Coupe 2005 finals commentary

The Rowing Service

Coupe de la Jeunesse 2005, Dorney Lake, Eton (UK)

I did live-online commentary on all the A-finals at the Coupe on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st July 2005. The commentary was self-refreshing every 30 seconds, with B finals showing results but not commentary.
Saturday 30th July: A finals from 14:00 BST to 17:30 BST.
Sunday 31st July: A finals from 10:30 BST to 13:15 BST.

The official website can be found here. Note that the official results will not be available until 2nd August 2005.

Races in reverse, most recent at the top.

Saturday afternoon 1:20pm: the connection is live and working at the moment. For now we're waiting for racing to begin, everyone rather laid-back despite it now being a minute or two after the JM4+ was meant to start. I'm up in the tower, on the first floor - likely to be unable to hear commentary, so I'm going to have to do my best to estimate how crews are going in the first 1500m before I get a clear view of their last split. Bear with me if there are mistakes - I'm writing this live, remember, and won't be going back to correct. The numerical results won't be available until Tuesday and then you will see just how far out it's possible to be...!

Sunday 31st July races

End of racing:
Points for Sunday, now fully checked, are - GBR 112, ITA 85, FRA 78, ESP 73, SUI 71, NED 53, BEL 35, IRL 29, AUT 28, POR 26, HUN 16.
That makes the overall winners GBR on 236pts, second Italy (not France as originally thought) on 159pts, third France on 157pts, fourth equal Spain and Switzerland on 136pts, sixth Netherlands on 118pts, seventh Belgium on 68pts, eighth Portugal on 63pts, ninth Ireland on 58pts, tenth Austria on 53pts and eleventh Hungary on 34pts. The winners of the individual men's and women's trophies are also Great Britain. All results now confirmed with the organisers, and I've created a full Excel sheet of the outcomes here for people to look at before the race times go online. That concludes racing here at the Coupe, and I'll turn the page static in a few minutes. The boating area is full of crews derigging boats, congrating to swap kit, and a few still at the medal presentation area to pick up their last silverware.

Junior men's eights A final:
And they're off. Umpire zooming round behind, and yesterday this was won by the hosts, with Italy and France taking the minor medals. Holland making a good start, but the rest of the pack soon closing up. Italy and GB in the lead for the moment, and France and Spain tussling on the tower side. The wind is still tail, very slightly favouring lane 1 (Portugal), but otherwise relatively even. It's dropped a bit from earlier in the morning. Getting to halfway, and the Brits look to be up, but with France and Spain starting to challenge. The Spanish looking quite dangerous now. Portugal not getting much help from their lane (well they were last yesterday). 400m to go, it's Britain from Spain, France and Italy struggling with the Netherlands. Spain being closed by France, Britain are going to have to hold on, France look secure for the bronze, and they all stop more or less on the line, shattered. Gold Great Britain, silver Spain, bronze France, 4th Italy, 5th Netherlands, 6th Portugal.

Junior women's reserves race results:
The British pair has scratched so this is a three-boat race, only singles. Won by the British girl, then the Belgian, then the Frenchwoman.

Junior women's coxless fours A final:
There's been a crew-change here - Zoe Johnson out of the stroke seat of the coxless four for medical reasons, and spare Isobel Drury in, with the GBR spare women's pair scratched. This makes for a lane change, with GBR in 1, FRA in 2, ITA in 3, IRL in 4 now - again a straight final.
And it's France in the lead, with Italy trailing them and unsurprisingly the revised British four at the back. Ireland are making a good challenge to Italy, but the French have the lead, and starting to move out. Italy taking the rating up to hold off Ireland, Britain beginning to come back towards the main race. Into the last 300m, France completely dominant, Britain coming past Ireland, and starting to challenge Italy. Good work from the British girls, but Italy can probably hang on. Ireland making one last desperate go as the bowgirl looks round, and it's gold France, silver Italy, bronze Great Britain, 4th Ireland.

