Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Newly-formed Leander eight pull out all the stops in Amsterdam

WITH less than a month to go before Henley Royal Regatta, Leander split their squad last

WITH less than a month to go before Henley Royal Regatta, Leander split their squad last weekend to gain maximum racing experience, writes Robert Treharne Jones.

While some headed overseas to the Holland Beker regatta in Amsterdam, others stayed at home for the Metropolitan Regatta, held at Eton Dorney.

Racing in the Netherlands the Leander Ladies’ Plate crew, stroked by Tom Ford, turned around their Saturday result to secure a notable victory ahead of Nereus, the Dutch student eight, who they could meet again at Henley.

It was their first race together on Saturday for the Leander crew, who were only put together after their training camp in Spain and further seat racing back in the UK.

Nereus took an early lead and maintained it all the way to the line, but Leander found their rhythm the following day, to reverse a three second verdict by the same margin.

Racing on the Bosbaan, the venue for the 2014 world championships, the Leander men’s quad was also on winning form, taking the trophy on Saturday, only to be eclipsed by a new Dutch entry the following day.

There was also a stunning performance by U23 heavyweight sculler Tom Barras, who remained unfazed by the competition and finished fourth in his final behind Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale and world champion Ondrej Synek.

Composite GB crews racing in Amsterdam included the lightweight quad, now on track for the world championships in Rotterdam, featuring Jamie Kirkwood and Charles Waite-Roberts, who tasted victory on both days, as did Ed Fisher and Jonny Jackson in the GB U23 lightweight men’s four.

Leander’s Sam Mottram won the U23 lightweight single scull, while a GB women’s development eight, with four Leander athletes on board also won their straight final on Saturday. Back on the familiar waters of Eton Dorney the Leander women’s quad, stroked by Debbie Flood, took successive wins at the Metropolitan Regatta, to set themselves up for the top competition at Henley Women’s Regatta next weekend. Emily Carmichael, in the two seat, went on to race the open women’s single sculls, securing yet another win.

It wasn’t just the women’s sculling events where Leander emerged victorious. There were also wins for Frazer Christie in the elite men’s singles, Dan Boddington in the senior event, and Chris Ray in IM3 sculls.

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