Surbiton’s Moe Sbihi and fellow Molesey Boat Club stars Andrew Triggs Hodge and George Nash sent out a warning to their potential 2016 Olympic rivals in Brazil on Sunday.
The trio, racing together in the same international boat for the first time, starred in the new Team GB men’s four crew that won European Championship gold in a new European best time of five minutes 46.86 seconds.
Sbihi was in the men’s eight that won last year’s world championships, but has seen his golden touch been added in to the blue riband boat alongside two-time Olympic champion Triggs Hodge.
“It's a good feeling and it was great to have executed our plan so well,” said the former Hollyfield School student at the weekend.
Olympic men’s pairs bronze medallist Nash added: “We’ve been doing some really good times in training so we felt relatively strong coming here.”
And Triggs Hodge warned the quartet had even more potential to unlock.
He said: “We have a lot of power in that boat and we’ve been working hard on harnessing that technically.”
Team GB’s mens eight might not have won gold at the European Championships on Sunday, but Molesey’s James Foad reckons a bronze in Serbia matched a similar effort at the London Olympics.
The 27-year-old stroke helped a young crew clock five minutes 35.56 seconds to finish third behind winners Germany and silver medallists Russia.
Foad, back in the boat after back surgery last year, was in the men’s eight that collected 2012 bronze a Eton Dorney.
But the Molesey man, who had said he would settle for nothing less than gold prior to the race, was delighted with the squad’s effort.
“This is the best medal that I have won in an eight – even up there with the Olympic medal,” he said.
“It was a good performance through the regatta by some fairly inexperienced guys.
“They took on board what the coach said needed to be done after the heat and there were no egos and we learnt from our mistakes.
“I am really pleased with the way we took on the race. There was no fear. Everyone did what was asked.”