Junior women's coxless pairs A final:
A straight final this. Looks like the Dutch and British pairs duking it out again off the start: yesterday they were the ones to watch, with the Dutch edging it for the gold. Around 550 gone, and it's the Dutch holding all the cards, the others having to play catch-up. This time GBR look to be making an earlier attack, while the Italians who were last yesterday have a good lead over the French. All steering well, Spain creeping up a bit towards the leaders. If that was a push from the British girls it hasn't done much to impress the Dutch, who are still well in front. Spain now look to be on terms with the Italians and have pushed ahead of GBR. Coming into the final 150m, Netherlands emphatically in front, Italy charging in the outside lane, towing the French in their wake, and Britain and Spain fighting it out. Italy are nearly up to the Dutch, but these two are experts at hanging on and they make it by a length. Gold Netherlands, silver Italy, bronze France, 4th Great Britain, 5th Spain.

Junior women's quads A final:
After 600m or so, the Swiss, British and Italians looking good. The Swiss are in charge, and the Irish, who had looked to make quite a slow start, coming back into play. It's lanes 3 to 6 making the headway, Swiss and British up at the front, the British obscured a bit by the umpire's launch behind them which makes the margin hard to judge. Into the last 500m, British and Swiss still very close, Irish and Italians fighting each other hard. British and Swiss now veering close together, the British are being warned, 100m to go, they've straightened up and are now pulling away from the Swiss. Very happy Brits, have managed the same result over the Swiss as yesterday. Unhappy Italy, dropping two places and letting the Irish onto today's medal table. Gold Great Britain, silver Switzerland, bronze Ireland, 4th Spain, 5th Italians, 6th France.

Junior women's quads B final result:
Much tighter than yesterday. 7th Belgium, 8th Netherlands (by only a couple of feet), 9th Portugal.

Junior women's doubles A final:
The sun's gone in again, but the wind is still up. The roar of a jet plane going over from Heathrow. Fewer spectators visible this time, though just as many cars, so perhaps they're hiding in the cafe or on the boathouse balcony at the end of the lake. The Netherlands, third yesterday, have made a good start. This race has the Italian and French in, who didn't qualify on Saturday. In fact the Italians won their heat, and are now up in the lead with the Swiss, so can they hang on to medal today? The Spanish creeping through to join the front now, and the Brits starting to make headway against the Dutch. Into the second half of the course, it looks from our awkward angle as if it's Italy against Switzerland with Britain snapping at their heels. Ah, no, Switzerland definitely have the advantage, more than a length up, with Spain beginning a final challenge. Remember yesterday this was a very tight race between these two, and the Spanish are up at 37 now with 300m to go, trying to make an impact. Coming into the last stretch it's Swiss from Spanish, Dutch going very hard on the outside ahead of Britain and Italy. Dutch coming through, Spanish starting to fade, Swiss look invincible. Gold Switzerland, silver Spain, bronze Netherlands, 4th Great Britain, 5th Italy, 6th France.

Junior women's doubles B final result:
7th Austria, 8th Portugal.

Junior women's singles A final:
This one's crept up on us, and they're already well down the course. The British sculler who won it yesterday is in the lead again, with the Swiss and Spanish scullers just behind her. Spain going hard, Switzerland trying to match it, this will be very close for the silver. Gold Great Britain once again, silver Spain (very good result), bronze Switzerland for the second day running, 4th France, 5th Belgium, 6th Italy.

Junior women's singles B final result:
7th Hungary again, 8th Netherlands this time and 9th Portugal.

Junior men's reserves race results:
Won by the GBR single again, then the GBR pair, then the French single just ahead of the Swiss single, the Italian pair and finally the Belgian single.

