Britain enjoy six gold medals at International Para-Rowing Regatta

Whiteley, Meenagh and Aggar show strong form ahead of World Championships 20 May 2015
A picture of an athlete rowing

Tom Aggar of Great Britain racing in the heats of the AS Men's Single Sculls at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia.

By NPC Great Britain

A top-notch performance from the Great British rowing team saw them win eight medals, including six gold, at the International Para-Rowing Regatta over the weekend (15-17 May) in Gavirate, Italy.

Two of the golds were won by the LTA mixed coxed four, a boat class in which Britain are the reigning Paralympic and World Champions. The TA men’s single scull finals saw Laurence Whiteley record a double victory, while newcomer Scott Meenagh won gold and bronze. Beijing 2008 Paralympic champion Tom Aggar finished the regatta with a gold and a silver in the AS men’s single scull.

The British crew of Pamela Relph, Grace Clough, Dan Brown, James Fox and cox Oliver James – the 2014 World Championship team – won in 3:28.50, nine seconds clear of Germany and 17 seconds ahead of third-placed Brazil in Saturday’s final.

Debutant Rose Linden later replaced Relph, and the crew went on to win Sunday’s A final, clocking 3:24.70 to finish eight seconds clear of Italy.

“The squad had a strong showing this regatta with some great results across the board,” said Tom Dyson, GB’s rowing team lead coach. “The LTA4+ showed the strength of competition for this season’s crew with dominant performances in both combinations we raced here.”

Aggar finished more than a minute clear of the field to win gold in his AS men’s single scull race on Saturday, with his time of 5:05:50 being the fastest overall; Russia’s Aleksei Chuvashev was second-quickest.

But the two raced side-by-side in Sunday’s A final, with Aggar taking runner-up in 4:53.70.

“Tom opened his season with some very solid speed but the Russian, Chuvashev, has clearly taken a step on over the winter and the ASM1x continues to be a real dogfight,” Dyson said.

“In addition to the Russian sculler, there were particularly strong performances from the Israeli and Norwegian ASW1x, and a strong field in the TA2x that highlight the fight we can expect for qualification places in Aiguebelette.”

In Saturday’s TA men’s single scull finals, Whiteley set the quickest time of 4:15.30. Meenagh was third-fastest overall, as he won gold in his final in 4:31.10.

When racing side-by-side in Sunday’s A final, Whiteley and Meenagh clocked 4:19.40 and 4:30.00 to take gold and bronze, respectively. Italy’s Daniele Stefanoni was second-fastest on both days.

The British team will remain in Italy for a training camp in Varese, Italy, the venue for the second World Cup – which will also feature para-rowing – from 19-21 June.

The big target is the World Rowing Championships from 30 August to 6 September in Aiguebelette, France, which doubles as a qualification regatta for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Full results of the International Para-rowing Regatta can be found here.