Blue Riband events favour New Zealand and United States in World Rowing Cup II
2014 World Rowing Cup II, Aiguebelette (FRA)
For immediate release
Aiguebelette, 22 June 2014
The 2014 World Rowing season truly established itself on the waters of Lake Aiguebelette during the World Rowing Cup II in Aiguebelette, France. In today's finals medals were spread across 22 nations as rowers tested themselves under perfect rowing conditions.
In the Blue Riband events two countries dominated. New Zealand scored gold in both the men's and women's single sculls while the United States, at the big boat end, won both the men's and women's eights. Olympic Champion in the men's single Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand showed that he was back on form by finishing in first ahead of 2013 World Champion Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic and Cuban Angel Fournier Rodriguez. Then, New Zealand team mate Emma Twigg won the women's single to continue her unbeaten season. China’s Jingli Duan and Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig took the silver and bronze medals.
The United States continued to dominate the women's eight and won despite trailing Canada for the majority of the race. The US women are the reigning World and Olympic Champions. The men's eight was led from start to finish by the United States with 2013 World Champions Great Britain taking second and Belarus third.
Both the men's and women's pairs were won by the Olympic Champion boats with Helen Glover and Heather Stanning of Great Britain back together and back on winning form. New Zealand's Hamish Bond and Eric Murray remained unbeaten in the men's pair for the sixth consecutive year. Both winning crews recorded fast times despite being easy winners.
Stepping out of the World Champion men's quadruple sculls and into the double sculls worked well for Valent and Martin Sinkovic of Croatia. The brothers held off a strong challenge from Aleksandar Aleksandrov and Boris Yotov of Azerbaijan. Australia's James McRae and Alexander Belonogoff were third.
In the extremely close lightweight men's four, New Zealand broke the mould by winning with a good margin over 2013 World Champions, Denmark. This continued the rivalry between these two nations that began last year. Great Britain came through in third.
Australia remains at the top of the overall points table with 91 points at the end of this World Cup. New Zealand finished second with 81 points, with Great Britain coming through in third. Great Britain was the overall Nation’s Trophy winner at Aiguebelette after winning a total of 13 medals. The United States followed in second place and Germany was third.
Aiguebelette is the venue for the 2015 World Rowing Championships which also acts as the all-important qualification regatta for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This World Cup gave athletes a taste of racing at this stunning venue.
The World Rowing Cup series now moves on to the third and final in the 2014 series. This will take place in Lucerne (SUI) from 11-13 July 2014.
For race reports, photos and results go to www.worldrowing.com