Fizz-filled GB Rowing Team Performance at World Championships Today

The pace of the wind dropped on Lake Karapiro today to create a perfect backdrop for a fizz-filled GB performance on the water at the World Rowing Championships in New Zealand.

Eight British boats won their Olympic-category event heats with four qualifying directly to the finals.  Seven reached semi-finals to join the lightweight women’s double scull who qualified yesterday before weather conditions forced the event off the water.

There were also two heat wins today for Britain in the Paralympic class events.

“We’ve had an encouraging opening day”, said GB Rowing’s Performance Director, David Tanner.  “I’m pleased with our team.  Our leading crews have performed to expectations and our newcomers have produced strong debut performances at Championship level. Tom Aggar was outstanding in producing a world best time in his heat of the Paralympic-class single scull”.

Women’s quad scullers Frances Houghton, Debbie Flood, Annabel Vernon and Beth Rodford set pulses racing with an exciting heat victory over the Germans by just a tenth of a second to qualify for Friday’s final to open today’s programme. The men’s four, who are defending world champions, the women’s pair and women’s double scull followed by also reaching finals.

Olympic champions Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase looked to be back in form in winning their lightweight men’s double scull heat and the lightweight men’s four were on song to win their heat. Both now progress to semi-finals as do the men’s double scull of Matt Wells and Marcus Bateman and single sculler Alan Campbell.

World championship rookies Heather Stanning and Helen Glover marked their opening performance at this level by taking  second place in the women’s pair and single sculler Katie Solesbury moved safely into the semis with a third place.

Tom Aggar, world and Paralympic champion, dominated his heat of the adaptive men’s single scull and set a  new world best time in the process to reach the final. The new-look mixed adaptive coxed four, including 17 year-old newcomer Kelsie Gibson, were also heat winners and will now contest the final.

Only the GB men’s quad scull produced an under-par race but they can recover themselves to progress through the repechages.

Tomorrow’s race programme in New Zealand will see the men’s and women’s eights open their campaigns with  heats scheduled at midday local time (11pm uk-time).

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Great Britain’s second day at the World Rowing Championships in New Zealand took off like a firecracker when the women’s quad scull of Annabel Vernon, Frances Houghton, Beth Rodford and Debbie Flood were involved in one of the day’s most exciting races.

The British quartet took an early lead in their heat with only one qualifying place for Friday’s final on offer.  They led at 500m against an experienced German crew with New Zealand – a newly formed crew – in third.

Germany made a push at 800m gone and drew almost level at halfway. Just 0.12 seconds separated the crews at this point.

A phase then developed when the two crews punched and counter-punched trying to get ahead. Germany had the lead for around 400m before the British  came back through them to take a canvas lead and, despite intense pressure, they held onto win in 6.15.62 – just a tenth of a second ahead of the Germans.

The result put the British quartet through to Friday’s final where they will be joined by the Ukraine, the world champions who won the other heat.

“That result was excellent. It will give the crew such confidence”, said GB Performance Director David Tanner of a crew which now has Debbie Flood and Frances Houghton back on board after two seasons away from the sport.

“It was quite a race to the line”, said Annabel Vernon afterwards.  “I wasn’t too sure at the line who had won.  It was quite a relief that it was us”.

Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins took the first 500m of their women’s double scull heat at world record pace before easing back and completely controlling the race to win in 6:55.34 and book the only qualifying slot for the final. Germany were second and China came home third.

“The first race is always hard to predict but that’s the kind of result you dream of”, said Grainger.

“Each race has brought something novel this year”,  added Watkins of the new GB double scull combination in 2010. “That’s been part of the excitement. We have so much fun racing like that”.

Later Heather Stanning and Helen Glover, newcomers this season to the open-weight women’s senior squad, produced one of their best performances yet by qualifying for Saturday’s final of the women’s pair in second place behind the world champions from New Zealand.

The British duo, who are part of the GB Rowing Team’s “Start” programme – a talent identification and development scheme which is sponsored by Siemens and backed by the lottery and which is paying such huge dividends after seven year’s of operation for the GB’s results internationally – raced out with the New Zealanders in the opening 500m.

These two crews established a lead over Australia and Canada and although the New Zealanders stretched ahead to a very comfortable lead over GB in the second half, the British  duo kept strong and long to hold off a determined challenge from Australia.  It was an excellent result for the two world championships debutantes.

