Yesterday’s heats had to be raced as time trials when inclement weather forced racing to be in one lane. The top 12 boats made it through to these semifinals. The Willem Alexander Baan regatta course had a very small cross wind with cloudy, drizzly skies for the rowers. A prediction of some wind meant the lane order for boats changed to prioritise the top crews.

Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls (LW1x) – Semifinals

A fast time in the time trials put Canada’s Ellen Gleadow and Georgia Nesbitt of Australia in the priority lanes. Gleadow and Nesbitt matched each other through the first half of the race. Nesbitt had the faster time from the time trials and going through the middle of the race Nesbitt looked like she was able to overtake Gleadow who had been holding a slight lead. Gleadow didn’t really react as she was in a qualifying spot. For the third and final qualifying spot it was a full-on race between Japan 2 and Sweden. Both boats went into the high 30s rating. Emma Fredh of Sweden got there first.

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Semifinal Two opened with Great Britain’s Imogen Grant in the lead. But her lead was small and going through the second 500 Germany’s Marie-Louise Draeger took over in the lead. Japan 1 of Chiaki Tomita was right with these two leading scullers and the three of them went through the middle of the race neck-and-neck. Then Grant, at 33 strokes per minute, pushed away and got back into the lead. In the close of the race none of the top three boats felt the need to sprint with Grant dropping to a 29 stroke rate.

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Qualifiers: AUS, CAN, SWE, GBR, JPN1, GER

Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls (LM1x) – Semifinals

Semifinal One opened with Lucas Schaefer of Germany in the lead. But Sean Murphy of Australia, in one lane over, was going after Schaefer. Murphy had a great World Rowing Cup II finishing first. Today Murphy had the lead going through the second 500 and he held it through to the end. Murphy recorded the fastest time of the two semis.

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Slovenia’s Rajko Hrvat was the leader from start to finish in Semifinal Two. This left a tussle to go on between Florin Rueedi of Switzerland and Gary O’Donovan of Ireland. A better closing sprint by Olympic medallist, O’Donovan gave him the second spot at the finish line.

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Qualifiers: AUS, GER, GBR, SLO, IRL1, SUI

Women’s Pair (W2-) – Semifinals

In Semifinal One Ireland’s Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska had a flying start and led the way overy Popescu and Beres of Romania 1. This boat class has seen many top Romanian boats but Ireland was still leading through the middle of the race. Romania made sure not to let Ireland get away and in the final sprint Romania showed their true speed and raced through to the lead. Ireland held on to second but the real fight for the line was between Germany 1 and Spain. Cid and Diaz Rivas of Spain got to the line just 0.12 of a second ahead of Germany 1.

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At the start it was Australia’s Jessica Morrison ahead of Annabelle McIntyre in the lead of Semifinal Two. This put the World Champions, Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler of New Zealand into second. New Zealand kept Australia in their sights for the first half of the race but in the second half Morrison and McIntyre were able to push away and get into a handy lead. New Zealand did a closing sprint but could not catch Australia. Meanwhile Great Britain 2 of Polly Swann and Holly Hill held on to third and were not pushed by any other boats.

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Qualifiers: ROU, IRL, ESP, AUS1, NZL1, GBR2

Men’s Pair (M2-) - Semifinals

At the start of Semifinal Two it was New Zealand’s Thomas Murray and Michael Brake in the lead. Winners of last year’s World Cup series, Lukas Helesic and Jakub Podrazil of the Czech Republic sat one lane over and in second. But Murray and Brake, who medalled at last month’s World Rowing Cup II, remained out in front and pushed into a comfortable lead. They kept the pressure on and even went to 40 in the closing sprint. Helesic and Podrazil held on to second with Tom Jeffery and Morgan Bolding of Great Britain 2 having a great race to finish in third and qualify for the final. France, who had held a 40-41 stroke rate for most of the race were fourth and will race the B-final. Of the two semifinals New Zealand had recorded the fastest time.

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For Semifinal Two the World Champions, Croatia had to pull out for medical reasons leaving five boats racing. This gave Australia’s Spencer Turrin and Alexander Hill a nice advantage and they led the field from the start. Romania’s Cozmiuc and Tudosa slotted into second but did not have the same pace to catch the Australians. In third and pacing Romania was Harry Glenister and George Rossiter of Great Britain 1. With Australia still out in front and at 39 stroke rate, Romania and Great Britain were neck-and-neck. Then the British looked happy to accept third and Romania, at 40, were second.

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Qualifiers: NZL, CZE, GBR2, AUS1, ROU, GBR1  

Men’s Double Sculls (W2x) – Semifinals

China shot out at a fast pace and got to the first 500m mark in the lead. This pushed winner of World Rowing Cup II, Barnabe Delarze and Roman Roeoesli of Switzerland into second. Then Melvin Twellaar and Stef Broenink of the Netherlands 2 did a big push and got into the lead. Twellaar and Broenink had the fastest time of these boats in yesterday’s time trials and as a new line up they are looking to be a crew to watch. Delarze and Roeoesli sat in second with China and Great Britain now neck-and-neck for third. The crowd was loving this one as Twellaar and Broenink went to 38 in the final sprint and took the win. Switzerland, at 40, held on to second with Collins and Thomas of Great Britain getting the better of China and taking third. The Dutch had recorded the fastest time overall.

