The Windermere Cup – preview

This Saturday in Seattle, Washington, there the 28th annual Windermere Cup Regatta, held as part of Seattle’s Opening Day of the Boating Season celebrations. This year the home team, the University of Washington, are taking on the men’s and women’s eight from the Great Britain National team. So I thought I would look at the line-ups of the crews and give one of my little previews!
Men’s 8
University of Washington.
The home team are the US’s no.1 ranked collegiate team. Last year the Huskies paid a visit to Henley Royal Regatta and went big by entering the top event, the Grand Challenge Cup. There they came up against the Great Britain men’s 8 and suffered their first defeat of the season going down by 1 length. But, for a collegiate crew that was an exceptional result as the British went on to become World Champions.
However, the Huskies crew is very different from the line-up that raced at Henley, with just 3 of that crew likely to take to the water for the Windermere. So, who is going to be in the Husky boat? Based on the line-up for their last fixture versus the University of California it’ll look a bit like this:

Mathew Milner USA 6ft 6 218lbs (98.8kg)
In his Junior year and his first in the Varsity boat, one of the least experienced of the UW crew
Marcus Bowyer GB 6ft 7 205lbs (93kg)
One of the three who raced in the Grand at Henley. Bowyer raced for the GB Junior team at the world championships in 2010 and 2011. In 2013 he was part of the GB U23 squad and raced in the M4- (although illness in the crew forced their withdrawal from the “B” final). He then subbed into the M4X finishing 4th. Still only 20 years old he is likely to play a big part in the GB team in the Tokyo Olympic cycle.
Jacob Dawson GB 6ft 5 220lbs (99.8kg)
From Plymouth supported by the “Team Plymouth” initiative Dawson is now in his Sophmore year. In 2011 Dawson raced for GB at the Coupe De La Jeunesse (European Junior Championships) winning the JM4X category. As with Milner, Dawson is in his first year in the Varsity boat and will be very keen to make an impression against the senior national team. His stated ambition is to represent GB at U23 level and then ultimately at senior level at the Olympics.
Myles Neary GB 6ft 8 219lbs (99.3kg)
The third of the Huskies British contingent, Neary learnt his rowing at Tiffin School in Kingston and at Molesey Boat Club. Last year he raced in the 2nd Varsity boat winning gold at the PAC-12 Championships and also at the IRA National Championships. Now in his Senior year he’s taking his first seat in the top Varsity boat.
Henry Meek AUS 6ft 4 211lbs (95.7kg)
Meek is the 2nd of the returning Varsity eight that raced at Henley last year. He also raced in the Freshman crew that won the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley in 2012. The Freshman 8 also won gold at the PAC-12 and IRA National Championship regattas.
Finn Schroeder GER 6ft 7 211lbs (95.7kg)
From Lubeck, Shroeder has international experience winning a silver medal in the M8 at the U23 world Championships in 2012 and was a junior world championships medallist in both 2010 and 2011. The 20 year old is another of the Washington athletes that could well play a big part in their respective national teams at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Sam Dommer US 6ft 3 196lbs (89kg)
A 5th year senior, Dommer is the third and final returning member of last year’s Henley Grand 8. In 2012 he raced in the Varsity 4 that came 2nd in the Championship 4’s at the Head of the Charles Regatta and last year was in the Varsity boat that finished 9th in Championship 8’s. In his Freshman year he raced at Henley winning the Temple Challenge Cup.
Grega Domanjko SLO 6ft 3 172lbs (78kg)
The most internationally experienced of all the Washington crew, Domanjko raced for Slovenia in the M4X at the 2013 World Championships in South Korea finishing 9th. He has international experience dating back to 2009 when he raced at the Junior Worlds finishing 4th in the JM4-. He has a gold medal from the 2010 Youth Olympics and a bronze from the U23 worlds in 2011. In 2012 he raced for both the U23 and senior Slovenian national teams.
Lisa Caldwell USA 5ft 2
Caldwell coxed the hugely talented Freshman 8 that won the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley in 2012 and also the PAC-12 and IRA National Championship regattas

Great Britain
The reigning M8 World Champions have sent a squad of 10 which is a mix of youth and experience. Of the likely 8, 6 raced at the world Championships last year, with 5 of them making the “A” finals.
The seating order has not been announced so in no particular order….

Dan Ritchie 6ft 3 200lbs (91kg)
Ritchie is the most experienced of the GB squad in Seattle. He was bow in the M8 that won the World Championships. He also has World Championship silver medals from 2010 and 2011.

