The GB men’s four matched their Henley win with gold in Lucerne, where ten Leander athletes returned with medals from the regatta that is widely billed as the form guide to the world championships.
With Will Satch as stroke, backed up by Oxford Brookes’ Mat Tarrant at 3, with Molesey’s Moe Sbihi at 2 and Leander’s Matt Rossiter at bow, the crew trailed the Netherlands through 500m but put in a push at around 750m to take the lead. With pressure coming from the Italian crew which lost the Henley final, the GB crossed the line 1.5 sec clear for gold, followed by Italy and the Netherlands.
“The start wasn’t our best – it’s normally more explosive. But we set into a really good rhythm after that. We’ve now got two months to try to stay on top. There is a lot more efficiency to come out of the middle part of the race” said Sbihi afterwards.
The all -Leander men’s quad scull completed a full set of World Cup medals in 2017, following bronze in Belgrade with gold in Poznan and silver in Lucerne. Jack Beaumont, John Colin, Pete Lambert and Jonny Walton collected enough points for the World Cup title to ad to the previous weeks’ win in the Queen Mother Challenge Cup.
Predictably enough it was the Lithuanians, European champions but absent from Poznan, who denied the GB men the gold after pushing into the lead by halfway to win by over a length.
“It wasn’t what we wanted today, but finals are always going to be tough at a World Cup, especially in the second fastest boat. During the race, we were level with the Lithuanians, but didn’t have the horse power towards the end” said Beaumont afterwards.
Bronze from the women’s eight took GB’s tally to four for the weekend, after the lightweight women’s quad won silver on the Saturday. The Brits couldn’t match the pace shown by New Zealand and winners Romania, but held firm over the Dutch to take third place, adding to the silver they won in Poznan.
“Romania and New Zealand are two of the best crews at the moment. We’re looking forward to going home and training towards Sarasota” said Leander’s Katherine Douglas.
Leander’s Holly Norton and Karen Bennett entered the regatta as World Cup leaders in the women’s pair, thanks to their gold in Belgrade. But in their first regatta together since the European Championships in May, they rowed to fourth in the final, while single sculler Vicky Thornley’s tough weekend of racing resulted in a fifth-place finish. In the final race of the regatta the GB men’s eight finished sixth in a race won by Germany ahead of a close-finishing Australia.
Despite the low medal count the results meant GB once again came out top in the World Cup points table on 134, with New Zealand second on 108, and Poland third.
GB athletes will also take heart from the fact that poor results at Lucerne are almost always followed, for them at least, by greater success at the World Championships.
Thirty-four Leander athletes have been named among the GB team that competes this weekend at the third World Cup regatta of the season in Lucerne, Switzerland.
The all-Leander men’s quadruple scull survives unchanged after an impressive gold in Poznan three weeks ago, followed by their winning the Queen Mother Challenge Cup at Henley last weekend.
Jack Beaumont, Jonny Walton, John Collins and Peter Lambert, who are coached by Paul Stannard, return to the boat as World Cup leaders in the event, four points ahead of the Dutch, who they beat in Poznan.
Other boats unchanged for Lucerne include Leander’s Vicky Thornley in the women’s single, where she will be looking to match her European title with gold on the Rotsee. She will first need to beat Austria’s Magdelena Lobnig, who took gold in Poland, and also Annekatrina Thiele of Germany, who beat Thornley to the Henley title last Sunday.
The GB men’s four won the Stewards Challenge Cup last weekend, which will have given Leander’s s Matt Rossiter and Will Satch, with Molesey’s Moe Sbihi, and Oxford Brookes’ Mat (sic) Tarrant extra confidence as they look to defend their yellow leaders’ bibs against the strongest competition of the season..
Having won silver in the eight in Poznan, Leander’s Karen Bennett is back in the pair with the return from injury of her partner Holly Norton, while the eight itself contains two changes. Fi Gammond returns after illness kept her out for Poznan, while Anastasia Chitty remains in the eight which is looking for revenge following their Henley defeat at the hands of New Zealand.
The men’s eight, which took bronze in Poland, contains two changes. Oliver Cook comes in to the bow seat having finished his Masters course at Oxford University, with Princeton student Tom George in the two seat.
Tom Barras races the single scull again after his fifth-place finish in Poznan, while Frazier Christie and Leander captain Nick Middleton are partnered once more in the double.
Two more Leander athletes feature in the increasing competitive lightweight men’s doubles, where Sam Mottram partners Oxford Brookes’ Jamie Copus in one boat while Ed Fisher teams up with Agecroft’s Zak Lee-Green in the other, leaving Brookes’ Peter Chambers to race the lightweight single.
The three-day programme in Lucerne starts on Friday and continues through to Sunday’s finals. Live audio commentary can be heard throughout via www.worldrowing.com.