Weather moves racing to time trials at Rotterdam World Rowing Cup
Adverse weather conditions delayed racing and then moved it to a time trial framework at World Rowing Cup III in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This meant that boats raced against the clock, going one at a time at 30 second intervals. The rain came and went with the wind in a cross wind direction on the Willem Alexander Baan and sometime some head wind.
Athletes train for time trials as it is one of the methods used if racing has to change. It means everyone is racing under the same conditions as only one lane is used.
Para PR1 Men’s Single Sculls (PR1 M1x) – Heats
Eight boats raced the time trial with the fastest boat from the first four and second four going directly to the final. All of these athletes have raced each other at different times but this is the first time in a time trial situation. Brazil’s Rene Pereira had the fastest first 500m. He finished fifth at last year’s World Rowing Championships and is one of the more experienced in this boat class. Pereira could not maintain his initial fast pace and Lithuania’s Augustas Navickas was able to record a faster time to the 1500m mark. Pereira then came back to be faster.
The winner of World Rowing Cup II was Paralympic Champion Roman Polianskyi of Ukraine. He must be the favourite in this boat class and it was no surprise to see him record the fastest time of the boats. Polianskyi’s time of 10:14 was the fastest overall with Pereira registering 10:38.
Qualifiers: BRA, UKR
Women’s Pair (W2-) – Heats
The time trialists were divided into four heats with the first two places in each heat going directly to the semifinal. Joining them would be the next fastest four crews across the heats. Of the first heat Romania 1 was the first to the 500 m mark. The crew of Cristina-Georgiana Popescu and Amalia Beres of Romania took gold in the women’s eight at the European Championships. They held the fastest time ahead of Great Britain 2 of Polly Swann and Holly Hill. Swann is making a comeback after taking silver at the Rio Olympics in the women’s eight. Romania 1 finished in a time of 7:34 with Swan and Hill recording 7:35.
Heat Two was dominated by Anna Schanze and Tabea Schendekehl of Germany 1 and they recorded the fastest time at every point of this heat. This new combination are in their second World Cup together and at World Rowing Cup II they were eighth overall. They crossed the line in 7:39 with Romania 2 of Madalina-Gabriela Casu and Iuliana Buhus coming in second at 7:45.
For Heat Three the favourite must be the Australian boat of Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntrye. This is their first season together racing internationally and they have already medalled at World Rowing Cup II. Morrison and McIntyre crossed the line recording 7:28, way ahead of Denmark’s Trine Dahl Pedersen and Nina Hollensen who were second. Pedersen and Hollensen qualify for the semifinal with a time of 7:47.
Heat Four featured the favourites Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler of New Zealand. They are the World Rowing Cup II winners, the World Champions and the World Best Time holders. They’re also racing in the women’s eight here in Rotterdam. They also spent last week at the Henley Royal Regatta and won the women’s pair and women’s eight. At the finish Prendergast and Gowler had recorded 7:30, slower than Australia in the previous heat. Ireland came through to qualify from second with a time of 7:44.
Qualifiers: ROU1, GBR2, GER1, ROU2, AUS1, DEN, NZL1, IRL, GBR1, ESP, RUS, AUS2
Men’s Pair (M2-) – Heats
This boat class had three heats and the first two places in each heat would go directly to the semifinals. Then the next fastest six crews from all of the heats would also go to the semifinals. These men’s pairs had to race against the clock and many must have used ‘stroke coaches’ in their boat to help them know their speed. Coaches travelling along follow their race on bikes were not allowed to communicate directly.
In Heat One Lukas Helesic and Jakub Podrazil of the Czech Republic were the fastest recording a time of 6:45. This duo raced at the European Championships where they finished fifth and between them have a lot of rowing experience including being the overall World Cup winners in 2018. Coming in second fastest was Marius-Vasile Cozmiuc and Ciprian Tudosa of Romania. Cozmiuc and Tudosa were the 2018 silver medallists and they also took silver this year at the European Rowing Championships. Their time was 6:50.
The World Champions, Martin and Valent Sinkovic of Croatia lined up in Heat Two and due to seeding they got to go first. The brothers missed World Rowing Cup II last month through Valent having back problems and they admitted coming into this regatta that they are not yet 100 per cent. They finished the race in a time of 6:46 with the next fastest boat being Tom Jeffery and Morgan Bolding of Great Britain 2 who had a time of 6:51.
The fastest overall time went to Thomas Murray and Michael Brake of New Zealand 1 in Heat Three. Murray and Brake both have a solid rowing pedigree and they came together as a pair last season finishing in fifth place at the 2018 World Rowing Championships. The duo started their 2019 international season with a silver at World Rowing Cup II. Today their time of 6:41 was the fastest in the field. Coming out of the World Champion men’s four and into the pair are Spencer Turrin and Alexander Hill of Australia 1. They took the next fastest time recording 6:43.