Junior men's quads A final:
Won by the Dutch yesterday, but a very close race right to the line. For about a minute, the sun came out up at the start, but though we could see it from here, there was no sign of even a scrap of blue sky. The wind's picking up now, really quite a healthy tail, more or less straight down the course.
They're off now, pretty well evenly matched apart from the Italians looking a little off the pace. Or maybe that's the Dutch, yesterday's winners, inexplicably slow in this morning's heat, and now in an outside lane sneaking quietly towards the lead. Reaching halfway, the Italians have pulled up into a much better position, and it's now the Spanish, in the B final yesterday, who are starting to drag. Leaders are the Netherlands, Austrians, Swiss, very tight to call. Swiss probably have the edge coming into 250m to go, yes them versus Austria, and the Dutch are half a length back. Loads of yelling, Austria in the lead, Dutch starting to haul ahead of Switzerland but running out of room... Gold Austria, silver Switzerland, bronze Netherlands, 4th Italy, 5th Spain, and lagging behind in 6th France.

Junior men's quads B final result:
Britain in the B final for the first time in this entire competition - and against Ireland, no other competition. Quite a tight race, bear in mind that the irish won the B final yesterday and the British were last in the A final. 7th Great Britain, 8th Ireland.

Junior men's doubles A final:
Great start from the Belgian double, who were in the B final yesterday - will they try 'fly and die'? Not bad from Austria and Great Britain too, and the umpire's up behind Austria and France checking on some steering. Britain doing much better than they did yesterday, but there's still 2/3 of the course to go. Halfway, and Austria have unsurprisingly taken the lead, the rest closing up more. Belgium have been passed, France and Netherlands beginning to go hard, France and Great Britain vying for second as they come into the last 250. Austria will take this by a mile again, GBR now looking secure in second, France and Italy scrapping for bronze, but France should have it, and the Dutch haven't gone quick enough this time. Gold Austria, silver Great Britain, bronze France, 4th Netherlands, 5th Italy, 6th Belgium.

Junior men's doubles B final result:
We're not expecting a Swiss double in this race, as one of them was feeling ill after the morning's heat race. And the Portuguese double which was also feeling rotten yesterday after the A final failed to qualify this time, so it's Portugal against Spain. So yesterday the Austrians walked away with this, but we're seeing two effects here - who was partying last night, and which crews are recovering more easily from having heats and finals within a bare 2 hours. Some are clearly more able to get back in condition than others, and though the water is good with a useful tailwind, 2000m is still a very long way. 7th Portugal, 8th Spain, and Switzerland scratched.

Junior men's singles A final:
They've just left the start, and once again it's the Swiss sculler making the first headway, with the Belgian also looking good. Great Britain a bit slower off the blocks, but starting to get into race rhythm now. With 750 to go it looks like the Belgian in charge, GBR/Hungary and Ireland quite close together behind Switzerland. Into the final section, the Swiss boy pulling ahead of the Belgian now, he's pacing it much better today. Hungary ahead of GBR but Ireland ahead of Hungary. Here comes the final charge, a very different race this time. Belgium having one more go at Switzerland, Hungary attacking, GBR coming fast but there's no time left. Gold Switzerland, silver Belgium, bronze Ireland, 4th Hungary, 5th Great Britain, 6th Spain.

Junior men's single B final results:
7th France, 8th Italy, 9th Portugal. A bit of a reversal on yesterday, much better racing from the French sculler.

Junior men's pair A final:
Yesterday this was a brilliant scrap between Switzerland and Great Britain, with some equally sharp manoeuvres going on between Portugal and Spain. This time yesterday's two top medallists are stuck together in mid-lake, with the best benefit of this rather nice tail-wind which has turned up overnight. Portugal and Spain are separated into lanes 2 and 5, and Italy and France take up the outside lanes.
Halfway down the course, and again it's GBR and Switzerland making the running, but the Portuguese pair has taken the challenge and is pushing forward too. Out on the far side Spain has the measure of the French, but Italy's been towed along by the Portuguese attack, and is up with the leaders. 500 to go, France now closing on Spain, and just feet separating the two leaders Great Britain and Switzerland - we can't tell who's in front. 250 to go, Switzerland are up by about a foot, GBR try to raise the rate but can't quite do it, Switzerland go again, a fine performance. Swiss coaches punch the air and yell in celebration. Gold Switzerland (great recenge for yesterday), silver Great Britain, bronze Portugal, 4th Italy, 5th Spain, 6th France. Fantastic racing.

