GB Rowing Team men’s eight turn European fortunes around

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The GB Rowing Team men’s eight, stroked by Will Satch, turned their fortunes around today as they banished yesterday’s shaky heats performance to blast out of the blocks before driving on to win their repechage and move into tomorrow’s European Championships final in Poznan, Poland.

“That was more like it. We were more awake and more ‘on it’. But we will have to be even better tomorrow”, said Pete Reed .The GB eight has won both of the last two World Championships titles.

Moe Sbihi added: “There is still some work to do, it wasn’t the perfect race, but you kind of want that because you want to improve as the event goes on”.

Katherine Grainger, competing in the double scull here with Vicky Thornley, has made the European final on her return to the sport after a two-year gap.

Today’s performance, both women felt, was a “step on” from yesterday’s heat. They were second to Lithuania’s Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite who were World Champions in 2013.

“The most important thing for us this weekend is that we get a lot of learning. Like yesterday, we were pleased with some things and some not. We’ll have a talk with our coach Paul Thompson tonight and I’m confident we can make improvements tomorrow”.

Thornley added “Semi-finals are always do or die and they are so high pressure, I am confident we can move on tomorrow”.

Richard Chambers and Will Fletcher look to be a pacey combination as the new-look GB lightweight men’s double in 2015. They were amongst the stand-out British performers today, winning their semi-final by a healthy margin from Norway.

Angus Groom also caused a stir in booking a place in tomorrow’s final on his senior international debut. He was third in a semi won by Damir Martin in a European best time and in which Groom was within touching distance of second, ultimately taken by defending champion, Ondrej Synek.

Olympic and World Champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning again looked comfortable in winning their women’s pair semi-final despite the choppy and breezy conditions that were the backdrop to today’s session.

Stanning said: “It was quite rough in the last bit but we’re not an inexperienced crew and it was just making sure we rowed a good race and were able to keep something back for the final.”

Wins for the men’s quad (in a European best time) and women’s eight in their repechages along with second and third places for Zak Lee Green and Imogen Walsh in the lightweight single semis as well as second spots for Kat Copeland and Charlotte Taylor in the light double and for the lightweight men’s four of Mark Aldred, Sam Scrimgeour, Chris Bartley and Jonno Clegg mean that GB go into finals day here with 15 boats in action from the original tally of 17.

The men’s four and lightweight men’s pair had already qualified from yesterday’s heats.

Jonny Walton and John Collins were agonisingly close to joining them in the finals but missed out in the men’s double scull by mere hundredths of a second and there was disappointment for Frances Houghton who will race a B final, too, after finishing fourth in today’s repechage of the open women’s single.

Tomorrow’s action will be broadcast live by BBC TV with transmission times on Sunday May 31st as follows:

Rowing: European Championships, 09:30-13:45, BBC Red Button
Rowing: European Championships, 11:30-13:50, BBC Two

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RACE REPORTS

“Those were the most difficult conditions I have ever raced in”, exclaimed Cardiff’s Zak Lee Green who led off GB’s semi-final programme in Poland today with a second place in the lightweight men’s single having held off the Ukrainian and tracked the French leader for much of the race. The gusts and chop continued throughout the morning as a backdrop to a consistent day for GB.

Imogen Walsh, tucked into the middle of the ensuing lightweight women’s single semi, held her nerve in the breeze and hung onto a qualifying place in a toughly-contested race which saw Ireland’s early leader Sinead Jennings eventually fade to fourth whilst Lithuania’s Sonata Petrikaite found enough pace to nudge past Walsh in the race to the line in a semi won by Anastasia Ianina of Russia.

Heather Stanning says that she and Helen Glover like to learn something from every race but to the untrained bystander it looked like business as usual today as they led their women’s semi from the outset to win in 7:07.32.

Glover said: “Today was all about getting through to the final but we’re fairly pleased with how we did it, especially that we didn’t have to work too hard to get over the line in those conditions”.

Richard Chambers and Will Fletcher have set up a sizzling final tomorrow by winning their lightweight men’s double semi over 2013 World Champions Kristoffer Brun and Are Strandli and in a time that wasn’t far off that set by defending champions Stany Delayre and Jeremie Azou of France in the other semi. Chambers and Fletcher got out to lead at the tail-end of the first quarter, put the pedal down and then defended their lead today to win in 6:16.83.