Oliver Cook 6ft 4
Cook learnt to row at Abingdon School and the University of London. At the 2013 World Championships he won the “B” final in the M2- with partner James Foad (with whom he finished 6th at the recent GB Final Trials).
Nathanial Reilly-O’Donnell (Noddy) 6ft 4 198lbs (90kg)
Noddy was part of the M4- that raced at the world Championships last year, finishing 5th. In 2011 he was part of the M8 that won silver at the World Championships. Noddy also has a brace of U23 world Championship medals to his name.

Alan Sinclair 6ft 3 205lbs (93kg)
At the recent senior trials Sinclair partnered Noddy to a 3rd place finish for the 2nd year running. In 2013 he was also in the M4- with Noddy that finished 5th. Training with Leander since 2008 he has Henley wins from 2011 in the Prince of Wales and the Double Sculls in 2012.

Matt Tarrant 6ft 4
At the recent GB Senior Trials Tarrant partnered Will Satch to a 5th place finish. Matt is the 3rd member of the GB M4- from 2013 that is racing in Seattle. In 2012 he took gold in the M2- at the U23 World Championships and followed that up with a 4th place at the European Championships.

Scott Durant 6ft 5 207lbs (94kg)
Born in Los Angeles Scott is the final member of the GB M4- from 2013. Scott was part of the GB U23 M8 that won bronze in 2010 and also raced at the European Championships in 2011 and 2012. He also won the Prince Albert Challenge Cup at Henley in 2009 with Oxford Brookes University.

Matt Gotrel 6ft 4
Matt produced a really strong performance at the recent GB Senior trials finishing 4th with Paul Bennett. Matt is a former GB National team sailor who has made the transition across to the rowing squad. Last year he was selected as the spare for the World Championships. In 2012 he won the Wyfold Challenge Cup with Nottingham Rowing Club and was selected for the Great Britain M8 at the European Championships.

Mason Durant 6ft 4 207lbs (94kg)
The twin brother of Scott, Mason raced with Phil Congdon at the GB trials finishing 1st in the “B” Final. Mason was part of the GB 2nd 8 that raced at the Eton Dorney World Cup and also won the Ladies Challenge Plate at Henley – becoming the first crew in that event to break the 6 minute barrier. He also has senior representative honours for GB racing at the European Championships in 2011 and 2012.

Phil Congdon 6ft 7
Congdon was. Like Mason Durant, a part of the GB 2nd 8 at Eton Dorney and that won at Henley. He also has international honours as an U23, racing for GB in the M4+ in 2011 finishing 5th.

Adam Neill
At the recent GB trials Neill raced with Tim Clarke and finished 10th. He’s very much on the fast track to representative honours and has a “big engine”, Check out this video of him setting a 2K PB of 5:48 he is also the official world record holder for the 30 minute erg with an astonishing 9225 metres. It will surely only be a matter of time before his on-water results start matching his dry-land results.

Henry Fieldman (cox)
Fieldman coxed the GB 8 at the European Championships in 2012 and has also coxed the M8 at the U23 world championships in 2008-10.

So that’s the men’s line-ups. Reading the pedigrees of the two crews you would think that it would be a walk in the park for the National Squad crew. But, it’s not as straight forward as that. The British are, mostly, a scratch crew. They have spent very little time in the 8 in the past few weeks and the Windermere is not a massive priority for the crew. For the Huskies, however the reverse is true. They are a very established crew who have been rowing, and racing together for some time. They have spent the past few weeks engaged in a series of match races so will be coming into the race a bit more “match fit” than the British. Plus for the students there is nothing really to lose. There is also the desire for “revenge” following the defeat at Henley last year. So who do I think will win? I think it’ll be close but for me the British will win. The Huskies are a good crew, but they are not as strong as last year’s boat and I think the “old” heads in the GB boat will carry them through.

That’s it for the men, now onto the women.

The University of Washington women do not have quite the pedigree of the men, ranked 7th in the US.
Last weekend they raced the no.2 ranked California crew and went down by a length.
The likely line-up is:
Maddie Cordner AUS 6ft
Melbournite Cordner has spent the past 2 years racing in the Huskies 2nd Varsity, but now in her Senior year she steps up to the Varsity boat. In her Junior year she raced in the crew that came 3rd at the San Diego Crew Classic

Natasha Gay AUS 5ft 11
The 2nd Aussie in the Huskies boat, Gay raced for the Australian Junior team at the World Championships in 2010-11 winning bronze in her first year. She also has numerous national age-group titles to her name.

Amy Fowler AUS 5ft 11
Aussie number 3…with a Junior world championship silver medal in the JW4X from 2009 and an U23 bronze in the W4X in 2011.