Junior men's coxless four A final:
Well, as those who are quick on the uptake may have realised, the OC changed the schedule from what it had published online, starting the A finals today at 10:00am. Nutters. So that means I missed the first two races of the day. When I can wrest the results from them I will put them up, below here. Other than that it will be business as usual, and we're just waiting for the fours to get close enough to see what's happening.
Halfway down the course, the Brits in the lead, and Belgium quite far back, the rest relatively closely packed. Getting closer to the finish line, they're starting to raise the pace. Remember it was Belgium won yesterday, and this time they are looking fantastic, well ahead of the Italians and even closing on the Brits. Gold Great Britain, silver Belgium, bronze Italy, 4th Switzerland, 5th Netherlands, 6th Hungary.

Junior men's coxless four B final results:
Results 7th France, 8th Ireland, 9th Spain.

Junior men's coxed four A final results:
Result only - gold Great Britain, silver Italy, bronze Spain, 4th France, almost the same as yesterday bar a better performance from the Italians.

Saturday 30th July races

The points are as follows for the overnight scores: GBR 124, FRA 79, ITA 74, NED/SUI 65, ESP 63, POR 37, BEL 33, IRL 29, AUT 25, HUN 18, and Slovenia didn't turn up. Note that the women's eights, a new event and not contributing to the points, were raced on Friday as they are all involving doubling-up rowers. The race was won by Italy, with France 2nd, Great Britain 3rd and the Netherlands 4th. The men's eights, not necessarily doubling up, race as usual.

Junior men's eights A final:
So with the rain peltering down (it's raining men?!) we have the last race of the day on the course. The Brits and France doing well, Italy and the Netherlands scrapping in mid-course. As they come to the last stretch it's Britain, Italy, Spain and France all going hell for leather, Britain are in front, France and Italy just ahead of the Dutch and Spanish, Italy now moving out a few feet to claim a definite silver, and the Netherlands just hold on ahead of Spain but behind the French. Gold Great Britain, silver Italy, bronze France, 4th Netherlands, 5th Spain, 6th Portugal.

Junior women's reserves race results:
Again a sculler having an easier time than the pair. First over the line is the British sculler, than the British pair, then the French sculler just managing to hold off the Belgian despite stopping three strokes before the line.

Junior women's coxless four A final:
Keeping the running tally, I make that 100 points for Britain, four countries so far sharing the golds, but 9 of the 11 countries on the medals table. More shenanigans with the lanes - they may go back to the original draw as the disobliging wind has now dropped again. For the moment, anyway.
Just four crews in this race, and they've kept the original lanes 1-4. Conditions approaching glassy-calm for most of the course, just the odd gust, one of which brings a cheer across from the far side of the lake where the women's quads are getting their medals. So the crews are off, and at about 400m gone it looks like France and Great Britain vying for the lead, Ireland and Italy slightly back. GB moving ahead more now, and Ireland looking a few feet behind Italy. More screeches of "Go GB!" from the banks, but there seems little any of the crews can do to change this finishing order. 300m to go, France having a final attack, and looking neat and speedy, but they're too far back. Gold Great Britain, silver France, bronze Italy and 4th Ireland.

