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Thursday
Sep012016

More medal success for London's athletes in Rotterdam

Following soon after the medals won by Phelan Hill and Jess Eddie at the Rio Olympics, there was more medal success for London's athletes at the 2016 World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam, which finished on 28 August.  Pride of place went to Imogen Walsh, who won Gold with the British Lightweight Women's Quad.  Tim Livingstone won a Silver medal rowing in the GB Under 23 Men's Eight. 

We congratulate them on their success.  Here are extracts from the British Rowing report:

Each member of the lightweight women’s quad had won silver at the 2015 World Championships – Brianna Stubbs, Emily Craig and Ellie Piggott in the quad and Imogen Walsh in the single. All were determined to upgrade on that and, having laid down a marker with a confident win in their preliminary race, they produced another fantastic performance to take the World crown.

Defending champions Germany promised to be their main challengers once again and so it proved as they made the early running but they couldn’t shake off the Brits, who were looking cool and composed in second.  Just before the halfway mark, Piggott – an U23 World Champion with Stubbs in the lightweight double in 2013 – called for a push and her crew-mates responded. They pulled ahead of the Germans and then moved away with every stroke to secure an impressive victory.

It is a second World title in the lightweight quad for 2011 champion Walsh, who said: “It was a long race but we knew if we kept our cool, stuck to our rhythm and rowed well that we would come through in the end.  I have so much trust and respect for these girls and I never doubted we could do it. This is a fitting end to what has been a really fun and exciting project.”

The men’s eight of Calum Irvine, Oliver Wynne-Griffith, Matthew Benstead, Timothy Livingstone, David Bewicke-Copley, Sholto Carnegie, Robert Hurn, Arthur Doyle and cox Ian Middleton had produced a storming performance in their semi-final to go into today’s medal showdown in confident mood.

They knew their biggest challenge was likely to come from the Netherlands and so it proved as the home favourites stormed out of the blocks, moving a length up on the field inside the opening 500m.  The British found themselves in fourth at that point but began to find their rhythm and pushed through the field, taking second spot with 750m to go. The Dutch had maintained their clear advantage, though, and it was only in the latter stages that GB began to create an overlap.

They were now the quickest boat on the water but had left it too late to challenge for gold, meaning the self-styled ‘Shep’s Army’ – named in honour of their coach, Pete Sheppard – emulated the silver medal won by the GB women.

Cox Middleton said: “It was a tough race and we gave it a good crack. The Dutch had a really strong race and managed to get off to a great start. We were quick but never really had quite enough to overturn them after that, so all credit to them.”

It was the first U23 medal for a GB men’s eight since 2011, when a crew featuring future Rio 2016 Olympic Champion Will Satch won bronze.

Wednesday
Aug242016

Result of AGM elections

 

At the Club's Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 31 August 2016 the following were elected as Officers and Committee for the coming year

President Mike Baldwin
Vice-Presidents Mike Williams and Ben Helm
Chairman Robert Downie
Captain Matthew Cummings
Hon. Treasurer Jason Gray
Hon. Secretary Jeremy Hudson
Asst. Hon. Secretary Christopher Grainger
Hon. House Steward (Building) Tim Grant
Hon. House Steward (Functions) Charles Dunlop-Cunnington
Committee members

Kathleen Curran

Jason Danciger

Jana Downie

Alan Foster

Ciaran Hayes

Eddie Markes

Daniel Pring

Richard Philips

Bob Silver

 

Monday
Aug152016

Gold and Silver for London's athletes in Rio

At the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro LRC's Jessica Eddie and Phelan Hill both won medals.  Pride of place went to Phelan who coxed the GB Gold medal winning Men's Eight.  Jess Eddie rowed in the Women's Eight which won Silver - Britain's first medal at an Olympic Games in this event.  There was disappointment for Mark Aldred in the Lightweight Men's Coxless Four which was just squeezed out of the final, but some compensation with a very commendable first place in the 'B' final (7th overall).

We congratulate them on their achievements.  We also congratulate Sir David Tanner, in charge of the whole GB Rowing Team, on their superb result of 3 Gold and 2 Silver medals, and Robin Williams who coached the Women's Pair to their 2nd successive Gold medal.

Here are some extracts (and photos) from British Rowing's reports:

No British women’s eight had ever won a medal before at an Olympic Games but Katie Greves, Melanie Wilson, Frances Houghton, Polly Swann, Jess Eddie, Olivia Carnegie-Brown. Karen Bennett, Zoe Lee and cox Zoe de Toledo have been determined all season to end that wait.  After winning European Championships gold in May, plus silver and bronze on the World Cup circuit, they demonstrated their medal-winning potential on the biggest stage of all with an impressive victory in the semi-finals.

That meant they lined up in the centre lanes alongside the powerhouses from the United States, bidding for a third successive Olympic title. However, it was the Canadians – third to Britain in Monday’s heats and qualifiers via the repechage – who got off to the strongest start. The GB eight were at the back of the field at the 500m mark and, as the Canadians continued their all-or-nothing charge, remained in sixth place at the halfway stage.

But there was no sense of panic. Throughout the season, the GB have begun to move around the 1,250m mark and that was the case again today as they stuck firmly to their game plan. With total belief in themselves, their crew-mates and their cox, the eight began to cut through the field and, following a sensational third 500m, they had surged up to second place and were closing on the all-conquering United States at the front.  The Americans rose to the challenge to hold onto the lead but now the threat came from the fast-finishing Romanians. The British fans were on the feet as the eights crossed the line together, GB getting the nod for silver in a photo-finish by one-tenth of a second.