Sarah Dougherty US 6ft
Now in her Sophmore year this is her first year in the Varsity boat. In her Freshman year she raced in the W8 with Maddie Cordner that finished 3rd at the san Diego Crew Classic

Ruth Whyman GB 6ft 1
Hailing from Gloucester, Whyman was part of the GB JW8 that won the World Championships in 2010. Now in her 2nd year in the Varsity boat she will be a name to watch out for in the senior British squad in the future.

Kirstyn Goodger NZ
Another athlete with Junior National representative honours. Goodger was part of the Kiwi JW8 that won silver in 2009

Fiona Gammond GB 5ft 11
A crewmate of Ruth Whyman’s in the gold medal winning JW8 from 2010. Gammond also has a gold from the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and a silver in the W8 from the U23 World Championships last year. Now in her 3rd year in the Varsity 8. She will be a strong contender for full international honours in the next few years.

Patricia Obee CAN 5ft 7
The most experienced member of the crew Obee represented Canada in the LW2X at the London Olympics winning the “B” final. In 2011 she and partner Lindsay Jennerich won silver in the LW2X at the World Championships. Last year she went alone and came 9th in the LW1X

Maddy Johnston US 5ft 2
Now in her 2nd year of coxing the Varsity 8

As with the men’s team there’s no news yet on the line-up, so in no particular order:

Zoe Lee 5ft 9
The former Oxford Blue raced in the W8 at the World Championships, finishing just outside the medals. At the recent Senior British trials she was 3rd with partner Caragh McMurty. In 2011-12 she raced at the European Championships picking up a bronze in 2012.

Caragh McMurtry 5ft 9
Another member of the GB W8 from last year, McMurtry also has silver and bronze medals from the 2012 European Championships and a bronze from the 2012 U23 world Championships.

Olivia Carnegie-Brown 5ft 9
A graduate of the GB Rowing Team’s “Start” programme Carnegie-Brown is the 3rd member of the 2013 GB W8 racing in Seattle. She partnered McMurtry to silver at the 2012 U23 Worlds and European championships. She was also on the junior team in 2008 and 2009 winning medals both times.

Rosamund Bradbury 5ft 9
At the recent GB trials Bradbury partnered Carnegie-Brown and finished 4th. In 2013 Bradbury raced in the GB W4X finishing 9th at the World Championships. She has also raced for the senior team at the World Championships in 2009 as a 21 year old making the “A” final in the W4X.

Laura Wheeler 6ft
Making her senior international debut, Wheeler was part of the Junior team for the Coupe de La Jeunesse back in 2003. Following a break from competitive rowing caused by injury she returned in 2009 and has gradually risen through the ranks winning the W2- at the 2012 British Rowing Championships and then representing England at the Home International Regatta.

Karen Bennett
At the recent GB Senior Trials, Bennett, from Molesey Boat Club partnered Pippa Burnham to a 4th place finish in the “B” final. In 2012 she raced at the World University Championships making the “A” final in the W2X.

Sam Courty
The University of Bath student joined the GB “Start” programme 18 months ago and has risen rapidly making the “A” final with Georgia Francis at the recent GB Senior Trials. The Windermere Cup sees her make her debut in a senior GB vest.

Rebecca Chin
Another of the GB “Start” programme athletes, Chin raced in the W1X at the GB Trials making the “B” final. She has been a member of the GB U23 squad for the past 2 years winning a silver medal in the W8 last year.

Katherine Douglas
At the GB Trials Leander Clubs Katherine Douglas and Michelle Pearson won the “B” final in the W2-. She is another athlete potentially making her senior debut in a GB vest.

Georgia Francis
Partnering Sam Courty to an “A” final finish at the GB Trials, Francis from Imperial College raced at the 2012 Coupe De La Jeunesse and was also selected to race at the 2102 Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

Cox; Zoe De Toledo
Former Oxford Blue, De Toledo coxed the GB women’s 8 at last year’s World Championships. She won gold coxing the U23 W8 in 2009 and also coxed the 8 at three European Championships in 2009, 11 & 12.

So those are the line-ups. I think this will be a little more straightforward than the men’s race. The national squad crew will expect to win comfortably. They are boating a crew with significant senior international experience combined with some very strong debutants. The Huskies are not quite the same force to be reckoned with as the men, being “only” the 7th ranked collegiate team in the US. But, they have the same advantages as the men’s crew, they have rowed together for a while, they have a lot of recent match racing experience, they are on home water and they having nothing to lose. I’m still going to go for a GB win by clear water.

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