History made twice in Lucerne
Great Britain made history twice today on Lucerne’s Rotsee Lake at the world cup finals when they won their first world cup gold of all time in the lightweight men’s four – from the Siemens-sponsored British crew of Richard Chambers, James Lindsay-Fynn, James Clarke and Paul Mattick – and secured their first overall world cup trophy on points in ten years over habitual winner Germany.
There was also a gold from the Camelot-backed world champion women’s quadruple scull of Katherine Grainger, Debbie Flood, Fran Houghton and Annie Vernon who, like the lightweight men’s four, picked up the world cup overall trophy in that event as a result of gold here and in Linz and silver in Amsterdam.
Britain backed its headline-makers today with three silvers and a bronze. Single sculler Alan Campbell, double scullers Stephen Rowbotham and Matt Wells and the men’s four were the silver medallists whilst the lightweight men’s double of Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter took bronze.
"We’ll go to the Munich-based world championships with a degree of confidence after this season", said David Tanner, GB Performance Director at the end of racing. "Without doubt this has been our best team result ever across the world cup series with all three of our three disciplines – women, men and lightweights – winning gold in at least one world cup. Of course, medals are harder and harder to achieve but we have some good chances and we’ll need to keep our minds also on the key Olympic qualification slots for Beijing which will be decided in Munich in August".
The squad now has a short three-day break before resuming training and in advance of two long pre-worlds training camps.
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Britain’s women’s quadruple scull crew of Katherine Grainger, Fran Houghton, Debbie Flood and Annie Vernon, banished the ghosts of Amsterdam three weeks ago, to take gold here in Lucerne this afternoon in a race of controlled aggression. They led from the front all the way down the course and even the strengthened German crew including the legendary Kathrin Boron could not keep with them.
With today’s gold, for the Camelot-sponsored and Paul Thompson coached crew, came the coveted world cup overall title for this event after gold in Linz and silver in Amsterdam.
"We went out to take it on and we did", said Debbie Flood aftewards. "I think that was one of my best races yet", said Annie Vernon.
World best time holders, Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindells from New Zealand, took the women’s open double final by the scruff of the neck in the first 500m to take a strong lead but they were tracked by the British duo of Elise Laverick and Anna Bebington who were in action here for the first time this season after the latter’s knee injury.
In the second half of the race the two German doubles showed strongly but, racing past the Grandstands in the final 350m the British were holding bronze medal position behind New Zealand and Germany and with Italy closing up fast behind them. At the line, Italy snatched the bronze by an agonising one hundredth of a second with GB in third in 7:01.62.
Natasha Page and Natasha Howard came together in the women’s pair here because Alison Knowles, Howard’s usual partner, is injured. To reach the final was special, under the circumstances, and their fourth place today was an excellent performance.
The duo were held their position consistently during a race in which the lead swapped hands between New Zealand and the USA before the former emerged winners in 7:06.67.
In today’s final of the women’s eight, Great Britain were fourth in a time of 6:14.21. This was a solid performance for the Siemens-backed crew who were stroked here by Louisa Reeve, a world cup debutante this year and coxed by Caroline O’Connor. Here, of course, they were minus Natasha Page who moved into the pair and was substituted by Rebecca Rowe.
Beaten in yesterday’s semi-final the GB men’s four, carrying three world champions in Steve Williams, Peter Reed and Andy Hodge, rocketed off the start to take an early lead ahead of their main rivals, the Netherlands and New Zealand.
Three and a half minutes into the race, the Dutch began to seize the iniative with Great Britain second and New Zealand third. Roared on from the grandstand the British quartet pushed again and as the race hit the final 300m GB were ahead with the Dutch and Kiwis behind but closing quickly. In the final dramatic few strokes, the Dutch took the verdict with Great Britain second and the Antipodeans third.
Given the substitution of Tom James for an injured Alex Partridge this was a pleasing result for GB but New Zealand and Holland have both laid down a marker for the World Championships later this year.
"That was excellent", said a clearly delighted GB Performance Director David Tanner. "They were superb".
"That was a full-on race", said Williams afterwards. "That is what we were looking forward to we haven’t experienced that in the past three years".
