Rowing World Cup 1 Bled, Slovenia – May 28, 29, 30

Katherine had the perfect start to her 2010 season, with two outstanding wins at the first Rowing World Cup in Bled, Slovenia.

Having made the decision after the final GB trials that she would concentrate on the double sculls class for this year, along with new partner Anna Watkins (formerly Bebington), Katherine led the final of this event from start to finish.  While USA, China and the Czech Republic battled it out for the minor places, Grainger and Watkins gradually moved out, leading by over five seconds at the halfway mark, and again at 1500 metres.  After this the British duo deliberately throttled back and, in full control, crossed the line with over a second in hand ahead of China and third-placed USA.

Katherine and Anna then by-passed their doubles medal ceremony to join forces with Annie Vernon and Beth Rodford and sit alongside world champions Ukraine and a strong field in the quadruple sculls final.

Sitting once again in the key stroke position, Katherine took the race by the scruff of the neck as GB and Ukraine battled for the early lead.  With less than a second separating them until the halfway mark, the British crew always managed to keep their bow in front.  At this point, Katherine produced a sustained wind-up and, backed up by her crew-mates, the British boat moved gradually ahead to eventually win by almost a full length.

Afterwards, a delighted Katherine said, “this is the ideal result for the whole day.  They were really classy rows in both events and we just took control both times.  I have probably never felt so assured in my racing”.

Speaking about the quad race, she added, “we knew the Ukrainians were unbeaten last year and that they were the world champions, so they weren’t the easiest of crews to take on, but Anna and I went to the start not thinking that we’d just raced, but looking forward to the opportunity to take on the world champions.  We had to fight for it but we never expected it to be so straightforward”

Regarding her first race, she said, “the double went exactly as we wanted it to.  We didn’t want to do too much but just to do what we had to.  We felt we had enough by halfway and from then on just did enough to stay ahead.  In both races, even when it was getting closer towards the end of the race, there was a definite confidence and calmness in the boat.  We knew what we were doing was going to be good enough”.