It was a fast start across the board with Italy One going from a very fast rating down into their race pace in a short space of time. Italy’s Stefano Oppo and Pietro Ruta got a slight lead. This duo finished with silver at last year’s World Rowing Championships. They were having to work hard to stay in front and were rating 37. Norway’s Ari Strandli and Kristoffer Brun followed closely in second. Strandli and Brun are the Olympic bronze medallists and they finished sixth at the first World Rowing Cup at the start of the month.

Behind them it was very close between France One, Belgium, Poland and New Zealand. The sprint was on as Italy continued to lead rating 39. Norway was at 37 in second. The bronze could go any way. Belgium – Tim Brys and Niels van Zandweghe - went to 42 and got the bronze.

Results: ITA1, NOR, BEL, FRA1, POL, NZL

Stefano Oppo (b), Italy, gold
“That was a fun race, we started really good and made a push to the finish.” 

Kristoffer Brun (b), Norway, silver
“We had a great race after a good semi-final yesterday. We bumped the stroke rate a bit today. We were late to the weight-in so we weren’t really sure how the race would go but racing against Italy, Belgium and everyone is always tight racing.”

Niels Van Zandweghe (s), Belgium, bronze
“We had a very good start and we’re in contact with Norway for most of the race. We just tried to be internally focused and to find a flow and a rhythm. In the third 500 meters we knew we had to move on France. Pierre is an Olympic Champion and everyone wants to beat an Olympic Champion. In the finish we had a really good sprint against Poland, who we’ve been good rivals with since 2016.” 

​Re-watch the live race here


Switzerland held the front of the field, just over Denmark, as they headed through the middle of the race. But the spread between all six boats was tight and this race could still go to any crew. Denmark’s Modest and Espensen then found another gear and did a big push towards the finish. This diminished the lead that the Swiss had built. Modest and Espensen went to 43 with Switzerland moving with them. It was a photo finish at the line with just 0.16 of a second separating them.

Results: SUI, DEN, ITA2, GBR2, UKR, GER