"It’s been such a steep learning curve for me this past fortnight, rowing with such power on board", added James.
"With Alex back on board we can improve from here but credit to the Dutch, who have moved on since Amsterdam and to the New Zealanders", added Hodge.
The British men’s eight put themselves in medal contention right up until the final 100m of the final here today. Only then did Russia strengthen their position to hold on for bronze behind Canada and Germany with Britain two seconds behind them in fourth in a time of 5:33.94.
This Siemens-backed crew were bronze medallists three weeks ago in Amsterdam and have had a better back end to the world cup season to give them confidence for the world championships to come.
Stephen Rowbotham said yesterday that his event, the men’s double scull in which he races in a Siemens-backed double with Matt Wells, is characterised by "tight racing". Early in today’s final the six boats were all neck and neck until Estonia piled on the pressure in the third quarter of the race and established a long lead.
Behind them Slovenia and Great Britain emerged from the pack and, the British duo’s finishing speed assured them of silver with the Slovenians third.
"We raced long and strong and nice and clean but we didn’t expect that from Estonia", said Stephen Rowbotham afterwards. "I guess we now need to go away and find a special 500m of our own".
Alan Campbell built on his Henley win here by taking a silver medal in the men’s open single scull. This event is fast-developing into one of the most exciting on the circuit with Campbell, sonsored by Siemens, Olympic champion Olaf Tufte, world cup leader, Ondrej Synek and world champion Mahe Drysdale all capable of taking the spoils here.
Synek made the opening move here, charging out from the start. He led to the 1500m mark, with Campbell, holding second but conscious that Drysdale was moving up. In the final 500m Drysdale came through to take the gold with Campbell rowing through a tiring Synek to win silver in 6:45.94.
"We haven’t been afraid to try some new tactics", said Campbell afterwards. "I’m still learning".
Britain’s lightweight men’s four were early leaders in today’s final raced under baking sun and on still water on Lucerne’s Rotsee. To the delight of Britain’s large contingent of travelling supporters, the quartet were still ahead at 1500m holding France and the Netherlands at bay.
They put in another push in the last 300m and the Netherlands went with them on their outside. With 200m to go, even if they didn’t know it, it was clear from the banks that the British were going to win their first lightweight men’s four gold at world cup level of all-time.
"It was awesome to be able to sit in front and control the race", said stroke James Clarke afterwards.
"We were the strongest four out there today and we’re coached really well. It was a great race", added James Lindsay-Fynn.
"That was an amazing feeling and such a
great race", added Richard Chambers.
"We kept the pace and the rhythm and
the length and it was such a good feeling", said Mattick.
Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, for Britain, showed early with Denmark in the lightweight men’s double scull final before the Danes, overall world cup winners in this event, pulled ahead to give themselves a clear water lead which they never surrendered.
By the halfway point Australia were
in the reckoning, too. In the third quarter of the race the Hungarians, world champions in 2005, threatened from the far side of the course. They eventually pulled ahead to take silver, leaving Australia and Britain to battle bow-ball to bow-ball to the line with Purchase and Hunter prevailing for bronze.
"We put ourselves in a position to race, we weren’t in the pack", said Purchase.
"We’ve had our issues coming into this event with injuries and illness, so we’re pretty pleased with that result", added Hunter. Both will now go "back to basics", according to Purchase, at
the forthcoming training camps to find an extra turn of speed.
Germany took the early lead in the lightweight women’s double scull final and by the 500m mark the USA and Poland were slightly ahead of a chasing pack including Great Britain’s Hester
Goodsell and Helen Casey who raced an impressive semi-final yesterday.
In the second 500m, the USA put in a major push to surge to the front whilst the British pair were sixth but still in contact. The USA clung to that lead until 1500m but then the Danes emerged to win followed by Canada and Germany
with the British in fifth.
The men’s quadruple scull of Simon Fieldhouse, Ian Lawson, Alex Gregory and Sam Townsend were the most impressive of the three British boats in action. They won in 5:56.37 ahead of Canada. Both other British crews, the men’s pair and double, were fifth.
Fieldhouse later doubled up into the men’s eight in place of a poorly Tom Lucy.