Junior women's coxless pairs A final:
Much discussion about lanes - at the start and finish there is significant shelter in lanes 5 and 6, while in mid-course it's more even. They're shifting them all over now, the smaller finals into the low-number lanes, and the last big race (the men's eights) redrawn. We'll come to that later.
The pairs race has begun, too grey over the course to see who's leading yet. Holland, perhaps unsurprisingly as one of the better crews in the morning's race for lanes. Yes, Holland and Great Britain, with maybe Spain between and a little behind, and France back from Italy bringing up the rear. GB maybe just a bit in front now, and France starting to move back on Italy. Italy attacking Spain, the Netherlands bright orange going for the Brits again, France creeping up on the outside. GBR still in the lead, 200m to go, but the Dutch pair has the bit between their teeth and now knows France is also a danger on the far side. NED at the higher rate, GBR holding on grimly, NED getting in front, the British rate finally goes up but it's just too late. Gold the Netherlands, silver Great Britain, bronze France, 4th Spain and 5th Italy.

Junior women's quads A final:
OK, so I've had the points system explained to me. Points are awarded as follows - 12 for 1st, 10 for 2nd, 8 for 3rd, 7 for 4th, 6 for 5th, 5 for 6th, 4 for 7th, 3 for 8th, 2 for 9th and 1 for 10th. They're awarded on both days, not including spares, where the winning crew only in each boat-type receives a medal. There's a men's trophy, a women's trophy and an overall trophy, presented tomorrow. And now it's raining. Quite hard.
More lane changes, so we're going to wing this. Last 500m, and it looks like Italy and Britain up the front, Switzerland not far behind, France well back and Ireland and Spain fighting. Loads of yelling, plenty of support for this, and the Brits are just in the lead. here come Switzerland pushing on, but it's going to be gold for Great Britain, silver Switzerland, bronze Italy, 4th Ireland, 5th Spain, 6th France.

Junior women's quads B final result:
7th Netherlands, 8th Belgium, 9th Portugal.

Junior women's doubles A final:
Wind's gone a bit more tail this time, but still spinning round regularly. The weather's apparently due to change overnight, so this may be the first signs today. The doubles are off, Spain and the Netherlands making early headway. This is a lane redraw from the original (not sure why). Britain and Austria creeping up now towards the front, and Spain still looking strong. Into the last 500m, Switzerland in a strong position, Portugal out of it, but the rest in the race. The Dutch have the edge over the Spanish, the British on even par with Austria, but it's Switzerland looking good as they come into the last 200m. Spain now attacking Holland and get through them, starting to go for the Swiss, yes it looks as if they can do it. Just narrowly gold Spain, silver Switzerland, bronze the Netherlands, 4th Great Britain, 5th Austria, 6th Portugal.

Junior women's doubles B final result:
7th Italy, and 8th by a considerable stretch, France.

Junior women's singles A final:
From the looks of what my binoculars tell me, the French and Portuguese sculler are doing well, just off the start, with the British girl struggling a little. But there's a long way to go yet... 400m gone, and the Swiss and Belgian scullers coming up into contention, the Briton moving back and the Spanish sculler not far from the action either. Nearly halfway, and the Swiss, French and Portuguese still looking strong, while the wind has died down a bit and swung round to cross again. 500m to go, the medals being chased by Switzerland and Belgium now, Portugal dropping back, and Britain starting to chase France after passing Spain. In fact the British charge has been a big one, now Belgium fending off Britain, Switzerland starting to fade while the supporters chant "Haupt Swiss", and the British girl comes through. Gold Great Britain, silver Belgium, bronze Switzerland, 4th France, 5th Spain, 6th Portugal.

Junior women's singles B final result:
Making their way very slowly down the course at the moment. 7th Hungary, then very close together 8th Italy and 9th Netherlands.

Junior men's reserves race result:
It's clouded over for the moment, and the wind's gone round to much more tailwind than before. This spares race is quite amusing, the GB sculling spare just holding on with a superb effort to win ahead of the British spare pair (power to his elbow). Then the Swiss sculler, the French sculler, the Italian spare pair and finally the Belgian sculler. Well done Ashley Price for beating your own team's pair so handily.