Eddie, who was also in the eight in 2008 and 2012, added: “I don’t think it has really sunk in yet. I wanted to make today feel just like a regular training piece, I can get too excited and I wanted to quash that. I told the girls they would be a moment in the race when they had to make it happen and we did.”

The men’s eight of Scott Durant, Tom Ransley, Andrew T Hodge, Matt Gotrel, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Matt Langridge, Will Satch and cox Phelan Hill were looking to complete a golden Olympiad in the men’s race, the GB eight having won the World title in 2013, 2014 and 2015. They had struggled to reproduce that form in the early stages of the season but their belief in each other, the programme and coaches Jurgen Grobler and Christian Felkel never faltered.

A powerful heats victory showed they were very much back to their best and they built on that in today’s final by completely dominating the race from start to finish.  Defending champions Germany were expected to be provide another epic challenge, as were the Netherlands, but Britain had no intention of getting involved in a scrap and by 500m they were already three-quarters of a length up. Satch in the stroke seat called for another big push in the second quarter and his crew-mates responded, pounding out a fierce rhythm to move clear of the chasing pack.

Germany and the Netherlands tried to respond but the British eight were able to rise to their challenge and went on to win in convincing style, securing a first Olympic gold for the GB men’s eight since Sydney 2000. Cox Hill said: “That was absolutely fantastic. It’s so different to four years ago. Today we just controlled it from the start. We’ve always had the raw speed in training and today was about delivering that. These guys were absolute gladiators.”

Chris Bartley, Jono Clegg, Mark Aldred and Peter Chambers fought a tightly-bunched lightweight men’s four semi-final but fell the wrong side of the top three dividing line in the final long sprint to the line as the French and New Zealanders came through behind an eye-catching Italian winning quartet. “I don’t think we could have done anything more.  We didn’t leave anything out there today”, said Peter Chambers afterwards.  “We were beaten by good crews”. Bartley added:  “I guess we can be proud that no-one held back. We put everything we had out there today”.

Sir David Tanner, Team GB Leader for Rowing, said: “With three outstanding golds and two superb silvers, our 26 rowing medallists have done TeamGB proud at these Olympics. 26 rowers will be returning home having achieved their dreams here in Rio. To be top of the rowing medal table for the third successive Olympics is something to be truly proud of. “Well done to our rowers and the outstanding Coaching and Team Support staff, not only out here in Rio but those at home who backed us all the way.”

Friday
Aug052016

Good luck to London's athletes in Rio!

London Rowing Club will be well represented at the Olympic Games starting in Rio de Janeiro on 5 August 2016.

Jessica Eddie will compete in the Women's Eight.  Phelan Hill will cox the Men's Eight.  Mark Aldred will row in the Men's Lightweight Coxless Four.  Imogen Walsh is the non-travelling reserve for the Women's Lightweight Double Scull.

Sir David Tanner CBE is the GB Team's Performance Director.  Robin Williams MBE coaches the Women's Pair of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning.  Paul Reedy coaches the Women's Lightweight Double of Kat Copeland and Charlotte Taylor.

We wish them every success in Rio.

Mark Aldred has sent us this photo and blog

We've been in Rio for just under a week and the time has flown by. I'm writing this from my hotel room in Ipanema - we're staying close to the course during the regatta itself before moving into the athletes' village (about an hour away) during the second week.

And what a course it is. The "Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas" is situated right in the heart of Rio a few minutes away from Ipanema beach and under the watchful eye of Christ the Redeemer. One of the first impressions I've had, apart from the stunning setting, is how noisy it is. Most courses I've rowed on are in pretty quiet settings (except docks!), so to have cars, helicopters and the general hustle and bustle of the city is quite different and very noticeable. The lake is quite open and prone to winds coming in off the coast so the water has been quite lively, and I'm hoping my time on the Tideway will come in useful!  

Since the last World Cup race in Poznan we've been away on training camp clocking up the miles and taking in the delights of Italy, Germany and France before doing some final speed work at Caversham prior to flying out. We've settled in here quickly and are looking forward to getting going. This is my first Olympic Games and so far it feels very much like a World Cup regatta or World Championships with a little bit "extra" - the accreditation, security checks, new kit etc., and of course it's very hard to ignore the Olympic rings at the finish of the course! However, around the boat park you see the same faces and go through the same routines as you normally would. 

Having said that, I know that, come the first race on Saturday, there will definitely be a few extra butterflies fluttering around!

Wednesday
Aug032016

Three London men compete in Home International Regatta

On Saturday 23 July, 3 LRC athletes competed for England at the Home International Regatta in Cardiff Bay.

On a bright, but blustery day in Wales, conditions were tough, with a strong cross breeze coupled with a fair amount of wash from pleasure boats in the bay, racing would be tough for all boats.

First up Lachie Ives was selected in the Lightweight Men's pair with Ashley Cowley from Newark RC. Only put together 2 weeks before the event, the two boys had worked hard to develop the combination between the trials and the regatta itself. After a promising start from the England pair, conditions started to favour the more established combinations, which saw the England pair come through 500m to go in 3rd place, the position they held to the line behind Scotland and Ireland.

Nick and Dom Parnell (photo - Chris Parnell)

In the Open Men's pairs race, a much more established LRC combination of Nick and Dom Parnell were racing for England having excelled at the trials the week after Henley. Using their experience to build into the first 500m of the race in the bouncy conditions, the Parnell pair were soon into their strong mid race rhythm, which saw them take the lead 600m into the 1500m race. None of the other pairs could match this through the rest of the course, and this gave Nick and Dom a comfortable victory, a good end to the season for these two athletes that have had some excellent results throughout the year.

The points claimed by these two crews saw England win the Men's Team event trophy again for the Home International Regatta.