Clear skies and stunning views at Lake Geneva coastal championships
For the first time the World Rowing Coastal Championships is taking place on a lake instead of the sea. Even though the waters of Lake Geneva can often be rough and challenging, it welcomed the crews with flat water and a stunning view to the Alps and Mont Blanc from the Thonon, France location. The conditions were smooth with sunshine and mild temperatures.
The heats were raced over a 4km course with a technically interesting design. The finish line was very close to the shore, allowing the crowds to see as much as possible.
Women’s Coxed Quadruple Sculls (CW4x+) – Heats
The first race of the day, the first heat of the women’s coxed quadruple sculls got off smoothly. ITA02 had a very strong performance straight from the start and showed the best line around the buoys. FRA02 also looked like they would take it easy, coming second with a relatively low stroke rate of 28.
RUS01 showed a great performance in the second heat, leading all the way through. The well-known and established combination with Vasilisa Stepanova, Elena Lebedeva, Yulia Inozemtseva and Elizaveta Pankova crossed the finish line first with a huge advantage. The first ten crews to pass the finish line qualified for the final and there was quite a divide between the leading group and the rest with 10-15 lengths of clear water between.
Qualifiers: DEN01, FRA01, FRA02, FRA03, FRA06, FRA07, FRA08, GBR02, GBR03, GER01, GRE01, GRE02, IRL01, ITA01, ITA02, ITA03, MON01, NED01, NED02, RUS01
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Women’s Solo (CW1x) – heats
Monika Dukarska, the reigning world champion in the women’s solo who also represented her country at several World Rowing Cup regattas this year, showed a remarkable performance throughout the entire first heat. She quickly had a massive advantage over the crew second place. The rest of the field were bunched closely together with FRA02 being in second place, having around a 2 length advantage over GER01. As the wind was picking up at the back half of the course, IRL01 was still leading with around 250 metres in front of FRA02 and GER01. ITA01 in fourth position seemed to be in no-man’s-land between the first three crews and the rest of the field. The order of theses crew did not change until the finish.
Heat two got underway without any problems. This field showed a nice diversity in nations. Diana Dymchenko (UKR01) led until the second turn where a steering issue caused her to stop, giving FRA11 the possibility to reach the lead. After her accident at the second turn, Dymchenko struggled to hold on the top three crews but with a big effort managed to cross the finish line in second. Third place went to Edwige Alfred (FRA01) from the local club Team Chablais Aviron.
Qualifiers: CHN01, ESP04, FRA01, FRA02, FRA03, FRA04, FRA05, FRA06, FRA09, FRA11, FRA12, GBR01, GER01, IRL01, IRL02, ITA01, JPN01, SUI01, SWE01, URK01
Men’s Double Sculls (CM2x) – heats
The first heat of the men’s double sculls showed a full field with 20 boats lining up at the start line. The field spread dramatically at the first turning point, resulting in two groups forming. The well-known Garibaldi brothers (ITA02) made the best of the race. ESP04 followed closely but were stuck at the second turn and lost speed dramatically for CZE01’s advantage. The first three boats to pass the final buoy were ITA02, CZE01 and ESP01 who showed a great performance at the end to push themselves in the third position.
The racing conditions at the start were great for the second heat with the temperatures rising slightly and the waves picking up. The field was again huge and competitive with 20 boats. The experienced crew of MON01, bronze medal winner from last year’s WRCC had a quick start and led right from the start. ESP02 showed a stunning performance as well, finishing in second position.
The third heat of the men’s double sculls presented another big field with 21 boats. The little breeze from earlier this morning completely died off, causing the water to flatten out. HUN01 and ITA01 dominated the race and quickly established a big advantage on the third position. These two crews fought for the first place for the entire race but HUN01 managed to take the better line after the third turn which helped them to increase their advantage to ITA01. Good result for Adrian Juhasz from HUN01, who just won a gold medal in the men’s coxed pair at the 2017 World Rowing Championships.
Qualifiers: CZE01, DEN01, ESP01, ESP02, FRA01, FRA08, FRA10, FRA14, FRA15, FRA19, HUN01, HUN02, ITA01, ITA02, ITA04, ITA06, ITA07, MON01, MON03, SWE01, TUN01
Men’s Solo (CM1x) – heats
This may have been the most thrilling race of the day. The first heat of the men’s solo presented a variety of nations. The field stayed close together until the second turn when suddenly ESP01, leading the field, went hugely off course, going straight for buoy four instead of three. The other leading boats followed him on the wrong track, which offered FRA10 the possibility to come from third place to first and ESP01 falling back to 10th place. FRA10 however lost the leading position after some steering issues which caused him to miss the last buoy.
The second heat almost looked like tomorrow’s medal position with MEX01, ITA01 and PER01 together. All the three crews did not hold back which made the race very entertaining but might not have been a wise approach given the importance of tomorrow’s final. The order of the three leading boats changed slightly when MEX01 got stuck at the last turning point and almost fell into the water, giving ITA01 the opportunity to take over. ITA01 passed the finish line first with MEX01 and PER01 following.
Thanks to an aggressive pace, RUS02 managed to build up an extraordinary advantage already at an early stage of the third heat, leading this incredibly spread out field. With a remarkable sprint PER02 surprisingly ensured his qualification for the A-final, coming in position 7.
Qualifiers: ESP01, ESP02, ESP03, FRA01, FRA04, GER01, IRL01, IRL04, IRL06, ITA01, ITA02, ITA03, ITA04, ITA05, MEX01, PER01, PER02, PER03, RUS02, SWE01, SWE02
Men’s Coxed Quadruple Sculls (CM4x+) – heats
The first heat presented today’s closest conclusion in a race with ITA06 coming first in 15:57.05, followed by FRA06 in 16:01.24 and CZE01 in 16:01.85. These three crews separated early from the rest of the field, battling for the first position for a long time. The first seven crews qualified for the final.
Conditions for the second heat were slightly more challenging with bumpy water. POR02 managed to have an open water advantage early in the race with a dominant performance. FRA02 and the local crew FRA05 both fought for position two but FRA02 managed to cross the finish line second with an exciting sprint.
Qualifiers: CZE01, CZE02, DEN01, ESP03, FRA01, FRA02, FRA03, FRA05, FRA06, FRA07, FRA11, FRA13, GBR04, GER01, HKG01, ITA01, ITA03, ITA06, MON01, POR01
Women’s Double Sculls (CW2x) – heats
The start of the first heat was very interesting to watch with several crews starting behind the line. This race was then all about FRA01, showing ambitions for a gold medal tomorrow. Passing the finish line they had established an advantage of 6 boat lengths to FRA07.
The entire field in heat two was very spread out from buoy 1 to buoy 3. RUS01 was the dominant crew, showing the most efficient technique in the more choppy conditions in the afternoon and building their lead. More than 30 seconds divided them from the second crew FRA10.
Qualifiers: CZE02, DEN01, ESP03, ESP04, ESP06, ESP08, FRA01, FRA02, FRA04, FRA05, FRA07, FRA08,FRA09, FRA10, FRA11, GBR01, GRE02, GRE03, RUS01, TUN01