Germany solid in Lucerne Rowing World Cup Finals
The bigger boats look like Germany’s domain after today’s Final at the Lucerne, Switzerland Rowing World Cup.
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.
(l) and Stephan Krueger celebrate their victory in the Men's Double Sculls at the 2009 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. MyRowingphoto.com" border="0" height="300" src="/medias/images/media_358783.jpg" title=" © Detlev Seyb">Men’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.
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
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
Lightweight 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
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
Women’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
Men’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
Women’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
Men’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