Germany leads, again: 2006 Rowing World Cup
For the 10th consecutive year, Germany again left the Rowing World Cup on top of the points table, with a grand total of 166 points.
, Poland." border="0" src="/display/modules/media/cropimage.php?mediaid=350863&x0=0&y0=0&x1=250&y1=114&zoom=0.5000000000000001" title="© Igor Meijer"> Although it medalled in 10 events, the only two events it truly dominated were the women's pair (20 points) and the men's eight (19 points).
The men's single sculls was one of the most unpredictable events of the season, with tight competition raging between World and Olympic champions and up-and-coming stars. A newcomer on the men's single sculling scene, 23-year-old Alan Campbell of Great Britain, won the series in his event, thanks to gold in Munich, silver in Poznan, and a fourth place in Lucerne.
Elke Hipler of Germany did not miss a single podium in the women's pair throughout the Rowing World Cup season. She and Nicole Zimmermann, her crewmate at Poznan and Munich, seem to have formed a stable women's pair combination in view of the 2006 World Rowing Championships in Eton.
, Germany." border="0" src="/display/modules/media/cropimage.php?mediaid=350776&x0=0&y0=0&x1=250&y1=143&zoom=0.5000000000000001" title="© Detlev Seyb">In recent years, Croatia and Italy have taken turns leading the men's pair event. But habits can change. Nikola Stojic (31), long-standing member of Serbia and Montenegro's men's pair combinations, showed up at Munich and Poznan with new partner Goran Jagar (22). Stojic's experience and Jagar's youth earned them a gold and a silver and the World Cup leaders' position with a total of 14 points.
Current World and Olympic Champions Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell of New Zealand stayed true to their reputation, winning gold at Poznan and Lucerne, but their absence from Munich denied them of the leader's position in the women's double sculls event. Great Britain came up on top with a total of 17 points scored by new rising stars in British sculling Anna Bebington and Annie Vernon who won gold in Munich, silver in Lucerne and finished fifth in Poznan.
(b) and 2004 Olympic Champion Adrien Hardy of France racing their semifinal and qualifying for Final A at the final stage of the 2006 Rowing World Cup on the Rotsee in Lucerne, Switzerland. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)" border="0" src="/display/modules/media/cropimage.php?mediaid=351036&x0=0&y0=0&x1=250&y1=160&zoom=0.5000000000000001" title="© 2006 Getty Images">2004 Olympic Champion Adrien Hardy and new partner Jean-Baptiste Macquet established a new World Best Time (6:03.25) in the men's double sculls at Poznan. One gold and two bronzes earned them 18 points and the Rowing World Cup's yellow bib at Lucerne.
Solid German and Dutch combinations in the men's four threatened Great Britain's supremacy in their flagship event, but the British kept a tight grip on the leader's bib throughout the Rowing World Cup season, winning three gold medals (24 points).
Absent from Lucerne, China stamped its mark on the women's lightweight doubles event with two gold medals (Munich and Poznan) and a new World Best Time (6:38.78), firmly establishing themselves as the leaders in their field (16 points).
, Switzerland. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)" border="0" src="/display/modules/media/cropimage.php?mediaid=351056&x0=0&y0=0&x1=182&y1=250&zoom=0.5000000000000001" title="© 2006 Getty Images">The lightweight men's double has been an Italian favourite for many years, and experienced sculler Elia Luini with new partner Marcello Miani made sure to keep it under Italian control, winning two golds and one silver (22 points). Closest contenders Denmark, absent from Munich, were up to the challenge, and earned 14 points with gold in Poznan and silver in Lucerne.
With the retirement of Denmark's golden four after the 2004 Olympic Games, the way was open for new crews to make a name for themselves in the lightweight men's four. World Champions France, absent from Munich and unable to compete in Poznan due to illness, did not have the chance to stamp their mark on this event as they did last year, despite a silver medal in Lucerne. Ireland comes out on top with 22 points, thanks to an impressive tally of two golds and one silver.
Imitating their counterparts in the men's four, the British women's quad played the game with World Champion class, earning a total of three gold medals (24 points) and confirming their domination in this event for the third consecutive year.
The men's quadruple sculls saw a new World Best Time set by the 2005 World Champion Polish crew in Poznan (5:37.31). The Poles competed only at one stage of the Rowing World Cup, leaving the way for other crews to prove their skills at Munich and Lucerne. The Czech Republic finishes on top with a total of 21 points (two golds and one bronze).
, Germany." border="0" src="/display/modules/media/cropimage.php?mediaid=350669&x0=0&y0=0&x1=250&y1=78&zoom=0.5000000000000001" title="© Peter Spurrier/Intersport-Images Tel +44 7973 819 551; email@example.com">The 2006 Rowing World Cup season staged some of the biggest women's eights fields to be boated in recent years. Romania's priority boat finished with the Rowing World Cup leader's bib at Lucerne after earning a total of 22 points (one silver and two golds).
Germany spent the season reshuffling their men's eight, presenting a new line-up at each stage of the Rowing World Cup. The scheme seemed to have paid off, as Germany, true to tradition, leaves the Rowing World Cup stage dominating this event with 19 points (two gold medals).
For more information on points attribution at the Rowing World Cup, click here .