Posted: July 2013

Edinburgh’s Polly Swann has completed a hat-trick of 2013 World Cup titles and claimed the overall leaders' bib at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne.
The regatta in Switzerland provided the GB Rowing Team with their final chance to test themselves against world-class opposition ahead of next month’s world championships in South Korea. In total, the British squad won two gold medals and one bronze, along with the overall 2013 world cup trophy.

Sitting on the start line for the final of the women’s pair, Swann and her teammate – Olympic champion Helen Glover - wore the luminous yellow of the world cup leaders. 
It was, however, going to be their toughest test yet in 2013 with top opposition from New Zealand's Rebecca Scown and Kayla Pratt as well the USA.
The British duo were over a second up on the Netherlands as the first quarter of the race was completed. The USA moved up to second at the halfway. Past the boating enclosures and cheered on by team-mates and family, the British duo were still in the lead but New Zealand had now moved to the top of the chasing peloton.
GB still held almost a length over New Zealand as the crews came past the grandstands. Did Glover and Swann have enough left? It was going to be close but the British crew gritted their teeth, picked up the pace and completed their hat-trick of world cup golds this season by just over a second from New Zealand.
Afterwards, Swann was already looking forward to the World Championships in Korea next month: "It was good to win today and now we need to build for Korea,” she said.
"With this kind of opposition you can never be complacent".
Glover added: "When I looked at 2013 I thought I wouldn't win a gold. Every race we have entered we have gone with a 'must learn' rather than 'must win' attitude".
Sam Scrimgeour from Forfar, also won a gold medal alongside Mark Aldred in the lightweight men's pair whilst making their first ever appearance on the world-famous Rotsee waters.
"To row here is a dream come true in itself. To win here is amazing", said Aldred.
The duo paced the race to perfection, coming through in the final 500m to take the lead from Spain and Switzerland.
Scrimgeour paid tribute to his crew-mate's pace-making in the stroke seat. "Mark is the ultimate pace-maker", he said. "He just takes us out at a steady rhythm and sensed when we needed to pull away".
The duo were not fazed by the greater depth in the field here. "We were quite disappointed with the small entry at Eton Dorney for the last world cup", said Scrimgeour.
Meanwhile, Imogen Walsh, from Inverness, and Kathryn Twyman were the overall world cup leaders in the women’s double scull going into the regatta - one in which the field had much better depth than previously including a top-rated Italian double – and whilst they were out of the medals on the day they retained the yellow bibs.
It was the USA who set the early pace in the final in Switzerland to lead Germany by three-quarters of a length at 650m gone but with Italy coming up fast. The GB boat had kept themselves in medal contention at halfway, coming up into third place.
At 1500m gone, Italy went through the USA to lead and the GB boat was coming back into contention in third place on the near-side but with a really strong final challenge on their inside from New Zealand.
It went down to the final stoke which proved heart-break for the GB crew who were just rowed out of the medals by New Zealand. The margin between the two was just nine hundredths of a second. 
"We put in a really good middle part of the race today and we've improved with every race out here', Walsh said.
"Neither of us had any idea who had won the medal", said Twyman afterwards. "That two minute wait was the longest ever until the result came up".
Alan Sinclair, who also hails from Inverness, finished third in the B final of the men's four alongside Nathaniel Reilly O'Donnell, Scott Durant and Matt Tarrant were third. 
The crew somewhat struggled to find their form on the Rotsee after some tough racing and good performances at Eton Dorney and Henley.
Having won at Sydney and Eton-Dorney already this year, Vicky Meyer-Laker and Frances Houghton were the overall world cup leaders in the women’s double scull before the weekend’s racing.
They didn't sacrifice that standing but finished fifth in a race won by New Zealand.
The British duo were in contention for the medals in the first half of the race but could not quite stay with the pace in the second, despite a push in the third 500m, in a race won by Lithuania, who caught a tiring New Zealand at the line. 
The USA were third and Belarus were fourth.
"I could tell in the first half that one or two boats had gone ahead but I wasn't sure where we were exactly in the race', said Houghton. "We were just concentrating on our rhythm. At one point I thought we had got back to fourth but obviously not"
Elsewhere, the Chambers brothers from Northern Ireland added a bronze in the lightweight men's double scull after a ding-dong battle with Italy behind the French winners.
"It would be really disrespectful to think that we can come into a new event this season and win it", said the elder Chambers, Richard, of the new GB line-up previously filled by Zac Purchase and the now-retired Mark Hunter.
"I think GB has done a really good job getting into the medals at all three world cups. Now we know where we are at and what work we need to do", he added.
There was disappointment for the British men's eight who fell just short of the podium in fourth on an altogether pedestrian final day for the GB Rowing Team, in this year of re-building.
The cruelty of top sport was never more apparent than in the men's quadruple scull final when the GB boat was charging up into bronze medal place only to catch a rhythm-wrecking crab allowing Estonia in to take the bronze in a race won by Croatia with the Olympic champions Germany in silver.
Earlier, the lightweight men's four were fifth in a final won by New Zealand. The GB combination had held bronze medal position until 1500m gone when the Netherlands and, on the line, the Olympic Champions, South Africa, came through the British boat.
Reflecting on the British squad’s results at the end of three days of competition, Sir David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director, said: “Getting such a good representation of boats in the A finals is a strong result in the first year of the Olympiad with many new crews at this stage of the Olympiad. 
"We knew that medals would be hard to come by here; now we know what work we need to do".