Rotsee Lake crowns its first World Rowing Cup champions
As the pouring rain which had accompanied the semifinals ceased, the A and B finals of the international boat classes took to the Rotsee Lake, and we witnessed the first champions of the third Samsung World Rowing Cup. The lightweight boat classes led the way in Lucerne this evening, and as always, it provided some exciting racing and close finishes.
Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls – Final A
At 25, lightweight sculler Alexandra Tsiavou from Greece already has an impressive collection of medals in the single and in the double: she is a two-time under-23 World Champion, four-time European Champion and also a senior World Champion. In Lucerne, her experience served her well. Winning both her heat and her semifinal, Tsiavou led the field from the start this afternoon, finishing one boat-length ahead of her nearest competitor, 2009 World Champion Pamela Weisshaupt of Switzerland. Ireland’s Siobhan McCrohan takes bronze.
Results: GRE1, SUI1, IRL, BEL, POL, NED
Alexandra Tsiavou (GRE) – Gold
“I don’t really know what to say; I felt a little bit scared after the morning race but it finally worked out. It is difficult with two races in the same day, if something happens in that day, it’s tough on the rower. I still don’t know what we are doing for Bled - we are trying to find the best solution.”
Pamela Weisshaupt (SUI) – Silver
“I had a good start and stayed with Alexandra but I had to let it go too early to be able to take gold. I think I have the potential for the World Championships.”
Siobhan McCrohan (IRL) – Bronze
“I got off to a good start and was able to settle into a good rhythm . I thought I was through the Belgian in the first quarter but she kept getting faster The finish was hard but very good. I can not complain with such good racing conditions“
As the sun came out, the B finals of the international events began. These rowers did not qualify for the A final of the international lightweight event, but instead raced it out for the honours in the B final. At the 1000m, Canada’s Patricia Obee led the field and held this into the closing stages, but a sudden burst from Atsumi Fukumoto of Japan in the last 500m changed that. As the Rotsee course ran short and the finish line loomed, Obee ran out of steam, and seventh place honours went to Fukumoto in 7.52.38, with Obee finishing just 0.2s behind. Eugenie Vince, of France, takes third.
Results: JPN1, CAN, FRA, JPN2, HKG, ZAM
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls – Final A
Henrik Stephansen of Denmark is well-known for his prowess on the ergometer: he is currently the fastest lightweight indoor rower in the world in the 19-29 age group. Since last year, has been competing internationally in the lightweight single, and his results have been steadily improving. Winning gold in Hamburg ahead of 2009 World Champion Duncan Grant of New Zealand, certainly must have boosted his confidence here in Lucerne. But it was Grant who led the first half of the final this afternoon, tailed closely by Stephansen and German Jonathan Koch. Stephansen’s stamina proved strongest however. Despite rating a higher stroke rate than the Dane, New Zealand and Germany began to fall behind after the 1000m mark, giving Stephansen the lead and allowing Pietro Ruta of Italy to move up the field. At the line, Denmark took gold, Italy silver and New Zealand bronze.
Results: DEN, ITA1, NZL, GER, FRA1, SUI
Henrik Stephansen (DEN) – Gold
"It was a quite good race, good from the start and actually better than expected. In a nutshell, a nice race and good preparation.”
Pietro Ruta (ITA) – Silver
“At the end I could still see Duncan Grant next to me and decided to do a final attack. This was my first race in the single and I want to compete in the single at the World Championships.”
Duncan Grant (NZL) – Bronze
“A tough race; Henrik is moving the boat very well and I have to work to beat him at the World Championships but I feel relatively happy. On the line I had to leave the Italian though. I had a rib stress fracture and am still recovering from it; I can definitely feel the time out of the boat.“
In the men’s lightweight single sculls, a seemingly well-spaced race became a fierce finish to the line for the top 3 spots. At the 1500m mark, Hong Kong’s So Sau Wah led over Italy’s Fabrizio Gabrielle and Peru’s Victor Aspillaga Alayza. However, a devastating sprint from Norway’s Kristoffer Brun in the final 500m blew the field apart, and it was a four man race to the line. Norway clinched victory over previous leader Hong Kong, who just sneaked ahead of Peru. Italy, despite a desperate sprint once he saw a top three position was in jeopardy, could only manage fourth.
Results: NOR, HKG1, PER, ITA2, GRE1, HUN1
Lightweight Men’s Pair – A Final
Winners in Hamburg, even after the re-row, Bastian Seibt and Lars Wichert of Germany continued their winning ways here on the Rotsee, against new competition. The German pair led from the start over the rest of the field, moving further away at each timing marker. Canada enjoyed their first international race of the season; Matt Jensen and Rares Crisan battled it out with Italy for the first part of the race before powering ahead in the third 500m. A great final 500m from Canada slightly closed the gap on the Germans but could not get them into contention for the gold. Italy, Luca De Maria and Armando Dell'Aquila held off France's second boat to take bronze.
Bastian Seibt (GER) – Gold
“I was a last minute substitute in the lightweight four about ninety minutes earlier and Lars and I decided to race the pair anyway and just have fun with it. We fought the fatigue but we were very smooth and relaxed and enjoyed the row. We hoped for a medal but never thought it would be gold.”
Lars Wichert (GER) – Gold
“Perfect. Everything went well, despite being tired and it went better than either of us expected.”
Matt Jensen, Rares Crisan (CAN) – Silver
“Well, the start was really bad. We were in the buoys and there may have been a dead duck at the hundred metre mark! After that it went well and we fought back into contention. We are happy with a medal and one of these days we will be the crew that others have to contend with”
Luca De Maria – Armando Dell’Aquilla (ITA) – Bronze
“We are not that happy about our race because we committed some errors which allowed the two other crews to pass us although we were in front. But we are optimistic in view of the World Championships. We are better than Munich and will work to be in the best possible condition for Bled.”
