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British Team On Course for Medals

The British rowing team remains on course to deliver an exciting day of racing, with the strong promise of medals in the air, at the BearingPoint Rowing World Cup at Eton tomorrow.  With 10 Olympic class finals – making 13 finals in all – there will be plenty for the sold out grandstands to cheer about tomorrow.

But for David Tanner, Great Britain’s Team Manager, there was no doubt about the highlight of the day:

“With Camelot’s newly announced sponsorship of our lead women’s and men’s boats, it was great to see the women’s quad win their race with style and they, with the men’s four, will challenge for top medals tomorrow.”

The women’s quad confirmed their status as favourites for tomorrow’s final with a comfortable win in the competition for lane places today.

Elsewhere the men’s pair also made the final after another epic battle with a Canadian crew, but narrowly missed out on the line once again. The two Wests will now have a chance to face both the Canadian crews in what promises to be a captivating final tomorrow.

The mixture of youth and experience in the shape of Elise Laverick and Annie Vernon also did enough to make the final as they continued their learning curve in the women’s double sculls.

The young men’s eight pleased the men’s chief coach Jurgen Grobler, by showing that they have the pace  to mix it with crews at the top level. The women’s eight also had an encouraging run out as they remained  in contact with the contenders throughout today’s warm-up race.

And David Tanner also watched these events with one eye on the future: “Today was also the start of our ‘big boat’ campaign and in the eights, we had some brand new athletes making their World Cup first World Cup final – that looks good for the future.”

Zac Purchase once again caught the eye as the seemingly fearless 19 year old won his Lightweight Single Sculls semi-final this morning. Purchase will be joined in the final by Tim Male who came through his semi-final.  There was also promise of future potential on the women’s side as Naomi Hoogester finished as the runner-up in her semi-final and will look forward  to tomorrow in good heart.

To emphasise the progress of the lightweight squad, the men’s double sculls and four will also see action in ‘A’ finals with encouraging performances in today’s  repechages.

It was a series of performances that David Tanner felt could herald a renaissance in British lightweight rowing:

“It’s a long time since we’ve had our lightweights feature  in so many finals, which is a boost for our new coach Robin Williams, as he starts his road to Beijing.”

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Women’s Quad in strong opening performance

The wraps came off the new-look women’s quad sculls today as they raced for lanes in advance of tomorrow’s  final. But it was largely a case of business as usual for the crew – flag bearers for British Rowing’s new team  sponsorship with Camelot. Second to the first two 500m marks, the quad took control in the third and ended up comfortably ahead of Russia at the finish.

Sarah Winckless, one of two newcomers to the quad for the 2005 season was just happy to get racing:

“It was good to get started on our first regatta and set out our stall. Now we know a bit more about what we’ve got. Russia gave us a good run for our money, but it was good to win.”

Katherine Grainger – also new to the quad this year – spoke of the boost that came to the boat courtesy of the  crew’s Olympic experiences:

 “All four of us in the quad have got Olympic medals  in our pocket. That adds confidence, but also hunger  because none of us yet has an Olympic gold.”

The crew will hope to bring keep the packed out enclosures on the boil when they race after Steve Redgrave and his Olympic legends.

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Pair on a mission
It was almost Groundhog Day for Britain’s men’s pair today as for the second day running they found themselves following a Canadian boat over the line by the smallest of margins.

The Canadians set off quickly and Josh and Kieran West went with the pace and ended up heading the race at the third mark, taking 3 seconds out of the leaders in the third 500m.  The Canadians then narrowly won a scrap for the line.

Josh West looked back at the key moments of the race:

“We’re disappointed not to have beaten the Canadians again. We probably put too much effort into the first 1000m. When we rowed better and relaxed in the second half of the race, we managed to move back and head them. Ultimately, our early pace
meant we couldn’t sprint for the final 250m.

“Still, our aim was to make the final and now we will see what we can do from there.”

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Wraps come off the big boats

The men’s eight, up against strong German and Italian opposition showed impressive mid course pace.  Despite a slow start, they posted the fastest speed of any of the boats from 500m to the half way point and still had enough in the tank to find
the fastest sprint finish to hold off Romania for third place.  It was enough for Jurgen Grobler to be pleased: “That pace shows that they can mix it at this level.”

