Both the men’s and women’s quads went Germany’s way. And, for their own satisfaction, they looked to be making a huge comeback in the men’s eight.

Eric Knittel (l) and Stephan Krueger celebrate their victory in the Men's Double Sculls at the 2009 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. MyRowingphoto.comMen’s Double Sculls (M2x)

This event is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contended. No crew is in full domination with the medals spread over a number of countries this season. Great Britain had won the first Rowing World Cup, then did not medal at the second, with France in second. Germany took the gold at the second Rowing World Cup and New Zealand came second. And today…

Estonia’s Allar Raja and Kaspar Taimsoo had the fastest start taking the edge over Slovenia in second. By the half-way point the margins between all five boats had closed to just over one second. Slovenia then found the speed a bit too much leaving four boats to challenge for three medal spots. Germany’s Eric Knittel and Stephan Krueger had now worked their way into a fraction of a lead. At the latest German trials Knittel and Krueger were the top scullers following Marcel Hacker.

Raja and Taimsoo (from the Estonian Olympic quad) remained with Germany and also right in the picture was New Zealand and France’s Cedric Berrest and Julien Bahain. It would have to come down to who had the best stamina, who had some energy left and who had the fastest closing sprint. France, Germany and Estonia all rated in the high thirties, New Zealand topped out at 42. The margins meant a photo finish. Germany had just held on to be first. Berrest and Bahain fully established themselves as France’s double by finishing second, Raja and Taimsoo stepped up to bronze.

All three crews looked happy at the medals ceremony. All had raced the best that they could. New Zealand had just missed out. Great Britain did not race for medical reasons.

Results: GER1, FRA, EST, NZL, SLO

Stephan Krueger, Eric Knittel (GER1) – Gold
“This was great. We now really know that we are good and hope we can prove this again at the World Championships. That would be the best reward for the season. In our double everything has worked out well from the first stroke and we have a lot of fun rowing together.” Eric Knittel

Cedric Berrest, Julien Bahain (FRA) – Silver
“We had a good race, the plan was to stay with the rest of the boats until the end and give it a push in the last part of the race which is what we did. It was a little difficult for us to stay with the others in the middle of the race but it went well and we are happy with the result. We are only aiming for gold at the World Rowing Championships and are happy that by now this double is confirmed.” Cedric Berrest

“There is a very good feeling in the boat, the race went according to plan and we just hope to make the gold in Poznan.” Julien Bahain

Allar Raja, Kaspar Taimsoo (EST) – Bronze
“We are very happy. We had a good race and managed to keep a good pace. We are a young crew which has only rowed together since two months. This season we will stay together for sure – hopefully even longer, the best until 2012.” Kaspar Taimsoo


Podium of the Men's Single Sculls at the 2009 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland: Olaf Tufte from Norway (l, silver) and Tim Maeyens from Belgium (bronze) and holding the winner Mahe Drysdale from New Zealand.Men’s Single Sculls (M1x)

Four of these scullers raced in the Olympic Final finishing in the top four positions. This is the first time all four have met this season. Mahe Drysdale (NZL) comes into the race as the second Rowing World Cup winner. Germany’s Mathias Rocher had support for being the newcomer and getting this far. Olympic Champion Olaf Tufte (NOR) has been working on fast starts and was out to beat Drysdale.

Drysdale got away first inching out to a small lead over the usual fast starting Tim Maeyens of Belgium. With his long, powerful strokes, Drysdale had managed to inch away into the middle of the race. Crowds of several thousand lined the banks of the Rotsee watching the race unfold. But by the third 500m the scullers had spread themselves out so much that it did not look like the order would change for the remainder of the time. Only Ondrej Synek (CZE) looked within attacking distance of Maeyens, now in third behind Tufte.

The sprint was on. Drysdale held a consistent 36 with Tufte going up to 40 stroke per minute. Maeyens was on 35. Synek was slipping back. Drysdale made it an unbeaten record this season. Tufte moved from Munich World Cup bronze to silver and Maeyens showed that he would much rather be in the single than the double with a bronze medal win today.

