By Mike Rowbottom

Katharine_Grainger_and_Melanie_Wilson_on_podium_World_Cup_Munich_29_2011May 29 - Britain dominated proceedings at the opening Samsung World Cup rowing event in Munich, with five crews, including the late-notice pairing of Katherine Grainger and Mel Wilson (pictured) in the women's double sculls, winning gold.

But there was an unexpected defeat for the world and Olympic lightweight pair of Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter.

Wilson was a replacement for the partner with whom Grainger won the world title last year, Anna Watkins, who was absent with a back injury.

But the newcomer rose fully to the challenge.

Pete Reed and Andrew Hodge's win in the men's pairs was widely expected given the absence of the World Championship winning New Zealand pairing of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray.

"It's good to win but we would have raced and prepared differently if New Zealand had been here," said Reed.

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning took the women's pair, also without opposition from the Kiwi World Championship boat.

Tom James, an Olympic gold medallist in the four at Beijing, returned after a year's absence from international racing to help Matthew Langridge, Richard Egington and Alex Gregory clinch victory in the four (pictured).

The German crew surged into an early lead but the British quartet soon reeled them in and held off a spirited Greek challenge to win.

"We have a new crew with a new dynamic, that is refreshing," said Gregory.

"This race is a great start, but we're certainly not the finished article yet."

And Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking won the lightweight double sculls.

A further silver was won in the men's double sculls where Matthew Wells and Marcus Bateman were edged out of gold on the line by Germany.

The lightweight men's four came down to a blanket finish with the British boat finishing third behind Denmark and France and only two-hundredths of a second covering the medallists.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]