Great Britain’s Para-rowing crews made a perfect start to the 2018 World Rowing Championships, all three boats winning their heats and qualifying for weekend finals with flying colours.

A trio of resounding rows ensured Britain will be represented in Friday’s men’s PR1 single sculls semi-final, Saturday’s PR3 mixed coxed four final and Sunday’s men’s PR2 single sculls final.

The PR3 mixed coxed four started their campaign in strong fashion on Monday morning in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, accelerating to a dominant victory over France by three lengths in a time of 7:09.42.

Great Britain are bidding for gold for an eighth successive year in this boat class, debutant Ellen Buttrick joined by 2017 World Championship crew members Grace Clough and Ollie Stanhope.

Paralympic champion Daniel Brown completes the crew out to extend Britain’s dominance, with Erin Wysocki-Jones as cox.

Clough and Brown claimed gold in the mixed 4+ at Rio

A second heat victory soon followed as in-form Laurence Whiteley stormed to a three-length win in the PR2 single sculls. 

The 27-year-old, who won Paralympic gold with Lauren Rowles in the mixed double sculls two years ago, finished nine seconds ahead of the Italian boat in a time of 8:43.71. 

On Tuesday morning, Andy Houghton conquered a 60-minute delay to his PR1 single sculls race and emerged with a win over Brazilian rival Rene Pereira by a boat’s length. 

Houghton is hoping to step up a gear and earn a place on the podium after his fourth-placed finish in 2017’s Championships at Sarasota-Bradenton. 

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