“We can now focus on the final with nothing to lose”, said Stanning.  “We were pleased with today and we can now look at all the things we need to improve”, said Glover.

Katie Solesbury, who has come back from injury this season and who narrowly missed out on a seat in the GB women’s quad scull for Karapiro, raced in the women’s single scull heats today and qualified for the semi-final in third place.  She was determined to hold off Nuria Asensio Dominguez of Spain to guarantee progression.

Olympic lightweight men’s double scull champions, Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase, are also coming back into the sport after a year’s gap.  Today they looked smooth and controlled after such a disrupted day yesterday when their heat was abandoned mid-way because of unsafe weather conditions on the course.

They led out strongly. By halfway they had four seconds over the field and from that point controlled the action entirely to win in 6:20.01.  France emerged from a tight following field to take second and Germany, the European champions, came home in an unexpected third.

“It’s nice to see Zac and Mark leading the field and enjoying their sculling again”, said Tanner. Storm Uru and Peter Taylor, the reigning world champions, won the opposing heat in 6:17.46.  So the two big rival crews are through to semi-finals.

“We put in practice what we do in training”, said Hunter.   “It was good to get the first one out of the way”, added Purchase.

The GB lightweight men’s four are through to the semi-finals after a performance which saw them lead through all the timing points in today’s heat.  Victory for Paul Mattick, Richard Chambers, Rob Williams and Chris Bartley came in 5:56.40 ahead of a fast-finishing Dutch quartet with France in third.

“It was close today in parts, very close, and in some ways that disrupted us a bit”, said Mattick.  “After the long break we’re not quite race savvy but we still found a rhythm. We didn’t need to unleash everything in the third 500m”.

Peter Chambers ensured that his family now has two semi-finalists here after he was second in the lightweight men’s single scull heats here to progress, following in the footsteps of older brother Richard in the lightweight men’s four.

The man from Coleraine was third at 500m but pushed past Jaap Schouten of the Netherlands at halfway and held his form to the end to cross the line in 7:13.08 behind world champion Duncan Grant of New Zealand.

France and Great Britain raced out ahead of the rest of the field in the first half of today’s heat of the men’s four.  A British surge between 800m and 1200m was enough to give them a length lead over the field.

From there they did not look challenged until the final 300m when the French sprinted hard to come back on the British crew. Strokeman Matt Langridge then simply picked up the rate to fend off the attack and win in 5:50.96.

The victory means that Matt Langridge, Ric Egington, Alex Gregory and Alex Partridge, the GB Rowing Team’s only defending world champion crew here, are now through to the final on Friday. They will be joined by New Zealand who won the opposite heat in 5:49.87.

“It’s a long time since we raced”, said Egington.  “But  we got into a good rhythm and stayed in it.  There is still a lot we can improve”.

“It was a question of finding our feet today, to get rid of the nerves.  Now was can focus on the final”, added Partridge.

Andrew Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed were dominant in their heat of the men’s pair. The 2009 world silver medallists established a lead by 500m and had clear water by halfway over a tight chasing field.  This was a rhythmical, strong and relaxed performance.

“We went into today feeling physically good and it was a strong first race”, said Reed.  “We’re now looking forward to the semi-final”, added Hodge.

Alan Campbell took the lead from the outset in his men’s single scull heat and sculled with  confidence in the second half.  Tonu Endrekson, from the Estonian Beijing silver medal double scull, tracked him all the way but Campbell had the  opportunity to drop his rate in the final 400m despite a further tussle with Endrekson.

“I feel really positive about being here and I’m in good shape”, said Campbell afterwards.  “Everything’s been put in place by the New Zealand organising committee and by the GB set-up to give us the best possible opportunity of producing our best performances here. The field is tight in the men’s single scull but that is part of the challenge”, said the man from Northern Ireland.

Marcus Bateman and Matt Wells won their heat of the men’s double scull this morning in 6:14.91 ahead of the USA in second and the Czech Republic in third. All three crews progress to the semi-finals. 

Wells and Bateman, brought together for the first time this year, jumped out of the start and were controlling the race from 500m gone.  Behind them a tight tussle developed between the USA and the Czechs whilst the British duo had the option to wind down a tad in the final 300m.

“We were quite respectful of all the crews in the heat”, said Bateman of the long gap since last racing.  “Our plan was to get out in front and read the race from there”.