Junior men's quads A final:
Over here at the finish tower there's a series of mechanisms for helping the umpires judge close finishes. One of course is the finish camera, but behind that, up here on the first floor sit some umpires, looking directly across the course sighting alone the finish line. On both sides of the course is a flat-sided post with the line itself black on yellow, but a couple of feet behind it on this side is a white cylindrical wooden post clearly aimed at lining up. Unfortunately it's exactly the right size for photographers to sit on, so one was barked at a few minutes ago when obstructing the view in order to get a good shot of the quads B final. He shot off the post as if it had a spike on the end - which it probably should have done, or at least not been made at just the exact right height to encourage sitters...
Anyway, the quads A final is on the course, with Italy, France, Austria and Switzerland heading it up, Netherlands and Britain slightly trailing on the side nearest the wind. We'll see how much that changes things as they go down the courese. Austria coming up well, Switzerland starting to move, and Britain and Holland making great head-way now. As we get to the last section it looks as if the Dutch are in the lead, Austria and France maybe next behind them. The Dutch don't have much of a lead, here come Italy, moving very fast. A five-boat charge, only the Brits left out. The Dutch hold on, accompanied by a huge orange bike posse, and it's gold to the Netherlands, silver Italy, bronze France, then 4th Austria, 5th Switzerland and 6th Great Britain. The photofinish camera was in action for that one, and bears out the umpires' judgment.

Junior men's quads B final result:
Portugal's stroke of the JM2x flat on his back in the rescue boat, his crewmate sculling the double back alone. The guy's moving though, and sitting up himself, so even if it's a back injury it clearly isn't a bad one. And here come the quads in the B final, Spain and Ireland way ahead of the Portuguese. 7th Ireland, 8th Spain, 9th Portugal.

Junior men's doubles A final:
The doubles are on the start, and we're just waiting for the latest medal ceremoney to finish. Lots of coded muttering between the umpires, trying to remember race results by lane before they sign off. The London 2012 banners are still hanging from the flagpoles on this course, probably deliberately to annoy the French contingent to the Coupe.... The doubles race has begun, and the umpire boat immediately zooms over to the nearer lanes (4/5) to see what the French and Dutch are up to. Austria and the Netherlands looking quite tasty already with 250m gone, but now the Italians start to threaten, and the umpire's still right on Austria's tails - maybe they're having steering trouble. This race looks quite tight, though it may be the perspective - the sun glinting off Dorney Lake is quite befuddling. Past halfway now, and the Austrians and French are up, Portugal in lane 6 having trouble with their strokeside sculls over the buoys, while Italy look as if they've almost given up, dropping right back. A spread-out field as they come into the last gallop, Portugal and Netherlands having a right old fight in the last lanes, Austria deserve to win this, only France really challenging them. Gold Austria, silver Netherlands, bronze France, 4th Portugal, 5th Great Britain and 6th Italy. Didn't see the Dutch coming at all, they were charging to hard to get Portugal it brought them the silver medal too. The Portuguese strokeman looks in difficulties, the umpire and waterboat are helping them, and it looks as if they're going to take the boys back to the raft out of their boat.

Junior men's doubles B final result:
As the wind picks up, the doubles petite final comes to an end. Getting quite blustery on the course, though the conditions are still good except where gusts hit. 7th Belgium, 8th Switzerland, 9th Spain.

Junior men's singles A final:
1000m gone, and it looks as if Switzerland, Belgium and Great Britain are up at the front, with Hungary, Ireland and Netherlands a little behind. These lads are racing well, up into the early and mid-thirties, better than some of those racing at the Under-23s did, even. Now Ireland's come up on the outside, and with 350m to go it's Britain, Ireland and Switzerland vying for the medal places. Very tight this, all three battling hard, and GBR and SUI seem to have the edge, with the Swiss sculler looking stronger. 50m to go, and can the home advantage help? The Briton is closing, he's one foot back, he's ahead, and as the Swiss sculler fades, it's gold Great Britain (now 4 out of 4), silver Switzerland after a great performance, bronze Ireland to put them on the medal table, and then 4th Hungary, 5th Belgium and 6th the Dutch sculler.

