Germany, Olympic champions in the men’s eight, are on collision course with Britain at the concluding World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, having set up a rematch of last weekend’s Henley final which the British - world champions for the past two years - won.
Britain's Matt Gotrel, Constantine Louloudis, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Mohamed Sbihi, Alex Gregory, George Nash, Will Satch and cox Phelan Hill took the lead from the outset, controlled the race and had enough pace to brook no opposition in the final quarter.
Poland were second and France third.
“Henley was only part of the journey and if we had lost here today that wouldn’t have been worth much," said cox Phelan Hill.
“We wanted to carry on with the momentum here and that was a good, solid start.
"That certainly wasn’t our best today but now we have tomorrow to do a bit of fine-tuning”.
Britain’s Olympic women’s pair champions of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning dealt with a determined Canadian challenge before winning their heat to move through to tomorrow’s semi-finals, where they will be joined by crews including New Zealand’s world under-23 champions of last year, Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast.
Britain’s new men’s four of Alan Sinclair, Scott Durant, Tom Ransley and Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell were winners in 5min 55.66sec of their opening heat, holding off a late challenge from the Belarusians in the adjacent lane as they booked their place in tomorrow’s semi-final along with other winners Italy and Australia..
In their first international race for the 2015 season, the South African world champions in the lightweight double sculls, James Thompson and John Smith, won their heat.
But they showed little of the sparkle of France’s World Cup leaders Jeremie Azou and Stany Delayre of France, who won their heat after a punishing start had earned them open water by the first 500 metres mark.
Britain’s William Fletcher and Richard Chambers also won their heat.
The opening heat of the men’s double sculls was won easily by Croatia’s world champion siblings Valent and Martin Sinkovic.
But the Croatian pair will be looking out for Germany’s new pairing of Stephan Krueger and Marcel Hacker, the second of whom had to miss last month’s World Cup race in Varese for medical reasons.
They were ominously easy winners of their heat.
Britain’s London 2012 gold medallist Katherine Grainger, who has come back to competition at the age of 39 after a two-year absence, experienced a further reality check in the women’s double sculls as she and her new partner Vicky Thornley had to accept the second qualifying place in a heat won by Belarus
Mindaugus Griskonis of Lithuania was the first of the heat winners in the men’s single sculls to claim a semi-final place, and he was soon followed by Britain’s Olympic bronze medallist - who held off former Olympic champion Olaf Tufte of Norway, and current Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand.
June 2015: British men’s eight earn early revenge over Germany in Varese Rowing World Cup II
June 2015: McBride beats 21-year-old world best at Varese World Rowing Cup
June 2015: Croatia’s world champion Sinkovic brothers back with a bang at Varese Rowing World Cup
May 2015: Britain dominate European Rowing Championships but Germany regain bragging rights in men's eight
May 2015: Britain’s flagship men’s eight back into the winning groove at Poznan European Championships