Photo: ©Detlev Seyb/MyRowingPhoto.com
Polly Swann from Leander, newly partnered with Olympic champion Helen Glover in the women’s pair was the most impressive performance of the British team in Sydney this morning. The combination, stroked by Polly Swann, who had to miss the Olympics with a back injury, dominated a strong field. At the first quarter mark their lead was over two seconds and by the 1000m it was up to nearly five seconds – a distance they kept, to beat a strong American crew. “To be honest, I was surprised that we had so much on the field at half way.” said Glover. “We’ve moved on each race here and today felt really good.”
The men’s eight which led from the beginning to the end and included seven Leander rowers Pete Reed, Alex Gregory, Daniel Ritchie, Tom Ransley, Lance Tredell, Matthew Gotrel, Mohamed Sbihi and Leander cox Phelan Hill plus Olympic champion Andy Triggs-Hodge. The men’s eight were anchored to another victory over a strong American boat and got into an early lead. Although the US crew did reduce the margin to just over a second in the final quarter, the Great Britain win was never in doubt. “I’ve felt really relaxed in this boat.” said Reed. “I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved.” For Gregory, the crew’s smooth technique played a key role in their victory. “We’ve been working very hard on the front end of our stroke on training camp,” he said.
The lightweight men’s double of Richard Chambers from Leander and Adam Freeman-Pask also dominated their race. Great Britain’s lightweight men’s double showed they have what it takes to live up to the high standards set by Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase. This time, Chambers and Freeman-Pask blasted out and dominated their Chinese and Portuguese opponents. “That result shows we are up there with some of the best,” said Chambers.
Chambers’s brother Peter picked up a silver behind New Zealand as part of the lightweight men’s four which also included Jono Clegg, Chris Boddy and Chris Bartley from Leander.
The Great Britain men’s quad picked up a historic first gold medal in this event and bronzes for both open weight and lightweight women’s doubles ensured that the British team finished second in the World Cup rankings behind a strong Australian team.