Whilst Chambers and Fletcher caught the eye because of their pace, the GB light women’s double of Charlotte Taylor and Katherine Copeland, proved a fascinating “watch” because they almost caught Germany at the line despite the Germans leading by almost five seconds at the halfway point.

Taylor and Copeland had started modestly, in fourth just before 500m, moving through to third for much of the race before using their consistency to overhaul the Dutch and, with 250m to go, get the overlap on a clearly tiring Fini Sturm and Marie Louise Draeger of Germany who, despite a final wobble in the conditions, managed to stay on track and take the verdict by half a second.

Melanie Wilson, Kristina Stiller, Beth Rodford and Jess Leyden needed to finish in the top four of their repechage to get into tomorrow’s final. They did enough behind the Poles and Ukrainians to take third place and qualify. In the final 500m they came through France to secure the place.

First to the 500m mark, the GB open men’s quad of Jack Beaumont, Sam Townsend, Graeme Thomas and Peter Lambert battled it out with Lithuania for top honours in their repechage today. It was nip and tuck at times but the British combination came through strongly in the final phases of the race to win in 5:41.88.

Jonny Walton and John Collins were not so fortunate in their men’s double scull semi-final which was won by 2013 World Champions Jakob Nils Hoff and Kjetil Borch of Norway with Bulgaria and France taking the other two qualifying slots. Collins and Walton were holding second as the race reached its climax but then missed out in the dash to the line by just 500 hundredths of a second behind France. Bulgaria, last at halfway, were the surprise package in that final sprint coming up from fourth to take second.

Vicky Thornley and Katherine Grainger had their noses just ahead after 400m of their women’s double scull semi-final today. This duo are learning their craft together race by race. Today, the danger was always going to be the Lithuanians, World Champions in 2013. Indeed Vistartaite and Valcuikaite got in front in that second quarter and then began to pull away – except that Grainger and Thornley had other ideas.

They kept up their strong rhythm to hold onto an overlap and were still in touch as the race came to its final 300m. Victory to Lithuania in 6:48.89 just under two seconds ahead with Belarus in third but an improvement on yesterday according to Grainger and Thornley.

Britain’s lightweight squad are an ambitious and determined bunch – as you would expect. Although they qualified for tomorrow’s final in second place in the semis, the GB four of Sam Scrimgeour, Jonathan Clegg, Mark Aldred and Chris Bartley did not look ecstatic. They led early but were then overtaken by their arch-rivals, the Danes who are reigning European Champions and world best time holders. Less than two seconds separated them at the finish.

As the GB men’s eight was warming up to race, the women’s eight were on the start – one they nailed with passion and high energy to lead from the outset of their repechage despite pressure from Germany and the Netherlands.

Jess Eddie summed it up: “We got off to a strong start, which meant we were able to just sit and control the race in the second half. We held enough back to know if we needed to sprint at the end we could but we didn’t really have to switch into aggressive racing, it was a case of ‘just stay calm, we’ve done the job’.

Angus Groom surprised not only some of the crowd but also himself with his third place finish in today’s open men’s single scull – his first senior semi-final and one in which a European best time was set and in which the defending champion, Ondrej Synek finished just a over a second ahead of him but behind eventual winner Damir Martin.

Groom said: “I am speechless. From the times yesterday I knew I had a good shot of reaching the final but I just wanted to go and do my best really.
 
I looked across halfway through the race and saw I wasn’t too far down on Ondrej Synek, and I thought ‘what’s going on?!’.
 
Then I found out I’d done 6:50, which is my best-ever time. I wanted to break seven minutes, so to do it by that much is incredible. I am very pleased”.

Frances Houghton is at the other end of the experience scale. An Olympian as far back as 2000 with two Olympic quadruple scull silvers to her name, she struggled to find the requisite pace in today’s repechage despite a good first 1000m in which she was holding second. At the line she finished in fourth and in 7:44.57 to move into tomorrow’s B finals.

If you wanted a crashing, high-energy finale to the day’s racing then the GB men’s eight fulfilled that wish. Like the women’s eight they got out strongly and then challenged early leaders Poland before moving through them to take charge.

By halfway they had more than two seconds on the field but had to keep an eye on the fast-finishing French crew on the opposite side of the lake to them. In the end the margin of their victory was 1.70 seconds but the boost to their confidence after yesterday’s heat is immeasurable.

