STAGING Confident World Championships start for GB - British Rowing

Confident World Championships start for GB

The GB Rowing Team made a confident start at the World Championships in Poznan, Poland, this morning, winning five heats in the Olympic classes.

Andy Triggs Hodge and Peter Reed, Olympic champions in the men’s four but racing here in a pair, opened up GB’s winning streak. After their victory in 6:36.99 Peter Reed said: "We’re pleased with our performance today and looking at everyone else’s times we don’t think that there’s anyone here who is unbeatable".[img_assist|nid=3358|title=Andrew Triggs Hodge (left) and Peter Reed win their opening heat in Poznan|desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=right|width=380|height=211]


The field here contains a New Zealand pair who are tipped to win the title after a string of world cup wins so far this season.

GB’s other four wins came from Alan Campbell in the single scull plus the men’s and women’s double sculls and the men’s four.

"We can take a lot of confidence from today. We’ve had some really good wins in the Olympic classes and can look forward to the semi-finals", said GB Rowing’s Performance Director David Tanner.

Annie Vernon and Anna Bebington won their women’s double scull heat with a new-found confidence and smoothness to their performance. Vernon said: "We haven’t raced for what felt like months but we knew that we were going fast in training. Today felt pretty good".[img_assist|nid=3359|title=Annabel Vernon (left) and Anna Bebington looked smooth at worlds today|desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=left|width=376|height=270]

The men’s four were also commanding in their heat win, leading from the early phases of the race. Matt Langridge, the stroke, said: "It’s nice to get racing again, you’re always a bit nervous on the opening day. Now we’ve bought four days in which to train and I’m absolutely confident we can step up in the semi-final".

All four heat winners now progress to Thursday’s semi-finals alongside Katherine Grainger in the women’s single scull and the women’s pair of Olivia Whitlam and Louisa Reeve who moved through by virtue of second places today. Britain’s two lightweight single scullers both face repechages on Wednesday. Adam Freeman-Pask fought well in his heat but ended up in second place with only one qualifying for the semi-finals.

Tomorrow’s racing features heats of the lightweight men’s and women’s double sculls and the lightweight men’s four as well as the open weight women’s and men’s quadruple sculls and eights.

The GB Rowing Team also fields crews in some of tomorrow’s international class races and Tom Aggar, Paralympic Champion in the single scull, will lead off the GB adaptive squad in heats of the Paralympic classes.

=============================== ===============================
Race reports

GB’s confident opening morning of the World Championships in Poznan, Poland, included a "full house" of wins for the openweight men’s crews who were in action, all under the watchful eye of the GB Chief Coach for Men, Jurgen Grobler.

Alan Campbell underlined his growing confidence in the men’s single scull when he hit the front early and kept Ondrej Synek, the 2007 world silver medallist from the Czech Republic, under control. With only one to progress to the semi-finals Synek, knowing he was beaten with 300m to go, began to ease back to conserve energy for the repechages and Campbell went on to victory in 6:54.15 – the fastest winning time of the four heats.[img_assist|nid=3360|title=Alan Campbell held off Synek to win heat in Poland today|desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=right|width=380|height=406]

The path to victory for Matt Wells and Stephen Rowbotham, in the men’s double scull heats was not so smooth. Slow off the start, they gave Estonia the chance to take a big lead. Gradually, though, the GB duo, bronze medallists in Beijing last year, pulled themselves back into contention.

A significant testament to their second-half strength and boat speed ensued as the British combination recovered to win in 6:24.37, just under half a second ahead of Estonia who are potential medallists here.

In hot and breezy conditions the GB men’s four were the epitome of raw power as they scythed down the course for their heat win in 6:00.69. By the 500m mark they were ahead. In lane one they made light of the bobbly conditions and powered ahead with the Czech Republic behind them all the way down the course to the line.
[img_assist|nid=3364|title=STephen Rowbotham (left) and Matt Wells recovered well to win their heat|desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=right|width=232|height=160]
Direct comparisons between races are not always possible but stroke Matt Langridge said that the crew including Alex Partridge, Rick Egington and Alex Gregory, will need to "step up" in the semi-finals. Perhaps that’s because Australia, with their 2008 Olympic silver medal crew unchanged, and Germany were both faster than the GB combination in one of the morning’s other heats, both also qualifying for the semi-finals.[img_assist|nid=3361|title=Matt Langridge, Alex Gregory, Ric Egington and Alex Partridge power to a win in the heats |desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=left|width=253|height=134]

Earlier the men’s pair of Andy Hodge and Pete Reed, with Hodge back in the stroke seat, looked in dominant form in their heat which they won in 6;35.96 from France in second and Germany in third. The British duo were in the lead by just under a length at 500m and gradually increased that advantage before taking victory.

