Aiguebelette Rowing World Cup


John Inverdale presents highlights of the second rowing World Cup of the season from Aiguebelette. Britain will be confident, having won medals at 2013's World Championships.

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Very good morning under warm welcome to Aiguebelette for the 2014 rowing


Championships. A fantastic return to the international stage here for


Katherine Copeland, making it look, -- look very, very easy. Fabulous


result for the British. They are competitive from start to finish.


And on the line it will be a photo there. They are


And on the line it will be a photo there. They are playing now, they


are flying. Great Britain demolished the field here at the 2014 rowing


championship. Hello, three weeks ago Great Britain's rowers had a week to


remember in Belgrade when they won two Gold, four silver and three


bronze medals but now the rest of the world are turning up and things


are about to get more difficult. 21 British crews are in action in


France, this is going to be a qualifying course for the Rio


Olympic Games, and this is what we have in store for you. After years


in Afghanistan, Olympic champion Heather Stanning is back. I want to


be in a boat where there is world champions but like anyone in the


team there is a whole squad of people who would love to be in


there. A dog allergy mentor challenging winter for Pete Reed, he


spoke about his plans to get back into the Great Britain top boat. I


have to get back to my very best and I am perfectly happy with my


position in the group with the other guys. I have a lot to offer my


team-mates. After a bronze medal in Belgrade, can Kat Copeland continue


her comeback? Let's start with the men's coxless four. Featuring an


interesting quartet, two established figures, Alex Gregory and Andy


Triggs Hodge. This is one of the hardest winters I have experienced.


I had a few conversations with my wife, the what if stories. What if I


cannot get back into the boat? You can listen to the doctors and say


you will be fine, but to be so focused on single goals, they can


fall away quite easily and let your mind run away with you. Across all


sports you see athletes going through some really tough times.


Tennis players, rugby players, they all have major injuries, they all


have big life events, but the best athletes will come through. That's


why I've come through narrow, I'm really proud, really privileged to


be part of it, really proud to come through the winter I have. I always


like going to Belgrade, it is a wonderful place, a superb venue. The


people but on a great show. From the rowing side, yes, we certainly


ticked the box we needed to. We worked hard to put it together, it


has been a long winter, and to come out of those long sessions at


Caversham and put a nice race like that together is what we aimed to


do. Great Britain demolished the field here at the 2014 Rowing


Championships and they made it look easy. It was great to be part of are


very successful British team. The prospect of this four coming


together has been a very exciting idea for some time now. When it


finally happened, it was kind of, this is as good as I hoped it would


be. I have always said that as long as I am improving, I will continue


with the sport. What is fantastic is that this boat is part of that for


me. It is a very new, very exciting new toy and I love being in this


boat every day. It is a wonderful project to be part of. Squeezing


away for the first time, the final of the men's coxless four. Germany,


Canada, Great Britain in laying four. The USA in five. So much to


talk about in this race. The first time we are seeing the USA this


year, they were bronze medallists time we are seeing the USA this


year, they were last year. The first time we are seeing Australia, in the


middle of the picture there. But look, in lane number four already,


Hodge leading the boat out. In lane six they will be going hard out. At


the moment it is happening all this side of the lake and it is Australia


if anything. That middle lane have dropped back, which is surprising at


this point. Coming up towards the canvas, now half a length. The speed


of the British group, Andy Hodge there. The training they have coming


into regattas, they focus on the first 500, demolished the field. But


it goes through 500, kicking into the second 500 and now they are just


moving away. It is effortlessly done but they are concealing the power


because the River man technique is awesome in this group. It is


impressive to see. We knew they dominated the European three weeks


ago but the biggest threat was always going to come from Australia


and the USA. The British crew are showing them how it is done. Still


hanging on, gripping by fingernails at the moment, the USA. They know


they have two push. All of these boats will have to front-load their


race if they are going to keep with the British crew. Great Britain to


the right of your picture. We are getting USA, bronze medallists last


year in a fight with Australia, silver medallists last year. Smooth


rowing, and it looks so relaxed in that seat. They are not having it


all their own way but they are still pretty impressive. Canada up there,


Australia also. They haven't come into the same sort of pace into the


second 500. George Nash in the three seat. We know they have changed the


stroking around in training. Alex Gregory to the left of your picture


has tried it out in the stroke seat but Jurgen never gives away too


much. He knows he can always count on Andy Hodge and that is what he is


doing. That is Great Britain two to the left of your picture. They have


got to keep it steady in this third 500. USA a couple of feet over


Australia. The USA bronze medallist last year, Australia silver


medallists, returning with two of that crew. In the third 500 metres


now, in open water. A little call from the British group, open water.


USA, also pushing hard against Australia. Canada in laying two but


the gap has been opened up and we are through the 1500, we have a


length of clear water and that has been an absolutely phenomenal third


500 metres from the British crew and still they are greedy, still they


want more. You will see them push hard, they will want to lay down


again, scaring everyone away, and this is awesome stuff, Katherine. I


think the first 500 was closer than they felt comfortable. You can see


Andy finally feeling the rhythm they wanted, then they just stretched the


lead. They want to dominate this event. There is no such thing as too


much gap between you and the rest of the opposition and they will keep


going until they crush them. Australia, just moving again, and


the USA seem to be pushing every ten jokes. The USA are losing to


Australia. Australia might win the sprint for the silver but nobody is


going to touch the British crew. That is domination. They are right


on pace. The flow is just extraordinary, look at that. A


masterclass as they look for the line. The last few strokes here.


