Great Britain comes to Basel and sets course record
The women’s national eight from Great Britain showed their head racing prowess at the 9th annual Basel Head regatta on the Rhine River in Basel, Switzerland.
The British crew took advantage of calm conditions and a relatively low water level to set a new course record over the 6.4km distance finishing in a time of 21.04. The same crew also won the Sprint des Rois race.
Slavia Prague Club from the Czech Republic was the closest challenger to the British but they finished 19 seconds back with Nereus from the Netherlands in third.
The German men’s eight continued their winning streak by sweeping up both the long distance and sprint races. This World Champion crew missed beating their own course record by just a few seconds. As with the women, the Czech Republic finished second, 20-seconds down on the Germans. German crews also finished third and fourth.
In the junior category, the Czechs swept the field. The Czech Republic has seen recent success in the junior categories, showing their growing potential in rowing. The winning junior men’s eight contained several members of the junior World and European Champions from the men’s quadruple sculls. The winning junior women’s eight had several athletes from the junior World and European Champion women’s eight. But even more impressive, the Czechs were one, two, three in both junior men’s and junior women’s eights.
The Basel Head has grown steadily in popularity and this year saw a record number of entries with 139 boats participating. The unusual course along the Rhine River has crews race upstream for three kilometres before performing a 180-degree turn and racing three kilometres back to the finish line. The current, bridges and turns make good coxswains and big rudders indispensable.
For 2018 the Basel Head added the Sprint des Rois, a 350-meter sprint race, which was raced before the long-distance race. The top three boats took away cash prizes with the winning boat earning 5000CHF.
This year also was a first for the Lagoa Inspriation Award. Two Basel natives, Simon Niepmann and Lucas Tramer, 2016 Olympic Champions in the lightweight men’s four, created the Award. It went to Lucerne rower Manuel Baumann. The Award is not intended to honour top sporting achievements in the form of medals or titles, but rather the spirit of the sport.
For more information and full results, click here.