The year that was – the quadruple sculls
All those oars, all of that coordination! The quadruple sculls may sound like a very complex arrangement and some like to call it the thinking-person’s boat, but for those that row in it there is infinite pride. For both the men and the women, the margins at the finish line continued to grow smaller in 2018. Some of the best races this season happen in the semifinals, when crews were fighting to make the final.
Here is a look back at the 2018 season in the quadruple sculls.
Women’s Quadruple Sculls
Biggest Surprise: Germany. The Germans dominated this boat class during the Rio Olympic cycle. But many of their top athletes retired after the Olympics. It took them a year to find their stride, but they worked their way to the top of the podium at the second and third World Rowing Cups, to finish with silver at the World Rowing Championships.
Best performance: Poland. Hands down, the Polish crew took the cake this year. They raced at all three World Cups, the European Rowing Championships and the World Rowing Championships. Through the World Cups, they navigated a disappointing sixth-place finish in Linz-Ottensheim to be back on the podium in Lucerne. To top it off, they claimed both the European and World titles and then went on to be named World Rowing Women’s Crew of the Year. Hats off to Maria Springwald, Katarzyna Zillmann, Marta Wieliczko, Agnieszka Kobus-Zawojska.
Fun Fact: At the third World Rowing Cup, China finished fourth behind the Netherlands by 0.33 of a second. At the World Championships, they narrowed it to 0.06. But the Netherlands still managed to snag the medal.
Quote of the Year: “This was the perfect race for us, so bronze medal is the crown. Olivia (van Rooijen) was really sharp to see everyone else’s moves so we could react to that. When we crossed the finish line I had no idea what we got. We broke the Dutch record.” - Nicole Beukers (s), Netherlands, bronze, World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Must watch: The final of the women’s quadruple sculls at the World Rowing Cup II – Lucerne, Switzerland: https://www.eurovisionsports.tv/fisa/#AROVFS8X50
Men’s quadruple sculls
World Rowing Cup I – GBR, GER, NOR, POL, NED, RUS
World Rowing Cup II – ITA, NED, GER, AUS, NZL, POL
World Rowing Cup III – GBR, NED, POL, GER, AUS, LTU
European Rowing Championships – ITA, LTU, POL, UKR, NED, GBR
World Rowing Championships – ITA, AUS, UKR, NZL, NED, POL (only 2 seconds between first 5)
Biggest Surprise: Ukraine. The Ukrainian men’s quad of Ivan Dovgodko, Olexandr Nadtoka, Sergii Gryn, Dmytro Mikhay has struggled in recent years to find their former speed. They were World Champions in 2015 but have had inconsistent results since. Their power to finish in a bronze-medal position at the World Rowing Championships definitely makes them the surprise of the season.
Best performance: Italy. Italy only entered one World Rowing Cup this year, but showed their dominance at the European Championships and the World Rowing Championships. The crew of Giacomo Gentili, Luca Rambaldi, Andrea Panizza and Filippo Mondelli beat an extremely competitive field, finishing less than a second ahead of Australia in a jam-packed six-boat race.
Fun fact: New Zealand’s Mahe Drysdale, after being beaten in the men’s single sculls by fellow-New Zealander Robert Manson at the third World Rowing Cup, and ousted from his position for the World Championships, joined the Kiwi men’s quad. The crew put up their best result of the season, finishing just shy of the podium in fourth.
Quote of the Year: “I didn’t expect such a strong field here. In 1999, I was here (in Plovdiv) for the Junior World Rowing Championships (1999) and I came fourth. This year I came back to collect a medal.” - Sergii Gryn, Ukraine, bronze, World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Must watch: The final of the men’s quadruple sculls at the World Rowing Championships – Plovdiv, Bulgaria: https://www.eurovisionsports.tv/fisa/#A338AQA1GZ