Saturday, 31 July 2021

Leander’s World Cup finalists set their sights on double sculls title

DESPITE the absence of their GB internationals at pre-Olympic training camp, Leander Club will be boating more

DESPITE the absence of their GB internationals at pre-Olympic training camp, Leander Club will be boating more than 50 athletes, contesting 10 events in 15 different crews at this year’s regatta.

Leander’s top boat is their Ladies’ Plate eight which beat Nereus, the Dutch student crew at the Holland Beker in Amsterdam last month. Nereus will also contest the Ladies’ Plate, where the Americans from California Berkeley plus an East India/Martyrs composite are the only other entrants.

In the Remenham Cup for women’s eights an international development crew with three Leander athletes on board is set to fly the flag for GB against overseas opposition from the USA, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

In the club quad sculls event, where Leander has reigned supreme for the last six years, lightweight international Sam Mottram joins forces with Frazier Christie, Seb Devereux and Barney Stentiford in pursuit of a seventh successive victory in this event.

Andy Joel and Harry Leask, who helped win the Prince of Wales Cup at last year’s regatta, have formed a new crew with Rowan Law and Harry Glenister, but the stewards have required that they race the open international event, the Queen Mother Cup, where the cosmopolitan opposition comes from seven different countries.

In women’s quads former Leander captain Debbie Flood will stroke her club’s top crew in the Princess Grace Cup, where the line-up also includes Lucinda Gooderham, Emily Carmichael and Fran Rawlins.

The GB lightweight women’s quad who took the silver medal at last year’s world championships are also competing, with Leander’s former world junior sculling champion Jess Leyden on board.

Leander will boat two crews in the Fawley Cup for junior quads, where their A crew includes Tom Mortimer, Tom Placidi, Ben Holt and Cameron Forsythe. To claim the trophy they will need to get past Claires Court School, who beat Leander at the Metropolitan Regatta and who hope to add the Fawley Cup to wins at the Schools’ Head and National Schools’.

There’s another strong international flavour to the Silver Goblets and Nickalls’ Cup event for men’s pairs, where Phil Congdon and Sam Arnot fly the flag for Leander. Also racing are Leander vice-captain Callum McBrierty and his partner Ollie Cook of University of London, who will be looking to race the coxed pairs event at the world championships in Rotterdam in two months’ time.

The talented all-Leander GB double of Jack Beaumont and Nick Middleton continue their development on the international stage having made two World Cup finals so far this year. Their likely race against the Belgian lightweights, Tim Brys and Niels van Zandweghe, looks set to be one of the highlights of the regatta.

Leander’s Tom Barras, who won GB U23 trials a few weeks ago, has entered the Diamond Sculls where the top class field includes one of the few Olympians to enter this year’s Royal Regatta — Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand. The Kiwi sculler has form on his side as the defending title holder, with four previous wins at the event, and a gold medal at London 2012.

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