Junior men's singles B final result:
Four boats in this race, just getting down to the finish as the umpires worry about whether the right boats are going to the medal rafts. I'm starting a little medals table now, though it won't go online until later. Result of the B final is 7th Italy, 8th Portugal, 9th France and 10th Spain.

Junior men's coxless pairs A final:
Oho, I've got the measure of the medal plans now: the togged-up Etonians are outside the tent holding medal trays and looking restive. Around the area cluster groups of family and friends, and the little procession of medal-bearers and athletes makes its way out to the flagged-up location by the lake. You'll have realised by now that I'm not able to give actual times, but the full results will be up on the main Coupe website by Tuesday next week.
Right, the pairs race has set off, and it looks as if Spain's made the best start, though a couple of the pairs are having more trouble in the crosswind than the fours did. Portugal and Britain are also doing well, but it's a little unclear at the moment as they go into the middle section of the race. Umpire over between Portugal and Spain (is there a bit of old-fashioned rivalry going on there?) and meanwhile the Swiss are closing up on the Brits, and Italy is just ahead of France. Coming into the last quarter it looks like the Swiss ahead of the Brits, then the Spanish, with Portugal only feet back. Yes, the Swiss have the edge, but the push over on the far side between Spain and Portugal is helping them on. Now here come the British boys, a superb charge, and as they get to 100m to go, it's GBR from Switzerland. The third gold in a row for hosts Great Britain, silver Switzerland, bronze Spain, then 4th Portugal, 5th France and 6th Italy.

Junior men's coxless fours A final:
600m or so gone, and we're all in agreement that the Brits are in the lead, but who comes next could be anyone of Belgium, Hungary or France. The Dutch are well back, and the Swiss are starting to push back into the fray in the outside far lane. Now there's 300 to go, and although the British four is in front, Belgium are only just managing to hold off Switzerland for the silver. Belgium have nough in the bank though, and with a last final effort it's gold Great Britain, silver Belgium, bronze Switzerland, then 4th Hungary, 5th France, 6th Netherlands.

Junior men's coxless fours B final result:
Remember this is a petite final, so with the finishing order it's 7th Italy, 8th Ireland, 9th Spain and 10th Portugal. Next comes the full JM4- A final, but first a short gap so that the coxed fours medal ceremony can take place. There are quite a lot of spectators here, mostly Dutch and British, but some from the other countries competing. The cars are all clustered up at the 250m to go mark, and I'm trying to work out where they've put the medal podia which (if the gallery on the official website is correct) the Coupe usually has. Not at all clear. Ah, I think they're doing it indoors in a little tent set up near the rafts: there is a cluster of Etonian schoolboys in their duck-green blazers hanging around looking important, and I can see the legs of athletes sitting down, through the doorway of the tent. I wonder how many of the rowers competing realise that this is the 2012 Olympic course? And how many who win medals here will come back and win again in 7 years time...?

Junior men's coxed fours A final:
Well they've started - a very low-key announcement from the start over the radio - and are already a minute into their race. The umpire's hovering around the middle lanes (Spain and Britain) but everyone seems to be in their lanes comfortably. And so they should, with coxes on board. With a little help from two of the finish judges, our educated guess is that the Brits are in the lead at 1000m gone, with Spain close by and Italy then France bringing up the rear. 500m to go, and the Brits are up at 36.5 trying to hold off Spain, France have been dropped, and it's going to be very tight for the gold medal. About quarter of a length in it, Spain now slightly over-rating the Britons, now feet in it, and they've 100m to the line. Britain trying to hold on, Spain now losing heart, and the British boys row out to a clear verdict. Gold Great Britain, silver Spain, bronze Italy and fourth France.

© Copyright Rachel Quarrell and the Rowing Service 2005