STAGING 2012 Olympic rowing crews announced - British Rowing

2012 Olympic rowing crews announced

Reigning double scull World Champions Anna Watkins, of Staffordshire, and Scotland’s Katherine Grainger spearhead a list of 48 rowers, from the ultimate squad of 52 including reserves, across 13 boats announced today by the British Olympic Association for the London 2012 Games.

“It’s been an incredible honour and privilege to be part of the past three Olympic Games and as wonderful as they have all been there is a sense that the upcoming home Games will be on a different scale to anything we’ve ever seen before.  As athletes we already feel the incredible support, enthusiasm, pride and excitement from the public and that will just keep building to the Games. And I for one can’t wait”, said Grainger.


Watkins added: “I’m very excited to have got to this point. We [Watkins and Elise Laverick] lost in Beijing by a couple of feet and I’ve spent four years working hard to improve so that now I’ve got this opportunity to do it right”.

Five returning Beijing gold medallists have also been named today.  Andrew Triggs Hodge from Yorkshire, Peter Reed of Gloucestershire and Wales’ Tom James will race at Eton-Dorney in the men’s four – a boat in which they won gold with Steve Williams in 2008.  Alex Gregory, also from Gloucestershire and a World Champion in 2009 and 2011, completes the quartet for 2012.

Triggs Hodge said: “It’s such an honour to continue to be a part of such a strong team heading to London 2012. Such drive and dedication from all the athletes support staff and from the national lottery means this is the best team ever sent to an Olympic Games.  I’m just looking forward to helping to make GB proud”.

Reed added: “I’m thrilled to be part of the biggest British team ever at our London Olympics. I have been training for this all my life one way or another. I am a proud lieutenant from the Royal Navy, a proud Olympian and a proud Briton. I’m racing to win”.

Gloucester’s Zac Purchase and Londoner Mark Hunter will stage a defence of the lightweight men’s double scull title.  

Hunter said:  “The biggest honour in any athlete’s career is to be a part of a home Olympics. My gold medal in Beijing was more of a personal journey but as London 2012 draws nearer I have become aware that I am part of something much bigger. British athletes competing for Queen and Country!”

David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director and Team Leader for rowing, said:   “We are an ambitious sport going into the Games and certainly the best supported we have ever been thanks to our funding from the National Lottery.  We go to the start in London ready to defend our status as the leading rowing nation from Beijing but we are under no illusion as to how tough winning medals, especially gold medals, will be at this Games”.

Britain has a strong lightweight rowing contingent for the London Games, including the lightweight men’s four which includes the Chambers brothers Richard, the elder sibling who was world champion in 2007 and 2010, and Peter, World U23 champion in 2011.  Welshman Chris Bartley who strokes the combination and Maidenhead’s Rob Williams were also World Champions in 2010.

London’s Sophie Hosking, a World bronze medallist in 2009 and 2011, has teamed up this year in the lightweight women’s double scull with World U23 single scull champion Kat Copeland of Ingelby Barwick, Stockton on Tees.  The duo were world cup silver medallists earlier this year.

Cornwall’s Helen Glover had only barely begun to row in 2008, having responded to UK Sport’s “Sporting Giants” call for tall people and having since been nurtured and developed through rowing’s own talent development scheme, Start.  She will go to the Games as World Silver medallist in the women’s pair with Lossiemouth’s Heather Stanning, also a product of the Start scheme.

Seven rowers plus cox and twice World Silver medallist Phelan Hill, from Bedford, have been identified for the men’s eight with the final names to be chosen from a group of reserves.

At the Games, the men’s eight will, no doubt, continue their on-going rivalry with World Champions Germany – who they may also race at the World Cup in Munich in two weeks’ time  as a curtain-raiser for London – as well as with Canada, the Olympic Champions, amongst others. The finals of the Munich World Cup regatta which takes place from 15-17 June will be televised live on BBC 2 on Sunday 17 June.

Beijing silver medalists Alex Partridge (Hants), Matt Langridge and Ric Egington (both Cheshire) have already been named in this boat along with World Silver medallists Moe Sbihi (London), James Foad (Southampton), Tom Ransley (Kent) and returning 1992 Olympic gold medallist Greg Searle (Marlow) who will be forty in the week of the rowing programme at 2012. 