Qualifiers: CZE, ROU, CRO, GBR2, NZL1, AUS1, FRA, ARG2, DEN, NZL2, GBR1, AUS2
Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Heats
The time trial meant that all qualifiers could not be determined until the last boat crossed the finish line. This made for a very different format to racing and also meant that every boat had to race their hardest to get a chance of qualifying. The 19 boats entered were divided into four heats and the goal was to be in a top two position to go to the semifinals. Then the next fastest four crews across all four heats would also go to the semifinals.
Heat One had a very close time between the two fastest boats. This came down to Netherlands 2 and Romania. The Dutch crew of Melvin Twellaar and Stef Broenink recorded the fastest time of 6:27 with Romania finishing in 6:28. Twellaar is featured on the World Rowing website as the June Rising Star. The 22-year-old is really going places in his jump from under-23 to senior rowing and their finishing time was the fastest overall.
For Heat Two Ireland’s Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne finished in 6:32, the fastest of this heat. The duo raced in the B-final at last year’s World Rowing Championships and also had a B-final finish at the European Rowing Championships last month. Also finishing a tiny fraction back and qualifying for the semifinals was Barnabe Delarze and Roman Roeoesli who won at World Rowing Cup II last month.
The men’s doubles races at World Rowing Cup II showed finishing times to be very close and from these time trials it looks like the same will happen here in Rotterdam. Great Britain’s John Collins and Graeme Thomas won Heat Three in a time of 6:30. They come here following a win at Henley Royal Regatta. Second in a time of 6:31 was Hamish Playfair and Campbell Watts of Australia 1.
Heat Four was won by Tim Ole Naske and Stephan Krueger of Germany. This duo are in their first season together and finished with bronze at World Rowing Cup II last month. Naske comes to the double from a career in the single, but beaten by Oliver Zeidler at German trials saw Naske come into the double. Their finishing time was 6:35. Second fastest was Poland’s Miroslaw Zietarski and Mateusz Biskup who clocked 6:37.
Qualifiers: CHN, SUI, NED2, GBR, POL, NZL, FRA, AUS1, GER, IRL, ROU, NED1
Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls (LW1x) – Heats
This boat class had three heats with the first two places in each heat going to the semifinals. Then the next fastest six crews across all three heats would also go to the semifinals. Australia’s Georgia Newbitt and Germany’s Marie-Louise Draeger where the top two fastest boats in Heat One. Nesbitt had a great World Rowing Cup II last month and finished with a bronze medal. She must be a favourite at this regatta and recorded a time of 8:14. Draeger holds a wealth of experience with the 38-year-old having started her international career in 1999. Today her time was 8:21.
Heat Two had Ellen Gleadow of Canada record the fastest split times at each 500m marker and finish first in a time of 8:19. Gleadow last raced internationally in the single in 2018 where she finished second at World Rowing Cup II. Imogen Grant of Great Britain was second recording a time of 8:20.
It was all about Japan in Heat Three. The top two times went to Japan 1 and Japan 2 of Chiaki Tomita and Kanako Ueda. Tomita crossed the line in a finishing time of 8:20 with Ueda doing 8:23. Both these athletes raced at World Rowing Cup I earlier this season but in lightweight doubles with different partners.
Qualifiers: DEN, JPN2, CAN, AUS, SWE, ESP, NOR, GER, JPN1, GBR, ARG, NED
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls (LM1x) – Heats
This boat class had 14 entries and they were divided into three heats. The top three in each heat would get to go to the semifinals with the next fastest three crews across all heats also making it to the semifinals. The new Australian sensation of Sean Murphy was way out in front in Heat One. Murphy finished in a time of 7:20, eight seconds ahead of second place Florin Rueedi of Switzerland. Alone and without brother Paul, Gary O’Donovan of Ireland 1 raced to third place in a time of 7:29. O’Donovan is usually in the lightweight double, but with Paul in the double with another rower, Gary is in the single. Over the whole time trial Murphy’s time was the fastest.
Heat Two had Lucas Schaefer of Germany record the fastest finishing time. Schaefer did the 2000m time trial in 7:25. This had him faster than Ireland 2 of Jacob McCarthy and New Zealand’s Benjamin van Dalen. Their times were 7:32 and 7:33 respectively. At World Rowing Cup II in Poznan last month Schaefer finished fourth.
The very experienced Rajko Hvrat of Slovenia was the fastest in Heat Three. His time of 7:26 got him into the semifinal and saw him finish faster than Zak Lee-Green of Great Britain and Kakeru Sato of Japan 2.
