Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Will Satch MBE and silver medallist Polly Swann will make their return to the GB Rowing Team as part of a strong World Cup II squad next weekend in Poznan, Poland (21-23 June).
Satch won Olympic gold in 2016 in the men’s eight but has been injured since December 2018 when he ruptured a tendon in his shoulder. He will make his return to international competition in Poznan alongside Tom Jeffery, Alan Sinclair and Adam Neill in the GBR2 men’s four.
On his return to racing Satch said: “I’m really looking forward to racing and testing the waters. It’s been a long six months but just to get there is a big step for me. If I can get amongst the field I’ll be very happy.”
Swann returns to international competition for the first time since 2016 after taking time off following the Rio Olympics to finish her medical degree. She will be joined in the GBR2 women’s four by Holly Hill who makes her return to international competition for the first time this season, as well as Sam Courty and Annie Withers who raced as a pair at the European Championships in Lucerne earlier this season.
“I’m so excited to be heading out to Poznan,” Swann said. “I really didn’t think I’d be doing much racing this year. I thought I’d be lucky if I got to go to one of the World Cups as a spare and support the team, so I do feel very lucky that I’m racing.
“I’m a little bit nervous because this is my first international race since 2016 but hopefully my past experiences with the GB Rowing Team will get me over the line as well as the other brilliant girls alongside me in the four.”
The GBR1 men’s four will see Ollie Cook, Matt Rossiter, Rory Gibbs and Sholto Carnegie join forces again after being crowned European champions earlier this month.
On being selected in the men’s four again, Carnegie commented: “We’re feeling really positive about the boat. It’s still a new crew which is really exciting, because it means whenever we go out rowing there’s more to improve on and more speed to find. We’re keeping it fun the whole time and looking forward to racing more.”
The GB Para-rowing squad is also competing at World Cup II after scooping six medals in their season opener at the Gavirate International Regatta in May.
Gavirate was the first time that Paralympic champions Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley had raced together since 2017; the two will join forces again in the PR2 mixed double sculls next weekend in Poznan.
Rowles said: “I’m so excited to be selected for my second World Cup with the team. Poznan was the last place that Laurence and I raced together back in 2017 so I’m really looking forward to being back”.
The men’s eight of Tom Ford, James Rudkin, Tom George, Mohamed Sbihi, Jacob Dawson, Ollie Wynne-Griffith, Mat Tarrant, Josh Bugajski and cox Henry Fieldman and the men’s quad of Jack Beaumont, Jonny Walton, Angus Groom and Pete Lambert are both unchanged after winning silver and bronze respectively at the European Championships earlier this month.
The silver medal-winning women’s eight has one change, with alternate cox Morgan Bayham-Williams replacing Matilda Horn.
Leander Club athletes Ruth Siddorn and Georgina Brayshaw will make their senior debuts for Great Britain as they compete in the women’s double.
Brayshaw commented: “I’m really excited to be going to my first World Cup and feel very privileged. I started on the World Class Start programme in 2015 and I’m so proud to be representing Great Britain less than four years later.”
Looking ahead to Poznan next weekend, British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell said: “We had some fantastic performances at the European Championships in Lucerne and it’s great to have more of the team racing at World Cup II.
“Our priority this year remains qualifying as many boats as possible for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, so this World Cup is another opportunity for us to assess where we’re at and test ourselves against the rest of the world.”