Para PR2 Women’s Single Sculls (PR2 W1x) – Final

This two-boat race had Poland’s Jolanta Majka take off in the high 40s stroke rate. These athletes have use of their arms and body as noted by the PR2 status. This race, however, was all about Annika van der Meer of the Netherlands. Van der Meer has been rowing since 2015 and is now the dominating force in this boat class. Van der Meer holds the World Best Time and also races in the double with partner Corne de Koning. Van der Meer held a 30 stroke rate through the body of the race using a big reach to make the longest stroke possible.

Van der Meer won by a large margin giving the Netherlands their first medal of this regatta and receiving the first medal to be handed out at this regatta.

Results: NED, POL

Annika Van der Meer, Netherlands, Gold
“Tough race because of the conditions but I like a challenge. I just had to make sure that I was rowing very cleanly and technically. I think this will set me up well for Tokyo 2020. It’s awesome rowing here in Rotterdam in front of the fans and my friends.”

Jolanta Majka, Poland, Silver
“This race was not good, the wind was more than expected but this regatta is also not the priority. The PR2 Mix 2x at World Champs is, in hopes for the Paralympic qualification.”

Re-watch the race here!

Para PR2 Men’s Single Sculls (PR2 M1x) – Final

This three-boat race was between Ukraine, Poland and the Netherlands and there was no doubt about the favourite. In lane three was Corne de Koning of the Netherlands. He is the World Champion in this boat class and the World Best Time holder. Today de Koning already had a handy lead with just 500m rowed. The Dutch sculler continued to increase his lead with Poland’s Michal Gadowski and Ukraine’s Yehor Harmash going neck-and-neck for second. Gadowski finished second to de Koning at World Rowing Cup II last month and all of these athletes know each other well.

The battle behind de Koning continued into the final sprint with each sculler reacting to moves by the other. But there was no catching de Koning despite this battle. De Koning continued to dominate. De Koning looked so relaxed as he crossed the line easily in first. Ukraine, at 39 strokes per minute, got the silver medal.

Results: NED, UKR, NED

Corne De Koning, Netherlands, Gold
“That was a long race for me! It was tough with the wind coming in from the front and side. It’s a great atmosphere as I came across the grandstand and I can’t complain about coming first here at Rotterdam.”

Michal Gadowski, Poland, Bronze
“The race was hard as there was a strong wind! The weather really wasn’t great which made the race really hard. My next race will be at the World Rowing Championships.”

Re-watch the race here!

Para PR3 Men’s Pair (PR3 M2-) – Final and Para PR3 Mixed Double Sculls (PR3 Mix2x) – Final

These two boat classes raced together with three boats in the pair and one in the double. Germany 2 had a disastrous start when they took a bad stroke. The conditions were tough and they must have caught a wave. Germany 1 shot away quickly before Ukraine’s Maksym Zhuk and Andrii Syvykh started to catch up. Ukraine has a very strong para-rowing team and all eyes were on how Zhuk and Syvykh could do today. Jan Helmich and Valentin Luz of Germany 1 remained just in front through the middle of the race and then managed to pull away to a very handy lead. Ukraine got silver at World Rowing Cup II and it looked like they were going to win another silver today.

In the double the only boat was from Israel with Shay-Lee Mizrachi and Saleh Shahin racing against the clock.

Results: GER1, UKR, GER2

Jan Helmich (b), Germany, Gold
“It was pretty grim at the start! I actually caught two bad crabs at the start but managed to pull it together. From 500 meters onwards the conditions got a lot better! It’s been an awesome experience here at this regatta.”

Andrii Syvykh (s), Ukraine, Silver
“We expected to win but not everything goes as planned. The conditions obviously made it a bit difficult but we’ve been able to train in some similar conditions.”

 
Dominik Siemenroth (b), Germany, Bronze
“The start was difficult because the wind is very strong and I caught a crab at the beginning then another three during the race. The race was not the best but it’s good preparation for the World Rowing Championships.”

Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls (LW1x) – Final

Leaping out at the start was Ellen Gleadow of Canada. This was impressive considering the conditions and showed Gleadow’s skill. Then Imogen Grant of Great Britain took up the speed. Grant is the 2018 under-23 World Champion. First to the 500m mark was Gleadow with Georgia Nesbitt of Australia moving up with the front-runners. Nesbitt finished third at last month’s World Rowing Cup II. Nesbitt continued to push on getting her boat into the lead as she went through the middle of the race. Meanwhile Gleadow was slipping off the leading pace and had been overtaken by Marie-Louise Draeger of Germany.

Grant, in second, tried to catch up with Nesbitt as the final sprint came into view. Grant was at 32, then 33 and had overtaken Nesbitt. Grant went to 35 with Nesbitt going to 40. Draeger was at 29 and too far back to catch the two leaders. Grant had won.

Results: GBR, AUS, GER, CAN, JPN1, SWE

Imogen Grant, Great Britain, Gold
“Not ideal conditions, it was really quite windy but I know that I can pull out a sprint if I need to. Once I was confident in my rhythm I made a push and I was confident that I would be able to pull it out of the bag.”

Georgia Nesbitt, Australia, Silver

“I was pretty shocked when I got up to the start and I saw how rough it was, but I kind of just swallowed that and focused on staying focused. I came in with no expectations, so it’s nice to walk away with a good result. Next, we’ll be heading back home and working towards the World Rowing Championships.”

 Marie-Louise Draeger, Germany, Bronze
“When I came out of the warm-up zone, my first thought was that I was not going to finish this race, the water was so bad. For the first 500 meters, my thoughts were just to survive but after that, the water got better and I was able to get on with the race.”

Re-watch the race here!

B-final

These rowers all raced in the semifinals this morning and they were back with the Netherlands taking off the fastest. Martine Veldhuis of the Netherlands handled the bumpy water well. The Argentina took the lead. Milka Kraljev of Argentina continued in the lead through the middle of the race and into the home straight. Rating 35 Kraljev took her boat home in first.

Results: ARG, JPN2, DEN, NOR, NED, ESP

Re-watch the race here!

Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls (LM1x) – Final

All of these athletes had raced earlier today in the semifinal and Australia’s Sean Murphy had the best semifinal time. They returned to race for the medals with Rajko Hrvat of Slovenia going out at a 52 stroke rate pace in these rough conditions. But it was Ireland 1 of Gary O’Donovan who got to the first 500m mark in the lead. O’Donovan is best known for his Olympic medal in the double from Rio which  he raced with brother Paul. Paul is racing in Rotterdam in the double with a new partner putting Gary into the single. Murphy, who won at World Rowing Cup II now tried to pick up the pace and overhaul O’Donovan.

O’Donovan looked to be getting tired and Murphy took over in the lead with Hrvat now slipping into second. Murphy kept his stroke rate high to remain in the lead with Hrvat holding on to second. At 32 Murphy took his boat home easily in the lead. Hrvat held on to second and O’Donovan was a way back in third.

Results: AUS, SLO, IRL, GER, GBR, SUI

Sean Murphy, Australia, Gold
“I had to be careful at the start but at 400 meters I locked eyes with Gary and pushed hard. This is all a bit unexpected, coming into the World Rowing Cups I would have been happy with just competing in the A Finals. So now I’m looking to have a bit of fun at the World Rowing Championships.”

Rajko Hrvat, Slovenia, Silver
“I expected a fight for the medals. The conditions were very tough. It was my fighting spirit that kept me in the fight. Next is world champs, where my goal is to make the final and fight for a medal again.”

Gary O'Donovan, Ireland, Bronze
“I think this race went well. I still need to work on my fitness, and that showed in the last 750. But it’s a work in progress. I came here to prove to myself and to the selectors that I still deserve a chance, that I can fight for a spot in the double sculls.”

Re-watch the race here!

B-final

New Zealand’s Benjamin van Dalen was the fastest out of the starting blocks and by the middle of the race he had a handy lead. Van Dalen was fourth in the lightweight double from last year’s World Rowing Championships and he was improving his lead as the race advanced. Meanwhile Norway 1 held on to second for the entire race.