Results: NZL, NOR1, BEL1, GER1, LTU, CZE


Mahe Drysdale (NZL) – Gold
“It’s been a hard four weeks, but also very enjoyable. In these fields you always have to battle until the end, but I feel strong, even after this race. Tufte really threw it down on me on the second half of the race, but I was able to respond to any challenge. After Beijing it’s really good to be back on track. Olaf will be the guy to watch at Poznan, he is always in strong form at the final competition of the season. Then there is also Alan and Ondrej. I reckon we will be guys to share the medals.”

Olaf Tufte (NOR1) – Silver
“The start was good, but it was bit reserved. I wanted to stress Mahe in the first 1,000m, but it was the last 1000 that were good. I just let it go from 900m to go and I think I was even split with Mahe. I now go back to Norway to get some more sleep.”

Tim Maeyens (BEL) – Bronze
“I am very happy with the result. It wouldn’t be possible to beat these two, but I still hope to do better in Poznan. The first half went okay, but the third 500m were pretty difficult.”



The British Men's Four on their way to victory at the 2009 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland.Men’s Four (M4-)

Great Britain are the Olympic Champions in this event, but this year have an entirely new line up. Alex Partridge, Richard Egington, Alex Gregory and Matthew Langridge of Great Britain won gold at the first Rowing World Cup, then slipped to bronze last month at Munich. Today they made no mistakes.

Getting out to an initial lead over Germany’s new top four, Great Britain worked their way ahead of the pack that opened to a full boat length lead by the middle of the race. Germany tried to hold on but found themselves under threat from Slovenia and the United States. With Great Britain established in the front and looking a relaxed 36 stroke rate, three other crews fought it out for the two remaining medals.

Slovenia and the United States got the better of Germany. A very happy Slovenia earned silver and the USA’s new four (all Beijing Olympians) of Cameron Winklevoss, Steve Coppola, Giuseppe Lanzone and Brett Newlin take bronze.

Results: GBR, SLO, USA, GER1, FRA1, GER2

Alex Partridge, Richard Egington, Alex Gregory, Matthew Langridge (GBR) - Gold
“We had a good race. Basically a good start and then we held a strong rhythm. It was a good row and a flat race. It was important for us to win. All we have to do until Poznan is basic, very simple, hard training.” Alex Partridge

“This certainly felt good. It’s nice to be in front and control the field. We were really disappointed in Munich and today it was nice to make a mend.” Matthew Langridge
 
Tomaz Pirih, Rok Rozman, Rok Kolander, Miha Pirih (SLO) – Silver
“We had exactly the race we planned with our coach. We did a much better race than in the heats, which got us a medal. We are very much looking forward to Poznan.” Rok Kolander
“I thought I wouldn’t make the podium in Lucerne, but here I am.” Miha Pirih

Cameron Winklevoss, Steve Coppola Jr., Giuseppe Lanzone, Brett Newlin (USA) – Bronze
“We are very pleased! Our three seat was ill here in Lucerne, so with Giuseppe we got a new guy in and we just had to wait and see where we could get to with this new line-up. We are very happy to be on the podium. We are not sure yet if we will stay together – you will have to wait and see, we won’t show all our cards yet.”  Brett Newlin


Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking from Great Britian congratulate Jo Hammond from Belgium before the podium of the Lightweight Women's Double Sculls at the 2009 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. MyRowingphoto.comLightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x)

In yesterday’s semifinal Great Britain (Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking) and Belgium (Jo Hammond and Evi Geentjens) fought it out to the line with Great Britain managing to just retain the lead. Today Goodsell and Hosking’s attitude must have been a controlled and consistent 2000m. The Brits came out of the start in third with Belgium flying out in the lead. Hammond and Geentjens are under the coaching guidance of Harald Jahrling and have been coming along in leaps and bounds ever since they came together earlier this season.

Goodsell and Hosking won gold at last month’s Rowing World Cup and the duo looked full of confidence as they pushed into the lead through the middle of the race. Belgium, meanwhile, had succumbed to Greece and Canada, but were starting to fight back.

The final sprint had Great Britain still in the lead with Belgium making a second attack. Belgium’s attack made Goodsell and Hosking nervous. They upped their rating to 36, while Belgium, at 33 remained in touch. At the line Great Britain had earned their second gold of the season. Canada’s Lindsay Jennerich and Sheryl Preston held on to third.