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RESULTS

RESULTS

(Events featuring GB Rowing Team crews only. For full results – www.worldrowing.com)

SEMI-FINALS A/B

OPEN

WOMEN

Pair

Semi-final A/B 1

1. Helen Glover/Heather Stanning (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:07.32
2. Anna Wierzbowska/Maria Wierzbowska (Poland) 7:12.05
3. Hedvig Rasmussen/Anne Andersen (Denmark) 7:13.17
4. Nuria Dominguez Asensio/Anna Boada Peiro (Spain) 7:14.68
5. Svitlana Novichenko/Anna Kontseva (Ukraine) 7:23.47
6. Marcela Milosevic/Karla Milosevic (Croatia) 7:32.19

Double scull

Semi-final A/B 2

1. Donata Vistartaite/Milda Valciukaite (Lithuania) 6:48.89
2. Victoria Thornley/Katherine Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:50.76
3. Ekaterina Karsten/Yuliya Bichyk (Belarus) 6:54.39
4. Aikaterini Nikolaidou/Sofia Asoumanaki (Greece) 6:58.65
5. Kristyna Fleissnerova/Lenka Antosova (Czech Republic) 7:00.82
6. Elodie Ravera-Scaramozzino/Helene Lefebvre (France) 7:02.86

MEN

Single scull

Semi-final A/B 2

1. Damir Martin (Croatia) 6:47.35
2. Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) 6:49.79
3. Angus Groom (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:50.59
4. Robert Ven (Finland) 6:50.99
5. Ioan Prundeanu (Romania) 6:59.90
6. Roel Braas (Netherlands) 7:05.39

Double scull

Semi-final A/B 1

1. Nils Jakob Hoff/Kjetil Borch (Norway) 6:12.30
2. Kristian Vasilev/Georgi Bozhilov (Bulgaria) 6:13.04
3. Hugo Boucheron/Matthieu Androdias (France) 6:13:22
4. John Collins/Jonny Walton (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:13.27
5. Bendeguz Petervari-Molnar/Gergely Papp (Hungary) 6:19.98
6. Frank Steffensen/Sophus Johannesen (Denmark) 6:27.57

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Single scull

Semi-final A/B 1

1. Anastasia Ianina (Russia) 7:42.99
2. Sonata Petrikaite (Lithuania) 7:44.09
3. Imogen Walsh (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:44.62
4. Sinaed Jennings (Ireland) 7:45.99
5. Stefanie Borzacchini (Austria) 7:58.39
6. Olga Svirska (Latvia) 8:02.81

Double scull

Semi-final A/B 1

1. Fini Sturm/Marie-Louise Draegar (Germany) 6:59.48
2. Charlotte Taylor/Kat Copeland (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:59.98
3. Elisabeth Woerner/Maaike Head (Netherlands) 7:02.25
4. Amalia Tsiavou/Georgia Dimakou (Greece) 7:04.70
5. Frederique Rol/Patricia Merz (Switzerland) 7:07.37
6. Svitlana Martynova/Alisa Sobko (Ukraine) 7:24.62

MEN

Four

Semi-final A/B 1

1. Kasper Winther/Jens Vilhelmsen/Jacob Barsoe/Jacob Larsen (Denmark) 5:55.27
2. Sam Scrimgeour/Jonathan Clegg/Mark Aldred/Chris Bartley (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:56.53
3. Simon Schuerch/Mario Gyr/Lucas Tramer/Simon Niepmann (Switzerland) 5:58.14
4. Cem Yilmaz/Hakan Ozcan/Barbaros Gozutok/Ahmet Yumrukaya (Turkey) 6:00.34
5. Jan Hajek/Jiri Kopac/Miroslav Vrastil Jr/Michael Humpolec (Czech Republic) 6:01.64
6. Dawid Kaminski/Mateusz Drab/Rafal Serwiak/Milosz Bernatajtys (Poland) 6:27.38

Single scull

Semi-final A/B 1

1. Pierre Houin (France) 7:00.58
2. Zak Lee-Green (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:04.79
3. Igor Khmara (Ukraine) 7:05.97
4. Jerzy Kowalski (Poland) 7:13.16
5. Nuno Mendes (Portugal) 7:21.55
6. Gabor Csepregi (Hungary) 7:23.42

