Quality Lucerne entry points to strong pre-Olympic test
“It’s going to be a real pre-Olympic test”, says Jurgen Grobler, GB Rowing Team Chief Coach for Open Men.
Callum McBrierty will no doubt be savouring the chance to race at the season’s second of three world cups, starting in Lucerne tomorrow, in the GB men’s four. He has been brought into the line up to replace Constantine Louloudis who is recovering from illness.
McBrierty, George Nash, Moe Sbihi and Alex Gregory have been drawn in an opening heat against the Australians who were 2015 world silver medallists and the Belarusians who were second to the first-choice GB line-up at the Europeans earlier this month.
The same virus has affected Pete Reed in the men’s eight who now race in Lucerne with Alan Sinclair on board. Whilst the entry is numerically small in Lucerne, the quality is high with many Olympic qualified eights in the start-list.
The changes to the open men’s squad mean that Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell and Mat Tarrant, Varese world cup gold medallists, will be the lone GB entry in the men’s pair. Sinclair had been due to race in the event with Stewart Innes with whom he won European silver a fortnight ago but who has also been ill. World and Olympic Champions Eric Murray and Hamish Bond race for the first time this year in this event but are in the opposing heat.
“Yes, it’s been frustrating to have this virus going round just before Lucerne but our priority is to let the guys recover properly rather than race them hard before they are truly ready”, said Sir David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director.
“It’s a quality field here in every event and this Regatta is going to be a really good pre-Olympic test for our crews”, added Sir David after today’s draw.
Earlier this month GB had looked set to race the European gold medal crews unchanged. That still applies to the women’s pair of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning and the lightweight men’s pair of Sam Scrimgeour and Joel Cassells respectively.
They will be joined on Switzerland’s Rotsee lake from tomorrow through to Sunday (27-29 May) by Richard Chambers and Will Fletcher, 2015 World silver medallists, who will get their first run-out in the lightweight men’s double. Chambers’ recovery from injury meant they were not quite ready to race in Brandenburg.
Chambers said: “Racing in lucerne is always exciting and special for any international crew. For it to be our first international race of the season is important as we can see where we are after what has been a successful and solid winter’s training in the double.”
Fletcher added: “It feels like such a long time since we last raced in Aiguebelette. This year feels more exciting not just because it is Olympic year but because we have had much longer in the double together and the training has been very good.”
Chambers and Fletcher have been drawn in the same heat as Norway, World bronze medallists last year, Austria and the USA. The big news for this event is that the French selectors have split their World Champion combination of Jeremie Azou and Stany Delayre. Azou will race in Lucerne with Pierre Houin who beat Delayre in the French trials before further decisions are taken on Rio.
Helen Glover and Heather Stanning successfully defended their women’s pair title in Germany in extremely tough and windy conditions. Tomorrow they will get their first run-out of the season against non-European crews. Their heat includes the second-tier New Zealand pair of Ashlee Rowe and Holly Greenslade.
The GB women’s eight, stroked by Zoe Lee, coxed by Zoe de Toledo and featuring Frances Houghton who is seeking a spot in a fifth Olympic Games in Rio, had one of their best races in recent years in Germany, taking gold in a thrilling finale which saw them row through the Dutch on the line. This crew also races unchanged. They, too, will be relishing the chance to test their speed against out-of-Europe crews.
Whilst the women’s eight is also a straight final, they will get the chance to open their lungs and race down the course in a preliminary race tomorrow. The combination also includes Katie Greves, Melanie Wilson, Polly Swann, Jess Eddie, Olivia Carnegie Brown and Karen Bennett.
The lightweight four in Switzerland races in the same line-up as in Brandenburg, too, with Chris Bartley, Mark Aldred, Jono Clegg and Peter Chambers all featuring again. They showed their promise for 2016, from their ninth place result at last year’s Worlds, to take a silver medal behind the Swiss reigning World Champions there.
In tomorrow’s heats they are drawn in the same race as 2015 World silver medallists, Denmark, and 2015 World bronze medallists, France.
Sinclair is a strong substitute having taken bronze in the men’s four at last year’s World Championships. Great Britain have been World Champions in this event for the past three years and whilst this is a changed crew from the 2015 World-title winning crew in France last September, there are still multiple World Champions and Olympic men’s four Champion Andrew T Hodge on board.