Lots of home support for Switzerland all day here at the Rotsee, and they were itching for a victory. This came for the eager crowd in the B-final of the lightweight men’s pair, as Silvan Zehnder and Nicola Edelmann of Switzerland, cheered on with the traditional cowbells, led the whole way, finishing in a time of 6.42. Despite a last minute sprint from the Australians Roderick Chisholm and Alister Foot, it was not enough to overhaul the Swiss. Austria’s second entry took third, ahead of the first boat.
Results: SUI, AUS2, AUT2, AUT1, HKG, RSA
Men’s Coxed Pair
This event, famed by the infamous Searle brother comeback at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics has fallen off the international racing stage in recent years as the coxless event takes precedence. Here in Lucerne, just two boats competed, and there was no real competition. Italy took out a two second lead at the 500m which they increased as the race went on. Australia’s James Chapman and William Lockwood, coxed by Tobias Lister, also coxing the Australian men’s eight, were a relatively new crew and never challenged the Italian lead. Italy crossed the line with a clear water lead over Australia, in 7.14.37. Rowers in this event will act as spares for their respective nation hoping to break into larger sweep disciplines.
Results: ITA, AUS
Luca Agamennoni (ITA) – Gold
“I was only missing medals in two boats: the men’s double and the men’s coxed pair; the latest is now done. I am a last minute man and want to go to London 2012. I already have a tattoo from the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, one from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, but there is room for one from London 2012 ...”
James Chapman (AUS) – Silver
“This was our first race together ever; we have never even trained together. This was a good experience in this fantastic racing environment and we now start our training campaign for Bled.”
Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Sculls
This event, another which is raced solely at World Rowing events and not at Olympic Games, boasted a three boat line up. Germany, who have spent the season racing a series of lightweight doubles, brought all of these together to make two quads racing in Lucerne this evening. Germany’s first boat, clearly the strongest boat in the field, led from the start powering away at each timing marker. By 1500m, the German quad was ten seconds clear, and leading the field in majestic form. Crossing the line in 6.45, this looked like a crew to watch out for come the World Rowing Championships in Bled. Meanwhile Germany’s second entry, a young under 23 quad, and Denmark were having a nice little scrap for second and third place, Germany proved their worth, nipping ahead by just under a second to finish in 6.57, some 12 seconds adrift of their teammate’s pace.
Results: GER1, GER2, DEN
Leonie Pless (GER) – Gold
“At the thousand meter mark we lost our rhythm a bit, but we powered through and knew that we could win the race”
Katja Ruegner (GER) – Gold
“We had a slower start, but after the first five hundred it really started to work”
Merle Schaefer (GER) – Silver
“For girls of our age it is a great chance to row here. We are thrilled to be part of a World Rowing Cup event”
Margarete Jakschik (GER) – Silver
“It is a dream to race here, and now we have a silver medal”
Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls
This international A-final boasted a full field of six boats and competition was fierce, as the lead changed hands several times. Ireland had a rapid start, powering off the blocks to the 500m mark 1 second clear. However, they did not have the stamina to match such speed and had slipped back to third by the 1000m mark. Italy took the lead, powering through the field, but it was far from over. Germany, starting steadily, creeped up on the Italians in the third 500m and by 1500m gone, had taken the lead by just under a second. Finishing quickly, tanking the boat along with elegance, they crossed the line first in 6.03, leaving the rest of the field to fight it out for the remaining medals. Chiming cowbells were not enough to coax Switzerland into the medals, who were languishing in fifth, ahead of Norway in sixth. Ireland, who had had such a quick start, could not maintain their speed and Denmark took full advantage, a great final 500m winning them the bronze medal by a second and a half, just behind the Italians who could never get back on terms with the swift German crew.
Results: GER, ITA, DEN, IRE, SUI, NOR
Christian Nielsen (DEN) – Gold
“We had quite a good race and worked on the points we wanted to work on. We still don’t know whether we will be selected by our federation to go to Bled, we’ll know tomorrow.”
Stefano Basalini (ITA) – Silver
“We did not train that much in this crew with our new and young stroke. We kept a hard rate but were not fast enough. We still have time to adjust. Lots of the crews are young but age is not a problem, you just have to be strong!”
Lightweight Men's Eight
Only three entries in the lightweight eights this year, and it seemed to be a one horse race. Italy powered away from the field at the start and by the 500m marker were a second and a half up on Denmark and Germany, who were level pegging at this stage. As the race progressed and Italy stretched their lead, Denmark went with them, leaving the German crew behind. The race order did not change; despite their best efforts, Denmark could not catch Italy, who crossed the line in 5.48, Denmark just under two seconds behind. Germany crossed the line for the bronze medal.
Results: ITA, DEN, GER
Corrado Regalbuto (ITA) – Gold
“We had a very good start although it was a little bit windy. We went straight into the lead and held it to the finish.”
Livio La Padula (ITA) – Gold
“We had a very good race although the boat has been better on training camp. Today was not too clean but we hope to be better at the World Rowing Championships. We know the Danish boat is very good and there will be other fast boats to contend with.”
Giorgio Tuccinardi (ITA) – Gold
“It was a difficult race as the Danes are very strong. We know there is someone in the eight who was in the LM4- in Munich. It was very important for us to win here today. We will now have two weeks at home before we start the campus for the World Championships.”
Emil Blach (DEN) – Silver
“It was not a great race today; we hoped for much more. We could not get speed and couldn’t use our full potential. We’ll be better at the World Championships.”