Sam Townsend, Stephen Rowbotham, Bill Lucas and Charles Cousins were slower than they would have liked in the first half of their men’s quad scull heat today and struggled to find any rhythm.  By halfway it was evident that they had probably left too much to do to catch a field which was being led by Croatia and Australia.

In the third 500m they picked up slightly and looked like taking third only to be overhauled in the final 150m by New Zealand. This GB quartet now race a repechage on Wednesday.

Tom Aggar began to control his heat of the arms-only single scull from the 200m mark. Powerfully and smoothly this former promising young rugby player moved into an unassailable lead. He had six seconds over the field by halfway and won in 4:49.80 – a new world’s best time, lowering his own previous mark of 4:51.48. He is now through to  Thursday’s final.

“I was pushing hard at the start but after 500m I eased it off a bit”, said Aggar afterwards.

Ryan Chamberlain, Kelsie Gibson, James Roe and Kate Jones with cox Rhiannon Jones are the new-look GB mixed adaptive coxed four. They won today’s heat in 3:23.58 to book passage to the final with the Ukraine in second. Italy were third. 

The quartet did not completely fire off the start but soon put their power into play to nudge head and then continue building a lead to the finish.

“We are a powerful crew with me and James  in the centre and we did what we needed to do today”, said Chamberlain.

“We were not fast off the start but by 250m gone we settled and we had close to a length lead by halfway”, said Roe.

Canada set a world’s best time in the opposing heat.

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(Events featuring GB crews only.  For full results visit:





1.  Juliette Haigh/Rebecca Scown (New Zealand) 7:04.28
2.  Helen Glover/Heather Stanning (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:05.81
3.  Sarah Tait/Phoebe Stanley (Australia) 7:06.44
4.  Krista Guloien/Andreanne Morin (Canada) 7:10.46
5.  Vianka Van Dorp/Olivia van Rooijen (Netherlands) 7:27.35

Single scull

1.  Ekaterina Karsten (Belarus) 7:28.52
2.  Iva Obradovic (Serbia) 7:33.38
3.  Katie Solesbury (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:46.35
4.  Nuria Asensio Dominguez (Spain) 8:02.07

Double scull

1.  Anna Watkins/Katherine Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:55.34
2.  Annekatrin Thiele/Stephanie Schiller (Germany) 7:02.62
3.  Tang Bin/Tian Liang (China) 7:07.32
4.  Lisbet & Lea Jakobsen (Denmark) 7:09.06
5.  Sanna Sten/Minna Nieminen (Finland) 7:18.73

Quadruple scull

1.  Debbie Flood/Beth Rodford/Frances Houghton/Annabel
     Vernon (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:15.62
2.  Germany 6:15.72
3.  New Zealand 6:27.52
4.  Switzerland 6:33.80
5.  Romania 6:36.90
6.  Russia 6:43.47



1.  Pete Reed/Andrew Triggs Hodge (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:21.90
2.  Andreas Kuffner/Eric Johannesen (Germany) 6:25.99
3.  Sebastien Lente/Adrien Hardy (France) 6:26.43
4.  Peter Lambert/Ramon di Clemente (South Africa) 6:27.49
5.  Paul Vela Maggi/Alexander SigurbJonsson Benet (Spain) 6:46.74

1.  Alex Partridge/Ric Egington/Alex Gregory/Matt Langridge
     (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:50.96
2.  France 5:52.16
3.  Italy 5:58.48
4.  Canada 5:59.28
5.  Spain 5:59.31
6.  Netherlands 5:59.44

Single scull

1.  Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:48.49
2.  Tonu Endrekson (Estonia) 6:51.58
3.  Karl Schulze (Germany) 6:56.33
4.  Lukas Babac (Slovakia) 6:56.43
5.  Kenneth Jurkowski (USA) 6:56.90
6.  Juho Karppinen (Finland0 7:03.66

Double scull

1.  Matthew Wells/Marcus Bateman (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:14.91
2.  Glenn Ochal/Warren Anderson (USA) 6:16.52
3.  Petr Vitasek/David Jirka (Czech Republic) 6:19.33
4.  Andre Vonarburg/Florian Stofer (Switzerland) 6:21.98
5.  Moustafa Fathy/Nour El Din Hassanein (Egypt) 6:40.88

