Olivia Bates wins bronze at World Rowing Cup II

Great Britain has won its first medal at World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne and will have nine crews racing in eight A finals on Sunday


It was a third place, bronze medal for Olivia Bates in a tight photo-finish in the Lightweight women’s single sculls (LW1x) final. “That was close”, Olivia said immediately after the race, “I am pleased, I managed to row through the field as they came through. I didn’t have the best start but the middle K was what really sealed the deal for me. I was waiting for the big screen to confirm the result and was praying that I’d done enough to cross the line!

“It was crazy to go into the double for the Europeans, and that gave me a lot of experience and helped me move up here compared with World Cup I. This is a stacked field here and I knew all the other girls in the final were going to be quick so I’m really pleased to have made the podium today.”

Both GBR Men’s pairs (M2-) are through to the final. The European Champions and fastest British pair ever GBR1 Ollie Wynne-Griffith and Tom George were ahead throughout the race and won their semi final almost 5 seconds ahead of the Swiss World Champions.

Ollie said: “It was good, it was a step up from yesterday and it was probably the first time that we executed our plan exactly how we would have wanted it. Of course we’ll have to level it up for the final, but the bricks are in place in the wall. I love racing here, it’s fun. The Swiss are a very good crew so everytime you line up against them you’re nervous, but we’ll do it again tomorrow and see what happens. Today we slipped ahead more than we anticipated but honestly we’re not trying to think about the margins at all, it’s more about us and how well we can execute our best race. That’s what we’ve been focusing on for the whole year, so to do it like that is pleasing.”

The GBR2 Men’s pair, Will Stewart and James Robson were in a photo-finish semi-final, crossing the line just 0.76 behind Spain and 0.33 ahead of Ireland to book their place in the final.

James said: “We’re pretty new to the event so it’s always going to be a steep learning curve for us, but it’s nice to get out of the blocks well and get on to the rhythm nicely. We thought we found something really sweet through the middle and then the US and Ireland started pulling back on us and the race started to close up but I think we reacted well and managed to keep our nose in front. It was nice to be on the right side of a photo finish so it was a good step on and we’ve got more to find tomorrow. “We’ve got everything to gain, so we’re going to go out tomorrow, have some fun, see how fast we can go and put the cat amongst the pigeons!”

Will said: “Having two GB boats in the A Final tomorrow will be great, it’ll be fun to just get out and race them side-by-side.”  James added: “It has been so valuable having Tom and Ollie to train with and learn from because they’ve been in the pair for a few years and have been amazing. They’ve given us loads of tips, feedback and help about how to race in this challenging boat class. It’s  been great to be a pair’s group together and to see if we can go out together and do something special.”

Speaking about having two GB crews in the final, Ollie Wynne-Griffith added: “Having both of our crews in the final will be epic. I don’t think the team’s been in this shape for a very long time. Will and James are seriously good in the pair in their own right so it’s great to have them every single day in training keeping us honest. Those guys are our heroes and they have conducted themselves so well and taken any opportunity that comes their way. I would absolutely love it if we can get two crews on the podium tomorrow.”

Chloe Brew and Rebecca Edwards were fourth in the Women’s pair (W2-) semi final, narrowly missing out on a spot in the A final. Looking ahead to the B final, Rebecca said: “Obviously you want to be in an A final, but we’re always stepping on and learning. We set out in this pair to learn as much as we can every race and we learnt a lot today. I feel proud of us for being brave and taking on the World Champions and the World silver medallists right next to us, so there’ll be more to come. Nobody is turning up in Lucerne not good, every event is savage, so you just have to go for it and I feel proud of us for getting on with it and putting ourselves out there.”

The final race of the day saw Lucy Glover finish 14th overall in the C final of the Women’s single sculls (W1x).

Find out more on our World Cup II hub page