The coaching team will also seek a step up from the men’s quadruple scull which is the lead open men’s sculling boat featuring Peter Lambert, Sam Townsend, Angus Groom and Graeme Thomas and which will race in an adjusted order in Switzerland. In tomorrow’s heats they race Lithuania, European silver medallists earlier this month. Russia and Estonia, the other two European medal crews, are not racing in Lucerne.
Double scullers John Collins and Jonny Walton and single sculler Alan Campbell in the men’s single will also look to move on from the Europeans. There will be a second GB open double scull raced by Nick Middleton and Jack Beaumont who were finalists in Varese a month ago. Middleton and Beaumont will have the pleasure of facing Croatian brothers Martin and Valent Sinkovic who are twice World champions.
Since Brandenburg earlier this month the open women’s double scull is being reviewed so
Sir David said: “After Lucerne, Katherine and Vicky will be given the opportunity to be considered for the women’s eight.”
Charlotte Taylor and Kat Copeland who were out of sorts in Brandenburg will be rested for Lucerne and are expected to return to racing in Poznan. That opens an opportunity for Brianna Stubbs and Ellie Piggott, former World U23 Champions, to race in Lucerne. They face
For information about this news article, please contact the GB Rowing Team Press Officer on 01225 384211 or [email protected]
(all times – UK time – BST)
FRIDAY 27 May: 08.30 onwards: Heats, preliminary races, repechages and quarter-finals 08.30 onwards
SATURDAY 28 MAY: 08.30 onwards: semi-finals of international classes, 12.30 onwards: semi-finals of all other events; 15.27 finals of the international classes.
SUNDAY 29 MAY: 08.00 B Finals; 09.18 – 14.03 A Finals
The Lucerne world cup will be televised on BBC 2 on Sunday 29 May from 12.30-14.30.
Lucerne World Cup
27-29 May, 2016
*(Crews listed from bow to stroke with cox and with club, home town and date of birth).
Pair – GBR 1
Helen Glover (Minerva Bath RC/Penzance/17.06.86)/
Heather Stanning (Army RC/Lossiemouth/26.01.85)
Pair – GBR 2 (racing spares)
Coach: Robin Williams
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/
Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC/London/25.06.84)/
Frances Houghton (Univ of London Tyrian Club/Oxford/19.09.80)/
Jess Eddie (London RC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Henley-on-Thames/28.03.91)/
Karen Bennett (Leander Club/Edinburgh/05.02.89)/
Zoe Lee (Imperial College BC/Richmond/15.12.85)/
Zoe De Toledo (Leander Club/London/17.07.87) (cox)
Coach: Paul Thompson and James Harris
Coach: Rob Dauncey
Callum McBrierty (Leander Club/Edinburgh/13.08.92)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
George Nash (Molesey BC/Guildford/02.10.89)/
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)/
Coach: Jurgen Grobler
Matt Gotrel (Leander Club/Chipping Campden/01.03.89)/
Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Lancaster/12.02.88)/
Matt Langridge (Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)/
Paul Bennett (Univ of London BC/Leeds/16.12.88)/
Alan Sinclair (Leander Club/Inverness/16.10.85)/
Andrew T Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden/03.03.79)/
Tom Ransley (Leander Club/Ashford/06.09.85)/
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/09.06.89)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers School/Coleraine/09.05.83)
Coach: John West
Double Scull – GBR 1
Jonny Walton (Leander Club/Leicester/06.10.90)/
John Collins (Leander Club/Twickenham/24.01.89)
Coach: Mark Banks
Double Scull – GBR 2
Nick Middleton (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/12.08.88)/
Coach: Mark Banks
Peter Lambert (Leander Club/Maidenhead/03.12.86)
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)/
Angus Groom (Leander Club/Glasgow/16.06.92)/
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC/Preston/08.11.88)/
Brianna Stubbs (Wallingford RC/Poole/13.07.91)/
Coach: Ben Reed
Joel Cassells (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/15.06.94)/
Sam Scrimgeour (Imperial College BC/Kirriemuir/28.01.88)
Coach: Hamish Burrell
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)/
Mark Aldred (London RC/Birmingham/18.04.87)/
Jono Clegg (Leander Club/Maidenhead/14.07.89)/
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)
Coach: Hamish Burrell
Will Fletcher (Leander Club/Chester-le-Street/24.12.89)/
Richard Chambers (Leander Club/Coleraine/10.06.85)
Coach: Darren Whiter
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