Pinsent and Redgrave’s records fall at Henley Royal Regatta

GB Rowing Team members gave the home crowd something to celebrate today at Henley Royal Regatta when they broke long-standing records held by Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matt Pinsent.Current world silver medallists Marcus Bateman and Matt Wells were two seconds quicker to the Barrier, at 1:56, than Redgrave and Adam Clift’s time set in 1982 in the Double Sculls Challenge Cup.In the same morning session, their GB team-mates and Olympic men’s four champions Andrew Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed also reached the Barrier in 1:56 in their quarter-final of the Silver Goblets and Nickall’s Challenge Cup for men’s pairs, shaving two seconds off the mark set by Redgrave and Pinsent in 1993.Britain then clocked up a trio of record-breaking performances when the current GB men’s four, rowing as Leander and Molesey Boat Club, smashed the Barrier record in their event, the Stewards’ Challenge Cup, posting 1:50.  They equalled the Fawley record of 3:05 and set a new record at the finish of 6:20 for the event.The four were racing a top pedigree lightweight Australian men’s four with whom they clashed just before the finish.Matt Langridge, Beijing Olympic silver medallist in the men’s eight, said:  "We got on top early on but they were never going to let us walk away," he said. "I suspect they got caught in our wash and sucked over at the end”.Italy also set a record to Fawley in the men’s pair event, showing that they could provide stiff opposition to Reed and Triggs Hodge should the pairs meet in Sunday’s final. First, though, Reed and Triggs Hodge will face the Gkountoulas twins from Greece in tomorrow’s semi-finals. The Greeks were bronze medallists behind winners Reed and Triggs Hodge at the season’s opening world cup in Munich.  “We will have to race hard to beat the Greeks”, said Reed.The Freshmen from University of California, Berkeley, again turned heads today when setting Barrier and Fawley records in the Temple Challenge Cup for University eights. Not to be outdone, their main rivals, Harvard, set a record to the finish in their quarter-final of the men’s eight whilst the American national women’s eight looked stunning when they set a record to the finish in the heats of the Remenham Challenge Cup in which they are racing as Princeton Training Center.Racing begins tomorrow in the Grand Challenge Cup for men’s eights. Australia, racing here as the Australian Institute of Sport, will seek to spoil the party for the GB men’s eight and stop them reaching Sunday’s final.  Britain is the reigning world silver medal crew but Australia cannot be underestimated.  The winner will probably face Germany, the world champions, on Sunday.Olympic champions Poland went out of the Queen Mother Challenge Cup for men’s quadruple sculls in the afternoon session today to the Australian Institute of Sport combination who now go through to face Croatia, the world champions, tomorrow.Britain also enters the fray for the first time in this event tomorrow taking on the Americans.Tomorrow’s racing includes a full programme of semi-finals starting at 09.30 and finishing at 19.00. There will be 44 races featuring world and Olympic champions and medallists as well as leading crews from Universities, Colleges, Schools and Clubs across the 19 events. The Finals take place on Sunday starting at 11.30am.Tomorrow’s tickets are sold-out but some places remain for Sunday.For further information contact the Henley Royal Regatta Press Office on (01491) 572 153 or (01491) 579387