GB Rowing win overall World Cup title

Published 9 July 2017

Robyn Hart-Winks, Gemma Hall, Maddie Arlett and Ellie Piggott at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne ©Naomi Baker

Great Britain’s men’s four (M4-) took gold in the final World Rowing Cup regatta of the season in Lucerne, helping GB to win the overall World Cup title.


GB and silver medallists Italy avoided each other in the heats and semi-finals in Lucerne, having battled at Henley Royal Regatta last Sunday, and GB continued the form they showed in the opening rounds.

Matt Rossiter, Moe Sbihi, Matthew Tarrant and Will Satch trailed narrowly through 500m but put in a push at around 750m to take the lead and rowing through for the win; sealing the World Cup title for the event.

The men’s quadruple scull (M4x) completed the full set of World Rowing Cup medals in 2017, winning silver in Lucerne and took the overall event title in the process.

Jack Beaumont, Jonny Walton, John Collins and Peter Lambert set the pace in the first half of the race, but European champions Lithuania pushed through in the second thousand to win by over a length.

GB won bronze in Belgrade, with Tom Barras in place of Lambert, before the current crew took a spectacular gold in Poznan three weeks ago to top the event standings.

Bronze from the women’s eight (W8+) took GB’s tally to four for the weekend, after the lightweight women’s quad (LW4x) won silver on 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.

Holly Norton and Karen Bennett entered the regatta as World Cup leaders in the women’s pair (W2-), 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. Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast (New Zealand) took the win – as they did in Poznan – in a spread out field.

Vicky Thornley’s tough weekend of racing resulted in a fifth-place finish in the women’s single scull (W1x) final. The large field meant the finalists had to complete four races in three days, and Switzerland’s Jeannine Gmelin showed why she is the fastest in the world at the moment, cruising to her second World Cup win of the year. Thornley, who won silver medals in rounds one and two, finished six seconds down on the Swiss.

The women’s quad (W4x) – Beth Bryan, Alice Baatz, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne and Holly Nixon – raced to fifth in a final won by Poland, who completed a clean sweep of World Cup golds.

Kat Copeland and Emily Craig rowed to sixth in the lightweight women’s double scull (LW2x), having qualified directly from the heat on Friday. The European Championship bronze medallists were up with the pack in the early stages, but an impressive Kiwi crew pushed the pace to split the field and win by four seconds.

The women’s four (W4-) also finished sixth in their final, having struggled to keep with the frenetic pace set by the Australian crew, who took gold by five seconds from Russia.

And the men’s eight (M8+) closed out the regatta with a sixth-place finish in a race won by a strong German boat just ahead of Australia.

The results gave Britain the win in the World Rowing Cup overall standings, having accumulated 134 points across the three regattas. New Zealand, after impressive outings in Poznan and Lucerne, finished second, ahead of Poland.

British Rowing Performance Director, Sir David Tanner, said: “We set out to be the best nation across the World Cup series, so I’m very happy we have achieved that goal and have seen some excellent performances in the process.

“From the four gold medals in Belgrade, and the men’s quad’s impressive win in Poznan, to the men’s four victory here in Lucerne. Our results this season have given the coaches plenty of food for thought ahead of the World Championships team selection, which will be announced on 10 August.”

Tanner added: “We’ve seen some impressive results in this regatta from crews new to senior level racing, showing promising depth in our programme at the start of the Olympic cycle. Ford and Clarke were seventh in our Trials in April and are now effectively eighth in the world, while three of the second men’s four made their senior debuts and performed admirably against many of the world’s best crews. I look forward to seeing how all of our young talent continues to progress in the coming months.”

Sam Courty and Caragh McMurtry, in their first international regatta together, came away with a good win in the women’s pair (W2-) B final; trading places with Korea up the course, but pulling ahead in the final 250m to seal seventh place overall. Courty only returned to action at the Henley Royal Regatta, after offseason surgery, while McMurtry previously won silver in the women’s eight in Poznan.

Tom Ford and Tim Clarke looked set to match the feat in the men’s pair (M2-) B final, leading just before the 1,500m mark but were pegged back by a surging Belarussian crew in the last quarter of the race. Having missed out on the A final by just half a second on Saturday, the pair can be satisfied with their eighth place finish overall.

Sam Mottram and Jamie Copus put in a fantastic sprint to win the lightweight men’s double (LM2x) B final by just a tenth of a second. The duo crossed the 1,500m line in third position but a burst of speed in the final stages saw them surge past Russia and Japan to finish seventh overall.

The second men’s four (M4-) had to settle for tenth overall after finishing fourth in their B final, fighting back from sixth place at the halfway mark and putting in the quickest final quarter across the field to end their regatta well. Three of the four athletes were making their first senior appearances and put in a string of gutsy performances over the course of the weekend.

World Rowing Cup overall standings
Great Britain 134pts
New Zealand 108pts
Poland 91pts

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