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What it's like to cox the fastest eight in the world

June 24, 2015

 

On the 17th of June, the GB Rowing team jetted out to lake Varese in Italy for the second World Rowing Cup. In the GB Men’s Eight sat nine good lads. Three of these were especially good, owing to their blacker than black hearts. These legends of the sport and of life generally were Moe Sbihi, George Nash, and Henry F*****G Fieldman.

 

The crew in its entirety consisted of:

B: Matt ‘Chanel Number 5’ Gotrel

2: Stu 'Young Gun' Innes 

3: Pete ‘Illegally Good Looking’ Reed

4: 'Tall' Paul Bennett (and Co-pilot)

5: Moe Sbihi

6: Alex 'Nature Lover' Gregory

7: George ‘Pebbly Path’ Nash

S: Will ‘Heat-os’ Satch

C: Henry ‘Tideway Charlie’ Fieldman

 

The scene was set for an epic clash between the best eights in the world. The main opposition were to be Germany - reigning Olympic and European champions and the U.S.A, along with Poland, New Zealand, China, France, and Italy.

 

Our heroes from Great Britain had been beaten into silver by Germany three weeks prior, and were keen to put things right. They had a simple plan: go to Europe, get the gold, and get the **** out in time for tea. As history has taught us time and time again, that is what Britain does. 

 

In the heat the GB eight would face off against Poland, a German Under 23 crew, and China. The race went as to plan as when ABBA debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974. The GB eight moved out to over a length of clear water and held their advantage into the finish line, securing a place in the final. There, they would be joined by Germany, the U.S.A., Poland, New Zealand, and the German U23 crew. Based on the times from the heats, the final looked set to be a close three-horse race between Germany, the U.S.A. and Great Britain.

 

At 14:55 on Sunday the 21st of June, all eights were sitting on the start line for the final, waiting to be released. Great Britain occupied lane 3, with the Americans on their bowside in lane 2 and the German top eight on their strokeside in lane 4. The atmosphere on the start line of any international eights race is always thick with anticipation and this was no exception. At 14:58, the buzzer sounded and all crews were off. Germany and America got off to a great start, leaving Britain a few seats back, in 5th place at the first 500 meter mark. Luckily for cox Fieldman, he has the best rowers in the world in his boat and they began to claw their way back. At the 1000 metre mark they had squeezed into second place, behind Germany. Germany and GB then began trading blows and the crews ran through the 1500 mark with Germany in the lead by 0.62 seconds. It was at this point that Britain decided it was high time to be Great and they began to pile on the pressure. Great Britain drew level and then in the final strokes pushed past to win in one of the greatest races of all sport from all time #nobigdeal. 

 

After picking up their medals, and trying to throw their cox into the American boat, the boys rushed back to the airport as fast as they could. And thank goodness they did, as they arrived in the departure lounge with only a few hours to spare.

 

All in all a great World Cup by the entire team, and a crazily paced race by the British for the Germans to try and analyse. Thank you to all the coaches, support staff and team members.

The British are coming.

Henry Fieldman

 

You can watch videos of the World Cup in Varese here:http://www.worldrowing.com/photos-videos/racevideos/

 

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