The all-Leander GB men’s quad scull won gold at the World Cup regatta in Poland last weekend, where thirteen other Leander athletes medalled, to help keep Great Britain at the top of the season’s standings.
GB trials winner John Collin, sidelined through injury at the Europeans three week ago, was back in the crew alongside Pete Lambert, Jonny Walton and John Collins.
After winning their heat in Poznan they pulled away from the field in the second 1000m of their final to claim the gold.
“We are all returning Olympians who didn’t achieve quite what we wanted in Rio so there’s a desire and a hunger to do good things in this boat” said Lambert afterwards.
Single sculler Vicky Thornley continued her run of success, winning the silver medal behind Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig who recorded a World Cup best time of 7:13.26 in the final. Thornley, who took the European title last month in the Czech Republic, beat the Olympic bronze medallist Duna Jingli of China, who took the bronze.
“That was certainly the fastest I’ve done – it wasn’t good enough for the gold today but we’ll go back and figure out how to go even faster” said Thornley.
The GB men’s four, with Leander’s Matt Rossiter newly promoted to the bow seat with Moe Sbihi, Mat Tarrant and Will Satch, made a step up to take silver after the disappointment of fifth place at the Europeans.
With Satch back in the stroke seat they rowed solidly but could not overhaul Australia, who led from the start. A closing sprint from the British four was too late to prevent Australia crossing the line half a length ahead, with Satch’s men having to be content with silver.
With Holly Norton taking a break from the women’s pair through injury that left her partner Karen Bennett to step into the women’s eight, the crew in which she won silver at the Rio Olympics.
The eight duly delivered another silver medal behind New Zealand, while the USA, who have dominated this boat class for more than ten years, were pushed back into third place.
GB’s final medal success came in the last race of the regatta with the men’s eight, with seven Leander men on board, winning bronze behind Germany, the Olympic silver medallists
“I felt we came together better and are starting to get there as a whole” said their 6 man, Adam Neill.
Thirty Leander athletes take their place in the GB team that will contest the second World Cup regatta of the season this weekend in Poland.
As the GB men’s team regroup after the disappointment of the European Championships three weeks ago, the Leander captain Nick Middleton gets his call-up into the team following a period of injury.
Middleton will partner Frazer Christie in the double scull, while John Collins’ return to the men’s quad will improve the crews chances of getting in to the medal zone after fourth place in Racice.
A second lightweight quad includes Leander’s U23 medallist Ed Fisher with Sam Mottram, while 2016 U23 sculler Tom Barras will contest the single.
Matt Rossiter steps in to the men’s four for the first time, to replace Callum McBrierty, who joins the eight, which also includes Rossiter’s former pairs partner, Jacob Dawson, as well as Tim Clarke, a reserve in Racice. Sam Arnot and Tom Jeffery move out of the eight and in to the new look pair formation, with a potential second pair to be confirmed.
Among the women’s squad three of the four medal-winning boats from the European Championships will return in Poznan, with gold medallist Vicky Thornley continuing in the women’s single.
The women’s quadruple scull retains Holly Nixon, Jess Leyden, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne and Beth Bryan, while Katherine Copeland and Emily Craig, also bronze medallists in Racice, will race together again, with a second lightweight women double of Eleanor Piggott and Gemma Hall also entered.
An injury to Holly Norton means she and Karen Bennett will not race at the World Cup in the women’s pair, so Leander’s Anastasia Chitty and her partner Rebecca Girling, reserves in Racice, are entered in their place.
There’s also been a reshuffle in the women’s eight, with Leander’s Katherine Douglas moving back up the six seat in front of Jo Wratten, while Mathilda Horn of UL takes the place of Erin Wysocki-Jones in the cox’s seat.
Among the lightweight events World Cup leaders in the men’s double, Peter Chambers and Will Fletcher, are looking to improve on a tough weekend of racing in the European Championships, where they finished sixth in a world-class field.
The new women’s double scull includes Emily Carmichael and Georgia Francis is looking to improve on their seventh place in Racice teaming up.
The programme in Poznan also includes para-rowing events, where Rio 2016 gold medallists in the mixed double scull, Lauren Rowles of Marlow RC and Laurence Whiteley of Tees RC, will compete in the PR2 races (formerly TA2x).
The three-day programme in Poznan starts on Friday and continues through to Sunday’s finals. Live audio commentary can be heard throughout via www.worldrowing.com.