Great Britain’s PR3 mixed coxed four of Ellen Buttrick, Giedre Rakauskaite, James Fox, Ollie Stanhope and Erin Wysocki-Jones have won the 2019 World Rowing Para Crew of the Year award. The award, presented at the World Rowing Awards ceremony in London this evening, follows nine successive World and Paralympic gold medals; at the 2019 World Championships the crew showed their dominance in the field as they set a new World Best time and won their final by 12 seconds.
Their GB teammates Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley, themselves Paralympic and World Champions, were among a strong list of nominees for the award. Paralympic gold medallist and five-time World Champion James Fox MBE said: “It’s a great honour to win Para Crew of the Year. “The fact that we’ve won the World Championships every year since 2013 and this is the first time we’ve been voted Crew of the Year shows that the competition is stiff but also that it is about more than just results and that’s what makes it a real compliment. “I’m really proud of our crew, we have great fun racing and winning things like this is the cherry on top. We are very grateful to FISA for the award.” Over the past nine years three coaches, four coxes and eleven rowers have been part of the mixed coxed four.
Coach Nick Baker paid tribute to everyone involved, saying: “It’s fantastic for the crew to be recognised with this award and to win Para Crew of the Year on behalf of this current group and all those who have come before. To stay at the top of this event through so many different iterations shows the strength of the system that we’ve built. Media Release “The hard work will continue through the winter and into next year – we’re going to do our best in Tokyo to make it an unbeaten decade.” Chief Coach for the Paralympic Programme Tom Dyson, who was one of the nominees for the World Rowing Coach of the Year award, said: “Qualification year always sees nations worldwide stepping up to new standards.
For the crew and Nick to deliver a standout championships and be recognised by World Rowing amongst such stiff competition is a huge credit to them. “I know it will also be a result celebrated by their peers who have been a part of the history of this boat class in Great Britain and have driven the standards and competition within our system over the last nine years.” British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell said: “This award is a testament to the talent, hard work and dedication of the athletes in the mixed coxed four, their coach Nick Baker and chief coach Tom Dyson. “Each of these athletes are now multiple World Champions and have continued to raise the bar for para rowing internationally.
Their achievements to date have been outstanding and we are all looking forward to seeing what they will continue to deliver in Tokyo and into the future.” Multiple Olympic gold medallists James Cracknell OBE, Pete Reed OBE and Andrew Triggs Hodge OBE were also finalists for the prestigious Thomas Keller Medal. The award recognises those who have had a long and successful rowing career and who have made an outstanding contribution to rowing as a competitor and sports personality.
Image Photograph – Nick Middleton