9-16 September 2018
Leander athletes returned form the World Championships in Bulgaria with a total of eleven individual medals, but with one gold and three bronze this was a meagre tally for the GB team, marking another downturn after last year’s disappointing results.
Four years ago, midway through the previous Olympic cycle, it was an entirely different story. At the world championships in Amsterdam the GB team notched up four golds, the same number of silvers, and a couple of bronze. Several of the crews were almost guaranteed a gold medal, such as our men’s eight, the men’s four, and Heather Stanning and Helen Glover in the pair. These days there is no such ‘gimme’.
Britain’s only gold in Bulgaria came, yet again, from the para mixed coxed four, coxed this year by Leander’s Erin Wysocki-Jones. The crew extended GB’s dominance in this event to an eight year winning streak, despite the USA pushing them right to the line.
The all-Leander men’s four followed up their European Championships silver with bronze in Plovdiv, putting in a strong second half of the race to overhaul European champions Romania and the Netherlands. Tom Ford, Jacob Dawson, Adam Neill and James Johnston pushed Italy hard down the 2,000m track as Australia set the unrelenting pace. Italy eventually pushed on to secure silver, with GB half a length behind.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic to come away with a medal – it’s my first senior World Championships medal, which is something I’ve been trying to do since I was about 13. It’s years and years of hard work” said Adam Neill afterwards.
The final race of the regatta saw the GB men’s eight, with six Leander athletes on board, win bronze. As expected the Germans dominated the race, just as they have done throughout the season, and held on to the lead as GB and Australia battled it out for silver and bronze. GB pushed hard to hold off the sprinting Australians but were pipped to silver on the line by 0.03 seconds.
If the medal count was disappointing there was heartbreak for several Leander athletes finishing in fourth position, with Angus Groom and Jack Beaumont missing a medal by just half a length in the men’s double sculls. And an exceptional performance by Harry Leask put him right up among the world’s elite athletes in single sculls when he qualified for the final and finished fourth behind Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic.
The GB rowing team, including 31 Leander athletes, will be looking to step on from last year’s disappointment when racing gets under way at the World Championships in Bulgaria on Sunday.
Following the retirement of many established favourites in the post-Rio euphoria, the first year of the new Olympic cycle produced only one gold medal, in the para coxed four, for GB, who finished eighth in the medal table.
Dropping the European Championships into the middle of the regatta calendar in 2018 has meant that the racing season has been densely packed, giving the athletes little time to prepare for the next event.
But the six week gap since the Europeans in Strathclyde has given the team the chance to hold a full programme of training camps in Italy, Portugal and Austria, and next week will reveal the results.
The men’s quad, with Leander’s John Collins, Jonny Walton, and Tom Barras alongside Agecroft’s Graeme Thomas, has been tipped as the best chance of gold, but the crew has had mixed results, finishing sixth in Glasgow despite a storming gold in Lucerne.
The men’s eight will once again be hoping to turn over Germany while the four will need to look out for the Australian world champions as well as the Under-23 crew from Romania.
The women’s eight and men’s four remain unchanged after their silver medals at the European Championships in Glasgow, as does the lightweight men’s single sculls with Leander’s Sam Mottram.
Angus Groom is back to full fitness after missing the Europeans and will partner Jack Beaumont in the men’s double sculls, in which the two men won gold and silver in the 2018 World Cup series.
The GB women’s eight will meet the USA and Canada for the first time this season, while the promising pair of Rowan McKellar and Hattie Taylor, who took an impressive bronze at World Cup 2 in Linz, will look to make their mark on the World Championships stage.
In the women’s quad, stroked by Olympic silver medallist Zoe Lee of Imperial, Leander’s Jess Leyden returns to the line-up, having missed the last two regattas with injury.
“This is fantastic result for our athletes, but just as important is the significant proportion who came through the Leander development academy programme before being selected for the GB team” said chief coach Mark Banks.
