Redgrave and Pinsent inspire

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent, unbeaten since early 1992 as a pair, have proved that four is twice two with significant wins in the FISA World Cup in Munich. In its first competitive outing, the four which was selected in April as the chariot which would carry Redgrave to his fifth Olympic Gold in Sydney was able to overcome tricky winds. Matthew Pinsent said: "This is a good start. We were able to do what we wanted."

Tim Foster, who stroked the bronze medal Olympic coxless four, has had to undergo a cultural change. He said: "With these two the intention is to win and that's all you think about."

At Munich, the British team finished second to Germany in the new FISA World Cup. The introduction of the Cup has focused the summer regatta circuit on the three centres - Munich, Paris in late June and Lucerne in July. The competition is tougher than usual, which suits the better crews but can make international experience of winning hard to find.

The new British eight showed grit in racing from a close fourth at 1,500 metres to finish second. The crew, formed for less than a month, will use the experience of holding together and getting more out of the boat in the final sprint in what promises to be a rewarding summer.

One casualty was Greg Searle, Olympic champion at 20 in 1992, and bronze medallist in the four in Atlanta. He has spent the winter under Harry Mahon, who includes the last five Cambridge Boat race-winning crews in his portfolio. Mahon went into hospital in England last week and, although Searle was chirpy after winning his opening heat, he missed the final by seven seconds and came second in the small final behind Merlin Vervoorn, the Dutch Henley winner.