Results: GBR, BEL, CAN, GER, GRE, POL

Hester Goodsell, Sophie Hosking (GBR) – Gold
“We went out really fast and when the field was tight we didn’t loose faith. It was really good.” Sophie Hosking

“With all the work we have done, we knew the win in Munich wasn’t a one-off. But what we really focus on is the World Rowing Championships. We have been working very consistently all season and also during the winter and this result shows it. The target always is the gold medal – also for the World Rowing Championships.” Hester Goodsell

Jo Hammond, Evi Geentjens (BEL) – Silver
“We are not the fastest crew so we just need to keep our confidence throughout the race and believe we can make it.” Jo Hammond

Lindsay Jennerich, Sheryl Preston (CAN) – Bronze
“It was a good fight. We knew it would be a tight race. We had a solid plan and executed it. We were very focused on ourselves, not looking right or left and we are very happy about the result.” Sheryl Preston


The French Lightweight Men's Four with Guillaume Raineau (b), Vincent Faucheux, Fabrice Moreau and Franck Solforosi (b) celebrate their silver medal at the 2009 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland.Lightweight Men’s Four (LM4-)

After Denmark faltered yesterday in the semifinals, this event opened up to be a virtual free-for-all. Until yesterday, Denmark had had an unbeaten season. But the Czech Republic put an end to that. Today it was a fresh start and a fresh 2000m of water ahead of these six crews.

Denmark’s Christian Pedersen, Jens Vilhelmsen, Kasper Winther and Morten Joergensen inched into the lead at the start. But in good lightweight rowing form, margins were incredibly tight. Italy, Germany and France were all within one small second of the Danes. Italy then did a huge push before the 1,000m and momentarily held the lead.

The push must have taken a lot out of the Italians who then found themselves slipping back behind the Czech Republic, Denmark and France. Sprinting to the line five crews were fighting for three medal spots. Olympic Champion Joergensen was letting his crew underrate the rest of the field, but was remaining in the lead. France held on to take second and the Czech Republic moved into the World Cup medals with bronze.

Although Denmark has virtually dominated this race for years, this is the first time in 10 years that the crew has won all three Rowing World Cup regattas. Their leaders’ yellow jersey is well-deserved.

Results: DEN, FRA, CZE, GER, ITA1, GBR

Christian Pedersen, Jens Vilhelmsen, Kasper Winther, Morten Joergensen (DEN) – Gold
“Yesterday we had a bit of trouble, today we raced to redeem ourselves. We had a good start and were able to control the field. As usual they came back so we really pushed down on the last 500m. This race has got a bit of a heritage for Denmark and the win today is especially special, since it is the first time in ten years that Denmark wins all three World Cups in this event. For Poznan, of course we also aim for the podium.” Christian Pedersen

Frank Solforosi, Guillaume Raineau, Fabrice Moreau, Vincent Faucheux (FRA) – Silver
“It’s our second World Cup together, we just changed the positions in the boat since Banyoles and it seems to work better. We had a three-week training camp before this World Cup and we came here feeling strong. We gave all we had in the Final and are very happy to have gotten the silver. We are probably staying in those seats for Poznan.” Fabrice Moreau

Jan Vetesnik, Ondrej Vetesnik, Jiri Kopac, Miroslav Vrastil Jr. (CZE) – Bronze
“On the last 300m we lost our forces. But we are very happy. It’s the first medal for this crew.”  Ondrej Vetesnik


Sophie Dunsing, Peggy Waleska, Tina Manker and Stephanie Schiller from Germany celebrate their victory in the Women's Quadruple Sculls at the 2009 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. MyRowingphoto.comWomen’s Quadruple Sculls (W4x)

When Germany won at the Munich Rowing World Cup they looked unstoppable. Their technique was smooth and their win was large. The question seemed to be, could anyone catch up to them? Today they were stopped, nearly…

Coming out at the start the United States had the lead. This crew chose not to race in yesterday’s race for lanes partly due to two of the crew also racing in the women’s double. Earlier today Megan Kalmoe and Ellen Tomek had won the double. Now they sat in stroke pair of the quad and set up the rhythm. This rhythm held them ahead of Germany (now in second) through the middle of the race and into the final sprint.

