We are delighted to share an update from crew member Peter Lambert on what the quad have been up to and their recent success at the World Rowing Championships in Florida where they won a silver medal.
"The GB Rowing team are just finishing their annual three week break. It may sound glamorous but let me assure you this is the only time off we get from training the entire year. We train throughout Easter weekend, as well as the Christmas and New Year week, so to be able to see family and relax is a welcome break.
The mens quad had a very hectic schedule in September. Myself and the other three members of the quad (John Collins, Jonny Walton and Jack Beaumont) were only in the UK for two nights. We arrived back from our final training camp in Portugal on September 14th, and just two days later we left for Florida for the World Rowing Championships.
The two week camp in Portugal involved high intensity training in extremely hot conditions and getting our boat speed up to peak for the 2 kilometre racing in weeks to come. We had a very successful camp and left for the World Championships in high spirits knowing we were one of the top ranked GB boats.
The World Rowing Championships takes place every year except for the fourth year in which it is replaced by the Olympic Games. Crews race a 6 lane, 2 kilometre course. The mens quad consists of 4 crew members with 2 blades each (8 blades in total). A 2 kilometre race in the mens quad roughly takes from 5 minutes 30 seconds to 6 minutes (dependent on wind conditions). One individual in the boat has a moving foot in which they steer the boat with a rudder. There are progression rounds of heats, semi-finals and finals. The top 6 crews make the A final and then there’s a real fight to secure a medal.
The Championships took place in Sarasota, Florida and the conditions where almost unbearably humid and hot. I have been racing internationally now for 9 years and that is the most uncomfortable weather I have ever raced in.
We had a great start to the Championships winning both our heat and semi-final in dominating form with the latter posting the fastest time. On Saturday 30th of September we raced the A final. Disaster struck in our warm up, just 10 minutes before the race I had a severe back spasm during our final practice start and could barely move. Panic ensued as this was the race we had been training for the entire year and I knew I was in real trouble. I had only seconds to make the decision as to whether or not I was fit to race. I wasn’t. My three team mates rowed back to the pontoons and were able to quickly replace me with our spare athlete. I was naturally upset that I had messed up my chance to race in the A final but moreover, I was upset that I may have cost my team mates a medal. By a stroke of luck the start of the race was delayed by 15 minutes giving our team valuable minutes to coordinate as a new team.
I watched from the bank with my back in agony as my crew, with a spare man on board, raced to a brilliant silver medal. I remember thinking “Ah just relief. So much relief.” I was, of course, very disappointed not to have raced but so relieved that the disappointment was mine alone and hadn’t affected the result the rest of the team achieved.
I am now undergoing intensive rehab and looking forward to getting back to the crew stronger than ever.
Thank you once again Shanly Foundation. I speak on behalf of my crew when I say, your support goes a long way in helping us be the fastest crew in the world.
Onwards and upwards."