Season opener sees World Champions struggle
Three days of racing at the 2014 World Rowing Cup in Sydney (AUS) was marked by perfect rowing conditions and a finals day that saw reigning World Champions being pushed out of the gold medal spot.
The headline race, the women's single sculls, had all three 2013 World Champion medallists racing against each other with Emma Twigg of New Zealand turning it into a nail-biting finish. Current World Champion Kim Crow of Australia had a clear lead for the majority of the race, but a closing sprint by Twigg saw the New Zealander win on the final stroke. Twigg's time of 7:25 was the closest time of the day to the World Cup Best Time.
Another World Champion boat fell when Olympia Aldersey and Sally Kehoe of Australia won the women's double sculls. World Champions, Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite of Lithuania closed on the Australians at the end of the race but had to accept the silver medal. Lithuania fared better in the men's double sculls with Rolandas Mascinskas and Saulius Ritter finishing first over Australia and Italy.
The World Champion Dutch men's four ended up in second after 2013 silver medallists, Australia rowed a solid race from the head of the field to take first place honours. The crew of Angus Moore, Alexander Hill, Spencer Turrin and Alexander Lloyd will be a crew to watch this season. Many of the Australian rowers also took part in a week of racing at the Sydney International regatta course that included the country's national championships.
Despite being World Champions in the women's quadruple sculls, Germany rowed to second behind Australia. Germany had two changes to the 2013 winning crew and they could not match the speed of Australia who led for the entire race.
Australia made the most of their home course advantage to take medals in nine of the 14 finals. Of these medals, six were gold, two were silver and one was bronze. This gave Australia the top spot on the World Rowing Cup medals table with 72 points. New Zealand followed in second place with 37 points. New Zealand's success included two gold medals. two silvers and a bronze. China finished just one point behind New Zealand with 36 points. The Chinese success included three silver and three bronze medals.
For full results, click here.
To watch videos of the races, click here.
For a full race report., click here.
The World Rowing Cup series was launched in 1997 and consists of a series of three events. The overall World Rowing Cup winners are determined after the third event. The next World Rowing Cup will be in Aiguebelette (FRA) from 20-22 June and the final World Rowing Cup of the season will be in Lucerne (SUI), 11-13 July 2014.