Quadruple scull

1.  Croatia 5:41.44
2.  Australia 5:43.11
3.  New Zealand 5:46.06
4.  Charles Cousins/Sam Townsend/Bill Lucas/Stephen Rowbotham
     (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:46.70
5.  Italy 5:54.02



Single scull

1.  Duncan Grant (New Zealand) 7:09.12
2.  Peter Chambers (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:13.08
3.  Jaap Schouten (Netherlands) 7:18.78
4.  Alexander Rath (Austria) 7:22.66
5.  Nadzrie Hamzah (Singapore) 8:06.49

Double scull

1.  Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:20.01
2.  Jeremie Azou/Remi Di Girolamo (France) 6:24.79
3.  Linus Lichtslag/Lars Hartig (Germany) 6:28.29
4.  Jonathan Winter/Brian de Regt (USA) 6:28.73
5.  Panagiotis Magdanis/Eleftherios Konsolas 6:33.09
6.  Ruthtanaphol Theppibal/Chaichana Thakum (Thailand) 6:49.31


1.  Richard Chambers/Paul Mattick/Rob Williams/Chris Bartley
     (GREAT BRITAIN) 5:56.40
2.  Netherlands 5:57.07
3.  France 5:59.00
4.  South Africa 6:09.70
5.  Egypt 6:16.19
6.  Spain 6:26.76



Arms and shoulders only single scull

1.  Tom Aggar (GREAT BRITAIN) 4;49.80
2.  Andrii Kryvchun (Ukraine) 4:58.46
3.  Benjamin Houlison (Australia) 4;59.43
4.  Ronald Harvey (USA) 5:02.11
5.  Robert Studzizba (Poland) 5:06.17


Legs, trunk and arms mixed adaptive coxed four

1.  Kelsie Gibson/Ryan Chamberlain/James Roe/Kate
     Jones/Rhiannon Jones (cox) 3:23.58
2.  Ukraine 3:28.16
3.  Italy 3:32.59
4.  Ireland 3:33.14

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2010 World Rowing Championships, Lake Karapiro,
New Zealand, October 31-November 7, 2010
(listed bow to stroke plus cox)




Helen Glover (Reading Uni BC/Penzance/17.06.86)/
Heather Stanning (Army RC/Lossiemouth/26.01.85)

Coach: Miles Forbes Thomas


Jo Cook (Leander Club/Sunbury-on-Thames/22.03.84)/
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)/
Jessica Eddie (Uni of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Victoria Thornley (Minerva Bath RC/Wrexham/30.11.87)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni BC/Hartpury/30.04.85)/
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC/Edinburgh/15.01.82)/
Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft RC/Warrington/16.09.85)/
Alison Knowles (Thames RC/Bournemouth/27.03.82)/
Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Ealing/25.04.83) (cox)

Coach: Miles Forbes Thomas

Double scull

Anna Watkins (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.02.83)/
Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)

Coach:  Paul Thompson

quad scull

Debbie Flood (Leander Club/Guiseley/27.02.80)/
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Gloucester/28.12.82)/
Frances Houghton (Tyrian Club, Uni of London/Henley/19.9.80)/
Annabel Vernon (London RC/Wadebridge/01.09.82)

Coach:  Ade Roberts


Ro Bradbury (Jesus College BC/Banstead/17.12.88)
Katie Solesbury (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82) – racing spare W1x
Melanie Wilson (Molesey BC/London/25.06.84)




Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/
Andrew Triggs Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/03.03.79)

Coach:  Jurgen Grobler


Alex Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/
Richard Egington (Leander Club/Knutsford/26.02.79)/
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington, Glos/11.03.84)/
Matthew Langridge (Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)/

Coach: Mark Banks


Tom Broadway (Leander Club/Newport Pagnell/21.08.82)/
James Clarke (London RC/London/31.12.84)/
Cameron Nichol (Molesey BC/Glastonbury/26.06.87)/
James Foad (Molesey BC/Southampton/20.03.87)/
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)/
Greg Searle (Molesey BC/Marlow/20.03.72)/
Tom Ransley (York City RC/Cambridge/06.09.85)
Dan Ritchie (Herne Bay RC/Herne Bay/06.01.87)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)

Coaches:  Christian Felkel/John West

Single scull

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/09.05.83)

Coach: Bill Barry

Double scull

Matthew Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79)
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/16.09.82)/