George Nash from Guildford and Henley’s Will Satch have joined the GB senior squad this year and have shown well in the men’s pair in the opening two world cups.  Still learning and clearly enjoying their trade at this level, the duo held their own to reach the final from a strong world cup field in Lucerne just over two weeks ago. 

Britain has also named three men’s sculling boats – Northern Ireland’s Alan Campbell will race the single whilst Bill Lucas (Devon) and Sam Townsend (Reading) compete in the double scull  – an event in which they are also considered an emerging talent this season and in which they have been on the world cup medal rostrum already.

Charles Cousins, of Cambridge, can now consign to history the disappointment he felt when the men’s quadruple scull missed out on qualifying for Beijing. He has been named in the boat today with Somerset’s Stephen Rowbotham, Hexham’s Matt Wells (2008 double scull bronze medallists) and Londoner Tom Solesbury.

Debbie Flood, of Leeds, is back in the equivalent women’s boat in which she won Olympic silver in 2004 and 2008.  Flood has worked her way back into contention from injury and joins her 2004 and 2008 crew-mate Frances Houghton on the selected list.  Southampton-born Melanie Wilson, a medical student living in London, and Gloucester’s Beth Rodford, World Champion in 2010, complete the line-up.

Houghton was clear that this new-line up has a big task ahead: “It is a race against time to bring the crew together for racing the final World Cup regatta. The event is the tightest it’s ever been across all eight boats in the Olympic start list, so we know we will have to perform at the highest standard despite these challenges to be in contention for a medal”.

Ten names plus a cox have been announced today from which the women’s eight will be chosen. This is an event in which Great Britain took bronze at the 2011 World Championships.  The ten include Victoria Thornley, from Wales, who stroked the boat last year and who competed at the first two world cups this season in the women’s quadruple scull.

Like Glover, Thornley is a product of first Sporting Giants and then Start.  She is joined in the ten by Lindsey Maguire, also a Start graduate, from Edinburgh, as well as Emily Taylor (Lincoln), Jo Cook (London), Jess Eddie (Durham), Louisa Reeve (London), Natasha Page (Gloucester), Katie Greves (Oxford), Annabel Vernon (Cornwall) and Ealing’s Caroline O’Connor, the cox.




(See home-towns, clubs and dates of birth in list below.  Named here in crews bow to stroke unless indicated. (Coach in brackets)).


Helen Glover/Heather Stanning

(Robin Williams)

Eight + 2 reserves

(in alphabetical order + cox)

Jo Cook/Jess Eddie/Katie Greves/Lindsey Maguire/Natasha Page/Louisa Reeve/Emily Taylor/Victoria Thornley/Annabel Vernon/Olivia Whitlam/Caroline O’Connor (cox)

(Nick Strange)

Double scull

Anna Watkins/Katherine Grainger  

(Paul Thompson)

Quadruple scull

Melanie Wilson/Beth Rodford/Frances Houghton/Debbie Flood

(Ade Roberts)



George Nash/Will Satch

(Christian Felkel)


Alex Gregory/Pete Reed/Tom James/Andrew Triggs Hodge

(Jurgen Grobler)


James Foad/Richard Egington/Matthew Langridge/Alex Partridge//Tom Ransley/Mohamed Sbihi/Greg Searle/ANO/Phelan Hill (cox)

(John West & Christian Felkel)

Single scull

Alan Campbell

(Bill Barry)

Double scull

Bill Lucas/Sam Townsend

(Mark Earnshaw)

Quadruple scull

Stephen Rowbotham/Tom Solesbury/Charles Cousins/Matt Wells

(Mark Banks)


Double scull

Sophie Hosking/Kat Copeland

(Paul Reedy)



Peter Chambers/Richard Chambers/Rob Williams/Chris Bartley

(Rob Morgan)

Double scull

Zac Purchase/Mark Hunter 

(Darren Whiter)

Management and support team:

David Tanner, Team Leader

Jurgen Grobler, Chief Coach, Men

Paul Thompson, Chief Coach, Women & Lightweights

Coaches:  Christian Felkel, John West, Bill Barry, Mark Earnshaw, Mark Banks, Robin Williams, Nick Strange, Ade Roberts, Paul Reedy, Rob Morgan, Darren Whiter.