They have demolished the park twice in a row now this year, comfortably


dumb. Andy Hodge knows it is a job well done. On the line for the


silver, Australia, USA getting the third, and Great Britain's second


boat just coming over the line, out of the medals, but it was another


impressive performance. That was an absolutely dominant


performance. Yes, we had a good run today but it was good to do that


because we had more competition, the Australians, USA, the Canadians, so


we had to prove to ourselves but what we are doing is right. We have


just got to keep on that way, there is still more to come. Not perfect


yet but we are pretty pleased with today's's performance. The man on


your left, you looked pretty smooth. How phased were you by the


fact you have these opposition groups from Australia and the US


coming into your event? I wouldn't save phased, I would say excited. It


was really nice to have them here and see what would happen. A


fantastic second half of the race, I will just ask George Nash to your


left. George, you were flying in the second half of that race. The amount


you were putting between yourself and the crews behind you. Yes, we


had a bit of a game plan going into it to do some damage in the third


500. When you do a bit of damage, what are you doing? Just laying it


down? Just trying to not ruin it. No, you No, squeeze it on a little


bit, keep it travelling, maybe notch the rate of a little bit.


bit, keep it travelling, maybe notch the rate of a Andy, to your left, I


saw the little finger, not, we won that, but it was a long time until


the second group crossed the line. I wasn't watching the other crews.


There is a lot of Great British support here, this event put


together has been absolutely fantastic in preparation for next


year's World Championships. Where we can step up is making sure we get


the support in Lucerne next time, and make sure we dominate across the


board at Amsterdam. Here in the studio we have Olympic medallists.


We enjoy that enormously. Before we talk about the rowing, Mark, they


seem a happy crew. It seems they are enjoying their rowing. If you


enjoyed the people around, enjoy training. You can see the


performance was breathtaking. To win against that field with that margin


at this stage in the season, is dominating. It sends a strong


message to the other nations they have a lot of work to do. The race


was never in doubt. What we saw from them three weeks ago at the European


Championships, there was a huge gap at the first 500. This time, it was


closer at 500, but they lead over the next 1500 metres. In the end,


two different races. There is competition for places, you would


think, but when they produce such a performance, is there? Is the boat


secure? With those performances it is hard to change a combination. I


have not seen one row that economic leave for a long time. Are you going


back to Sydney? It could be that long. That efficient. The way they


move together. It is enjoyable to watch heavyweights rowing so


efficiently. Andy Hodd was talking about a back injury and going


through the winter, worrying about your body. People think it is a


great cardio sport, but low impact. But there is internal impact. Your


back is vulnerable by the nature of what you are doing. It is not like


running with impact every moment, but you have huge forces coming


through the legs, through the back and into the upper body. Everyone


has had some injury along the way. There are days whether you -- when


you question whether it will happen again. Andy is a bit older. The


older you get, injuries speak up on you and you have to look after


yourself in a different way than when you were younger because you do


not bounce back from injuries as quickly. It gives you a chance to


reflect on your shape and how to adapt and look after yourself. Is he


still the driving force of that boat? He is definitely the lead


role. He has done it so many times he is a driving force. We can move


onto the top women's crew Heather Glover -- Helen Glover and Heather


Stanning. Heather took time out to go back to her role with the Army in


Afghanistan. Matthew Pinsent caught up with her.


Seven minutes away from Olympic history. Helen Glover and Heather


Stanning. The crowd are roaring. They are making history! Great


Britain, into the record books. How do you sum up Bastian? Very


dusty and hot. It has everything you need, people around. Was it scary,


dangerous, I imagine everything is dangerous to a degree? You have to


do remember you are in a war zone, but I did not feel threatened. We


took body armour everyday and carried weapons, but I was doing an


office job. I felt happy in the environment I was in. The last time


I spoke to you properly was before you won the gold medal. I said to


you that if you win, it is going to be a great story for the Army. They


are not going to be bothered if you go to Afghanistan. That you said you


wanted to do the tour. Having the opportunity to go on tour and do the


job for real was important to me. If I am staying in the army, they


cannot credit me just with my rowing, I have to prove myself as an


officer. Do you enjoy them equally? Do you compare them like that? I


love being an athlete and the opportunities I have had and I loved


my time with the Army. I am not ready to give either up. The British


rowing honours board. Howard does it feel to have your own London 2012


section? The first time I saw it was today. It is impressive. When I


first came in here, I thought, wow, look at those people. Great


Britain's first gold medal of these Olympics. We were aware there had


not been a gold medal. I can't -- car put things into compartments


well. I thought about the race. There is an issue in the fact that


there are three of you who want to, and expect to, row in the pair. I


want to be in a boat with world champions. There is a squad of


people who would like to be in the pair, or in one of the other boats.


I have had a good year. I have less than three years until Rio, which is


just around the corner. We are away for the first time, back together,


Helen Glover and Heather Stanning since their magnificent gas in 2012


of the London Olympics. China in one, USA, three and four. USA two


and five. Great Britain against the United States of America. And five.


Great Britain against the United States of America guys on Helen and


Heather, first time together -- a lot of eyes. Catherine, although it


is the Americans, if Britain set down a marker, they will be in the


women's eight. A little pressure off Great Britain, but if they put in a


brilliant performance it sets the benchmark. Helen has won everything


since the Olympic Games. For Heather, it is the first time back


since that moment at London. They will have pressure, to be reunited


as a team. They are taking on four at the top American pairs. They will


double up for the eight later, which will be the American priority.