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(Races featuring British crews only. Full results
1. Juliette Haigh/Nicky Coles (New Zealand) 7:06.67
2. Megan Cooke/Anna Mickelson (USA) 7:08.00
3. Georgeta Damian Adrunache/Viorica Susanu (Romania) 7:13.16
4. Natasha Howard/Natasha Page (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:17.87
5. Lea Jacobsen/Fie Graugaard (Denmark) 7:21.11
6. Ioana Papuc/Rodica Serban (Romania) 7:26.48
1. USA 6:04.36
2. Germany 6:06.55
3. Netherlands 6:09.93
4. Baz Moffat/Carla Ashford/Georgina Menheneott/Rebecca Rowe/
Beth Rodford/Jess Eddie/Katie Greves/Louisa Reeve/Caroline
O’Connor (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:14.21
5. New Zealand 6:15.91
6. Russia 6:17.11
1. Georgina & Caroline Evers-Swindells (New Zealand) 6:58.45
2. Christiane Huth/Peggy Waleska (Germany) 7:00.56
3. Laura Schiavone/Elisabetta Sancassani (Italy) 7:01.61
4. Elise Laverick/Anna Bebington (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:01.62
5. Jennifer Kaido/Ala Piotrowski (USA) 7:06.39
6. Daniela Reimer/Britta Oppelt (Germany 2) 7:07.52
1. Netherlands 5:51.48
2. Steve Williams/Peter Reed/Tom James/Andy Hodge
(GREAT BRITAIN) 5:52.05
3. New Zealand 5:52.19
4. Italy 5:57.39
5. Czech Republic 5:58.72
6. Greece 5:59.26
1. Canada 1 5:30.59
2. Germany 5:32.73
3. Russia 5:33.74
4. Simon Fieldhouse/Tom Stallard/James Orme/Tom
Solesbury/Josh West/Richard Egington/Tom Parker/
Alastair Heathcote/Acer Nethercott (GREAT BRITAIN)
5. Netherlands 5:37.32
6. Australia 5:37.87
1. Mahe Drysdale (New Zealand) 6:45.65
2. Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:45.94
3. Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) 6:47.28
4. Olaf Tufte (Norway) 6:47.67
5. Sjoerd Hamburger (Netherlands) 6:54.80
6. Lassi Karonen (Sweden 1) 6:55.02
1. Tonu Edrekson/Jueri Jaanson (Estonia) 6:17.63
2. Matt Wells/Stephen Rowbotham (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:19.13
3. Luka Spik/Itzok Cop (Slovenia) 6:19.97
4. Matthew Trott/Nathan Cohen (New Zealand) 6:22.53
5. Jean-Baptiste Macquet/Adrien Hardy (France) 6:26.90
6. Ioannis Tsamis/Ioannis Christou (Greece) 6:31.33
1. Katrin Olsen/Juliane Rasmussen (Denmark) 7:01.31
2. Lindsay Jennerich/Tracy Cameron (Canada) 7:01.74
3. Berit Carow/Marie-Louise Draeger (Germany) 7:03.78
4. Wendy Tripician/Jana Heere (USA) 7:04.24
5. Helen Casey/Hester Goodsell (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:07.99
6. Magdalena Kemnitz/Ilona Mokronowska (Poland) 7:10.95
1. Richard Chambers/James Lindsay-Fynn/Paul Mattick/
James Clarke (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:58.07
2. France 5:59.02
3. Netherlands 5:59.04
4. Canada 6:00.43
5. Australia 6:01.37
6. Italy 6:07.50
1. Mads Rasmussen/Rasmus Quist (Denmark) 6:20.19
2. Zsolt Hirling/Tamas Varga (Hungary) 6:22.79
3. Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:23.32
4. Sam Beltz/Tom Gibson (Australia) 6:23.40
5. Marcello Miani/Elia Luini (Italy) 6:26.19
6. Frabrice Moreau/Frederic Dufour (France) 6:27.28
1. Jaroslaw Godek/Piotr Hojka (Poland 2) 6:38.55
2. Andreas Penkner/Jochen Urban (Germany) 6:40.03
3. Jakub Makovicka/Jan Schindler (Czech Republic) 6:43.53
4. Bart Sjenitzer/Willem de Graaf (Netherlands) 6:44.46
5. Colin Smith/Matthew Langridge (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:45.75
6. Ted Farwell/Micah Boyd (USA) 6:46.65
1. Samuel Stitt/Matthew Hughes (USA) 6:24.17
2. Mario Vekic/Ante Kusurin (Croatia) 6:25.45
3. Kestutis Keblys/Mindaugas Griskonis (Lithuania) 6:26.57
4. Stijn Smulders/Christophe Raes (Belgium) 6:27.88
5. Charles Cousins/Bill Lucas (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:32.52
6. Rene Bertram/Robert Sens (Germany 1) 6:34.74
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GB CREWS FOR THIRD WORLD CUP OF 2007
(Lucerne, July 13-15 )
(NB – listed from bow to stroke with
athlete name followed by club, home town
and date of birth in brackets).
