Bates ‘Livs’ it up with first senior gold for Great Britain at World Rowing Cup I

GB took the first gold medal of the regatta and three further crews progressed to A finals after a day of close racing

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Credit: Benedict Tufnell / British Rowing

Olivia (Liv) Bates put Great Britain on the World Rowing Cup I medal table with her first senior gold in the Lightweight women’s single sculls (LW1x) on day two in Varese.

“It feels great!” Liv said, speaking to the media after the race, “This is my first international gold medal so it’s nice to start the season strong. I wanted to execute my race plan a little better today, and I was able to do that. It’s easy when there’s great conditions out here in Varese!

“This has been my first winter season full time with the GB Rowing Team at Caversham so it’s been a little different. I’d never really been on training camps before, and we’ve spent a lot of time away in Portugal over the winter so I think that’s given me a good base to start the season off. I’m just excited to get stuck into the Europeans and hopefully again at World Cup II. Overall great to have a golden start to the Olympic year for GB!”

The GBR2 Men’s pair (M2-) of Will Stewart and James Robson raced a classy repechage. Leading much of the way they had a final sprint tussle with Croatia’s Sinkovic brothers with the GB pair pipping the Olympic champions on the final few strokes by just 0.11 seconds. They will meet again in the final along with the GBR1 pair Tom George and Ollie Wynne-Griffith who progressed yesterday.

Will said: “We’ve not been in the pair very long, so every session is a good learning experience and every race is something that we can build on. We did a good job stepping on from yesterday and obviously it’s nice to win. There’s more to be refined tomorrow for sure. James added: “The final is a very competitive field with World Champions, the Olympic Champions, World and Olympic medalists, so it’s a great opportunity for us as a second boat to be able to go up against them and see if we can get a good result for the entire reserve team.”

George Bourne secured a spot in the Men’s single sculls (M1x) A final with a solid third place finish in the semi-final. “I learned a lot about racing internationally in a single during the heat and the semi final yesterday and I’m pleased to come out today and execute a slightly different focus with a bit more concentration, a bit more intent. I’m in the final with World and Olympic medalists, but we’ve also got three guys who are still fighting to qualify for the Olympics. I don’t know if that gap will be huge between those two groups. What I’m trying to do first and foremost is qualify for the Olympics, and the big lesson is, to do that I’m going to have to be in with the top scullers in the World. I’m hoping to keep stepping on and keep improving and am excited to get on that start line tomorrow.

The Women’s four (W4-) final will feature three GBR crews as the GBR3 boat of Hattie Taylor, Annie Campbell-Orde, Lauren Irwin and Eve Stewart won their repechage after leading the race throughout. They will join the GBR1 and GBR2 crews who secured final places yesterday. They will also be doubling up, along with GBR2 to race the Women’s eight (W8+) final on Sunday, just an hour later.

“Today was a good race and a lot of fun.” Eve said, adding “We’re a pretty new crew but we had clear goals on what we wanted to do after yesterday, and we executed it exactly how we wanted. Yesterday was definitely a hard draw, with all three GB crews in the same heat, because we spent the winter doing that, but we’ve done such good training as an entire squad and it was nice to be able to show that again today. It might feel a bit like Caversham again in the final tomorrow – but it’s brilliant that all of us will be on the start line! We only have a 59 minute turnaround from one start line to the other, so it’s going to be a busy but hopefully good day!”

It’s a B final for John Collins and Seb Devereux who narrowly missed out on the A final with a third place finish in the Men’s Double sculls (M2x) repechage. John said: “We’re feeling a bit frustrated as we’re on the wrong side of where we wanted to be, but that’s two races in a row now where we’ve looked over and been able to see last year’s medallists. So there are some positives to take from today and now we have to get on the right side of the tight margins. We’ve made good improvement on yesterday in terms of how we wanted to execute the race and hopefully we can keep learning and improving as we look ahead to the B final tomorrow.”

You can follow World Rowing Cup I across British Rowing social media channels and on our website hub. Tomorrow’s racing will also be shown on BBC iPlayer and the BBC website. 

BoatRaceResultTimeNext Race
LW1xFinal07:41.82
W4- (GBR3)Repechage1st06:33.04→ A Final
M1xA/B Semi Final3rd06:55.78→ A Final
M2- (GBR2)Repechage1st06:30.47→ A Final
M2xRepechage3rd06:20.94→ B Final
Boat:
LW1x
Race:
Final
Result:
Time:
07:41.82
Next Race:
--
Boat:
W4- (GBR3)
Race:
Repechage
Result:
1st
Time:
06:33.04
Next Race:
→ A Final
Boat:
M1x
Race:
A/B Semi Final
Result:
3rd
Time:
06:55.78
Next Race:
→ A Final
Boat:
M2- (GBR2)
Race:
Repechage
Result:
1st
Time:
06:30.47
Next Race:
→ A Final
Boat:
M2x
Race:
Repechage
Result:
3rd
Time:
06:20.94
Next Race:
→ B Final

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