(name, club, home town, date of birth)



Helen Glover   Minerva Bath   Penzance   17/06/86   
Heather Stanning   Army RC   Lossiemouth   26/01/85  

Coach: Robin Williams


Jo Cook Leander Club   Sunbury-on-Thames   22/03/84

Jessica Eddie   Univ of London BC   Durham   07/10/84

Katie Greves   Leander Club   Oxford   02/09/82

Lindsey Maguire Wallingford Edinburgh 15/01/82

Natasha Page Gloucester RC Hartpury 30/04/85

Louisa Reeve Leander Club London 16/05/84

Emily Taylor   Leander Club   Lincoln   28/06/87

Victoria Thornley   Leander Club   Wrexham   30/11/87

Annabel Vernon Leander Club Wadebridge 01/09/82

Olivia Whitlam   Agecroft RC   Warrington   16/09/85

Caroline O’Connor (cox)   Oxford Brookes Univ BC   Ealing, London 25/04/83   

Coach: Nick Strange                    

Double Scull         

Anna Watkins   Leander Club   Leek, Staffs.   13/02/83   

Katherine Grainger   St Andrew BC   Aberdeen   12/11/75   

Coach: Paul Thompson            

Quadruple Scull

Melanie Wilson   Imperial College BC   London   25/06/84 

Beth Rodford   Gloucester RC   Gloucester   28/12/82   

Frances Houghton   Leander Club   Oxford   19/09/80

Debbie Flood Leander Club Guiseley, W Yorks 27/02/1980   

Coach: Ade Roberts            



George Nash   Molesey BC   Guildford   02/10/89   

Will Satch   Leander Club   Henley-on-Thames   09/06/89   

Coaches: Christian Felkel & Paul Stannard         


Alex Gregory   Leander Club   Wormington   11/03/84   

Pete Reed   Leander Club   Nailsworth, Glos   27/07/81 

Tom James   Molesey BC   Wrexham   11/03/84     

Andrew Triggs Hodge   Molesey BC   Hebden, N. Yorks   03/03/79   

Coach: Jürgen Grobler            


James Foad   Molesey BC   Southampton   20/03/87

Richard Egington   Leander Club   Knutsford   26/02/79

Matthew Langridge   Leander Club   Northwich   20/05/83

Alex Partridge   Leander Club   Alton, Hants   25/01/81

Tom Ransley   York City RC   Cambridge   06/09/85

Mohamed Sbihi   Molesey BC   Surbiton   27/03/88

Greg Searle   Molesey BC   Marlow   20/03/72


Cox – Phelan Hill   Leander   Bedford   21/07/79

Coaches: John West & Christian Felkel         

Single Scull        

Alan Campbell   Tideway Scullers School   Coleraine   09/05/83

Coach: Bill Barry

Double Scull            

Bill Lucas   London RC   Kingswear   13/09/87   

Sam Townsend   Reading Univ BC   Reading   26/11/85   

Coach: Mark Earnshaw            

Quadruple Scull         

Stephen Rowbotham   Leander Club   Winscombe, Somerset   11/11/81

Tom Solesbury Leander Club Petts Wood, Kent 23/09/80

Charles Cousins   Reading Univ BC   Willingham, Cambs   13/12/88

Matthew Wells   Leander Club   Hexham, Northumberland   19/04/79

Coach: Mark Banks



Double Scull

Sophie Hosking   London RC   Wimbledon   25/01/86   

Katherine Copeland   Tees RC   Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees   01/12/90 

Coach: Paul Reedy 



Peter Chambers Oxford Brookes Coleraine 14/03/90

Rob Williams   London RC   Maidenhead   21/01/85   

Richard Chambers   Leander Club   Coleraine   10/06/85  

Chris Bartley   Leander Club   Chester   02/02/84   

Coach: Rob Morgan

Double Scull

Zac Purchase   Marlow RC   Tewkesbury   02/05/86   

Mark Hunter   Leander Club   Romford, Essex   01/07/78  

Coach: Darren Whiter




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