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Cambridge University Boat Club alumni help Great Britain to top medal table at World Rowing Cup I in Italy

A batch of Cambridge University Boat Club alumni helped Great Britain to top the medal standings at the World Rowing Cup I in Italy over the weekend.

In total Team GB returned from Verase with five gold medals and four silvers – a result that suggests the squad is in good shape heading into the Olympic Games in Paris later this year.

The ever-reliable Imogen Grant, who was part of the successful Cambridge women’s Boat Race crew in 2022, continued her winning form with partner Emily Craig in the lightweight women’s double sculls.

Imogen Grant was part of the successful British squad. Picture: Paul Sanwell/OP Photographic
Imogen Grant was part of the successful British squad. Picture: Paul Sanwell/OP Photographic

It was a race that had some early drama after the Canadian crew caught a crab straight out of the blocks, but the British pair retained their composure to come out on top by seven seconds.

Grant said: “We saw something at the start but didn’t let it shake our rhythm and just did what we needed to do.”

Meanwhile, partner Craig added: “I’m glad we’ve sunk our teeth into racing. We’ve been chomping at the bit to get going, it’s nice to come back in with a bang.

“I feel like we’ve moved on and shown the world a little bit of what we’ve been doing behind the scenes for the last six months.”

There was also a gold medal for the CUBC duo of Ollie Wynne-Griffith and Tom George in the men’s pair.

Having been forced to settle for a silver medal at last year’s World Championships, the former Peterhouse students went one better against some tough opposition that included the Sinkovic brothers, who won Olympic gold in 2021.

George said: “We’re feeling good. Obviously it’s the first race in a long time, so we’re happy to get out there, get side by side and race these boys again because it’s a really strong field.”

Wynne-Griffith added: “The Europeans is the next big one for us ahead of the next World Rowing Cup and then the Olympics.

“So we will keep learning and continue to trust ourselves.”

Elsewhere, Freddie Davidson and his crew-mates were pipped on the finish line by Italy in the men’s four and settled for silver, while it was the same result for the women’s eight, who had former CUBC cox Harry Fieldman calling the shots.

Meanwhile, Hauxton-raised George Bourne narrowly missed out on the podium in the men’s single sculls, eventually finishing in fourth place.

Bourne, who is now a member of the Tideway Scullers based on the River Thames, said: “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.”

The rowing at the Olympic Games is scheduled to get under way on 27 July and run through until 3 August.

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