Already, they are showing what they do best and leading the race


comfortably. They are glorious conditions as we go through 500


metres. Great Britain are out to clear water. Catherine, you have


been here, leading in the early stages. -- Katherine Grainger. The


nerves can start to settle. You know you have speed, that is all right,


but in the second 500, what will go through Heather's mind? It is a big


day for her. It is a funny sport, you go backwards and watch the race


unfold behind you. If you have a good start, you watch the race and


can control it to an extent. They have a fast start, they do it in a


rhythmic, longer way. They will put distance between them and the rest


of the field. Heather and Helen are in a different race at the front.


Great Britain easing out from the four boats that will end up in the


USA women's eight. The benchmark, the Americans are world champions in


the women's eight from the World Championships last year. We have two


that our Olympic champions in the eighth. -- in the eight. They are


doubling up in the regatta. This is about the British crew laying down a


marker for the rest of the season. None of the USA crews are pairs


specialists. Heather and Helen have made the pair of -- the pair their


own. If the first 500 was good, the second 500 has been exceptional for


Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. Back in the women's pair for the


first time on the international scene of the two years, since they


stormed home at London 2012. They are making it look easy. They have


the gap, which is comfortable, what you do in the third 500, are you


still racing on the edge? Hopefully they will settle into a rhythm they


are comfortable with. The Americans will be competitive against each


other. They will try to establish a ranking behind them stop the leading


crew does not want a sprint finish suddenly from the crews racing for


the silver medal and bronze medal. You can get caught up in that race


if you are not careful. But these two are smart enough to know they


will not be caught out. 34 strokes per minute or Great Britain, which


is quite high, given that the race is under control. Heather Stanning,


29, last two years out. She trained while she was away. Coming back into


the team, it has been a long winter of the Heather, by her own


admission. They are now seeing the fruits of that as they move towards


the 1500 metres mark. Glorious conditions. This scene is set for


the return of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, the Olympic


champions, eased out again over crews that are predominantly from


the USA women's eight, who you will see later. They are world champions.


We also have China, in Lane number one. Paul Thompson and Robin


Williams, the coaches of this partnership. It was brave to take


Heather out of the European Championships three weeks ago, but


they know what they are doing. In training over what happened, Heather


made a phenomenal comeback. She got back face fitness quickly. At the


top end is what you struggle to recapture. In the fourth quarter is


where she would come under pressure physically. They will not come under


serious pressure here. They can bring it in. They will want the


race, but they will not put in extra pressure that you would expect at


this crucial part of the race. They are definitely keeping the rate


high. They have another level to go if it was called upon. Heather


Stanning, in the stroke seat, easing up in the closing stages. Pushing


for the line. Still going hard. Helen is looking over her shoulder,


looking for the line stop the gap is impressive. Helen Glover, Heather


Stanning, they are back in style, comfortably done. Let's not forget,


they are racing for pride. They are reigning Olympic champions. Back for


the first time. Can they defend the title? And a fantastic job winning


the Europe union championships. It was a big Dave Heather. At the


regatta we had three good rowers rather than our final being good. It


shows this level of competition and keeping it there. How much pressure


did you feel coming into the regatta, after having time out


injured? I had time away to concentrate on myself. There was


pressure I put myself rather than anything else. It was lovely to get


back racing internationally and show what I could do. How close is the


boat to its best feeling? How did it feel compared to the Olympics? It


feels different, but for a good reason. We knew there was more we


could get from it. We have started on the journey of making


improvements. This is the start and in the next couple of years we will


see where we can get to. You have a big target. The rest of the world


knows what they have to do to beat you, how will you stay in front? We


never get complacent. There are targets on our backs and we are told


that by the crews racing. We are top dogs at the moment. That will not


last if we do not keep pressing. They are very much the pair for


everybody else to come for, and they? Yes, we saw four Americans


making the final pair and it is very unusual and it shows the strength


and depth of the American crews but the British really have scared


people away. Does that work on the basis that if you have a limited


gene pool to pick from for your team, do you target events? Clearly


Britain does. It almost opens up the way forward. That is the way a lot


of nations will work because not everybody has a full team some


nations will pick and choose what suits the athletes they have but


when you have accrued dominating the event like that, you will look


elsewhere to get medals. There is also a silent -- selection dilemma


because Polly Swann it has done a fantastic job. Yes, I think from the


beginning of this year Heather had proved enough to get herself back in


the pair and it is only because she wasn't quite fit enough for the


Europeans that Polly was brought back in so it was only right that


Heather was given another chance to race. Just explain without getting


too technical, what are the main factors that means one rower is


better with another? What are the determining factors that mean Helen


is paired with heather rather than Polly? Helen can work well with


either of them so her seat is safe. It is a good thing for that


combination because it will keep them on their toes, not just


worrying about the rest of the world but keeping their seats. Let's move


worrying about the rest of the world but keeping their seats. Let's on


now to the lightweight double sculls and the


but keeping their seats. Let's on now to the return of Kat Copeland,


she was paired with Imogen Walsh at Belgrade and they had an interesting


incident at the start of their race when they went into a metal post and


had to re-rig the boat. Anyway everything was well after that.


Let's see how they got on today. Italy are absent from this final,


nevertheless it is a high-class field and Great Britain have done


very well to get two boats will stop cat -- to get two boats. Katherine,


Kat has done well to come back, hasn't she? Yes, and she is loving


it. They had a problem with the boat in the warm up when they hit a sort


of stick things so not ideal and they still put in a great


performance to medals so I would like to see them even further up the


podium today. So they were bronze medals on that occasion at the end


of last month. Alongside them Germany got the silver medal so real


fight here in the middle and at the three and four are starting to lag.


