The junior men’s events at the annual Coupe de la Jeunesse start today for all of GB’s 28 athletes. On the sweep side, GB take a full team, with a 2-, 4-, 4+ and 8+ all racing over the weekend. Here's a closer look at the Junior Men's Sweep team:
Latymer’s first of three athletes at Coupe this year, James Phelps, is joined by Oli Newton of Shiplake College in the men’s pair, after racing each other throughout the year with Shiplake taking the bronze medal in Ch8+ at NSR whilst Latymer finished close behind in 5th. They step on this year after representing England at last year’s Home International Regatta.
Eton College‘s captain of boats Max Ridgwell joins school contemporary Sam Stourton in the coxless four, alongside Dulwich College’s Paddy Craig and Shiplake’s Dom Brown. Max, Paddy and Dom all raced at Munich earlier this year taking a convincing five-second victory on day 1 in the JM8+. They undoubtedly take this experience racing together with them as they try to emulate the success of last year’s coxless four, which saw Molesey’s Mikey Dalton and Theo Darlow take Coupe gold- both of whom now step on into the coxless four at Worlds this season.
Monmouth’s Jack Tottem steers this year’s coxed four (as seen in the video above), featuring Royal Shrewsbury School’s Phoenix Lester, Radley’s Theo Metcalf, Latymer’s Matthew Morgan and St. Edward’s School’s Max Thompson.
Demonstrating the high standard of their school’s rowing programmes, coxswain Ben Ray & Max Deering alongside Simon Nunayon, of the St Paul’s School and Eton College second eights respectively, take seats in the men’s eight, known fondly as the ‘CoupeAchter’ to many. The eight has no Coupe returners, but Walton RC’s Matthew Heywood in the four-seat brings his experience from his success in the Munich JM8+ to the rest of the guys. Matt shared “Munich has prepared me for the intensity of the racing against foreign crews and shown how high the standard is across Europe".
Cox Ben, victorious at last year’s GB vs France match in a four that has since produced two members of this year’s Worlds eight, explained “we have nine guys from eight different clubs. Everyone's had their own ups and downs throughout the season but it's been fun to jump in the eight and see what we can do”
Three of the crew- Ben, Simon and Connor-are returning next year, with aspirations of the Worlds squad. For many, the real dream is “obviously” Tokyo 2020.
The crew is completed by Abingdon’s Connor Brown, Westminster’s George Middleton, Radley’s Luke Miles, Molesey’s Felix Warren and Latymer’s Ollie McChesney. A first time representing GB for many, bar a few GB vs France appearances, they will hope to better last year’s bronze and gold medals.
For Ollie, it’s an exciting thing to finally earn a GB vest.
“Personally, this is the first GB vest I’ve gotten having narrowly missed out in the last two years and it has been the main objective for my last five years of rowing. Having rowed in an eight all year, there hasn’t been much change, however, trying to bring eight different styles of rowing together has been interesting”