Their winning streak, which included the Barcelona Olympics, began in 1991 in Vienna eight months after they had come under the hand of Jurgen Grobler, the former East German coach. In July this year they were pushed to knock three seconds off their own world record and nine seconds off the Lucerne course record by a new German pair of Peter Hoeltzenbein and Thorsten Strepplehoff who came together in the stern of the Cambridge Boat Race crew in March.
Pinsent has said that his tactic is to 'wap them all, each time we race, so that when we get to Atlanta no one believes he can beat us.' The Lucerne Regatta proved that the rest of the world is getting faster, but it also showed that Pinsent and Redgrave have deeper resources than anyone believed.
Britain's other Olympic champions, the Searle brothers, have left the coxed pair behind, because although included in the Indianapolis programme, it has been chopped from the Olympics to make way for lightweight events. They will compete here in the coxless four with Rupert Obholzer and Tim Foster. The four missed Lucerne and had a respectable loss to the French world champion crew at Henley, but must be regarded as an untried combination.
The men's eight were actually formed fairly early in the season, when sponsorship was offered by Laing Construction, but suffered from the priority given to finding the best coxless four and from a spate of injuries, Richard Hamilton replacing Roger Taylor. They have been close to the front at a couple of summer regattas but had about the same speed as the English Commonwealth champions at Lucerne and will need to find about two lengths to reach a medal.
Martin Cross, who first raced for Britain in 1975, wins his 18th senior vest in the coxed pair, which is likely to be a softer event than usual since its withdrawal from the Olympics. Cross and Jonathan Singfield finished second in Lucerne and should at least make the final, although a medal would have to be cast in lighter metal than that for other events to provide a true comparison.
The lightweight men have their strongest team for a World Championships, with Peter Haining the 1993 winner back in the single scull after winning in Lucerne alongside the eight, also Lucerne winners, and the coxless four from the London Rowing Club who set a record for the light and heavy coxless fours in Paris and finished second in Lucerne after an exhausting 12 races in a fortnight.
The lightweight women's coxless four have not regained their 1993 gold medal form since losing Annamarie Stapleton with a muscular injury in April. She was put back into the four three weeks ago, but they have no form against a field bolstered by a strong United States crew.
The openweight women are represented by Miriam Batten, who last won a medal in 1991, and Jo Turvey in the pair and Guin Batten in the single scull. Batten switched from the shot put at 24 and rose from novice to World Cup competition in 12 months. She is unlikely to make the top six this year but has time to break into the rankings by the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
The pair have disappointed often, after coming unstuck against the French duo of Christine Gosse and Helene Cortin in 1992. But in Lucerne they finished second, a length down on the French but comfortably ahead of the field.Reuse content