Four great scullers in the women's team for Great Britain. A great job


Paul is doing. Yes, and it will be great to see this view for him. A


quarter of the race down. China, Sweden, Great Britain two, and the


first boat back in fifth place. That is OK, but they will now really


think about moving into a good, powerful with them. You would expect


that. Watch number four. It should start to ease back through, and


three for that matter. Hopefully number three as well, I would like


to see the British come through! Kat and Imogen will be disappointed with


the start. In a way, when you are over in lane one, to some extent


there is less pressure on you. You are not in the middle of the battle


and sometimes people forget where you are and sometimes you can have


an advantage sneaking up the sides. It shows the high level of


competition, not much in it. They are very strict on the weight limit


so the racing is coming closer together. Everyone has similar


height, weight measurements and it makes for very tight racing. China,


and in the bow seat they have a silver medallist from 2010. A lot of


rivalry in the couple of years running into 2012 there. Tight


racing, very tight. On the top, tailored just starting to ease


back. So, coming through the halfway mark of this race. It is now Sweden,


and Great Britain one, China in third position. Much better for


Imogen and Katherine and that will give them the confidence. They know


their speed is good and that gives them the platform to move on.


Katherine has looked a little to the right, just checking where Sweden is


in lane number six. Sweden fourth macro earlier this year, and ninth


in the European Championships last year. I think this is where the


experience and the standards come in. If you are sitting in this race


expecting to be at the front, you don't sit in the middle of the field


content with that result. They will not stop until they have moved back


through the field and it is great because the Swedish port in a


brilliant first half but they are dropping back now. They have almost


everything they could and is for Kat and Imogen to hopefully now deliver.


23 years of age from Tees rowing club, Kat Copland, Imogen Walsh in


the bow seat. A steely look of determination there. Good technique,


nice pick-up. You can see their race plan dictating, just unleashing


there. Great Britain easing out one length. A great side shot, you can


see how the boat flows along. We are through 1500 metres and that third


500 again, another really good effort. Not necessarily fireworks


require but just turning the notch a little bit, moving the speed, moving


the boat. In a way that is what a classy crew can do. There is no


moment of explosion in the race where you suddenly destroy the field


but you can move out stroke by stroke and nobody sees it happening,


no one witnesses the change but you have suddenly taken a length of the


field and the top crews can do it. If they can just think about


squeezing on, pushing, no pressure, they have nothing to lose here. If


they can really push on in these closing stages, get themselves onto


the medal podium, that will be a fantastic result. Out the front,


leading comfortably now. Still right on it but their race plan has come


together very nicely. Absolutely, and their coach has a very calm


head, keeps it fun, keeps it relaxed. They should have the


confidence, they should be able to think confidently in a race. They


have that chunk of water, and closing down on them meanwhile is


gigabits two. Piggott and Taylor for Great Britain, they could get onto


the medal podium here. Out the front they have opened such a distance!


Old for Great Britain and silver for Great Britain. What a fantastic move


from the girls at the top! The middle thousand a little bit unsure


for the second boat. But they came through. I hardly noticed them


coming through. Ellie Piggott makes Kat Copland look old frankly! That


is such an experienced level of racing. Ellie and Charlotte haven't


had a huge amount of experience behind them and they made it to a


silver medal podium behind an Olympic champion. That is not a bad


day at the office. We were really pleased because we


felt like we executed our race really well. It all sort of went the


way we wanted it to go. So you thought you would be cool and calm


in the first 1000 kilometres and lay it down in the third quarter? We


don't intentionally want to be behind. It is a two kilometre race


so we know that we have work to do and we keep trying to work on the


first bit but we played to our strengths well and we were


composed. Imogen, you have made a step up from the Europeans, you must


be delighted with your performance in this regatta? Absolutely. We have


made some technical changes since the Europeans and comment into this


with more confidence and belief and that probably helped us earlier in


the race when we weren't leading. And the lady behind you, Ellie


Piggott, just how does it feel to have that silver medal round your


neck and the World Cup regatta, what will they be saying back at home? It


feels fantastic. We have had a short time to get together but the setting


here is beautiful and we set out what we wanted to do, and we knew we


were there or thereabouts all the way through the race so it was a


case of heads down through the last bit and take it stroke by stroke.


Not just first but second as well, that is a huge statement of intent


across that discipline. I No, and it is a difficult event, the only


Olympic lightweight women's event so there are only two seats in the


country. To come first and second is exceptional for Great Britain. Great


Britain two has no real international experience yet so that


was a good start. Over the next two years, that is considerable


competition, isn't it? Yes, but that is the sort of competition you want


on a daily basis. Don't you want to say, this is my seat and I am fine?


The system doesn't work like that. Everybody has an opportunity to put


themselves forward. When you have got talent like that that have just


rocked up after one year in the sport producing performances like


that, they have so much to learn. Should there be more lightweight


categories as Olympic disciplines? By and large, with respect, they do


often produce better racers. Yes, because of the lightweight cut-off.


It is like if you put heavyweight categories and put them in, it would


make for tighter races. I think you could definitely argue the women in


that event who will not make it to the Olympics, you could easily have


made an Olympic place if there were more options available. Should there


be? But then what do you take out? That is the debate, and that's when


it gets quite nasty because we are used to a certain number of athletes


and a certain class of category but maybe with the Olympic movement that


might have to change in the future. It is something to be wary of as we


go to Tokyo and beyond. might have to change in the future.


It is something to be wary of as It is a good discussion point, but


let's stay with the lightweights, the men's lightweight four and with


the chopping and changing in the British team, lots of familiar names


but some unfamiliar ones here. Three of the four won silver in London.


