The top four finishers at last year's World Rowing Championships were all sitting in the starting blocks. Coming through the semifinals times were very similar giving an air of unknown to this final. At the start Great Britain's William Fletcher and Richard Chambers left the starting blocks at an amazing 52 strokes per minute.

But it was the 2014 silver medallists, Stany Delayre and Jeremie Azou of France that got to the first 500m marker first. Delayre and Azou have come to Aiguebelette as favourites following an unbeaten season and the crowd was right behind them. Fletcher and Chambers then pushed back into the lead with just 0.07 seconds separating France and Great Britain. At the half way point there were four boats spread by just a second.

Then Azou and Delayre did an almighty push. They had the lead and the finish line was in sight. Feltcher and Chambers then did a push, but it wasn't enough. The French were on fire and the roar of the crowd was deafening. Azou and Delayre  finally became World Champions. The British, rating 43, just held on to silver over the 2013 World Champions, Kristoffer Brun and Are Strandli of Norway. The 2014 World Champions, South Africa finished fourth.


Stany Delayre (b) – FRA – gold
“We tried to save as much energy as possible in the first half and then give everything in the second half. It’s only intense joy to finally be World Champion.”

William Fletcher (b), R– GBR – silver
“At the end of the race, I just thought, cross the line, don’t catch a crab. It is brilliant, I am so happy. I have three weeks to go away from rowing with my girlfriend.”

 Are Strandli (s) – NOR – bronze
“It was very painful, but a good race. We reached our limit and a little bit beyond.”