In the women’s race, an impressive Chinese crew made all the running, but the British boat kept tabs on the Romanians in second place and will have been encouraged with their efforts.  They will have another run against the same opponents tomorrow and a chance to set new targets.  The men’s quad showed their pace too and their second place in their repechage behind Estonia won them a place in the final ‘A’.  Strokeman Stephen Rowbotham explained: “We got out of the blocks well today and it was really goodto the first 1000m.  I’m pleased to be in the ‘A’ final, but its about moving on in the second half, so we can prove we can compete for medals.”

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Mixed results for smaller boats

Debbie Flood was delighted with her third place in the semi-final of the single sculls.  Quote:

It was a race in difficult conditions that the Olympic silver medallist had to use all her racing experience to cope with, as she sat in fourth place, out of the qualifying positions for 3/4 of the race.  However Flood’s last 500m speed was enough to take her past Bushman of Bulgaria.

Flood explained her tactics:  “I’m over the moon to be in the final – I’m not sure quite how it happened, but there must have been some help from above.  It’s been so hard with my exams in the last few weeks and so being in the final has completely exceeded my expectations of this event.

“It was difficult off the start, but I didn’t really look around and kept my head and moved through with 500m to go. I’m really looking forward to mixing it up with the big girls in what will be my first serious singles final and I hope to take someone out.”

Matt Wells was disappointed to just miss out on a final place in the men’s singles. For much of the race, he held that vital second qualifying place ahead of the fast Cuban sculler. But the strong headwind that the scullers had to cope with probably sapped his endurance, and his last 500m wasn’t quite quick enough.

Nevertheless, after his three month layoff following a back injury, Wells had every right to be pleased with his performance. A fact confirmed by his coach, Darren Whiter:

“Matt sculled a good race. In a few weeks from now his fitness will be better and if you apply that to today’s race it would have made the difference of being able to hold the Cuban off for second place.”

But there was pleasure for the women’s double, especially as they have won through to the final in one of the strongest events in this world cup.  Annie Vernon explained:  “We tried to move on from what we did yesterday and to be a bit more confident and assertive with our race plan.  We achieved that to an extent and it definitely worked in the second 1000m.  We now want to go on and develop that for tomorrow.”

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Lightweights again put on a show

If Zac`Purchase was surprised by his heat win yesterday, then he certainly wasn’t expecting to be first over the line in today’s semi-final at the BearingPoint World Cup at Eton.  But the maturity and strength of his row belied his age and will have given him a rush of confidence ahead of his big day in front of a home crowd tomorrow.

Purchase’s post-race reaction said it all:

“Wow! It was a great feeling at the finish and I didn’t expect to win by that much in a class field.  I’m glad the race is over. It was a testing headwind and that made life difficult at the start.  I’m looking forward to racing another British sculler in the final and wonder what the result will be.”

Tim Male will also be on the start line in the men’s lightweight single sculls tomorrow after he settled for third place in his semi final behind Quist of Denmark and Van Der Linden of the Netherlands:

“I’m happy to be in the final.  The start wasn’t as fast as yesterday, but the conditions were much more difficult – I’m learning as I go along.”

The men’s lightweight double also won the approval of their coach, Robin Williams, on the balance of their race today, which saw them take a place in tomorrow’s final line-up:

“You can see their sense of purpose grow with every race. We’ve got to find extra strength in the finish, but there are large sections of the race where we’re as fast as anyone out there.”

The lightweight men’s four took up the baton laid down by their team-mates, with a comfortable second behind repechage winners, Denmark. Stroke Nick Wakefield summed up the race:

“We found new belief that we can be competitive in the race. We had a killer rhythm through the middle of the race and that saw us head the Danish boat at 1200m, which was particularly pleasing as they won Olympic gold in Athens.”