Qualifiers: NOR2, NZL, AUS, GER, GBR, ESP, JPN2, IRL2, SLO, SUI, IRL1, NOR1
Women’s Four (W4-) – Heats
With 12 boats entered they were divided into two heats and the top boat of each heat would go directly to the final. New sensation in the four, Denmark rowed in Heat One of the time trials. Denmark won World Rowing Cup II last month and must be on a roll. They finished first in a time of 6:55 under this time trial system. But the fastest time overall went to Australia 1 in Heat Two. Aldersey, Werry, Hawe and Stephan finished in a time of 6:54 to put them directly into the final. At World Rowing Cup II Australia finished third. When Denmark and Australia meet in Sunday’s final it is going to be a great race.
Qualifiers: DEN, AUS
Men’s Four (M4-) – Heats
This race had 12 entries with the time trial format dividing them into two heats. The fastest in each heat would go directly to Sunday’s final. It was Rossiter, Cook, Gibbs and Carnegie of Great Britain 1 who recorded the fastest time in Heat One. The British boat are the 2019 European Champions, but then finished fourth last month at World Rowing Cup II. They recorded a time of 6:16 today. But that was not fast enough to beat Australia who raced in Heat Two. Australia are the 2018 World Champions of the four and they have boated a new line up here in Rotterdam. This line up raced to gold last month at World Rowing Cup II. Their finishing time was 6:14 and they must be heading to Sunday’s final full of confidence.
Qualifiers: GBR, AUS
Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Heats
There were 20 entries in this boat class. This divided the boats into four heats and the top two fastest in each heat would go directly to the semifinals. Then the next fastest four crews by time across all heats would also advance to the semifinals. Heat One had Mirka Topinkova Knapkova of the Czech Republic record the fastest time clocking 8:14. Knapkova is on the comeback in the single after spending some of last season in team boats. She is the 2012 Olympic Champion. Second, with a time of 8:27 was Olympic Champion from the quadruple sculls, Annekatrin Thiele of Germany 1.
Winner of World Rowing Cup II, Emma Twigg of New Zealand raced to the fastest time in Heat Two. Twigg’s time of 8:04 was a long way ahead of second-place getter Pascale Walker of Switzerland 2 who recorded 8:15. Twigg finished fourth at the Rio Olympics and decided to step away from competitive rowing. She is back with Tokyo on her mind. But the fastest time overall went to 2017 World Champion, Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland 1. Gmelin finished in a time of 8:01 and is yet to race Twigg this season. Gmelin’s last international race was the European Championships where she took silver behind Puspure of Ireland. Lovisa Claesson of Sweden was second in a time of 8:13.
Heat Four had Rio silver medallist Victoria Thornley of Great Britain finishing first. Thornley raced in the double at Rio but has been in the single ever since. Her finishing time was 8:06. Lisa Scheenaard of the Netherlands was second in a time of 8:09.
Qualifiers: GER2, SUI2, CZE, SUI1, NED1, NAM, FRA2, GER1, GBR, NZL, SWE, FRA1
Men’s Single Sculls (M1x) – Heats
An entry list of 28 boats were divided into six heats for these time trials. The first place in each heat would go to the semifinals and then the next fastest six boats across all the heats would also get to qualify for the semifinals. For Heat One David Bartholot of Australia came through with the fastest time just a fraction ahead of Finland. His time was 6722. Bartholot raced in the double at World Rowing Cup II. The 2018 World Champion Kjetil Borch of Norway was the fastest in Heat Two. Borch is on the comeback from injury and he finished in a very fast time of 7:07 to send him to tomorrow’s semifinals. This was the fastest time overall of the time trials. Winner of World Rowing Cup II, Sverri Nielsen of Denmark raced in Heat Three and won in a very handy time of 7:13. This qualified him for the semifinal and marked a faster time than the winner of Heat Four, Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic. Synek is one of the long-stayers in the single. He is an Olympic medallist and World Champion. Synek’s time to win Heat Four was 7:16.
Croatia’s Damir Martin recorded 7:23 to win Heat Five. Martin is the silver medallist in the single from the Rio Olympics. Prior to that Martin was part of Croatia’s very, very successful men’s quadruple sculls which included the Sinkovic brothers. Heat Six was won by Robert Manson of New Zealand. Manson has had varied success in the single over the years. He own’s the World Best Time in this boat class but was unable to medal at last year’s World Rowing Championships. Manson recorded a time of 7:24.
Qualifiers: POL, CRO, DEN, AUS, FIN1, SWE1, NED1, GBR2, CZE, NOR, NZL1, SUI
Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Heats
This time trial had three heats and the first two places in each heat would go to the semifinals. Then the next fastest six times across all heats would also get to progress. Heat One had Switzerland’s Patricia Merz and Frederique Rol record the fastest time. They crossed the 2000m finish line in a time of 7:34. This put Germany 1 into second in a time of 7:42. Merz and Rol medalled at the European Championships this year but then in World Rowing Cup II raced in the B-final.