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Ireland’s Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne was the fastest boat in the first half of Semifinal Two. This put them ahead of World Rowing Cup II bronze medallists, Naske and Krueger of Germany. The Germans held on to second ahead of Keijser and van Sprang of Netherlands 1. Ireland was ninth at last year’s World Championships and they continued to have an awesome race at the head of the field. They now had more than a boat length lead over Germany with Australia 1 getting the better of the Dutch and into third. Australia, at 40 strokes per minute, kept ahead of the Dutch who were at 41. Australia 1 had made the final.

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Qualifiers: NED2, SUI, GBR, IRL, GER, AUS1

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Semifinals

In yesterday’s time trials Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland had the fastest time overall. She got the favoured lane in Semifinal One. But it was local sculler Lisa Scheenaard of Netherlands 1 who had the early lead. Scheenaard won the single at World Rowing Cup I and she is one to watch. Going through the second 500, Gmelin, who is the2017 World Champion, got into the lead with Mirka Topinkova Knapkova of the Czech Republic sitting in third. Knapkova is the 2012 Olympic Champion giving Scheenaard very stiff competition in this race. Gmelin then took off and got out to an open water lead. Knapkova and Scheenaard were locked together for second and they had moved clear of the rest of the field. Gmelin held 32 then 34 through to the line with Scheenaard at 37 and Knapkova at 36. Knapkova got second on the line by just 0.06 of a second.

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Winner of World Rowing Cup II, Emma Twigg of New Zealand led the way in Semifinal Two. By the middle of the race Twigg had a handy lead over Victoria Thornley of Great Britain with Annekatrin Thiele of Germany 1 in third. Twigg then moved to an open water lead. She comes to Rotterdam following a win last weekend at the Henley Royal Regatta. Twigg crossed the line rating 30 with Thornley coming through at 31 and Thiele holding off France 1 by rating 34. Twigg had recorded the fastest time overall.

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Qualifiers: SUI1, CZE, NED1, NZL, GBR, GER1

Men’s Single Sculls (M1x) – Semifinals

At the start of Semifinal One it was David Bartholot of Australia in the lead. Then winner of World Rowing Cup II, Sverri Nielsen of Denmark overtook Bartholot and got into the lead. Croatia’s Damir Martin then moved up on Bartholot and got into second through the third 500. But this race was all about Nielsen who now had an open water lead. Then Poland moved up through Bartholot who looked like he had no answer. Bartholot and Poland’s Wegrzycki-Szymczyk were both at 36. The Pole got into third to qualify. Nielsen had recorded the fastest qualifying time.

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The 2018 World Champion looks to be back on form. Kjetil Borch of Norway started off the season injured and with average results. Borch led the way in Semifinal Two. This saw Switzerland grab second before being overtaken by Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic and then New Zealand’s Robert Manson. Borch was then able to get a bit of a lead with Olympic medallist Synek and Manson neck-and-neck. The higher rating Manson, at 38-39, then got ahead of Synek who did not seem too concerned.

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Qualifiers: DEN, CRO, POL, NOR, NZL1, CZE

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Semifinals

Switzerland’s Merz and Rol raced at the head of the field in Semifinal One. The duo medalled at last year’s World Rowing Championships but have struck hard competition this year. Then Keijser and Paulis of the Netherlands took over in the lead. These two scullers are racing in their first regatta together this season after having a great 2018 season. They remained in the lead through the second half of the race with Switzerland holding on to second over World Champions Romania. The crowd was loving this. Paulis and Keijser are the pin ups of this regatta with their picture plastered everywhere. Merz and Rol closed on the Dutch and Romania held off the sprinting Canadians.

China’s Wenyi Huang and Dandan Pan had the best start in Semifinal Two. But it didn’t last long as winners of World Rowing Cup II, Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle of New Zealand then got into the lead. These two crews moved away from the rest of the field with Great Britain in third ahead of Australia. As Kiddle and McBride moved to an open water lead, the British crew of Piggott and Craig found themselves under pressure from Germany 1 and Australia. McBride and Kiddle crossed the line rating 32 with China at 33 and Germany and Great Britain having a huge battle rating in the high 30s. New Zealand had recorded the fastest time overall with the British getting to the line before Germany to qualify for the final.

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Qualifiers: NED, SUI, ROU, NZL, CHN, GBR

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Semifinals

Germany’s Rommelmann and Osborne are having a great season. They led Semifinal One ahead of a new Irish combination of Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan. Australia’s Parry and Chambers followed very closely in third. These three boats remained within striking distance of each other. But Germany, the European Champions, remained in the lead at the line. Ireland closed the gap but had to be satisfied with second and Australia got third.

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At the start of Semifinal Two it was Olympic medallists, Norway in the lead. Kristoffer Brun and Are Strandli of Norway have been rowing together for over a decade and they continued to lead through the middle of the race. China held on to second but it was very tight with New Zealand’s Dunham and Somerville challenging China and only just ahead of Belgium’s Brys and van Zandweghe. With Brun and Strandli now easily in the lead, Dunham and Somerville pushed ahead of China. In the final sprint New Zealand went to 39-41, China was at 36 and Belgium went to 39. China had missed out. Belgium had got the better of them. Norway had recorded the fastest qualifying time overall.

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Qualifiers: GER, IRL, AUS, NOR, NZL, BEL