CHAMBERS ADD TO MEDAL HAUL

THE Chambers brothers were back amongst the medals again at the opening 2013 Samsung world rowing cup series in Sydney on Sunday.

Richard Chambers made a victorious start to the new Olympic cycle by claiming gold with Great Britain team mate Adam Freeman Pask in the men’s lightweight double sculls at the regatta.

Moments later, Richard watched younger brother and fellow London 2012 silver medalist Peter win silver as part of the lightweight four, an encouraging start to the 2013 season for the Coleraine siblings.

Richard was particularly impressive especially as he was in a new boat and sculling as opposed to sweep rowing.

Along with Freeman Pask they led the field from start to finish, pulling away in the third quarter of the race to win in 6:26.05 from China in silver.

It wasn’t the strongest field ever assembled with many nations not taking part in the regatta and others with reserve crews, but the manor in which the duo won showed they will be in the mix, if they stay together, when the world cup season resumes at last year’s Olympic venue of Eton Dorney at the end of June.

“It’s good for us to have raced here. Even though not everyone’s here and it will get tougher we still beat the guys who were fifth at the Olympics today and that shows we are up there with some of the best,” explained Richard.

This was his first senior event as a sculler although he did win a silver medal at the world under-23 championships in 2005 as part of the lightweight quadruple sculls and also the first time, in his own words, “I’ve been trusted in the stroke seat of a crew for an international race.”

Whether Richard remains there or returns to the lightweight four will be determined over the next couple of months by a series of testing and final trials but whatever happens he’s enjoyed the experience.

“It’s been a good trip, a fun experience. It has been a challenge. I’m not the best sculler technically and I have a lot to change in order to make the boat go faster.”

He added, “It’s always good to win no matter what event you are in. I think it all depends on how trials results go. A lot can change and happen from here on in, we just have to wait and see.”

Peter Chambers was part of a new look quartet with the returning Chris Bartley and newcomers Jonno Clegg and Chris Boddy.

From the outset of the final it was clear that at this early stage of the season and having trained during their summer, the New Zealand four were by far the quickest in what is usually tight racing.

In the final 500m, Great Britain were determined to hold off the Australians and they kept their pace to finish strongly in second place. “We have come a long way since this crew was formed,” said Peter “It is good to be back racing, it’s a reminder of why we do all the training.”

Olympic bronze medalist Alan Campbell missed the trip to Sydney but is expected back in the single sculls at Eton were the competition will be stronger before the final world cup regatta in Lucerne which act as a prelude to the world championships in August in Korea.

UK sports fans and GB Rowing Team members alike have a treat in store as the next Samsung World Rowing Cup will be at Eton Dorney from June 21-23.

There will also be para-rowing classes with Britain’s two returning gold medallist Naomi Riches and Pam Relph vying for places in the squad.

The GB Rowing Team for the event will be announced in early June and the Sunday finals programme will be televised live by BBC TV.

Racing will start with heats and repechages on Friday, followed by more repechages, semi-finals and some finals on Saturday before the remainder of the finals on Sunday. Tickets are already on sale on-line or by phone. Visit www.wrcupetondorney2013.com for more information.