Meanwhile Belarus and Munich bronze medallists, New Zealand were fighting it out for bronze. Despite looking a tad ragged around the edges, Germany managed a last push and right before the line, the Germans snatched gold from the Americans. New Zealand’s battle with Belarus gave them their second bronze for the season.

Results: GER, USA, NZL, BLR, GBR, ITA

Sophie Dunsing, Peggy Waleska, Tina Manker, Stephanie Schiller (GER) – Gold
“The plan had been to be in front right from the start as in Munich, and that didn’t work here. But our catch-up race went really well. I looked over to the Americans once at the 1,000m mark and was confident that we could still get them. We never lost faith.” Stephanie Schiller

Megan Walsh, Stesha Carle, Jennifer Kaido, Kathleen Bertko (USA) – Silver
“We are very happy with the result and I think we handled the race pretty well given that the girls from the double who won gold this morning jumped in the boat at the last minute - one of our crew members was sick and the other had to replace someone in the eight. We don’t know if we will be in Poznan in this configuration yet.” Jennifer Kaido

Genevieve Armstrong, Louise Trappitt, Sarah Barnes, Harriet Austin (NZL) – Bronze
“Bloody hard race, the USA took off but we managed to hold GB at the start.” Harriet Austin
“Good to prove to ourselves that we can do it.” Louise Trappitt
“Hopefully we can move on from here, improve and back it up in Poland.”  Genevieve Armstrong


Tim Grohmann (l), Karsten Brodowski, Marcel Hacker and Tim Bartels celebrate their victory in the Men's Quadruple Sculls at the 2009 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. MyRowingphoto.comMen’s Quadruple Sculls (M4x)

Could Germany make it two quads in a row? After finishing fifth at the Munich Rowing World Cup, Germany changed the crew and also rearranged them. Top single sculler, Marcel Hacker went from stroke into three seat, with 21 year old Tim Bartels from the double which came third in Munich coming into stroke. Bow pair became Olympian Karsten Brodowski and under 23 rower Tim Grohmann.

At the start Great Britain earned the edge with Germany the nearest challengers. But there was very little in it with the entire field covering less than a two second spread. A push by the Germans in the second 500 gave them the edge over Great Britain’s young crew as these two boats took control of the race.

Meanwhile Slovenia and the United States battled it out for the remaining medal. Side by side the US – Slovenian fight was bringing them up to the leading two boats. As Germany began to inch away with a solid 35 stroke rate, Great Britain found themselves contending with both the United States and Slovenia.

Great Britain took their rating to 40. At the line the British had just managed to hold off two countries. Germany looked ecstatic. This was Germany’s first international win in this boat class in five years. Great Britain looked very satisfied. The new 2009 crew is coming together nicely. Slovenia looked like they had just gotten lucky. Despite the range of shapes and sizes in their crew, they had held it together nicely.

Results: GER, GBR, SLO, USA, ITA, CZE

Tim Grohmann, Karsten Brodowski, Marcel Hacker, Tim Bartels (GER) - Gold
“This victory was very special to us. It’s always very special to win, but this was also the first win for the German quad at an international event in five years.” Karsten Brodowski

Charles Cousins, Marcus Bateman, William Lucas, Sam Townsend (GBR) – Silver
“It was really bad timing to be ill in Munich, but you always have to concentrate on the next race. We wanted to step up after each event this season and this was our best race this season so far.” William Lucas

Janez Zupanc, Gasper Fistravec, Janez Jurse, Iztok Cop (SLO) – Bronze
“The race was not as we expected. We were hoping to take the lead in the first half, but we didn’t do what we are capable of doing. I think if we hadn’t been so quick in the last 500 we wouldn’t have made a medal. We expect to do better in Poznan.” Janez Zupanc

 

The Roumanian Women's Eight celebrate their victory at the 2009 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. MyRowingphoto.comWomen’s Eight (W8+)

The Race for Lanes yesterday did not include the United States. Perhaps the Americans were hoping for an element of surprise in today’s Final. This is their first time racing internationally as this line-up and as reigning Olympic Champions they have much to prove. In the boat sat four rowers who had raced earlier today in the women’s pair Final.

