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FISU World University Championships start on Friday

The FISU World University Rowing Championships get underway on Friday in Shanghai, on China’s far-eastern coast. Britain is sending a team of 32 students under the direction of team manager Lee Boucher, head of performance pathway at Scottish Rowing.

The FISU championships are a bi-annual event and fill an important gap in the calendar for those on the pathway to GB senior selection. The event, now in its 15th iteration, is sandwiched in the calendar between the World Rowing U23 Championships and the World Rowing Championships in September. Unlike the BUCS where universities compete as clubs, FISU is drawn from the best university rowers from around the country.

Three competitors are attending FISU for the second time – Rebecca Edwards from the University of Essex and who trains at Molesey Boat Club, James Robson of Newcastle University and James Stanhope of Oxford Brookes University. Stanhope, who now trains at Leander, won the event stroking the M8+ in 2016, and returns to that seat this week together with Brookes classmates Matt Hnatiw, Michael Glover, Henry Swarbrick and Harry Brightmore.

For the women, the core team has been based at Molesey Boat Club under the direction of Phil Bourguignon. Three of the Molesey girls who made the final of the Town Challenge Cup at Henley – Emma McDonald in the bows and Rebecca Edwards at seven and Katie Bartlett at stroke. They’re joined by Georgia Statham of UL, Natasha Harris-White of Newcastle University, Chloe Brew of the University of Southern California, Lydia Currie and Isobel Powell together with cox Morgan Baynham-Williams.

The FISU women's eight training at Molesey Boat Club

The women’s eight training for FISU at Molesey Boat Club

Emma McDonald, racing for the first time in a GB vest, told WEROW that she was excited to start racing. “As a crew, we’ve been having great fun we’re just excited to put it into action. Even on holiday, I’ve never been outside Europe so this is really exciting. Sadly none of our parents are going out as it’s such an expensive trip and a lot of time off work.”

McDonald is now teaching Year 3 children at a state primary school, St Paul’s in Thames Ditton. “All the kids are really excited for China. I made them all watch my Henley races – the Monday after Henley we sat down to watch all the races, they love it. Alot of them didn’t know what rowing was so they are excited to follow my progress.”

The women's eight heading for FISU training at Molesey Boat Club

McDonald, Statham, Harris-White, Brew, Baynham-Williams, Currie, Powell, Edwards, Bartlett and coach Phil Bourguignon

Chloe Brew in the centre of the boat has two World Rowing U23 Championships under her belt, winning silver in the W8+ in 2016. Brew, whose father Paul competed as a swimmer at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, is originally from Plymouth and is now in her final year at USC. “It’s been great training at Molesey with such a solid group of athletes. I have one more year left at USC and will soon need to decide whether I want to go on and read law in London or maybe join Leander as a full-time athlete.”

Molesey has also been hosting the W2- of Frances Russell of Newcastle University and Susie Dear of Oxford Brookes. Russell won the Championships 4x at Henley Women’s Regatta and Dear lost to the Molesey 4- of McDonald, Primmer, Edwards and Bartlett by half a length.

Phil Bourguignon says there’s a lot at stake for the athletes going to China. “Some of these athletes will have committed to full-time education just to be able to compete at FISU. It’s a big commitment financially but FISU is such a strong pathway to the senior team and fills the gap between the U23 Championships and the senior competition.”

Susie Dear and Frances Russell training for FISU at Molesey Boat Club

Susie Dear and Frances Russell training for FISIU at Molesey BB

The competition is being held at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and starts on Friday and the race program can be found here. The most competitive events, possibly not surprisingly given costs and logistics, are the small boat events – doubles and singles. In the M8+ Great Britain will face China, Poland, the USA, the Netherlands and Italy. The W8+ will face China, USA, Canada and Italy.

FISU Entries 2018 WEROW 1 600x404 - FISU World University Championships start on Friday

The FISU 2018 entry list (click to expand)

FISU World University Rowing Championships, Shanghai, China, 10-12 August 2018

Women’s Pair
Frances Russell (Newcastle University)

Susie Dear (Oxford Brookes University)

Women’s Eight
Emma McDonald (University of Glasgow)

Georgia Statham (University of London – UCL)

Natasha Harris-White (Newcastle University)

Chloe Brew (University of Southern California)

Lydia Currie (University of Edinburgh)

Isobel Powell (University of London – Birkbeck)

Rebecca Edwards (University of Essex)

Katie Bartlett (Kingston University)

Morgan Baynham-Williams (cox) (University of Oxford)

Women’s Single Scull
Nicole Lamb (University of Sheffield)

Lightweight Women’s Double Scull
Alex Styles (Oxford Brookes University)

Fiona Chestnutt (Newcastle University)

Men’s Pair
Harry Glenister (University of Surrey)

Sholto Carnegie (Yale University)

Men’s Four
Matt Benstead (University of London – KCL)

Morgan Bolding (Oxford Brookes University)

Rory Gibbs (Oxford Brookes University)

Oliver Wilkes (University of Edinburgh)

Men’s Eight
George Stewart (University of Surrey)

Rufus Scholefield (University of London – City)

Matt Hnatiw (Oxford Brookes University)

James Robson (Newcastle University)

Michael Glover (Oxford Brookes University)

Jack Gosden-Kaye (University of California, Berkeley)

Henry Swarbrick (Oxford Brookes University)

James Stanhope (Oxford Brookes University)

Harry Brightmore (cox) (Oxford Brookes University)

Men’s Single Scull
Sam McKeown (Queen’s University Belfast)

Lightweight Men’s Double Scull
Ben Reeves (Oxford Brookes University)

Matthew Curtis (University of Edinburgh)

Management and Team Support

Team Manager: Lee Boucher (Scottish Rowing)

Lead Coach: Hugo Gulliver (University of London Boat Club)

Coach: Phil Bourguignon (Molesey Boat Club)

Coach: Brendan Gliddon (University of Oxford)

Coach: Dan Harris (GB Rowing Team)

Coach: Will King (Hartpury College and University Centre)

Physiotherapist: Dominic Ellington (Durham University Boat Club / Teesside University)

2018-08-06T18:05:00+01:00 August 6th, 2018|Categories: International Rowing, University Rowing|Tags: , , , , |