Natasha Page (Reading Uni/Hartpury/30.4.85)
Natasha Howard (Tideway Scullers/West Runton/3.9.80)
Rebecca Rowe (Rebecca/Bridgend/16.5.81)/Vicki Etiebet (Auriol Kensington/Ottowa, Canada/12.2.79)/Vicky Myers/Alice Freeman
Baz Moffat (Thames RC/Bradford/8.4.78)/Carla Ashford (Thames
RC/Northallerton/13.3.79)/Georgina Menheneott (Mortlake,
Anglian & Alpha RC/North Bradley, Wilts /18.12.79)/
Jess Eddie (Uni of London/Durham/7.10.84)/Beth Rodford (Thames
RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)/Rebecca Rowe (Rebecca/Bridgend/16.5.81)/Katie Greves (Uni of London/Oxford/2.9.82)/Louisa Reeve (Leander/London/16.05.84)/Caroline O’Connor
Elise Laverick (Thames RC/Poling, W.Sussex/27.7.75)/
Anna Bebington (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.2.83)
Colin Smith (Leander/Henley on Thames/23.9.83)/Matt Langridge
Steve Williams (Leander Club/Cheltenham/15.4.76)/Peter
Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.7.81)/Tom James
(CUBC/Wrexham/11.3.84)/Andy Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/3.3.79)
Tom Parker (OUBC/Winchester/24.10.82)
Tom Solesbury (Molesey BC/Petts Wood, Kent/23.9.80)
Tom Lucy (Oxford Brookes/Monmouth/1.5.88)
Tom Stallard (Leander/Welwyn, Herts/11.9.78)
Josh West (Leander/Santa Fe/25.3.77)
Richard Egington (Leander/Knutsford/26.2.79)
James Orme (Leander Club/Colchester/1.4.84)
Alastair Heathcote (Army RC/London/18.8.77)
Acer Nethercott (OUBC/Harlow/28.11.77)
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/9.5.83)
Double Scull – two boats
Matt Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.4.79)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)
Second boat – see U23 section below
Andrea Dennis (Wallingford RC/Oxford/03.01.82)
Helen Casey (Wallingford RC/Oxford/6.2.74)/
Hester Goodsell (Rob Roy/Cambridge/27.6.84)
Laura Greenhalgh/Jane Hall (Leander/Caversham/
20.10.73), Mathilde Pauls (Imperial College BC/Berlin &
Putney/26.09.83)/ Sophie Hosking (Durham Uni/
Matt Beechey (Leander/Worcester/3.4.77)/Daniel
Richard Chambers (Oxford Brookes/Coleraine/10.6.85)/
James Lindsay-Fynn (London/Trim/29.9.75)/Paul Mattick
(Wallingford/Oxford/25.4.78)/James Clarke (London RC/
Alasdair Leighton-Crawford (Tideway
Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury, Glos/2.5.86)/
Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/1.7.78)
Chris Bartley/Simon Jones/Rob Williams/Dave Currie
Double scull – competing in senior open event
Bill Lucas (Reading Uni/Dartmouth/13.9.87)/Charles Cousins
(Rob Roy/Willingham, Cambs/13.12.88)
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