New Zealand look to be their main rivals, having beaten the GB boat four times already this year, and they posted a quicker heat time today, setting up the prospect of a tough battle later in the week.

The GB open weight women’s crews, under the tutelage of GB’s Chief Coach for Women and Lightweights, Paul Thompson, also produced a heat win and two second places with all three crews moving into semi-finals.

Olivia Whitlam and Louisa Reeve opened the session in a women’s pair heat that was won by the USA’s Francia Zsuzsanna and Erin Cafaro with GB in second.

The Americans got a far better start with Australia and GB chasing. In lane one, the GB combination began to go up through the gears and made sure by halfway that they had booked one of the three qualifying places. In the final 500m they overhauled Australia and were pressurising the Americans by the end.[img_assist|nid=3362|title=Louisa Reeve (left) and Olivia Whitlam are through to semis|desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=right|width=392|height=305]

Anna Bebington and Annie Vernon missed the last world cup of the season because of illness but looked well-rehearsed today on the water. They drove out and took an early lead and then raced with consistency to win in 7:07.52. Bulgaria, with the experienced Rumyana Neykova on board, were briefly their challengers but even they were five seconds behind at the finish.

"We didn’t quite know how it would go today", said Vernon. "But it just felt like we were going faster and faster and we could relax a bit in the final 500m. It’s been a lot of fun and a very enjoyable season so far".

Katherine Grainger, winner of Olympic quadruple scull silver in Beijing with Vernon, has branched out into a single scull this season, seeking a new challenge in the post-Olympic year.

Today she provided evidence of another step up in her learning curve in this boat class. She had the staying power to put pressure on Mirka Knapkova, 2006 world silver medallist of the Czech Republic, in the opening half of the race and then sculled confidently to take a solid, second place and qualify for semi-finals.[img_assist|nid=3363|title=Grainger tracked Knapkova to move into semis|desc=Picture: Peter Spurrier|link=none|align=right|width=297|height=474]

"The first heat at a world championships is always tough", said Grainger. "You haven’t raced for a while and today felt like testing the waters. Now I need to move on from there".

Adam Freeman-Pask threw everything into his opening heat of today’s lightweight men’s single scull which was led by Dutchman Jaap Schouten. The Briton who has won world cup medals this season, picked up the pace in the middle of the race and began to reel back the leader. With 350m to go the race was neck and neck but Freeman-Pask had patently spent what was in the tank and dropped back dramatically in the final 200m to take second and face Wednesday’s repechages.

Elaine Johnstone, selected as a reserve here for the lightweight women’s squad, soaked up the experience of racing at world championships level in the equivalent women’s event and finished sixth in her heat in 8:08.77.

=============================== ===============================
(Races featuring GB crews only. For full results
log onto




1. Zsuzsanna Francia/Erin Cafaro (USA) 7:20.21
2. Olivia Whitlam/Louisa Reeve (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:24.16
3. Kim Crow/Sarah Cook (Australia) 7:26.94
4. Zinaida Kliuchynskaya/Nina Bondarava (Belarus) 7:35.16
5. Liuba & Antonia Wilhelm Germanova (Portgual) 8:13.68

Single scull

1. Mirka Knapkova (Czech Republic) 7:33.07
2. Katherine Grainger (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:36.59
3. Agata Gramatyka (Poland) 7:40.98
4. Kaisa Pajusalu (Estonia) 7:45.09
5. Tale Gjoertz (Norway) 7:45.15
6. Margot Shumway (USA) 7:46.69

Double scull

1. Anna Bebington/Annabel Vernon (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:07.52
2. Rumyana Neykova/Miglena Markova (Bulgaria) 7:12.74
3. Sanna Sten/Minna Nieminen (Finland) 7:14.22
4. Katsiaryna Shliupskaya/Anastasiya Fadzeyenka (Belarus) 7:24.19
5. Lina Saltyte/Gabriele Albertaviciute (Lithuania) 7:27.61



1. Peter Reed/Andrew Triggs Hodge (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:35.96
2. Germain Chardin/Dorian Mortelette (France) 6:39.72
3. Nils Menke/Felix Drahotta (Germany) 6:41.68
4. Yenser Basilio Pol/Jorber Avila Esquivil (Cuba) 6:42.85
5. Jakub Makovicka/Vaclav Chalupa Jr (Czech Republic) 7:14.74


1. Alex Partridge/Richard Egington/Alex Gregory/Matthew
Langridge (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:00.69
2. Czech Republic 6:02.93
3. Spain 6:07.72
4. France 6:08.63
5. Croatia 6:18.99

Single scull

1. Alan Campbell (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:54.15
2. Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) 7:04.66
3. Warren Anderson (USA) 7:07.46
4. Sergii Gryn (Ukraine) 7:13.40
5. Haidar Nozad (Iraq) 7:31.60