Double scull

Semi-final A/B 1

1. Richard Chambers/Will Fletcher (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:16.83
2. Kristoffer Brun/Are Strandli (Norway) 6:21.02
3. Paul O’Donovan/Gary O’Donovan (Ireland) 6:22.89
4. Jan Vetesnik/Ondrej Vetesnik (Czech Republic) 6:27.58
5. Paul Sieber/Bernhard Sieber (Austria) 6:31.75
6. Spyridon Giannaros/Stefanos Ntouskos (Greece) 6:41.41

REPECHAGE RESULTS

OPEN

WOMEN

Eight

1. Rosamund Bradbury/Olivia Carnegie-Brown/Lucinda Gooderham/Donna Etiebet/Jessica Eddie/Louisa Reeve/Katie Greves/Zoe Lee/Morgan Baynham Williams (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:06.78
2. Netherlands 6:07.61
3. Germany 6:07.92
4. Belarus 6:17.91
5. Ukraine 6:20.81

Single scull – repechage 1

1. Lina Saltyte (Lithuania) 7:37.67
2. Fie Udby Erichsen (Denmark) 7:40.63
3. Lisa Scheenaard (Netherlands) 7:43.60
4. Frances Houghton (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:44.57
5. Julia Michalska (Poland) 7:48.36

Quadruple scull

1. Agnieszka Kobus/Joanna Leszczynska/Maria Springwald/Monika Ciaciuch (Poland) 6:18.21
2 Natalia Kovalova/Daryna Verkhogliad/Ievgeniia Nimchenko/Nataliya Dovgodko (Ukraine) 6:21.90
3. Melanie Wilson/Kristina Stiller/Beth Rodford/Jessica Leyden (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:23.94
4. Alice Mayne/Eleonore Dubuis/Daphne Socha/Chloe Poumailloux (France) 6:27.48
5. Maria Krasilnikova/Iuliia Volgina/Ekaterina Potapova/Ekaterina Kurochkina (Russia) 6:28.28

OPEN

MEN

Eight

1. Matt Gotrel/Stewart Innes/Pete Reed/Paul Bennett/Mohamed Sbihi/Alex Gregory/George Nash/Will Satch/Phelan Hill (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:32.07
2. France 5:33.77
3. Poland 5:35.55
4. Netherlands 5:36.35
5. Ukraine 5:38.18
6. Belarus 5:50.80

Quadruple scull – repechage 2

1. Jack Beaumont/Sam Townsend/Graeme Thomas/Peter Lambert (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:41.88
2. Dominykas Jancionis/Rolandas Mascinskas/Aurimas Adomavicius/Vytautas Lapatiukas (Lithuania) 5:43.48
3. Bjoern-Jostein Singstad/Martin Helseth/Erik Solbakken/Jan Helvig (Norway) 5:46.02
4. Nico Stahlberg/Augustin Maillefer/Barnabe Delarze/Roman Roeoesli (Switzerland) 5:46.53

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CREW LISTS (Includes club, home town, date of birth)
GB Rowing Team for the 2015 European Championships,
Poznan, 29-31 May

OPEN

WOMEN

Pair

Helen Glover (Minerva Bath RC/Penzance/17.06.86)
Heather Stanning (Army RC/Lossiemouth/26.01.85)
Coach: Robin Williams

Eight

Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)
Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Oxford/28.03.91)
Lucinda Gooderham (Leander Club/Garboldisham/09.06.84)
Donna Etiebet (Sport Imperial/London/29.04.86)
Jessica Eddie (London RC/Durham/07.10.84)
Louise Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)
Rosamund Bradbury (Leander Club/Banstead/17.12.88)
Zoe Lee (Imperial College BC/Richmond/15.12.85)
Morgan Baynham-Williams (Leander Club/Ross-on-Wye/28.06.94)
Coach: James Harris

Single Scull

Frances Houghton (Univ of London Tyrian Club/Oxford/19.09.80)
Coach: Nick Strange

Double Scull

Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Glasgow/12.11.75)
Victoria Thornley (Leander Club/Wrexham/30.11.87)
Coach: Paul Thompson

Quadruple Scull

Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC/London/25.06.84)
Kristina Stiller (Tees RC/Yarm/23.06.87)
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)
Jessica Leyden (Leander Club/Todmorden/22.02.95)
Coach: Nick Strange

Women’s Spares

Karen Bennett (Leander Club/Edinburgh/05.02.89)
Becca Chin (Agecroft RC/Deganwy/11.12.91)