Chris Bartley leads his men of the start as he has done so many times


before. Driving it up through the first ten strokes. Maximum speed.


The final of the men's light coxless four. The world champions, there


they are. So much going on here, an event that


crew average cannot exceed 70 kilograms. That 250, you can see the


level platform, still quite tight. It will never be boring, it is


always tight. It is a sprint from start to finish. The Danish four,


what an amazing record. They have a pride in that nation. It is the


flagship event for them. Denmark, if you track the rate of the crews


throughout the course, they will vary. They will be up and down.


Denmark go to 38 and stay on 38. None of that nonsense, we know how


to train, this is how we race! Great Britain, nicely done. Easing out.


They can transition to the second five. Denmark will hunt them down.


This is what is exciting. They are closely together. China in lane one.


New Zealand in two, Denmark, three, France, four. USA in lane number


six. New Zealand and Denmark, they were the crews who did the big


battle last year. New Zealand will start moving through and make an


impact soon. Just starting to take the race on in the black strip. The


Chambers Brothers in the British crew, closest to us. There has been


a change around. Peter Chambers has moved forward to two. A little


switch, splitting up the brothers. So much timing and training and


analysis done back at Caversham. They are looking left. Richard


Chambers in the three seat. We headed towards the halfway mark. The


final of the lightweight coxless four. New Zealand taking it through


the timing Park. Not much in it. In the mix, Denmark, the European


champions. The world champions. Look at that lovely picture. New Zealand,


silver medallists last year and a good effort so far. They are


fighting to keep ahead. If you look at Denmark, the same rhythm. The


same rhythm all the way through. They know they have one geared to


kick up on when it is called on. They do not need it now. Great


Britain, just slipping back a little of New Zealand. France are


disappointing, in fourth, they were one of the heat winners and went


direct to the final. At the moment New Zealand are holding the half


length which in lightweight men's four rowing is a comfortable margin.


The third 500 is starting to stretch them out. They are on the edge. They


have more than 50 strokes to go when it's called upon through the 1500


metres. Curtis Rapley in the stroke seat. Stretched out a little bit in


the last 100 up to that line. Less than 50 strokes remaining. New


Zealand will go one more time. Can Denmark, the world and European


champions, respond? They had that level platform through the middle


1000. They will have to switch on. New Zealand seem to have something


in reserve. Denmark have a big job on their hands. New Zealand do not


look like they are struggling. They are giving everything, but they have


a relaxed rhythm. Rowing like New Zealand can do. Denmark coming under


pressure from Great Britain. Great Britain will have to watch France in


lane four. Great Britain is starting to hunt down Denmark. Less than a


third of the silver medal position. New Zealand, they will look like


they will hold it on. Less than 100, up to the line, New Zealand, hats


off to them. The way they raced that second 1000. The British crew led by


Chris Bartley pushes for the final time. New Zealand get the gold,


Denmark having to hold off, getting the silver. Britain through in


bronze. It was close on the end between Denmark and Great Britain.


Out front, easily done. New Zealand getting the gold.


And a good performance. We will take a break from the action and talk


about Mark. What do you do when you have hung up your oar? Mark has


decided not to row, so he breeds the next generation of Mark Hunters.


There are 19 of you and we will have four boats on the water and four


people on the tag. You will have to push your legs in the right way.


After finishing in London it is, what will I do now? I have been


involved in a lot of things over the past 18 months. In February I was


given the opportunity to work as a programme director for the youth


programme. There has been made not going on but I am loving what I do.


The role has many different parts. I work with the coaches, give them


advice, get involved in coaching begins. It has been a knot of fun.


-- a lotta fun. Some of the kids are at performance level, training up to


twice a day. Others, it is their first or second time rowing. Enjoy


being outside. You can see their personality developing. I am


thoroughly enjoying it. There are many things I would like to see. A


kid starting this programme now and in 12 years going to the Olympic


Games, that would be the biggest thing. For me, it is giving them the


opportunity to take their lives in a different direction they had not


thought. Problems. He was the best? We are going to find out. It is open


to anyone. You do not have to come from an elitist background. I came


from the East End, a working-class family. There are opportunities for


everyone to get involved in the sport. This was a nice challenge to


come back where I started. I remember rowing as a kid when there


was nothing around here, there were just warehouses. I want to say I did


my bit and got involved to help rowing Grove the kids who might not


normally have the opportunity to take part -- to help it grow. What


is great is some of the kids had never thought about trying this


sport. Now they have the opportunity to get on the water. Some of them


will fall in love with it and some will not, but at least they have the


chance to try. As long as they do not fall in! That


is part of the BBC campaign. Everything on the website. That area


must be unrecognisable from when you first started rowing. It has changed


massively. It will keep developing over that side of London. To have


the opportunity for schools in the local area to start rowing, it has


been a lot of fun to see the kids start their journey. Hopefully they


will go on to race at these regattas. That would be uplifting.


One problem is you need water. If you have access to water, how easy


is it to get into the sport? You do not need a special background or to


come from a special place. Water helps, but a lot of people. On the


rowing machine. They can bring them into any schools around the country


and have a go. We talk about role models. These kids to have someone


like Mark, who started in the East End like themselves, and became


Olympic champion. When you know that is a potential opportunity, if one


of them gets involved in sport because they had inspiration, it


makes a huge difference. In sport you can tell, they have something


about them. When somebody gets in a boat, can you CD with the water? --


can you see the empathy with the water? You cannot tell straightaway.


Give them a chance to get involved and see if they have that side. The


mental side is a big part of what we do. We can go on to be men's pair.