Coach: Mark Earnshaw

quad scull

Charles Cousins (Reading Uni BC/Cambridge/13.12.88)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Uni BC/Reading/26.11.85)/
Bill Lucas (Reading Uni BC/Kingswear/13.09.87)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)

Coach: Mark Earnshaw


Brendan Crean (Agecroft RC/Lewes/07.02.85)
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Uni of London BC/Durham/13.4.88)
Tom Wilkinson (Leander Club/Reading/04.07.85)/



Double scull

Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni BC/London/27.06.84)/
Sophie Hosking (London RC/Wimbledon/25.01.86)

Coach:  Paul Reedy

quad scull

Jane Hall (Leander Club/Surbiton/20.10.73)/
Stephanie Cullen (London RC/Bury, Lancs/27.11.80)/
Laura Greenhalgh (London RC/Cuddeson,Oxon/2.9.85)/
Andrea Dennis (Reading Uni BC/Oxford/03.01.82)

Coach: Tom Gale




Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC/Windsor/19.06.85)
Chris Boddy (Leander Club/Stockton-on-Tees/16.11.87)/

Coach:  Rob Morgan


Richard Chambers (Leander Club/Coleraine/10.06.85)/
Paul Mattick (Leander Club/Frome, Somerset/25.04.78)/
Rob Williams (London RC/Maidenhead/21.01.85)/
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)

Coach:  Rob Morgan

Single scull

Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)

Coach:  Darren Whiter

Double scull

Zac Purchase (Marlow RC/Tewkesbury/02.05.86)/
Mark Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/01.07.78)

Coach:  Darren Whiter


AS Men’s Single scull

Tom Aggar (Royal Docks RC/London/24.05.84)

Coach: Tom Dyson

AS Women’s Single scull

Helene Raynsford (Guildford RC/Farnborough/29.12.79)

Coach:  Tom Dyson

LTA Mixed Coxed four

Kelsie Gibson (Maidstone Invicta RC)
James Roe (Reading Uni BC/Stratford-upon-Avon/28.03.88)/
Ryan Chamberlain (King’s College London BC/Wandsworth, London/03.04.86)
Kate Jones (Aberdeen BC/Eskdale Green, Cumbria/28.02.86)
Rhiannon Jones (cox) (Reading Uni BC/Hereford/16.09.87)

Coach:  Mary McLachlan



Team Manager and Performance Director: David Tanner
Chief Coach Men:  Jurgen Grobler
Chief Coach Women & Lightweights: Paul Thompson
Assistant Team Manager/Adaptives:  Louise Kingsley

Medical and Sports Science:

Doctor: Ann Redgrave
Lead Physiotherapist: Mark Edgar
Physiotherapist:  Liz Arnold
Physiotherapist:  Sally Brown
Psychologist:  Chris Shambrook
Physiologist: Mark Homer
Nutritionist: Wendy Martinson


Assistant Team Manager (admin): Jo Bates
Assistant Team Manager (logistics): Judi Read
Sponsorship liaison Manager:  Francesca Bullock
Resources Manager:  Maurice Hayes
Boatman:  John Tetley
Press Officer: Caroline Searle

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(Events featuring GB crews only)

Thursday 4 November (local NZ time* 15.30 – 16.30)

Adaptive (“Paralympic”):  Men’s and women’s single, mixed coxed four

Friday 5 November (local NZ time* 14.03 – 15.33)

Open Men:   Four and quad scull
Open Women: quad scull
Lightweight: Men’s pair, men’s and women’s double scull

Saturday 6 November (local NZ time* 14.03 – 15.48)

Open Men:  Pair and single scull
Open Women:  Pair and single scull
Lightweight:  Men’s four and women’s quad scull

Sunday 7 November (local NZ time* 14.03 – 15.33)

Open Men:  Double and eight
Open Women: Double and eight
Lightweight:  Men’s single

*All times are subject to change. NZ will be 13 hours ahead of
the UK on racing days at the Championships and 12 hours ahead
in the week before racing starts.

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For media enquiries about The GB Rowing Teams please contact:

During the 2010 world championships in New Zealand:

Caroline Searle

(00) 64 274977493 or

NB:  New Zealand is 13 hours ahead of the UK.

Caroline Searle

T:  (01225) 443998
M:  (07831) 755351


GB Rowing Team website – full biogs available
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