Morgan’s starring role at sports site set for Hollywood treatment

Saturday 14th May 2022 7:00 am

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WYE rowing star Morgan Baynham-Williams spent the weekend racing for GB across ‘the pond’ in Seattle, at an ‘oarsome’ sporting location which is about to be immortalised in a Hollywood blockbuster film.

The Ross-on-Wye Rowing Club cox, who has world U23 and Henley medals to her name alongside a Women’s Boat Race win, steered the GB national development crew to a narrow 1/2L win over Washington University to lift the Windermere Cup, cheered on by thousands on the bank.

Washington’s boathouse is the setting for blockbuster book ‘The Boys in The Boat’, the true story of the college boys who raced for the US at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and ruined Hitler’s day by winning gold.

And Hollywood superstar George Clooney is currently filming the inspiring story in the UK, with a replica boatshed built on location at the Cotswold Water Park.

Before flying across the Atlantic, Morgan said the race against ‘The Huskies’, one of the best women’s crews in the US, was going to a real “dawg fight!”

“This year marks the 34th annual Windermere Cup Regatta, a spectacular event hosted as part of Seattle’s Opening Day of Boating Season,” she said.

“The GB athletes will join the ranks of world-class athletes from around the globe who have competed in the historic event, which takes place across Seattle’s Montlake Cut and thrives off of a legacy of tradition.

“The make-up of the event itself ensures some of the most gladiatorial racing in the rowing community, down a race track marked out by Seattle’s finest boats and river banks packed with crowds; an arena through which the sheer volume of the crowd itself provides an atmosphere like no other.”

The British crew was packed with racing experience, with a mixture of returning Olympians, World Cup and U23 Medallists and Henley Royal Regatta winners.

It included Chloe Brew from the Tokyo Olympic eight, senior GB cap Kyra Edwards and world U23 gold medallist Lauren Irwin.

“It’s safe to say this year’s crew has some serious horsepower embedded in its ranks and we’re excited to take on GB’s first race of the season!” added Morgan.

“The Windermere Cup represents an opportunity that has been highly sought after within the Project Paris team since early 2020.

“With COVID halting the 2020 racing season many of the athletes have had to wait until this year for the chance to take on the University of Washington.

“The Huskies have built a legacy of outstanding performances within both men’s and women’s rowing and there is no doubt about the calibre that will be delivered by their crews on race day.”

And so it proved in a classic 2km race against the Huskies, who have gone all season unbeaten on the high-powered US college circuit.

The Brits led the race from the start, but the UW crew powered in the stern by Italy internationals Carmela Pappalardo and Aisha Rocek went stroke for stroke all the way.

But called on by Morgan, GB responded to every attack to keep their bows in front, winning by just 1.9 secs.

UW’s McKenna Bryant said: “We went after it right from the beginning. We went down hard, and so did GB. We went, they went. We went, they went. We couldn’t quite push past them.”

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