The British crew up against the almost unbeatable New Zealand team,


who have not lost for five years. Would today be the day?


Away nice and clear. Easing off in the all-black strip of New Zealand


in lane number three. Francine one, Britain in two. Argentina alongside


New Zealand in four. Germany and five and Mexico in six. Hamish Bond


driving this pair out. Going alongside them, Argentina in four.


This Argentine pair raced the World Cup last year. They did not come


through to the World Championships in this combination. They have World


Cup experience. They know you have to go off quickly to rattle the New


Zealand crew. Hamish Bond, Katherine, forget what he is doing


in this pair 's race, he has beaten Drysdale, the Olympic and world


champion, in the single scull. We know Hamish Bond is exceptional.


They are down in the field at the moment. Germany came out fast.


France in the far side in front of the home side will try to do


something. New Zealand happy to sit in the pack and then wrote out


relentlessly into the fields. The technique on the catch is exquisite.


Argentina, in lane number four. Struggling with this pacesetter


down. Look at the catch. How efficient, Hamish is picking up the


boat and moving it on. It is a masterclass in how to race a pair.


They are not content to hold the gap, they want more and more.


Everybody is racing hard, but nobody can compete. Fantastic news that the


British pair. If they get on the podium, it would be an impressive


results. The French have not been shaken off completely, but from this


angle, Great Britain looking good. Murray and Bond from New Zealand,


they are hungry and greedy. They want more distance. They are getting


it and they are not in Top Gear. New Zealand starting 2014 as they


finished last year. Gold medal number 16 in a row. Look at the


distance. Silver for Germany and a well fought bronze for Matt Gotrel


and Bennett. Matt and Paul Bennett will be very happy with the bronze


medal. The gap is huge. Well done to the British pair, but


the Kiwis are good. We will look at the men's doubles. We have Jonathan


Walton and John Collins in the second event. Two finals. A young


combination. They are progressing well. The women, Frances Houghton.


They thought they were both going well. The Australians won it with a


convincing lead. Great Britain in lane six and also in the women's


Quad. Germany dominant, again. We wanted to see the Great Britain


women move up. They finished a disappointing fifth. The women's


squad looks like they need to start again at the moment. We can move to


the men's Quad. Lumbered in the stroke seat, leading them out. Now


the men's Quad. Lumbered in the stroke seat, leading them out. they


are up and running, two long strokes. Lehmann, the Czech


Republic, China in two, Germany in three, Great Britain in four.


For the next 200 metres they have got to establish a rhythm that


dominates... Interesting, as we go to Andy Hodge and his recent


addition to the family! Back onto this race. So Great Britain have


really now got to think about establishing the rhythm to move them


out here. Have that confidence because they know they have the


speed. It is just combining all of that. Germany had a slightly faster


start but it is early days. A quad start is almost as fast as an eight,


very fast. It is all to play for. Germany through by half a length.


Great Britain currently in the bronze medal position. That is the


sprint part of the race finished so now we get into the transition and


this will be vital for the British crew, confidence point of view. Get


into a long, smooth rhythm allowing for the boat speed. This is a


massive test for them because Germany now have a half lead and a


good, solid rhythm. The Brits have to keep their heads and eat away at


that lead, one stroke at a time. It will not happen in five or ten


strokes but hopefully in about 500 metres. The German crew looked to be


longer, look how long the blade is in the water to give them more


leveraged off the Finnish there. Great Britain, when they come under


pressure, the first thing you think about doing is shortening up and


then the speed goes. If you can have that faster speed at the start, you


can relax into your rhythm, your race plan, and dominate and dictate.


If you are behind you are chasing and sometimes that throws you out of


your natural comfort zone. It takes a cool head to stay with your plan


and move up. The Olympic champions Germany leading Great Britain. They


haven't managed to get away. The British on their left in lane three


have Germany the Olympic champions on their right, Canada closest to us


here in lane five. Peter Lambert in the stroke seat, just easing out.


Now the crews will be... They are in the area where there is a big push


coming on. This is where psychology plays its huge role because in the


third 500 things are hurting, it is challenging and you can start to


have doubts. If you are gaining momentum you start to feel you are


closing down on them. We want to see Great Britain creating an overlap


and that could make the change. Great Britain have put in a big


push, they have kept the length going and the crew has found the


speed they have often shown us in the second part of the race. They


are coming back on the Olympic champions and that doesn't happen


very often. It looks like they are drawing level as we speak. Coming up


to 1500, 15 or so strokes remaining in this race and the British crew


have found their form. They are in a platform, they have the platform to


push through. Germany have led them for most of the race here, and now


Great Britain, as they ease on every stroke, keep the length, boys.


Lambert in the stroke seat, Graham Thomas in the bowels, and we now


have two or three feet back from Germany as Britain go out to the


canvas. Timed very well here. This is exactly the way to do it. If you


find yourself down, take it one stroke at a time and with 500 metres


to go you have to lay it down. The last push now for Great Britain. The


Germans know that they have been beaten but Canada in lane five


coming on hard. Germany could be rumbled by Canada in five, but


outfront coming towards the line now, an impressive second 5000


metres here, led by Peter Lambert, they can enjoy the last few strokes,


job well done. A big statement here today, not just from the crews they


look back on, but this group goes from strength to strength.


That was an absolutely fantastic job, you generally had your head


down boat, didn't you? Yes, that's generally how it goes in quad


races. That was a really quick start today but really exciting, we came


through in the last 500 metres. Going to the big man, Charlie


Cozens, you had to lay it down in the last quarter of that race, it


looks like you were suffering. I have seen a few pictures and it


looks pretty horrific but when you are in the race, in the zone, it


doesn't hurt as much as it looks like. Really happy with the result.


