Warm day, calm waters, fast times. Lightweight finals at World Rowing Cup III
As the temperatures rose into the high 20s Celsius, the lightweight rowers in Lucerne, Switzerland raced for World Rowing Cup points and World Rowing Cup medals. This was World Rowing Cup III. The third and final World Cup for the 2018 season.
Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls (LW1x) – Final
The first final of this third and final World Rowing Cup for 2018 was the lightweight women’s single sculls with Germany’s Marie-Louise Draeger up at a 38 stroke rate at the start. This gave Olympian Draeger the lead at the 500m mark. Draeger has been racing internationally for nearly two decades and has seen three Olympic Games. Australia’s Alice Arch followed in second with Poland’s Katarzyna Welna very much on the pace in third.
Draeger managed to push away from Arch in the middle of the race but Arch started to come back in the second half. Welna was still holding the pace. Coming into the final sprint Draeger had enough of a lead that she was able to keep an eye on Arch and Welna. The Australian and Pole could not catch the German. Draeger was the World Cup winner.
Results: GER, AUS1, POL, DEN, AUS2, HKG
Marie-Louise Draeger, Germany, gold
“For me the test race is only a test race. I had a cold last week so I just hoped to have enough power today. Yesterday I only really raced the first 750 meters and then today I just told myself to fight for my life.”
Alice Arch, Australia, silver
“That felt really good, I had a good start. The conditions were quite challenging in the middle. This is my first regatta in the single so it was all about finding a good rhythm. I’ve loved being in Lucerne.”
Katarzyna Welna, Poland, bronze
“This is a new experience for me. It’s my first important start in the single and I’m very happy but I’m also sad. At the finish I tried to go for second but not today.”
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls (LM1x) – Final
Lars Wichert of Germany finished behind Switzerland this morning in the semifinals. Right now, racing in the final, Wichert was leading the way with Michael Schmid of Switzerland in second. These two boats remained close together going into the middle of the race and managed to get a bit of an edge over Hamish Parry of Australia who was now in third. Schmid finished second at World Rowing Cup I and World Rowing Cup II last month and he had decided to make the most of his home water to go after gold.
Coming into the final 500m Schmid had his bow ball just in front of Wichert. At World Rowing Cup II Wichert had raced in the lightweight double. Wichert was now trying to hold on. Parry was now at 42 and higher. Wichert went to 40. Schmid was on 37 and still in the lead. There was no doubt about the appreciative crowd.
Results: SUI1, AUS1, GER2, CRO, CHN, AUS2
Michael Schmid, Switzerland, gold
“It’s not the same competitors has there have been at the other World Rowing Cups, but there are other amazing rowers here. It was a tough race but it’s super special to race on your home course. Literally everyone is here, family, friends, coaches and it’s even more special to win when they’re all watching.”
Hamish Parry, Australia, silver
“That was my first international win so I’m absolutely stoked. I wanted to do as well as possible as I’ve been working a lot on my mental state and it felt good during this regatta. I progressed well throughout the heats and today I had a good 1500 meters and managed to have a good sprint towards the end.”
Lars Wichert, Germany, bronze
“I feel like Croatia in football, sort of like the underdog. I had a really nice start, kept fighting the whole way through. From here we will see what happens as obviously Jason Osborne isn’t here and he is Germany’s main LM1x. Most likely I’ll be in another boat for the World Champs but it’s up to the coaches.
These rowers have had quite a time during this regatta. They’ve been through heats and semifinals and now today’s finals. Sam Mottram of Great Britain had the next best time following the semifinals this morning. It was Peter Galambos of Hungary who held the lead at the start and he managed to keep it up but was outsprinted by Portugal’s Pedro Fraga.
Results: POR, HUN, GBR, BEL, NZL, SLO
Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Sculls (LW4x) – Final
In the test race yesterday China was the fastest boat and they looked to be the same today as they got out to a fast start with Germany following closely. But there wasn’t much to separate the rest of the fleet from the leaders as the top five boats just had a two second gap. Japan was the only boat not on the pace. China then managed to break away helped by the talent of lightweight double medallists, Fang Chen and Dandan Pan. Germany, remained in second and did not seem able to close the gap on China. Now it was all about the chase for second. Denmark was coming hard and posing a big threat to Germany. At the line the silver was the Danes. China had finished in a time of 6:28, just two seconds outside of a Rotsee course World Best Time.
Results: CHN, DEN, GER, GBR, AUS, JPN
Dandan Pan (s), People's Republic of China, gold
“That was a very good race and we’re all very pleased that we won. Today we just wanted to do our best and we’re looking forward to the World Rowing Championships.”
Juliane Rasmussen, Denmark, silver
“It was our first competition of the season. Yesterday wasn’t so good so we knew today that we had to step it up. We executed our plan and we’re very happy with the result.”
Katrin Thoma (s), Germany, bronze
“The race was very tough, all the competitors were very fast. We had to pull hard every stroke of the race.”
Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls (LM4x) – Final
Coming through from yesterday’s heats, Germany had the fastest time. But today they were up against the Netherlands for the first time – the winners of the other heat. The Czech Republic took a flying 54 stroke rate start. But it was Germany, who held 39-40 into the second 500, who had the lead. Denmark followed in second with the Netherlands in third. All boats remained within striking distance of the Germans who continued to keep their rating high as the boats were too close for comfort.
As Germany remained just in front, the very young Danish crew was keeping the Germans honest. Germany was being stroked by Olympian Moritz Moos and he would need to use all of his experience against the young upstarts from Denmark. The Danes were now in the lead as the sprint to the finish opened up. Denmark was at 41 then 43 with Germany fighting back at 39. The Germans had done it. The World Cup gold medal winners.
Results: GER, DEN, NED, CZE, AUS, HUN
Moritz Moos, Germany, gold
“The heats felt a little better than today, we really hoped that the other crews would be more tired but they weren’t. There was a difficult cross-wind during the race but the team did really great in the last 100 meters and considering we’ve only had six sessions together, we did great.”
Christian Hagemann, Denmark, silver
“We’re training for the Under 23s so this regatta was really just about getting experience. We came up with our race plan this morning along with our coach and we were able just to follow it throughout.”
Bart Lukkes, Netherlands, bronze
“We can together quite late in the season, we’ve been wanting to make a quad for a long time and up until now we’ve just been racing regattas in the Netherlands against the heavyweight quad. Today we just really improved our game in the final and were able to come away with a medal.”