Emily Craig and Imogen Grant win Women’s Crew of the Year at World Rowing Awards

After a stand-out season, Great Britain’s Lightweight Women’s Double (LW2x) of Emily Craig and Imogen Grant have been named Women’s Crew of the Year at the 2023 World Rowing Awards


Since the Delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which saw the double miss the podium in an agonising 0.01 second photo finish, they have been unbeaten, winning back to back World and European titles and every World Cup they have raced at. This season they also achieved a World Best Time of 06:40.47 in the Lightweight Women’s Double at World Rowing Cup II in Varese 2023.

Darren Whiter was nominated in the Coach of the Year category as further recognition of the Lightweight Women’s Double success this season.

Emily said: “It’s an honour to win this award, especially amongst a group of such high calibre nominees. It’s one of those things that you never expect to happen in your career, but it’s encouraging to see our hard work and performances in 2023 rewarded in this way. This season, my favourite race was our final in Lucerne as it was a complete row and felt really satisfying. The Word Best Time in Varese is also up there, as it was so unexpected.

“We came back from Tokyo, stepped up, learnt and matured and I hope we can continue to reap those rewards in the coming year. We’ve got fantastic support staff at British Rowing, whether that be our coaching team, physios and mental health so we have a lot of tools in our arsenal to make sure we can learn and improve as we look ahead to the Paris Games.”

Imogen said: “Being awarded World Rowing Women’s Crew of the Year is so special and it’s such an accolade, especially when you look at the crews that have won it before us. It’s been a massively memorable season after the disappointment of finishing fourth with the tight photo finish in Tokyo. It felt so gratifying to sprint through and win the Varese World Cup the day after we set a World Best Time. It was also a privilege to win the world cup season this year and share that success with Emily. Defending our World title was really special too – and it’s made me even more excited for the coming season!”

“Emily and Imogen winning World Rowing Women’s Crew of the Year is exceptionally exciting and so very well deserved.” Andrew Randell, GB Rowing Team Women’s Olympic Head Coach said, adding, “they have demonstrated a degree of relentless focus and endeavour since Tokyo and haven’t lost a race in two years which is remarkable. The World Rowing Championships was their stand out performance for me – they really are a class act. Huge congratulations to Darren too, for being nominated as coach of the year. Along with our coaches and support staff, he has worked skillfully with Emily and Imogen to turn them into an undefeated crew over the last two years.”

GB were nominated in two other categories: Men’s Crew of the Year for the Men’s Four (M4-) of Oliver Wilkes, David Ambler, Matthew Aldridge, Freddie Davidson and Para Crew of the Year for Lauren Rowles and Gregg Stevenson in the PR2 Mixed Double Sculls (PR2M2x). Both crews enjoyed unbeaten seasons and qualified their boats for the Olympic and Paralympic Games respectively. The PR2 Mixed Double also registered a World Best Time (WBT) of 08:00.57 at the 2023 World Rowing Championships – the third WBT of their debut season racing together.

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