Sam Townsend, pleased? Yes, I thought we executed the plan. Early


on in the race they obviously went out very strongly, the Germans, but


I could hear a lot of noise that was frantic so I always felt good about


our boat. We were very calm so as soon as we started edging I felt


good about the race. Is it a gold you were expecting? Yes, that is


when I predicted for the day and it has been great to see that crew


developed over the last 18 months. They were able to come through and


they knew what they had to lay on in the last 1000 metres. Talking about


consistency of selection, when you row with somebody for a long time,


is it that empathy that makes the difference between... I don't know


how much difference it makes, one length, two lengths, because you


know what everybody behind you is doing. Yes, communication is


essential because you have no time out, no time to pause in a race, you


are flat out the whole way. You can only see the back of someone and you


have an very minimal communication. If the race isn't going to plan, you


need to have absolute trust. One or two words will be set between the


crew and that time together is showing, they are coming good. A


couple of the other leading boats were not there and will be there in


Lucerne but you still fancy them to win. Yes, the long-term goal is to


win Rio but the dominance they are showing now with those sorts of


performances, I don't think they fear anybody. They are enjoying what


they are doing. Another combination that has fun around each other and


every race they are progressing and moving on. We are moving


The women's eight away. A little bit slow in the first couple of strokes


just to get off the mark by the USA, they are in lane five. The Germans,


current Olympic champions, two of that crew returning here and pretty


much all but one of that crew returning here and pretty


World Championships crew. The Canadians will be a crew to push


hard against the Americans, but in amongst it all, lane four, just


where they want to be, Great Britain. We have Polly Swann coming


into this crew, she has moved into the eight to strengthen this boat so


it will be interesting to see what she can do. Look at the Canadians go


in lane three, already half a length. You have got to race to 500


metres, get as much as you can, and from there it is about defending. In


the history of men's racing anyway and more and more so in the women's


boats you get and more and more so in the women's


won her first gold medal back in 1992. They split the Canadians from


the Olympic and defending world champions, good stuff here from


Great Britain. And China now into the second 500 metres. They are


showing some early pace but this is awesome stuff from the Canadians. We


have never seen the USA being led a length by another crew. As you say,


the coxing seat of that Canadian crew, she has had seven Olympic


Games and she is the voice of experience. Big calls coming out of


the American boat, Schneider in the coxing seat there. At the moment


Great Britain are stock now. It is going to be very difficult, when you


have one length in an, very hard. -- in an eight. It is maybe not a


surprise we haven't seen a fast start from them considering all of


them had a tough race only a couple of hours before. There are the


British girls, they all have confidence from Belgrade a few weeks


ago. A newly formed crew against Romania. The Canadians lead and the


US going through. That market is wrong. There it is, corrected.


Canada leading, US coming back, leading over Great Britain. Down the


American boat, we would expect in the third 500 metres that the


Canadians will just consolidate their lead. It will be a big ask


from the Americans to overhaul the Canadians. If they do that from


here, it will be some going. They are closing down the lead and let's


not forget the American eight have all raised earlier on today. Yet


they are making a dent on the Canadian lead. Great Britain being


led on the far side will stop they are just up on China, so as the


Americans just start to slip away from Great Britain, Britain have got


to watch China in lane two. Germany out of it at the moment, not looking


like they will be anywhere near this. OK, so big calls now from the


American cox, Schneider, telling the crew they will be coming back seat


by seat. Both crews away from Great Britain, 500 metres remaining and


the Americans have taken clear water over Great Britain, currently in


third place. They are in a battle with China for the bronze medal. The


United States of America are hunting down the Canadians and this will be


an exceptional sprints back from the Americans. It is USA against Canada


and the Americans look like they have got the better of them at the


moment. They have certainly got have got the better of them at the


moment. momentum on their side at the moment.


have got the better of them at the moment. momentum It is the Americans


who are faster to finish and coming in with a canvas over Canada with a


line fast approaching. They are on full whack now but they will have


two have another call. The Canadians are three or four feet down, it is a


matter of whether or not there is enough course on this. They are


through! That is a phenomenal second half from the American group. The


Americans have taken the race by the scruff of the neck. It has been


phenomenal. The second 1000. That is why the Americans are world and


Olympic champions. And here for the bronze, just, Great Britain, from an


unknown Chinese crew. Full Great Britain,


bronze, just, Great Britain, from an unknown Chinese crew. Full the gap


between them, the Americans and Canadians is just too far today.


That was a fantastic race. Polly Swann, she would prefer to be in the


pair. What can she do? Look at me, look at me. You do not want to do


that. Anything you go into it, any crew, you make it go as fast as you


can. Tim Foster did it in 1999. People who have come from other


boats. From the inside, you have to make the boat workers much as you


can. She has made it work and made it work faster. The only way to get


attention is as part of that eight. For the first time in eight years,


he is not a member of the top vote in the men's eight. But he is


determined to get back their -- boat.