Results: NZL, NOR1, ESP, NOR2, JPN2, IRL2

Re-watch the race here!

Lightweight Men’s Pair (LM2-) – Final

It was a good start for Portugal at 50 strokes per minute. This was a very brave move in these conditions. But it was the Czech Republic’s Jiri Kopac and Jan Hajek who got to the 500m mark in the lead. Kopac and Hajek still had the lead through the middle of the race with Portugal slotting into second. The Portuguese crew of Tomas Barreto and Simao Simoes are a new crew for this season with Baretto coming from under-23 rowing in 2018. The race had turned into a procession with the Czech Republic getting the gold.

Results: CZE, POR, HKG1, HKG2

Jan Hajek (s), Czech Republic, Gold
“There were tough conditions at the start but it’s the same for everyone. We made a big push at 1500 meters and this made a real difference for us. Overall it was a really good race today. I was here three years ago and have always really enjoyed this course.”

Tomas Barreto (b), Portugal, Silver
“The race was strange. We were not expecting those conditions but you have to race no matter what. We stuck to our race plan and this race was the test for the Under 23 World Rowing Championships. We’re heading there on Friday.”

Yuk Man Chan (b), Hong Kong, Bronze
“It wasn’t easy to fight with such a strong wind which we weren’t expecting. We were expecting more than a bronze medal.”

Re-watch the race here!

Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Sculls (LW4x) – Final

Three boats lined up for this final – China, Germany and the Netherlands. The Chinese are the World Champions in this boat class and have changed their crew by two for this regatta. The Dutch own the World Best Time which was set in Amsterdam in 2014. Coming out at the start the quickest was Germany before the Netherlands, at 47, started to make an impact. But it was all very equal between the three crews with China getting to the 500m mark slightly in the lead.

China continued to lead and they started to pull away from the rest of the boats with Germany now a bit back in second. Germany was rating the highest at 35 to the Chinese 33, but they didn’t seem to be able to catch China. The race then turned into a procession and barring disaster the finishing order had been decided. This is unusual in lightweight racing when you have all crews being roughly the same weight and height.

Results: CHN, GER, NED

Qiang Wu, People's Republic of China, Gold
“Our crew was only formed three weeks ago so we are happy with the result but can improve. We might be rowing at the World Rowing Championships.” 

Sophia Krause (s), Germany, Silver
“It was very windy so it was very difficult to row. We had some problems at the start. Our race today was a bit disappointing because our goal was just to have a clean race but its tough to do that in these conditions.”

Yumiko Van Diest, Netherlands, Bronze
“That wasn’t the result we wanted. We lost the field and couldn’t see them. Today we really wanted to see how we were doing against Germany and China and so we are disappointed.”

Re-watch the race here!

Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls (LM4x) – Final

This was a five-boat final including two Dutch teams with the Netherlands I in the favoured lane one. At the start it was Germany that had the best speed. This young crew had an average age of just 19 and they were up against the very experienced French crew which included Olympians. France sat in second with Netherlands 1 right on the pace in third. The Chinese crew that finished third at World Rowing Cup II last month was in fourth but well within striking distance. Only one second separated the top four boats.

Then Netherlands 1 did a push and got into the lead with France in hot pursuit. These two crews were pushing away from the rest of the field. The Dutch continued to push away and France now had China to worry about going into the final sprint. The Netherlands, at 36, went into the final sprint looking great. The crossed the line to cheers from the crowd as gold medallists.

Results: NED1, FRA, CHN, GER, NED2

Damion Eigenberg (b), Netherlands, Gold
“We all really enjoyed that race! It was a great feeling winning in front of a home crowd. We just had to push hard until the finish.” 

Thomas Baroukh (s), France, Silver
“Today was quite difficult because of the weather. It was our first race in this group together so it would have been nice to have raced the exhibition race yesterday but obviously, we couldn’t.”

Fanpu Lyu, People's Republic of China, Bronze
“We haven’t performed as well as we had expected. The wind really influenced our performance and we are looking to get a better result in the World Rowing Championships.”

Re-watch the race here!