Katherine and her double sculls partner Anna Watkins put their unbeaten record on the line when they came into the Lucerne World Cup regatta after just a few days’ preparation.
Their problem had been caused by Anna’s niggling back injury but, although the duo were critical about their own form, it was business as usual as they held off the challenge of last year’s world championship silver medallists Australia to win their final, and this season’s overall event World Cup title.
Katherine and Anna came into this event without having been able to race together this year, because of ANna’s injury. However, they won both their opening heat and semi-final, and led the final from the first stroke. But they were never able to shake-off a strong challenge from world silver medallists Australia, who closed to within half a length three-quarters of the way down the course.
At this point, the British duo powered on, to cross the line just under a length up.
Afterwards, Katherine said, “we had to be really tactical and switched on to what was happening around us. The Australians had an incredibly strong middle 1000 metres but once they got close we moved into their gear to make sure they kept their distance”. About the lack of preparation so far this season, she added, “we knew coming into the regatta we were going to be up against it. The standard at Lucerne is always the closest to the world championships. Because of the injury we just didn’t have enough time to do the preparation we normally would coming in, so it was a risk to come at all. We knew we were going to put our winning streak to the test”.
Katherine also explained that she and Anna nearly pulled out of the event due to their lack of preparation. “If the biggest thing was going to be keeping our record, then we wouldn’t have come, but it was worth the risk. It’s lovely to have kept the record but we’ve learned more from having a tough race”.
In a highly successful regatta in the build-up to London 2012, the GB Olympic squad won four golds, four silvers and two bronze medals.