Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Louloudis returns to stroke seat

AFTER a record-equalling performance at Henley Royal Regatta last weekend, Leander’s GB internationals have now headed

AFTER a record-equalling performance at Henley Royal Regatta last weekend, Leander’s GB internationals have now headed off to the world cup regatta at Lucerne, Switzerland.

Ten Leander crews and composites contested the Henley finals, where the GB men’s heavyweight squad were in dominant form winning the Grand, where they inflicted the most crushing defeat in recent times for the Olympic champion men’s eight from Germany.

Constantine Louloudis, stroke of the GB men’s eight in 2012, has now completed his studies at Oxford University. At Henley he slotted in to the two seat, previously occupied by Stewart Innes in Varese, but for Lucerne he will move back to stroke â?? the position in which he drove the rhythm for his crew to take the world title last year in Amsterdam.

Back in the cox’s seat will be regular steersman Phelan Hill, while Henry Fieldman, who guided the crew to gold in Italy, will steer Mat Tarrant and Callum McBrierty in the coxed pair, the event in which Fieldman won world silver last year.

Elsewhere in the GB team Jamie Kirkwood, winner of senior trials in lightweight singles for the last two years, has recovered from injury to take a seat in the lightweight men’s four with London’s Mark Aldred, and 2012 silver medallists Pete Chambers of Oxford Brookes and Leander’s Chris Bartley.

In men’s pairs James Foad (Molesey) and Matt Langridge (Leander) won the silver medal in Amsterdam, but injury sidelined them for Varese.

Back on form last weekend they won the Silver Goblets at Henley, beating Leander’s Stewart Innes and Oli Cook of University of London, who join them in Switzerland as the second men’s pair. With Charles Cousins continuing his recovery from a hand injury Angus Groom retains his place in the bow seat of the GB men’s quad which won the Queen Mother Cup last weekend. Gold in Varese was won in the absence of Ukraine and Russia who will be back in force this weekend.

The women’s eight won bronze behind the USA and Canada three weeks ago, but the Americans will miss Lucerne. After losing their Henley final to Canada, GB will be looking to move up the rankings but the strong Romanians, absent from Lucerne, will be looking to deny them.

Fran Houghton retains her place in the women’s quad, B finalists in Varese, who will be looking to move up a gear after their straightforward victory against Molesey last weekend. Meanwhile the women’s double, which includes Leander’s Vicky Thornley and Katherine Grainger of St Andrew, will be hoping to improve on bronze in Varese. Among the double sculls John Collins and Jonny Walton will also be hoping for a final place after their Henley win, while lightweights Richard Chambers and Will Fletcher will continue the search for speed which has already won them European silver and world cup bronze this season.

The picturesque Rotsee lake in Lucerne is arguably the fairest international course in the world, and all nations will be looking to raise their game in this important Olympic qualification year.

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