It was hard to look past the British in this A-final. Charlotte Taylor and Katherine Copeland of Great Britain set a new World Best Time and World Cup Best Time in yesterday's semifinal and they looked to be the crew to beat. But it was Germany's Fini Sturm and Marie-Louise Draeger that had the lead. Sturm and Draeger are in their first season as a partnership and they raced at the European Rowing Championships last month.

Coming through the middle of the race the reigning World Champions, Sophie MacKenzie and Julia Edward pushed ahead of Germany with the British moving with them. As Germany began to fade Sweden started to move within striking distance of a medal, as the British and New Zealanders battled it out at the head of the field. In the final sprint it was stroke for stroke and it took until the very final stroke for the gold medal to be decided. Copeland and Taylor had won by just 0.24 of a second. MacKenzie and Edward earned silver at their first international outing for 2015 and Sturm and Draeger had enough power to hold off Great Britain 2 and Sweden to earn bronze.

 

Results: GBR1, NZL, GER, GBR2, SWE, CHN2

Charlotte Taylor (bow) – GBR – gold

“At the end of the race, we just yelled GO. It was only when we got to the pontoon that we learned that we won, because everyone was so excited.”

Sophie Mackenzie (bow) – NZL -  silver 

“It’s our first world cup ever and it is great to race other countries and push each other. We went as hard as we could, but it wasn’t quite enough in the last few strokes, we are happy with the silver medal.”

Marie-Louise Draeger (stroke) -  GER - bronze

“My race plan was to go all out. We knew that the Swedish have a strong final sprint, so we wanted to stay ahead of them and we managed to do that. We hope that now the selection is finished, so that starting from Lucerne we can focus on our own races and the World Champs. We’ve only been rowing together since may so we still have to catch up with the others in training. There is still a lot of potential in the fine-tuning.”

 

B-final

The return of Denmark's London Olympic crew saw them take the lead in this B-final. But by the middle of the race they had slipped back to third behind Switzerland and China 1 of Cuiming Chen and Feihong Pan. Then Chen and Pan showed their second half power and, under pressure from Poland, pushed through to take first.

Results: CHN1, POL, DEN, SUI, ITA1, GER2