The year that was – the eights
The eights are always a highlight of the regatta – the blue riband event that’s steeped in rowing history. The German men have been unstoppable on their quest for gold. The US women made an exceptional comeback to reclaim the world title. Here is the final boat class as we look back at the 2018 season. The men’s and women’s eights.
Biggest Surprise: The United States. A couple of years ago you probably wouldn’t have thought that a win by the US women’s eight would be considered the biggest surprise as a couple of years ago the crew was riding one of the longest winning streaks in history. But then in 2017 the team finished fourth at the World Rowing Championships. This must have rocked their world. They went back to work and came into 2018 fierce. After finishing third at World Rowing Cup three, their gold medal at the 2018 World Championships was unexpected.
Best performance: Tough call. New Zealand, the Netherlands and Canada. These three crews all claimed several medals throughout the season. Despite inspiring performances early on, the Dutch and the Kiwis fell short of the medals at the World Rowing Championships. The Canadians secured silver at the third World Cup and again at the World Championships.
Quote of the Year: “We knew it would be a very fast race and that the conditions would be rough. Our plan was to stay together and support the girl in front of us. The first time we started to move, I realised we could control.” - Tracy Eisser, United States, gold, World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Must watch: The final of women’s eight at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria: https://www.eurovisionsports.tv/fisa/#AZWVS3YODH
Best performance: Germany. There is no question about it; the Germans are in another league. They claimed gold at all five major international races this season. Perhaps even more impressive was their comeback at the second World Rowing Cup. After getting relegated to the repechage, they fought their way into the final and went on to take the gold.
Biggest Surprise: The B-final at the World Rowing Championships. It’s tough to call a surprise in the men’s eight. Germany was expected to win, and did. But perhaps the most surprising was to see both the Dutch and the New Zealanders in the B-final at the World Championships. It will be interesting to see where these crews go next season.
Quote of the Year: “We had no expectation to win as we knew anything was possible from getting gold to going home without a medal. Australia and GB beat us in the heats and the repechage. It was a new situation for us to not be the favourite but we played to our strengths and we basically started our finishing sprint at the 1000 meters.” - Maximilian Planer, Germany, gold, World Rowing Cup II, Linz-Ottensheim, Austria
Must watch: The final of the men’s eight at the World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland: https://www.eurovisionsports.tv/fisa/#ABI1ZEF988