It was, however, the Romanians that jumped out at the start to take the lead. Romania has rebuilt their crew following a huge batch of post-Olympic retirements. Then have brought in new coxswain, Teodora Stoica and put Eniko Barabas, from the Olympic bronze medal eight, into stroke. Behind these two perennial rivals and two leading boats, Olympic medallists, the Netherlands slipped into third. The Dutch raced stern four of their boat in yesterday’s Women’s Four where they won gold.

By the final sprint the order, barring disaster, looked all but decided. Romania remained in front, the United States held on to second and the Netherlands, although closing on the Americans, remained in third. These were the three countries that medalled at Beijing. Today the order was different and many of the rowers different, but the powerful eights nations remained.

Results: ROU, USA, NED, GER, CHN, BLR

Roxana Cogianu, Ionelia Neacsu, Maria Diana Bursuc, Ioana Craciun, Adelina Cojocariu, Nicoleta Albu, Camelia Lupascu, Eniko Barabas, Teodora Stoica (ROU) – Gold
“It was a hard race, but good. We are a young team with lots of hope and we get a lot of support of former eight members such as Viorica Susanu.” Teodora Stoica

Erin Cafaro, Lindsay Shoop, Esther Lofgren, Mara Allen, Anna Goodale, Katherine Glessner, Caroline Lind, Zsuzsanna Francia, Katlin Snyder (USA) – Silver
“The race went well. We just came together as a crew a couple of days ago so we’re trying to make it more coherent between the old and new crew members. We have a month of training before Poznan and the configuration isn’t definite yet.” Erin Cafaro

Nienke Groen, Claudia Belderbos, Jacobine Veenhoven, Systke de Groot, Chantal Achterberg, Nienke Kingma, Carline Bouw, Femke Dekker, Anne Schellekens (NED) – Bronze
“We didn’t have a good start, but we had a strong and good middle. We were moving into the Americans and I thought we had them, it got very close, but seems like we were a split second behind.” Claudia Belderbos


German rowers celebrating their victory in the Men's Eight at the 2009 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. MyRowingphoto.comMen’s Eight (M8+)

Two days ago Germany and Canada had won their respective heats. Would they be the top crews today? Germany decided their crew by putting together the top two fours from the Munich Rowing World Cup. Canada has a new crew that retains only two members of the Olympic Champion eight.

Germany made sure of domination right from the first stroke and it looked like there was no stopping them with just a few hundred metres rowed. Canada, stroked by Derek O’Farrell with new coxswain, Mark Laidlaw, did their best to hold the Germans. Going through the middle of the race Canada did manage to claw their way back a little, but Germany looked in control and comfortable in the lead.

Meanwhile the Netherlands, Poland and Great Britain in lanes one and two were having their own battle to earn that bronze medal. As Germany crossed the line in first, the Netherlands upped the pressure and tried to shake off Great Britain. They succeeded. Canada took second and the Netherlands ensured that at the medals ceremony Dutch singing voices could again be heard.

Results: GER, CAN, NED, GBR, POL, ITA

Urs Kaeufer, Gregor Hauffe, Florian Mennigen, Kristof Wilke, Richard Schmidt, Philip Adamski, Toni Seifert, Sebastian Schmidt, Martin Sauer (GER) – Gold
“This worked out great. Our coach Holtmeyer prepared us very well for the race and we were self-confident. We wanted to row our race and entirely focus on ourselves for the first 1,000m and then face the competition. We were very focused and aggressive and it worked. This is great.” Sebastian Schmidt

Steven Vanknotsenburg, Gabriel Bergen, Robert Gibson, Douglas Csima, Malcolm Howard, Andrew Byrnes, James Dunaway, Derek O’Farrell, Mark Laidlaw (CAN) – Silver
“We are disappointed because we were really hoping to win this but we now know exactly what we've got to do in the next few weeks until Poznan.” Mark Laidlaw

Meindert Klem, Robert Luecken, David Kuiper, Jozef Klaassen, Olivier Siegelaar, Mitchel Steenman, Olaf van Andel, Diederik Simon, Peter Wiersum (NED) – Bronze
“We are looking forward to Poznan.” Jozef Klaasen