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RESULTS WORLD CUP 2005 ETON, GREAT BRITAIN, 26-28 MAY
DAY TWO – FRIDAY 27 MAY

WOMEN – Lightweight

Single sculls

Semi-Final A/B1
1.  Shimin Yan (China) 8:46.24
2.  Naomi Hoogester (GREAT BRITAIN) 8:50.92
3.  Ismaray Marrero Aria (Cuba) 8:51.17
4.  Sinead Jennings (Ireland) 8:53.91
5.  Chrysi Biskitzi (Greece) 9:07.68
6.  Jennifer Goldsack (GREAT BRITAIN) 9:11.72

Final C
1.  Michaela Taupe (Austria) 8:52.74
2.  Solenne Hamon (France 2) 8:55.43
3.  Hester Goodsell (GREAT BRITAIN 2) 8:57.38
4.  Antonia Van Deventer (GREAT BRITAIN 3) 9:04.24
5.  Ibtissem Trimech (Tunisia) 9:11.51
6.  Siobhan Jacob (Ireland 2) 9:23.03

Double sculls

Semi-Final 1
1.  Aina Chen/Dongxiang Xu (China) 7:54.86
2.  Magdalena Kemnitz/Ilona Mokronowska (Poland) 7:59.39
3.  Liliana Niga/Angela Alupei (Romania) 8:01.34
4.  Marit Van Eupen/Eeke Thomee (Netherlands) 8:03.30
5.  Lena Karlsson/Sara Karlsson (Sweden) 8:07.55
6.  Lorna Norris/Tanya Brady (GREAT BRITAIN 2) 8:17.98

Semi-Final 2
1.  Daniela Reimer/Marie-Louise Draeger (Germany 1) 7:46.95
2.  Berit Carow/Laura Tasch (Germany 2) 7:51.78
3.  Sanna Sten/Minna Nieminen (Finland) 7:55.19
4.  Jo Hammond/Helen Casey (GREAT BRITAIN 1) 7:55.36
5.  Alexandra Tsaivou/Maria Sakellaridou (Greece) 7:59.33
6.  Niamh Ni Cheilleacher/Heather Boyle (Ireland) 8:02.91

MEN – Lightweight

Single sculls

Semi-Final A/B1
1.  Zac Purchase (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:53.43
2.  Mads Rasmussen (Denmark) 7:55.71
3.  Kazushige Ura (Japan) 7:59.07
4.  Jacob Moeller (Denmark) 8:02.10
5.  Michal Vabrousek (Czech Republic) 8:20.79
6.  Rolandas Kazlauskas (Hong Kong) 8:22.81

Semi-Final A/B2
1.  Rasmus Quist (Denmark) 7:52.04
2.  Gerard van der Linden (Netherlands) 7:54.67
3.  Tim Male (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:55.10
4.  Pawel Randa (Poland) 7:59.92
5.  Dimitrios Mougios (Greece) 8:09.32
6.  Fabrice Moreau (France) 8:13.96

Double sculls

Semi-Final
1.  Zsolt Hirling/Tamas Varga (Hungary) 7:00.49
2.  Matthew Jensen/Daniel Parsons (Canada) 7:00.98
3.  Mark Hunter/James Lindsay-Fynn (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:12.21
4.  Jie Sun/Hong Chen (China) 7:16.63
5.  Vasileios Polymeros/Nikolaos Skiathitis (Greece) 7:19.79
6.  Ting Wai Lo/Sau Wah So (Hong Kong) 7:30.71

Final C
1.  Hossam Azouz/Mansour Sadek (Egypt) 7:38.20
2.  Kwong Wing Chow/Ming Cheung Ho (Hong Kong) 7:40.27
3.  Ali Brown/James Stephenson (GREAT BRITAIN 2) 7:46.11

Lightweight Pair

Friday Final
1.  Bo Helleberg/Thomas Ebert (Denmark) 7:28.62
2.  Mike Hennessy/Simon Jones (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:35.12
3.  Nick English/Daniel Harte (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:38.82
4.  Valerj Saritchev/Sergej Bukreev (Russia) 7:38.82
5.  Ahmed Gad/Hossam Azouz (Egypt) 7:46.96
6.  Anders Christensen/Frederik Oesterberg (Denmark) 7:52.97

Lightweight Four

Repechage
1.  Denmark 6:45.63
2.  Paul Mattick/Dave Currie/Matthew Beechey/Nick Wakefield (GREAT BRITAIN)6:48.45
3.  Russia 6:54.15
4.  Netherlands 6:56.23

WOMEN

Single Sculls

Semi-Final
1.  Mirka Knapkova (Czech Republic) 8:25.66
2.  Sophie Balmary (France) 8:28.35
3.  Debbie Flood (GREAT BRITAIN) 8:43.40
4.  Anet-Jaklin Bushman (Bulgaria) 8:49.15
5.  Nuria Dominguez Asensio (Spain) 8:53.39
6.  Chrysoula Bougla (Greece) 9:03.49

