All you need to know about the 2018 World Rowing Championships

The World Rowing Championships will be held in Plovdiv between 9 and 16 September, with GB sending 66 athletes across 18 crews

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The GB World Championships decal on a blade (Naomi Baker)

When will they be racing?

Racing runs from Sunday 9 September to Sunday 16 September. The number of entries for the World Championships is higher than for the World Cup and European Championship regattas, meaning the racing is more spread out through the week.

Racing starts each day 9.30am local time (7.30am BST), with heats and repechages running from Sunday to Wednesday. Quarter-finals, for those events with high numbers of entries, will take place on Wednesday, before the semi-finals begin on Thursday.

The first medals will be awarded on Friday in the non-Olympic and non-Paralympic class boats. The finals for the Olympic class and Paralympic class boats are split between the Saturday and Sunday.

>>> Click here for the full racing schedule

How can I watch the racing?

The BBC will be providing coverage of finals on Saturday and Sunday live on the Red Button and online, with a highlights programme following on BBC Two on each of the afternoons. On Saturday you will be able to watch the action on BBC1 between 13.15-14.45, while on Sunday the highlights will be shown on BBC2 between 12.30-1400.

World Rowing will be live streaming every single race on their website and you can also follow along on their online tracker.

British Rowing will provide text updates on Twitter throughout the Championships, with behind-the-scenes content on Instagram and Facebook.

Who is in the Great Britain team?

Sixty-six athletes will be travelling to Plovdiv as part of the GB Rowing Team across the Olympic and Paralympic squads, including 13 rowers winning their first senior World Championships vests.

Making their debuts are James Johnston (men’s four), Harry Leask (men’s single), Hattie Taylor (women’s pair), Emily Ashford (women’s four), Charlotte Hodgkins Byrne, Anna Thornton (both women’s double sculls), Fran Rawlins (lightweight women’s quad), Ellen Buttrick, Erin Wysocki-Jones (both PR3 mixed coxed four), Josh Bugajski, Sam Meijer (both men’s spares), Emily Ford and Imogen Grant (both women’s spares).

There’s also plenty of experience in the team, including three Olympic gold medallists in the men’s eight in Moe Sbihi, Will Satch and Tom Ransley, while Olympic silver medallists Karen Bennett and Zoe Lee named in the women’s squad.

The men’s four and women’s eight remain unchanged from the crews that won silver medals at the European Championships last month, and Sam Mottram remains in the lightweight single having won bronze in Glasgow.

Hodgkins Byrne and Thornton make up a young and exciting double sculls partnership – the duo won World U23 Championships gold in the event in July. Spares Sam Meijer and Imogen Grant also won U23 golds in Poznan in the men’s quad and lightweight women’s single respectively. Grant will race the lightweight single in Plovdiv, but will primarily act as a backup for the lightweight quad.

The PR3 mixed coxed four features two Paralympic champions in Grace Clough and Daniel Brown, as well as reigning world champion Ollie Stanhope and debutants Buttrick and Wysocki-Jones. Laurence Whiteley races in the PR2 single and Andy Houghton will be chasing a medal in the PR1 single sculls.

>>> Click here to read the full squad

Who else will be there?

The World Rowing Championships welcome athletes from all corners of the globe, with over 900 competitors from 62 countries set to take part in Plovdiv.

There will be some electric racing on the water as well, with a number of fascinating battles set to take place across the boat classes.

The men’s and women’s single sculls have provided some great racing so far this season and there’s a clear favourite in each event, but will we see an upset in Plovdiv?

In the women’s single, Jeannine Gmelin is unbeaten so far in 2018, winning all three World Cup regattas and the European Championships but the gap between her and her nearest rivals has been shrinking all season, with Ireland’s Sanita Puspure close to pipping the Swiss rower in Lucerne and Magdalena Lobnig (Austria) running her close in Glasgow.

On the men’s side, Robbie Manson beat out compatriot and double Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale for the single sculls seat in the New Zealand team. Manson was dominant in Lucerne and also won comfortably in Linz, but Germany’s newcomer Oliver Zeidler is a medal threat, as are the likes of Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) and Sverri Nielsen (Denmark).

We’ll also see Vanuatu’s Rillio Rio Rii racing the single – in August he won his country’s first ever Commonwealth gold medal by taking victory at the Commonwealth Beach Rowing Sprint Championships in Poole.

Drysdale will race in New Zealand’s quadruple sculls – the first time he’s raced internationally in a crew boat since the 2004 Olympic Games, when he was in the four.

Kiwi compatriots Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast will go in as favourite in the women’s pair, while Ilse Paulis and Marieke Keijser will look to round off their strong season in the lightweight women’s double with a gold medal.

In Para-rowing, reigning PR1 men’s single champion Erik Horrie (Australia) will race for the first time since winning gold in Sarasota-Bradenton last year. He’ll face a tough test from Ukrainian Roman Polianskyi, Russia’s Alexey Chuvashev and GB’s Andy Houghton.

About Plovdiv

This will be the second time Plovdiv has hosted the World Rowing Championships, with the city also hosting the non-Olympic events in 2012. It has held the World U23 Championships in 2015 and 2017, as well as the World Junior Championships in 1999 and 2012.

Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria; home to over 340,000 people. Its history reportedly dates back to the 6th millennium BC, with evidence found of Neolithic settlements. The city was also part of the Thracian, Persian, Greek, Macedonian and Roman empires through antiquity, indeed a Roman theatre, stadium and aqueduct can still be found in the city.

One of Plovdiv’s most famous citizens is legendary footballer Hristo Stoichkov, part of the Bulgarian team that finished fourth at the 1994 World Cup where he won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s highest scorer.

How have the GB Rowing Team fared this season?


World Cup 1141
World Cup 2232
World Cup 3100
European Championships022
World U23 Championships332
World Junior Championships210
World Cup 1
:
1
:
4
:
1
World Cup 2
:
2
:
3
:
2
World Cup 3
:
1
:
0
:
0
European Championships
:
0
:
2
:
2
World U23 Championships
:
3
:
3
:
2
World Junior Championships
:
2
:
1
:
0

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