Double scull

1. Matthew Wells/Stephen Rowbotham (GREAT BRITAIN) 6:24.37
2. Allar Raja/Kaspar Taimsoo (Estonia) 6:24.95
3. Michal Sloma/Wiktor Chabel (Poland) 6:26.38
4. Yoennis Hernandez Arruez/Janier Concepcion Hernandez (Cuba) 6:29.82
5. Artem Morozov/Vitaliy Kryvenko (Ukraine) 6:31.23
6. Truls Albert/Jakob Nils Hoff (Norway) 6:32.48



Single scull

1. Michaela Taupe-Traer (Austria) 7:52.82
2. Mirna Rajle Brodanac (Croatia) 7:54.68
3. Juliane Rasmussen (Denmark) 7:55.40
4. Evi Geentjens (Belgium) 7:56.44
5. Lila Rul Perez (Mexico) 8:07.84
6. Elaine Johnstone (GREAT BRITAIN) 8:08.77


Single scull

1. Jaap Schouten (Netherlands) 7:06.72
2. Adam Freeman-Pask (GREAT BRITAIN) 7:13.14
3. Fabrizio Gabriele (Italy) 7;14.10
4. Oleksandr Serdiuk (Ukraine) 7:23.30
5. Matti Jaeaeskelaeinen (Finland) 7:27.66
6. Jebur Al-Hilfi (Iraq) 7:31.31

=============================== ===============================

Events featuring GB crews
Times given are Polish time (one hour ahead of the UK).

M= Men
+= With cox
x=Sculling boat

(nb – subject to change. For up-to-date information
please see


Heats: 09.30 – 13.45

LM1x, W2-, M2-, W2x, M2X, M4-, W1X, M1X


Heats: 09.30 – 14.30

LM2-, LW4X, LW2X, LM2X, LM4-, W4X, M4X, W8+, M8+


Repechages: 09.30 – 13.45

LM1, W2-, M2-, W2X, M2X, M4-, W1X, M1X


Repechages: 09.30 – 11.50

LW4X, LW2X, LM2X, LM4-, W4X, M4X, W8+, M8+


Semi-finals: 10.55 – 15.20

W2-, M2-, W2X, M2X, M4-, W1X, M1X


Semi-finals: 13.30 – 15.20
LM2-, LM1X, LW2X, LM2X, LM4-, M4X

B finals: 11.25 – 12.15


Finals: 10.00 – 13.10

W2-, M2-, W2X, M2X, M4-, W1X, M1X

B Finals: 14.30 – 16.30

LM2-, LM1X, W2-, M2-, W2X, M2X, M4-, W1X, M1X, LW4X, LW2X, LM2X, LM4-, W4X, M4X, W8+, M8+


Finals: 09.30 – 13.10

LM2-, LW4X, LM1X, LW2X, LM2X, LM4-, W4X, M4X, W8+, M8+

=============================== ===============================
2009 World Rowing Championships, Poznan, Poland.
AUGUST , 2009
(Listed as bow to stroke plus cox unless otherwise indicated)





Olivia Whitlam (Agecroft/Warrington/16.09.85)/Louisa Reeve (Leander

Coach: Miles Forbes-Thomas


Jo Cook (Leander Club/Nottingham/22.03.84)/
Melanie Wilson (Molesey BC/London/25.6.84)/
Michelle Vezie (Molesey BC/London/30.11.87)/
Lindsey Maguire (Wallingford RC/Edinburgh/15.01.82)/
Jess Eddie (Uni of London BC/Durham/07.10.84)/
Tina Stiller (Nottingham RC/Yarm/23.06.87)/
Alison Knowles (Thames RC/Bournemouth/27.03.82)/
Natasha Page (Reading Uni BC/Hartpury/30.04.85)/

Caroline O’Connor (Oxford Brookes Uni BC/Ealing/25.04.83) (cox)

Coach: Miles Forbes-Thomas

Single scull

Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Aberdeen/12.11.75)

Coach: Paul Thompson

Double scull

Anna Bebington (Leander Club/Leek, Staffs/13.02.83)/Annabel Vernon
(Marlow RC/Wadebridge/01.09.82)

Coach: Paul Thompson

Quadruple scull

Rosamund Bradbury (Westminster School BC/Banstead/17.12.88)/
Beth Rodford (Gloucester RC/Burton-on-Trent/ 28.12.82)/
Sarah Cowburn (Durham Uni BC/Redditch/01.02.89)/
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)/

Coach: Ade Roberts



Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth, Glos/27.07.81)/Andy Triggs Hodge
(Molesey BC/Hebden, N.Yorks/03.03.79)

Coach: Jurgen Grobler


Alex Partridge (Leander Club/Alton, Hants/25.01.81)/Richard
Egington (Leander Club/Knutsford/26.02.79)/Alex Gregory (Reading
Uni BC/Wormington/11.03.84)/Matt Langridge(Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)

