Friday, 20 July 2018

Leander dominate British Championships with nine-trophy haul

LEANDER athletes came away from the British Championships having won seven out of eight senior event titles and nine trophies

LEANDER athletes came away from the British Championships having won seven out of eight senior event titles and nine trophies in other events, as well as the overall Victor Ludorum trophy for being the most successful club on the water last weekend.

Once it was announced by the GB rowing authorities that all international athletes were required to race for their clubs it was clear that Leander crews were likely to be the dominant force at the regatta, and so it proved.

But while the club’s world and Olympic champions returned triumphant, there were creditable performances from the U19 and U23 athletes in the club’s Leander development academy.

World championship finalists Frances Houghton and Vicki Meyer-Laker took the women’s double sculls title, but were led to halfway by another Leander double, Vicky Thornley and Jess Leyden. Thornley was the GB single sculler in Korea while Leyden, newly arrived from Hollingworth Lake RC, had earlier this year become the first GB sculler ever to win the world junior sculling title.

It was another Leander gold and silver in the men’s event where Matt Langridge and Charles Cousins beat Jonny Walton and John Collins to the line, pushing the Tideway Scullers/London composite of Alan Campbell and Bill Lucas back into third place.

World champion Polly Swann stroked the Leander crew to victory in the women’s fours, backed up by Caragh McMurtry, Lou Reeve and Lucinda Gooderham, while silver went to the composite crew stroked by Swann’s pairs’ partner, Helen Glover of Minerva Bath.

When Tom Ransley, Will Satch, Pete Reed and Alex Gregory were selected for the men’s fours it would always be the crew to beat, and the form book ran true as they led from start to finish to take Leander’s fourth title of the championships.

The club’s lightweight four, with Olympic bronze medallists Chris Bartley and Richard Chambers as the stern pair finished in fourth place to win the lightweight title.

Pippa Whittaker, Katie Greves and cox Zoe de Toledo then joined forces with six Leander winners from the previous day’s racing to form the women’s eight, which romped home 10 seconds clear of the Gloucester/Imperial/Oxford Brookes composite, with Cambridge University in third place.

The top Leander doubles combined for the men’s quads, with predictable results, but third place went to an impressive performance from Jack Beaumont, Seb Devereux, Sholto Carnegie and Angus Groom, who had earlier won the U19 and U23 doubles titles.

Leander won their final title in the premier race of the championship, the men’s eights, where Will Satch stroked the crew to victory, mirroring his performance six weeks earlier at the world championships.

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