The year that was – the double sculls
The men’s and women’s double sculls kept spectators on their toes throughout the 2018 season. With no clear front-runner in either category, the semifinals were raced like finals and the results of the finals were often determined in the last few strokes.
World Rowing continues the tour by boat class of what went on in the 2018 season with the doubles being the focus this week.
Women’s Double Sculls
Biggest Surprise: Lithuania. The Lithuanians won the world title in the women’s double back in 2013. Since then, the line-up has altered several times and their results have been inconsistent. The new combination of Milda Valciukaite and Ieva Adomaviciute found their rhythm at precisely the right moment. After two bronze medals this season, they peaked at the world championships and knocked the reigning World Champions from New Zealand off the top of the podium.
Best performance: New Zealand. It must be the Kiwis. Despite their silver medal at the World Championships, Brooke Donoghue and Olivia Loe claimed gold at two World Rowing Cups and were just two seconds behind Lithuania at the World Rowing Championships.
Fun Fact: The closest race of the year was the final at the European Championships. The top four boats finished within 0.61 seconds of each other. France’s Helene Lefebvre and Elodie Ravera-Scaramozzino were the winners.
Quote of the Year: “We were so focused internally and that was really hard this race! I couldn’t believe it when we crossed the finish line that we had won the race.” Ieva Adomaviciute (s), Lithuania, gold, World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Must watch: The A-final of the women’s double sculls at the European Rowing Championships – Glasgow, Great Britain: https://www.eurovisionsports.tv/fisa/#AGE5D8BX53
Men’s double sculls
Biggest Surprise: The whole season. This year was one surprise after another. There was never a clear front-runner and the World Rowing Cups seemed to give no indication of who was fastest. Great Britain, Poland and Lithuania all had World Cup gold medals, but none of them managed to make it to the podium at the World Championships. Hugo Boucheron and Matthieu Androdias of France found their speed in time for the European Championships and held it through to World Championship gold. Full credit to the Swiss (Barnabe Delarze and Roman Roeoesli), who pulled off a silver performance at the World Championships after switching line-ups several times throughout the season. The 2017 World Champion Kiwis (John Storey and Christopher Harris) missed the podium at two World Cups but then came through for bronze when it counted.
Best performance: France. In a field without a clear leader, the French finished the season as both European and World Champions.
Fun fact: There was a different winner for each World Rowing Cup and the World Championships this year.
Quote of the Year: “It was always going to be tough with the competition and the conditions. We stuck with our plan but perhaps we left too much to do at the end. But we had faith in ourselves to come away with a medal.” Christ Harris (s), New Zealand, bronze, World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Must watch: The final at the World Rowing Championships – Plovdiv, Bulgaria: https://www.eurovisionsports.tv/fisa/#A768TS0IFM