Rowing: London's close run-in: Australian national squad beaten in re-row after dead heat

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HENLEY came alight yesterday with a dead heat in one senior event and the first appearances of the Olympians.

The London RC lightweight four, which set a new world record for any coxless four of 5min 48sec in Paris two weeks ago, entered the quadruple sculls as well as the Steward's Cup for coxless fours. Yesterday they met the Australian national crew, competing as Sykes, in the first round of the Queen Mother Cup.

Sykes led by a length and a half following a push just after the Barrier but London gradually clawed their way back on terms and drawing level on the last stroke were awarded a dead heat. The Stewards ordered a re-row after four hours rest.

That followed precisely the same pattern with Sykes reaching the Barrier and Fawley in exactly the same times and with a similar lead. But London covered the second half of the course four seconds faster won by one and a quarter lengths.

In the Diamond Sculls, the French double sculls world champion Samuel Barathay, was raced to a one length verdict over Steve Fowler, the Cambridge blue who has only started sculling this year. Today, Barathay meets Andre Willms, the East German Olympic champion, in the quadruple sculls.

The FISA World Cup for women scullers starts today but for Maria Brandin, last year's winner, it will probably mark the exit as she broke a rib four days ago in a collision during a game of canoe polo at home in Sweden. She will came here to fulfill the commitment but has too much pain to race at full pressure. She will miss Lucerne and train on a bicycle for the World Championships.

In the first round of the Goblets, Steven Redgrave was untroubled in his quest for a sixth win but there is pressure ahead with the German pair of Detlef Kirchoff and Hans Sennewald in the same half of the draw and the fast Belgians Jaak Vandriessche and Luc Goiris unlikely to be troubled on the other half.

Today, the Grand Challenge Cup opens with a race between the Dutch national crew which set a new world record of 5min 23sec in Amsterdam last weekend and the Australian eight.