After some illness in the men’s squad Sam Arnot and Tim Clarke were unable to race but three Newcastle alumni travelled to Poznan in Poland for World Cup 2. James Rudkin and Tom Ford returned in the eight while Gemma Hall had her first race back after injury in the second lightweight women’s double with partner Ellie Piggott.
With a few changes in order of the eight they were looking to step on after the European Champs in Belgrade in the final against main rivals Germany. The rest of the field consisted of New Zealand, Poland and Australia. After a strong start GB were leading the field in the first part of the race, Germany drew level and took and lead of 0.31 seconds at 500m. Through 1000m New Zealand were coming back level with GB and pushed past before 1500m. At the finish Germany came through in first in a world best time of 5:18.68, New Zealand came in second with GB third.
In the second Lightweight women’s double alumni Gemma Hall and partner Ellie Piggott came third in heat 2 behind China and Germany putting them into the repechage. In the repechage they came in sixth putting then into the B final. In the B final against Australia 2 they got a lead into 500m and then maintained the lead to the finish.
The Men’s eight will now have a few changes before competing at Henley Royal Regatta as a Newcastle University and Leander Club Composite eight in the Grand Challenge Cup. Sam Arnot will be racing in the Silver Goblets and Nickalls’ Challenge Cup with partner Tom Jeffery.
Words by David Stephenson
Photos by Naomi Baker