The independent voice of rowing in Britain

That’s entertainment (M4- final Munich)

Posted by rowingvoice on June 21, 2012

Drew Ginn reminisced in his blog about awaking a sleeping giant when he and James Tomkins beat Pinsent and Cracknell. He forecast the same if his Aussie four beat the Brits in Munich. That’s what his Aussie four did, by less than a second in a great race, and Alex Gregory and Ginn were joking afterwards that they should change some people around between the crews.

It is really competitive racing,’ Ginn said, ‘and it feels like both crews are doing something pretty exceptional, so it’s really exciting, maintaining that sort of form.’ When I remarked that the battle that had left all of them pretty breathless was most entertaining to watch, they both said that that was the idea. Rowing is full of such good people.

Gregory said that they had not improved enough, ‘but we weren’t expecting to win; we expected a battle, and that’s how it was. It may change again.’

The Brits came to the start with Pete Reed at bow and Gregory at 2, one of several changes they have tried in the course of bedding down this new crew. They were slow to get going. As Tom James, the 3 man, said after he got his lungs working again, ‘We have to row better, it’s not more complicated than that. We have five weeks to make changes and I’m confident that we will. We showed a better patch there in the middle than in our last two races, right direction to go. They were a better crew than us today. They have made a big impact on their own rowing between Lucerne and Munich, and we have to do the same. We’re still a new crew.’

The Aussies beat them in the semi-final as well. This must be a little galling for Reed and Andy Hodge, the stroke, who spent that last couple of years being beaten up by the Kiwi pair, especially as Hodge points out that the guys are the best in the British team if you look at the results. ‘We’ve now got to come together,’ he said. ‘I think we’ve gone through the right process. There’ve been ups and downs, definitely. It does take a bit of time and understanding. Five and a half weeks. I’ve seen crews come together in shorter time than that.’

Reed says there was no pressure within the crew after defeat in the semi. ‘Today we showed a lot of discipline. We physically couldn’t hold it together in the last 750. The last 250 we were short and poor. We haven’t got the fitness and strength to put it together over a crew as fit and fast as the Aussies at the moment. But it’s definitely not over for the Olympics.’

Christopher Dodd

Gold Australia, silver Great Britain, bronze Belarus; SRB, CZE1, ROU.


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