OPEN

MEN

Pair

James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)
Matt Langridge (Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)
Coach: Rob Dauncey

Four

Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Univ of London BC/Durham/13.04.88)
Alan Sinclair (Leander Club/Munlochy/16.10.85)
Tom Ransley (Leander Club/Ashford/06.09.85)
Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Lancaster/12.02.88)
Coach: Christian Felkel

Eight

Matt Gotrel (Leander Club/Chipping Campden/01.03.89)
Stewart Innes (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/20.05.91)
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth/27.07.81)
Paul Bennett (Univ of London BC/Leeds/16.12.88)
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)
George Nash (Molesey BC/Guildford/02.10.89)
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/09.06.89)
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Coach: Jurgen Grobler

Single Scull

Angus Groom (Leander Club/Glasgow/16.06.92)
Coach: John West

Double Scull

Jonny Walton (Leander Club/Leicester/06.10.90)
John Collins (Leander Club/Twickenham/24.01.89)
Coach: Mark Banks

Quadruple Scull

Jack Beaumont (Leander Club/Maidenhead/21.11.93)
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC/Preston/08.11.88)
Peter Lambert (Leander Club/Maidenhead/03.12.86)
Coach: Paul Stannard

Men’s Spares

Callum McBrierty (Leander Club/Edinburgh/13.08.92)
Matthew Tarrant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Shepperton/11.07.90)

LIGHTWEIGHT

WOMEN

Single Scull

Imogen Walsh (London RC/Inverness/17.01.84)
Coach: Paul Reedy

Double Scull

Kat Copeland (Tees RC/Ingleby Barwick/01.12.90)
Charlotte Taylor (Putney Town RC/Bedford/14.08.85)
Coach: Paul Reedy

LIGHTWEIGHT

MEN

Pair

Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)
Joel Cassells (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/15.06.94)
Coach: Rob Morgan

Four

Sam Scrimgeour (Imperial College BC/Kirriemuir/28.01.88)
Jonathan Clegg (Leander Club/Maidenhead/14.07.89)
Mark Aldred (London RC/Birmingham/18.04.87)
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)
Coach: Rob Morgan

Single Scull

Zak Lee-Green (Agecroft RC/Cardiff/05.02.91)
Coach: Darren Whiter

Double Scull

Richard Chambers (Leander Club/Coleraine/10.06.85)
Will Fletcher (Leander Club/Chester-le-Street/24.12.89)
Coach: Darren Whiter

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2015 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS TIMETABLE

Provisional timetable (all times BST)

Friday 29 May

08.30 -12.25 – Heats
14.30-16.00 – Repechages

Saturday 30 May

08.30- 08.45 – Semis C/D
08.50-11.15 – Repechages and Semis A/B
11.25-11.30 – Finals D
11.35 -12.15 – Finals C

Sunday 31 May

08.00-09.15 – B Finals
09.33-13.33 – Finals

Official website for full timetable: http://www.erch2015.com/

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A LOOK BACK TO THE 2014 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Last year’s event in Belgrade, Serbia, was the first time that the GB Rowing Team had taken a full team to the European Championships and they were rewarded with eight medals, including two gold.

Those results put GB on top of the medal table and set the team up for a successful year on the World Cup circuit and at the World Championships in Amsterdam.

2014 European Championships Medals

Women’s Pair – GOLD
Helen Glover, Polly Swann 

Men’s Four – GOLD
Alex Gregory, Mohamed Sbihi, George Nash, Andrew Triggs Hodge 

Women’s Eight – SILVER
Rosamund Bradbury, Olivia Carnegie-Brown, Katie Greves, Donna Etiebet, Jessica Eddie, Zoe Lee, Caragh McMurtry, Louisa Reeve, Zoe de Toledo (cox)

Men’s Quadruple Scull – SILVER
Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins, Graeme Thomas, Peter Lambert 

Lightweight Men’s Pair – SILVER
Sam Scrimgeour, Jonathan Clegg 

Lightweight Men’s Four – SILVER
Mark Aldred, Peter Chambers, Richard Chambers, Chris Bartley

Men’s Eight – BRONZE
Phil Congdon, Oliver Cook, Matthew Gotrel, Pete Reed, William Satch, Matthew Tarrant, Scott Durant, James Foad, Phelan Hill (cox)

Lightweight Women’s Double Scull – BRONZE
Imogen Walsh, Katherine Copeland 

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CONTACT DETAILS

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