Coach: Mark Banks


Tom Broadway (Leander Club/Newport Pagnell/21.08.82)/
Tom Burton (Leander Club/Barton-le-Clay, Beds/24.05.80)/
James Orme (Leander Club/Colchester/01.04.84)/
Tom Solesbury (Isis BC/Petts Wood, Kent/23.09.80)/
Tom Wilkinson (Leander Club/Reading/04.07.85)/
Dan Ritchie (Reading Uni BC/Herne Bay/06.01.87)/
Tom Ransley (Cambridge University BC/ Ashford, Kent/06.09.85)/
James Clarke (London RC/London/31.12.84)/
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)

Coach: Christian Felkel/John West

Single scull

Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers/Coleraine/09.05.83)

Coach: Bill Barry

Double scull

Matt Wells (Leander Club/Hexham, Northumberland/19.04.79)/
Stephen Rowbotham (Leander Club/Winscombe, Somerset/11.11.81)

Coach: Mark Earnshaw

Quadruple Scull

Brendan Crean (Agecroft/Manchester/07.02.85)
Marcus Bateman (Leander Club/Torquay/16.09.82)/
Charles Cousins (Reading Uni BC/Cambridge/13.12.88)/
Sam Townsend (Reading Uni BC/Reading/26.11.85)

Coach: Mark Earnshaw



Double scull

Hester Goodsell (Reading Uni BC/Cambridge/27.06.84)/
Sophie Hosking (London RC/Wimbledon/25.01.86

Coach: Paul Reedy

Quadruple Scull

Stephanie Cullen (London RC/Putney, London/27.11.80)Laura Greenhalgh (London RC/Oxford/02.09.85)//Andrea Dennis (London RC/Oxford/03.01.82)/Jane Hall (Leander Club/Caversham/20.10.73)

Coach: Don McLachlan

Racing Spare

Single Scull
Elaine Johnstone (Tideway Scullers)



Ross Hunter (Leander Club/Romford, Essex/13.07.81)/
Oliver Mahony (London RC/London/21.10.83)

Coach: Steve Trapmore


Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)/
Chris Boddy (Tees RC/Stockton-on-Tees/16.11.87)/
Stephen Feeney (London RC/Coleraine/12.05.85)/
Bob Hewitt (Tees RC/Scarborough/27.04.87)/

Coach: Robin Williams

Single scull

Adam Freeman-Pask (Imperial College BC/Windsor/19.06.85)

Coach: Steve Trapmore

Double scull

Rob Williams (London RC/Maidenhead/21.01.85)/Paul Mattick
(Leander Club/Frome, Somerset/25.04.78)

Coach: Darren Whiter

ADAPTIVE (Paralympic classes)

Men’s Arms-only Single Scull

Tom Aggar (Royal Docks RC/Barnet, London/24.05.84)

Coach: Tom Dyson

Trunk and Arms Double Scull

James Roberts (City of Swansea RC/Prestatyn/11.05.86)/
Samantha Scowen (Dorney BC/Wokingham/29.10.87)

Coach: Tom Dyson

Mixed Adaptive Coxed Four

Vicki Hansford (Uni of Surrey BC/Farnborough/31.10.79)/
James Roe (Stratford-upon-Avon BC//Stratford-upon-Avon/
28.03.88)/Dave Smith (Reading Uni BC/Aviemore/21.04.78) /Naomi
Riches (Leander/Harrow, London 15.06.83)/Rhiannon Jones
(Reading Uni BC/Hereford/16.09.87) (cox)

Coach: Stuart Whitelaw


Men’s sweep

Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Uni of London/Durham/13.04.88)
Peter Marsland (Cambridge Uni BC/Hampton, Mx/06.03.85)

Women’s sweep

Reserve: Jacqui Round (Nottingham RC/St Neots/01.07.87)

Management and Support Staff:

Performance Support Team:

David Tanner, Performance Director and Team Manager
Jurgen Grobler, Chief Coach (Men)
Paul Thompson, Chief Coach (Women & Lightweights)

Medical and Science Support:

Dr Ann Redgrave, Doctor
Mark Edgar, Physiotherapist
Karen Burn, Physiotherapist
Lilly Devine, Physiotherapist
Dr Chris Shambrook, Psychologist
Mark Homer, Physiologist
Wendy Martinson, Nutritionist

Adaptive Team Staff:

Louise Kingsley, Selector
Tom Dyson, Lead coach
Dr Lucy Free, Doctor
Chris Price, Physiotherapist

Logistics and Office Support:

Rachel Simon, Assistant Team Manager
Maurice Hayes, Resources Manager
Judi Read, Logistics Coordinator
Fran Bullock, Sponsorship Liaison
John Tetley, Boatman
John Brockway, Driver
Caroline Searle, Press Officer