Heat Two was won by World Rowing Cup II winners, Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle of New Zealand. They scored the overall fastest finishing time of 7:32. Canada was second with Jill Moffatt and Jennifer Casson recording 7:42. The top two boats in Heat Three were Romania and China. Cozmiuc and Beleaga of Romania are the current World Champions but this season they have only managed fifth at the European Championships. Today their time was the second fastest overall with 7:36.
Qualifiers: JPN, CAN, SU, ROU, NED, GER2, AUS, GBR, CHN, NZL, GER1, IRL
Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Heats
The 16 boats were divided into four heats for this time trial. The goal was to finish first in the allocated heat to go to the semifinals. Then the next fastest eight times from across all heats would also go to the semifinals. Heat One was won by Jonathan Rommelmann and Jason Osborne of Germany. This new German duo are having a great season coming to Rotterdam as World Cup leaders. They won at World Rowing Cup II last month and also won at the 2019 European Championships. Rommelmann and Osborne’s finishing time was 6:47.
Heat Two had Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan of Ireland finish first. Like Germany, they finished in a time of 6:47. This is a new duo for Ireland as in the past O’Donovan has raced with his brother Gary. At this regatta Gary is in the lightweight single. Winner of Heat Three was the long-term crew of Kristoffer Brun and Are Strandli of Norway. The duo have been together since 2007. They finished in a time of 6:51. The fourth and final heat was won by Matthew Dunham and Harrison Somerville of New Zealand. This duo finished in a time of 6:53.
Qualifiers: FRA, AUS, GER1, IRL, SVK, CZE, CHN, GBR2, NZL, NOR, BEL, POR1
Women’s Double Sculls (W2x) – Heats
This boat class had two heats and the top two boats in each heat would get to go to the finals on Sunday. All other boats would race in a repechage tomorrow. The fastest overall time of these time trials went to Romania’s Nicoleta-Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Geanina Radis. They raced in Heat One and finished in a time of 7:25. Second in this heat was Australia’s Amanda Bateman and Genevieve Horton who recorded 7:28. The Romanian duo won silver at the European Rowing Championships last month. Heat Two turned out to be a little slower with the fastest boat being Lenka Antosova and Krystyna Fleissnerova of the Czech Republic. Their time was 7:31. Following in second was O’Leary and Tomek of the United States. Both of these boats get to go directly to the final.
Qualifiers: ROU, AUS, CZE, USA
Women’s Quadruple Sculls (W4x) – Heats
The time trial for the women’s quadruple sculls divided the boats into two heats with the first boat in each heat getting to go directly to the finals on Sunday. Germany raced in Heat One and recorded the fastest time overall of 6:48. Germany won the Rio Olympics in this boat class and they have been rebuilding their crew throughout this Olympic cycle. For Heat Two it was Poland that took a direct path to the final. Poland are the reigning World Champions but they have not been dominating this season. They finished second at World Rowing Cup II last month.
Qualifiers: GER, POL
Men’s Quadruple Sculls (M4x) – Heats
Divided into two heats, this time trial required the boat to finish first for a direct path to the final on Sunday. The two first-place boats finished with almost identical times of 6:12. This went to Poland in Heat One and Great Britain in Heat Two. Last time these two crews met was at World Rowing Cup II last month. On this occasion Poland took gold and the British finished fifth. Has Great Britain stepped up a notch? These two crews will meet in the final.
Qualifiers: POL, GBR
Women’s Eight (W8+) – Heats
This boat class had attracted ten countries and they were divided into two heats for this time trial. To go directly to the final on Sunday a crew had to have the first or second fastest time of their heat. Heat One had Australia record the fastest time of 6:35. This may not have been a surprise as Australia won at World Rowing Cup II last month in Poznan. Poznan was their first international race of the season. Russia also qualified for the final from this heat. Their time was 6:42. In Heat Two the fastest time overall was recorded by New Zealand. The New Zealand crew recorded a time of 6:29. This was ahead of Canada who also qualified for the final. New Zealand come to Rotterdam after winning at the Henley Royal Regatta last weekend.
Qualifiers: AUS, RUS, NZL, CAN
Men’s Eight (M8+) – Heats
The men’s eight had their time trial divided into two heats. This meant that in each heat the crew had to finish first to get to go directly to Sunday’s final. All other crews would need to go to the repechage. In Heat One the World Champion crew of Germany had the fastest time. But this time of 5:47 was not the fastest overall. This honour went to Great Britain, the winner of Heat Two. Great Britain finished second to Germany at last month’s World Rowing Cup II. Today they recorded a time of 5:44. This was faster than New Zealand who beat Great Britain at the Henley Royal Regatta last weekend, but their second place today means they have to go to a repechage.
Qualifiers: GER, GBR