The rain began to fall as these 24 lightweight men sat in the starting blocks with a small head wind on the course. New Zealand had the fastest time from the heats two days ago with Denmark the second fastest time. They took up the two centre lanes today. But it was France that got away the fastest. Settling into a 35 stroke rate pace, France got to the first 500m mark the quickest. The spread across all six crews, however, was just over one second and every stroke would be important.

Then coming into the middle of the race New Zealand, in their debut international regatta for the season, took the lead. Where was the World Champion crew, Switzerland? The final 500m was coming up where the majority of the crowd was watching. The hop Suisse chant began. New Zealand's Lassche, Dunham, Bond, Hunter remained in the lead rating a 40 stroke rate. Switzerland, at 40 was giving it their all. Denmark, rating 39 wanted to be on the winners podium. New Zealand got there first. Matthew Dunham who was filling in for Peter Taylor in the Kiwi boat, punched the air in delight.



In yesterday's repechage China only just missed out on qualifying for the A-final by half a second. Today they took the lead but were challenged for the full 2000m by the Czech Republic. China's 41 stroke rate sprint gave them the win.

Results: CHN, CZE, CAN, UZB

Alistair Bond, New Zealand, gold
“We had the perfect race today. We didn’t have the best start, but we decided to just keep on building to the finish line and it worked out well.”

Simon Niepmann, Switzerland, silver
“First half was good, we were all on the same line. We pushed in the third 500m, but New Zealand was faster than us. It was a good sprint, but not enough to come first.”

Jacob Larsen, Denmark, bronze
“It was ok until the 1000m mark. But at 1000m we lost our rhythm a little bit which allowed the other crews to get into the lead. We couldn’t get back into it. We’ve made a strict plan for this season. We will stay with that plan and work toward Poznan from here.”