It has been a tough six months, very dark in places. I started


underperforming and started asking questions about why. That process


took a long time with medical things. I found out I am allergic to


dogs. We keep two dogs. It only affects me when I am right at the


top of my sport. When I am hurtling down the track, my lungs are tight


and the airways are closed up. I cannot breathe enough. I do not like


underperforming and this season I was beaten by guys in the team I


know I could beat so that was tough. The truth is they are outstanding


athletes. If you look to the four, especially. If I was in charge of


selection there is no way I would put me in the boat with a clear


conscience. There is no weakness in there and so I have to get back to


my best. I am happy with my position in the crew, with the other guys,


and I have an -- a lot to offer. in the crew, with the other guys,


and I have an -- a lot to offer. In Belgrade at the European


Championships, it was not a bronze medal winning crew. We went through


hell and high water and got the most out of ourselves. Great Britain


pushing hard. Here comes rush, through-macro. On the line, a photo


for the bronze medal. We stole the bronze from the Poland


team. I was delighted. The feelings I had when I started rowing. They


made me hungry again for the sport. That can only be a good thing. I am


sure as my strength and physiology comes back, I think it will be


beneficial for Rio. From the silence of the raw, the


men's eights. China in one, Poland in two, Belarus in three. USA in


four. Great Britain in five. So much to prove. France in six. It could go


anywhere. Very tight racing the whole way down. Good to see Matt


Langridge in the British crew, back in. Poland coming through. Henry


Fieldman is the cox today. in. Poland coming through. Henry


Fieldman is Great Britain are in lane number five. British crew were


third three weeks ago at the European Championships. A different


line-up this time around. The Americans, bronze medallist at the


World Championships. Not the whole crew back this time. Big and strong,


though. Renowned for the putting out big boats. Do not usually see them


at other regatta prior to Lucerne. A lot of noise coming from the US


driving seat. 500 down, Great Britain in third. The USA men's


eight has not been as dominant as the women's, but it is seen as their


flagship event. And they are at leading as they would want to be.


The British crew are in the thick of it, where we want to see them. They


were behind USA in the heat and behind Poland in the repechage. The


transitional period, 600 metres, out to 750. The British have the second


of those boat speeds. The British keep the length, driving on. Poland


will be quick. They won the repechage to get through.


The United States and Belarus qualified. We have the men's pair


from the Europeans. O'Donnell has come in from the men's pair. They


did well, moving up. Seeing if they can strengthen it even more. Alan


Sinclair adding to the eight. The British line-up has changed since


three weeks ago. Will Satch has moved into the stroke seat. John


third, a brilliant rower -- Foad. Will Satch has risen to the occasion


before but Great Britain, long and loose. They will have to keep their


foot down. The Americans will be ruthless. The Polish are always


quick in the third 500. USA are moving out at the moment. The


British are pushing them hard. They seem to have a slight advantage over


Poland. Henry Fieldman given the call for the cox of the crew this


time around. The Americans. They are taking 37 strokes a minute, that is


quick. The next timing mark, three quarters of a length, the Americans,


over Great Britain. Danger zone to Great Britain over Poland. Poland


could move from that, in lane number three. The British crew in lane


number five. The last desperate structures. They are inside 50


strokes. The Americans holding on. Scott Durant, 26 is, in the bow seat


of the British crew. Matt Langridge amongst it all, one of the most


outstanding athletes, alongside Pete Reed, two-time Olympic champion. The


power from the middle of the boat will be called upon. It is hard to


tell from the overhead angle. The USA still have the lead they need.


Great Britain slipping back to third. They are pushing hard. We are


in the dying stages. The Americans are going to do it. , coming harder


against Great Britain. One last push. Great Britain pushing for


silver. USA get the gold. Belarus get the bronze. Well done for the


British in the closing stages. Belarus came storming up, but the


United States on the day. You were right in it. We were in our


own bubble. We said before the race we would do our own thing. We


focused on one stroke at a time. I was not aware of what was going on,


we stuck to our guns and got the result we were happy with. What


about Lucerne, what are you looking for? Gold. Hopefully, I will not be


burned, factor 50 next time! A brilliant result. A lot of gold


medals, as you can see from the table.


Next up, Lucerne, in three weeks, when World Cup rowing III takes


place. And tomorrow, Wimbledon. Andy Murray, defending his Wimbledon


crown. The first word about the men's eight. Great to hear Will


Satch speaking about that. Fantastic. They will definitely move


on. They were classy, they should aim for the top. It was great to


hear he wants gold. I thought it was a good performance from the team


overall. New people coming through, new combinations, showing they are


at the forefront, things are looking good this season and next year and


obviously in Rio. For ever the perfectionist, you alluded to


elements in the women's side that need addressing, like what? It is


fantastic. Helen and Heather are looking fantastic. There is a


women's British pair that will dominate. It is great to see the


women's eight the time on the podium. We know Romania will come


back in, who did beat them. Women's sculling is not what you are seeing


on the podium and for a long time we have seen repeated finishes on the


podium. It is these events we want Britain to move up in. Is question


of picking the right people, or is the talent perhaps not quite there?


We have fantastic athletes. The British team has never been better


supported. We have amazing work on the coaching side. We have great


athletes. They have got medals at World Championships and Olympic


Games. Something is not firing. I know they are doing better in


training and racing, which is a problem at the moment. And you. The


men's coxless four were immense. If they go like that I cannot see


anybody touching them at the moment. And as long as they are having fun.


They make it enjoyable to be around. Great to have you here this


afternoon. We shall reassemble in three weeks for the final rowing


World Cup in Lucerne, which is the same day as the football World Cup


final in Rio. The only certainty is that there will be at least some


British involvement in the rowing. Goodbye.


So much pressure, so much expectation.


It's the title that all the players want to win.


John Inverdale presents highlights of the second rowing World Cup of the season from Aiguebelette, France.

Britain didn't compete at the first round of the World Cup in Australia, but will be confident of a strong showing in France having won eight medals - including three golds - at 2013's World Championships in Korea.

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