Full GB team listing, with clubs and home towns:
Ollie Cook (Univ. of London BC / Windsor)
Matt Rossiter (Leander Club / Newbury)
Coach: Steve Trapmore
Tom Ford (Leander Club / Holmes Chapel)
Jacob Dawson (Leander Club / Plymouth)
Adam Neill (Leander Club / Peterborough)
James Johnston (Leander Club / Henley-on-Thames)
Coach: Christian Felkel
James Rudkin (Newcastle Univ. BC / Litchborough)
Tom George (Leander Club / Oxford)
Tom Ransley (Leander Club / Ashford, Kent)
Alan Sinclair (Leander Club / Inverness)
Moe Sbihi (Molesey BC / Surbiton)
Oliver Wynne-Griffith (Leander Club / Guildford)
Matthew Tarrant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC / Shepperton)
Will Satch (Leander Club / Henley-on-Thames)
(cox) Henry Fieldman (Leander Club / London)
Coach: Jürgen Grobler
Men’s Single Sculls
Harry Leask (Leander Club / Edinburgh)
Coach: Dan Moore
Men’s Double Sculls
Angus Groom (Leander Club / Glasgow)
Jack Beaumont (Leander Club / Maidenhead)
Coach: Dan Moore
Men’s Quadruple Sculls
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC / Preston)
Jonny Walton (Leander Club / Leicester)
John Collins (Leander Club / Twickenham)
Tom Barras (Leander Club / Staines)
Coach: Paul Stannard
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls
Sam Mottram (Leander Club / Stoke Mandeville)
Coach: Hamish Burrell
Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls
Zak Lee-Green (Agecroft RC / Cardiff)
Jamie Copus (Oxford Brookes Univ BC / Watlington)
Coach: Hamish Burrell
Sam Meijer (Elizabethan BC / London)
Josh Bugajski (Oxford Brookes Univ. BC / Stockport)
Tom Jeffery (Leander Club / Plymouth)
Rowan McKellar (Leander Club / Glasgow)
Harriet Taylor (Leander Club / Sunningdale)
Coach: Jane Hall
Sara Parfett (University of London BC / Rochester)
Caragh McMurtry (Coalporters ARC / Southampton)
Emily Ashford (Leander Club / Buckfastleigh)
Jo Wratten (Leander Club / Middlesbrough)
Coach: Tom Pattichis
Anastasia Chitty (Leander Club / Oxford)
Rebecca Girling (Molesey BC / Fareham)
Fiona Gammond (Leander Club / Bicester)
Katherine Douglas (Leander Club / Edinburgh)
Holly Hill (Cambridge Univ. Women’s BC / Gossington)
Holly Norton (Leander Club / Johannesburg)
Karen Bennett (Leander Club / Edinburgh)
Rebecca Shorten (Imperial College BC / Belfast)
(cox) Matilda Horn (University of London BC / Windsor)
Coach: James Harris
Women’s Double Sculls
Charlotte Hodgkins Byrne (Univ. of London BC / Hereford)
Anna Thornton (Nottingham RC / Nottingham)
Coaches: Lauren Fisher & Paul Reedy
Women’s Quadruple Sculls
Mathilda Hodgkins Byrne (Reading Univ. BC / Hereford)
Melissa Wilson (Cambridge Univ. Women’s BC / Edinburgh)
Jessica Leyden (Leander Club / Todmorden)
Zoe Lee (Imperial College BC / Richmond, N. Yorks)
Coach: Paul Thompson
Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls
Ellie Piggott (Wallingford RC / Bedford)
Emily Craig (University of London BC / Mark Cross)
Coach: Darren Whiter
Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Sculls
Gemma Hall (Wallingford RC / Wargrave)
Francesca Rawlins (Tideway Scullers School / Uckfield)
Ellie Lewis (Agecroft RC / Marlow)
Maddie Arlett (Edinburgh Univ. BC / Selkirk)
Coaches: Darren Whiter & Paul Reedy
Alice Baatz (Agecroft RC / Winchester) (may race women’s single sculls but primarily spare for W4x)
Imogen Grant (Cambridge Univ. Women’s BC / Cambridge) (racing lightweight women’s single sculls but primarily spare for LW4x)
Sam Courty (Bath Univ. BC / Alnwick)
Emily Ford (Leander Club / Holmes Chapel)
PR1 Men’s Single Sculls
Andy Houghton (Maidenhead RC / Newbury)
Coach: Tom Dyson
PR2 Men’s Single Sculls
Laurence Whiteley (Tees RC / Northallerton)
Coach: Tom Dyson
PR3 Mixed Coxed Four
Ellen Buttrick (Leeds RC / Leeds)
Grace Clough (Nottingham RC / Sheffield)
Ollie Stanhope (Molesey BC / London)
Daniel Brown (Henley RC / Reading)
(cox) Erin Wysocki-Jones (Leander Club / Wantage)
Coach: Nick Baker