Double Sculls

Repechage
1.  Amber Bradley/Sally Kehoe (Australia) 7:37.43
2.  Elise Laverick/Annie Vernon (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:44.15
3.  Marianne Nordahl/Heidi Veeser (Norway) 7:50.24
4.  Marlies Smulders/Hurnet Dekkers (Netherlands) 7:53.13
5.  Galina Kolesnikova/Anna Sergeyeva (Russia) 8:05.36

Quad Sculls

Friday Final
1.  Rebecca Romero/Sarah Winckless/Frances Houghton/Katherine Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:03.36
2.  Russia 1 7:07.06
3.  Ukraine 7:14.21
4.  Russia 2 7:21.49

MEN

Single Sculls

Semi-Final A/B/C1
1.  Iztok Cop (Slovenia) 7:36.46
2.  Ivo Yanakiev (Bulgaria) 7:38.13
3.  Olaf Tufte (Norway) 7:39.69
4.  Lassi Karonen (Sweden) 7:41.85
5.  Colin Smith (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:45.85
6.  Volodimir Pavlovskij (Ukraine) 8:08.99

Semi-Final A/B/C2
1.  Marcel Hacker (Germany) 7:40.47
2.  Nikola Stojic (Serbia & Montenegro) 7:43.01
3.  Andre Vonarburg (Switzerland) 7:45.56
4.  Robert Sens (Germany) 7:46.41
5.  Sjoerd Hamburger (Netherlands) 7:51.27
6.  Ian Lawson (GREAT BRITAIN) 8:11.55

Semi-Final A/B/C3
1.  Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) 7:30.02
2.  Yoennis Hernandez Arruez (Cuba) 7:32.31
3.  Matthew Wells (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:32.67
4.  Ralph Kreibich (Austria) 7:43.99
5.  Tim Maeyens (Belgium) 7:59.08
6.  Akos Haller (Hungary) 8:08.63

Quad sculls

Repechage
1.  Estonia 6:15.46
2.  Alan Campbell/Stephen Rowbotham/Alex Gregory/Matthew Langridge (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:18.73
3.  Poland 2 6:24.08
4.  Russia 2 6:35.55

WOMEN

Open

Pairs

Semi-Final
1.  Sarah Outhwaite/Natalie Bale (Australia) 7:48.32
2.  Rodica Florea/Ioana Papuc (Romania) 7:54.60
3.  Christina Gerking/Johanna Roenfeldt (Germany) 7:56.32
4.  Kate Hornsey/Sonia Mills (Australia) 8:00.84
5.  Milka Tancheva/Anna Chuk (Bulgaria) 8:06.94
6.  Beth Rodford/Alsion Knowles (GREAT BRITAIN) 8:09.09

Eight

Friday Final
1.  China 6:35.31
2.  Romania 6:40.78
3.  Katie Greves/Natasha Page/Beth Rodford/Natasha Howard/Florence Temple/Jessica Eddie/Anna Bebington/Alison Knowles/Charlotte Ware (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:43.16
4.  Australia 6:44.53

MEN

Open

Pairs

Semi-Final
1.  Ben Rutledge/Kyle Hamilton (Canada) 7:13.34
2.  Josh West/Kieran West (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:14.22
3.  Lin Wu/Zhangming Kong (China) 7:15.48
4.  Nikos Pagounis/Ioannis Christou (Greece) 7:16.52
5.  Gregor Hauffe/Toni Seifert (Germany) 7:27.42
6.  Marc Stephens/John Forde (Ireland) 7:31.10

Eight

Friday Final
1.  Germany 5:59.58
2.  Italy 6:00.78
3.  Tim Broadway/Phil Simmons/Jonno Devlin/Tom Stallard/Tom Parker/Richard Edington/Simon Fieldhouse/Henry Bailhache-Webb/Acer Nethercott (cox) (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:02.81
4.  Netherlands 6:03.32
5.  Romania 6:03.52
6.  Poland 6:05.98

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CONTACT DETAILS
Caroline Searle
m (07831755351)

British Rowing website www.biro.org.uk -full biogs available here.