64
6. Daniel Wiederkehr (Switzerland) 7:19.68

Double scull – Final B

1. Konstantin Steinhuebel/Lars Hartig (Germany) 6:27.57
2. Peter Galambos/Gabor Csepregi (Hungary) 6:28.62
3. William Fletcher/Jamie Kirkwood (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:28.62
4. Jan Vetesnik/Ondrej Vetesnik (Czech Republic) 6:31.36
5. Andrej Bendtsen/Henrik Stephansen (Denmark) 6:35.87
6. Nicolas Pratt/Alexander Walker (Canada) 6:36.34


GB Rowing Team Chief Coach for Women has been the catalyst behind the creation of a new on-line community for women who are already rowing at whatever level or want to find out more.

Videos, photos and interviews with top women are displayed here:

Plenty of interesting material to inspire and inform in equal measures.


GB Rowing Team Diary Dates for 2014


Henley Royal Regatta – A number of GBRT crews will compete


World Cup III, Lucerne, Switzerland


Announcement of GB Rowing Team crews for the World Championships – venue TBC


World U23 Championships, Varese, Italy



World Junior Championships, Hamburg, Germany


World Youth Olympic Games, Nanjing, China

24 – 31

World Championships, Amsterdam



World University Championships, Gravelines, France (U23s only)



British Championships – GB Rowing Team participation


For media enquiries about the GB Rowing Team please contact:

The GB Rowing Team Press office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225) 384211 or [email protected] or [email protected]

For pictures please e-mail [email protected]

GB Rowing Team website, including full rower biogs:

Follow us on:


THE GB ROWING TEAM is supported by the Lottery through UK Sport and has Science in Sport as a supplier. SAS Analytics is the Official Analytics Partner of British Rowing and the GB Rowing Team