Racing the Danish coxless four that has swept the lightweight cupboard clean since 1995, the British team never managed to break contact and were obliged to put in a ferocious final sprint to stay ahead at the line.
Although the official announcer called the margin "one length" he had been wrong several times through the afternoon. The Danish No 2, Thomas Poulsen, said: "I looked across on the line and I was level with Pinsent, the British stroke. We were closer than last year, when they gave it as a length."
Their coach, Jurgen Grobler, was upbeat saying, "Our boys only do what they have to. You can't win these things on one leg." While it is true they were not in danger of losing, Coode's triumphant yell at the finish showed that four stone of advantage a man is not much insurance against a crew as skilled and gutsy as the Danes.
Germany won the Grand race for eights and the two single sculling events as well as the Queen Mother Cup for quadruple sculls. In the Grand, Germany raced with a new crew but using the the same stern three as last year, the Cambridge blues Marc Weber and Stefan Forster and Ike Landvoigt. They were tense before the start against the British national eight, which has won silvers in both rounds of the FISA World Cup this year. "It was our first race and we needed to test our speed before Lucerne next week," Forster said.
In the Diamond Sculls Marcel Hacker, the top German this season, was untroubled by hitting the buoys off the start and sculled away from the holder, Jamie Koven of the United States, who has not looked near his 1997 world champion form this year.
Katrin Rutschow took the Princess Royal Cup for women's singles with a row over after Sweden's five times winner, Maria Brandin, withdrew with a back injury.
Simon Dennis and Steve Williams seemed almost surprised by their confident win in the silver Goblets for coxless pairs over the Australians David Weightman and Robert Scott.
GB or Irl unless stated
QUEEN MOTHER Quarter-final: Allemannia RC Hamburg (Ger) bt Reading University, easily 7:11; Tideway Scullers' & NCRA bt Augusta Sculling 'B' (US), 43/4 lengths, 6:59; Augusta Sculling 'A' (US) bt Leander & University of London, easily, 6:55; Oostende and UN Liege (Bel) bt Hamburger und Germania (Ger), 31/2l, 7:11; Allemannia RC Hamburg (Ger) bt Tideway Scullers' & NCRA, 2/3l 7:10. Semi-final: Augusta Sculling A (US) bt Oostende and UN Liege (Bel) 23/4l, 7:14. Final: Allemania Ruder Club Hamburg (Ger) bt Augusta Sculling Centre A, 11/4l, 6:45.
FAWLEY Quarter-final: Burway RC & Walton RC bt Star Club & Peterborough City 3 3/4l 7:41; The Windsor Boys' School 'A' bt Marlow & Sir William Borlase's 1l, 7:25; Leander Club and Tiffin School bt Wycliffe College 'A', 2 lenghts, 7:17; Winchester College bt Eton College, 23/4l, 7:40; Burway RC & Walton RC bt Marlow & Sir William Borlase's, 1l, 7:41. Semi- final: Leander Club and Tiffin School bt Winchester College, easily, 7:47. Final: Leander Club & Tiffin School bt Burway RC & Walton RC, 21/4l, 7:15.
THAMES Semi-final: Molesey BC 'A' bt London RC 'A' 1/4l, 6:49; Crabtree BC bt Rv Oberhausen EV (Ger), 21/2l, 7:04. Final: Molesey BC A bt Crabtree BC 3/4l, 6:40.
BRITANNIA Semi-final: Isis BC bt Lea RC, 1/2l, 7:28; Molesey BC bt Worcester RC, 3 3/4l, 7:48. Final: Molesey BC bt Isis BC, 1l, 7:19.
TEMPLE CUP Quarter-final: Imperial College London 'A' bt ASR Nereus (Ned), 4l, 6:54; Princeton Univ (USA) bt Oxford Brookes Univ `A', 1/3l, 6:47. Semi-finals: Imperial College, London A bt Harvard University (US) 3/4l, 6:49; Cambridge University bt Princeton University (US) 1/3l, 6:41. Final: Cambridge University bt Imperial College, London A, 31/2l, 6:44.
DOUBLES SCULLS Semi-final: CP Groom & RS Tucker bt RJ Stephens & RCJ Wilson, easily, 8:00; IM McGowan & NV Peterson bt PM Haining & L.Szogi, 23/4l, 8:09. Final: I McGowan and N Peterson (US) bt C Groom & R Tucker (US) 3l, 7:45.
LADIES' Semi-final: CUBC & Queen's Tower bt Gorge & St. Catharines (Can), 3/4l, 6:33; Univ California, Berkeley (US) bt Notts County & Oxford Brookes, 2/3l, 6:39.
WYFOLD Semi-final: Holme Pierrepont RC 'A' bt Clyde Amateur RC, 13/4l, 7:25. Final: Holme Pierrepont RC A bt Llandaff RC 1/2l, 7:15.
DIAMONDS Semi-final: M. Hacker bt GMP Searle, 31/4l, 8:19. Final: M Hacker (Ger) bt J Koven (US) 43/4l, 7:59.
WOMEN'S EIGHT Semi-final: Thames RC and Marlow RC bt Arco Training Center (US) 1l, 7:30; Marlow RC and Thames RC bt AZS Bydgostia Kabel (Pol), 43/4l, 7:24. Final: Marlow RC & Thames RC bt Thames RC & Marlow RC, 1/2l, 7:05.
STEWARDS Semi-final: Leander Club and Queen's Tower bt Molesey BC and Star Club, 21/4l, 7:19. Final: Leander Club & Queen's Tower Boat Club bt Danmarks Rocenter (Den) 1l, 6:51.
PRINCESS ELIZABETH Semi-final: St Peter's College (Aus) bt St. Paul's School, 2l;7:25; St Edward's School bt Abingdon School, 21/4l, 7:14. Final: St Edward's School bt St Peter's College (Aus), 21/2l, 6:47.
PRCC Semi-final: K Rutschow bt KR McClelland-Brookes, easily, 9:20. Final: K Rutschow rowed over M Brandin (Swe) (withdrew through injury).
GOBLETS Semi-final: D.J. Weightman & RG Scott bt AJ Butler & MB Russell, 31/4l, 8:19. Final: S Williams & S Dennis bt D Weightman & R Scott, 31/4l, 7:25.
VISITORS Semi-final: Oxford Brookes Univ `A' bt Oxford Univ, 7:41. Final: Oxford Brookes University A bt Imperial College (London) 1/2l, 7:15.
PRINCE PHILLIP Final: Nottinghamshire County Rowing Association bt Leander Club, 1/2l, 7:06.
GRAND Final: Ruder Club Hansa von 1898 e V, Dortmund & Berliner Ruder Club (Ger) bt Leander Club & Queen's Tower BC, 1/2l. 6:15.
LADIES Final: Cambridge University & Queens Tower BC bt University of California, Berkeley (US), 21/4l, 6:32.