Who to Watch at World Rowing Cup II in Poznan
It’s going the be big. World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland has more that 800 athletes competing. This second World Cup in the 2019 series of three starts 21 June and goes through to 23 June 2019.
This is a chance to see the best rowers in the world compete. Here’s a summary of who there is for you to watch.
Women’s pair (W2-)
It is the first appearance this season for the crews from New Zealand, Australia and Canada and with it, many of the big names are back in play.
Canada has made a change to their World Champion line-up of Hillary Janssens and Caileigh Filmer. Janssens will be rowing with a new partner, Sydney Payne. Payne raced in the silver medal Canadian eight at last year’s World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv. They will face a big challenge from World silver medallists of Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler. The New Zealand duo has the advantage of years rowing together.
The gold and silver medallists from the European Championships, Spain and Romania have not entered crews, but bronze medallists Italy will certainly challenge for the podium. Watch out too for the United States. They entered two women’s pairs, including Olympians Tracy Eisser and Megan Kalmoe.
Men’s pair (M2-)
Are the Sinkovic brothers the new Kiwi pair? They have become the crew to beat and may be working towards the undefeated record that Murray and Bond boasted. Martin and Valent Sinkovic have, however, had to withdraw due to injury.
The rest of the field is full of talent and with an aura of mystery as there are many new line-ups. Australia has entered top talent Alexander Hill and Joshua Booth. Hill is the reigning World Champion in the men’s four and Booth comes out of the silver medal winning men’s eight. Italy has a new line-up, including World Champion Giuseppe Vicino and young partner Leonardo Pietra Caprina. New Zealand has entered their 2018 line-up of Michael Brake and Thomas Murray who were fifth last year.
Don’t forget about France and the Czech Republic. The French brothers Theophile and Valentin Onfroy are 2018 world bronze medallists and 2018 European silver medallists, but found themselves out of the final at this year’s European Championships. The Czech combination of Jakub Podrazil and Lukas Helesic have had mixed results. If it goes their way, they might just fight for the podium.
Lightweight men’s double sculls (LM2x)
Twenty-five crews have entered making it a sight to see. The new German combination of Jason Osborne and Jonathan Rommelmann will attempt to repeat their gold medal winning performance from the European Rowing Championships. They may, however, have an uphill battle. Osborne and Rommelmann will have European silver medallists from Italy, Pietro Ruta and Stefano Oppo hot on their tails.
France’s Olympic Champion Pierre Houin has teamed up with the young Hugo Beurey. This combination will be looking to find their speed before Olympic qualification later this year. Watch out too for Poland. They finished second at the first World Rowing Cup, but were pushed out of the final at the European Championships. Keep an eye on the new combination from the United States. Andrew Campbell Jr. has had big results in the lightweight single and has teamed up with Nicholas Trojan.
Lightweight women’s double sculls (LW2x)
The one, two, three from the 2019 European Rowing Championships will take to the water in Poznan and are joined by 18 more crews. Belarus’ combination of Alena Furman and Anastasiia Ianina took the category by surprise when they convincingly won the European Championships. But they will have tougher competition this time. The Chinese duo of Dandan Pan and Wenzi Huang won the first World Rowing Cup and look to be in fine form this season.
Furman and Ianina will also have a challenge from the top French crew of Claire Bove and Laura Tarantola. This duo finished second at the European Championships. And watch out for the Swiss combination of Frederique Rol and Patricia Mertz. Rol and Mertz have been climbing in the standings over the last year and rowed their way to bronze at the European Championships.
Keep an eye too on the new American crew of Christine Cavallo and Michelle Sechser. Cavallo has gone under 6 minutes on the indoor rowing machine and Sechser has a handful of medals to her name already. And the Kiwi duo of Jackie Kiddle and Zoe McBride is back. If they have found their rhythm, they might just be on the podium.
Women’s quadruple sculls (W4x)
The Germans found their way to the top of the podium at the European Rowing Championships in Lucerne and have entered the same line-up. But they have not yet gone up against the Chinese.
The Chinese combination beat the Dutch at the first World Rowing Cup of the season and look to be on form this season. The 2018 World Champions from Poland found themselves in fourth at the European Championships and will certainly be looking to be back on the podium in front of their home crowd.
The Netherlands and Australia complete the field. The Australians finished seventh at last year’s World Rowing Championships, but have a made a few line-up changes and the Dutch have entered their under-23 crew for extra race experience.
Men’s quadruple sculls (M4x)
The Dutch pulled a trick out of their hat with a convincing win in the men’s quadruple sculls a few weeks ago at the European Rowing Championships. The Dutch, however, have not entered in Poznan. This leaves the impressive Italian crew to fight for the top of the podium.
Italy are reigning World Champions and are probably the crew to beat. They will face a big challenge from 2018 world silver medallists from Australia. The Australian line-up has one change, with Cameron Girdlestone replacing Campbell Watts.
Watch out too for Great Britain. Their new combination finished third at the European Championships in Lucerne and they are likely to put forward a strong performance in Poznan. And don’t forget about Germany. They have a stacked line-up which finished just behind Great Britain in Lucerne.
Men’s double sculls (M2x)
The French are the reigning World Champions in this boat class. But Hugo Bucheron and Matthieu Androdias had a rough go at the European Championships in Lucerne, finishing in sixth place. Poland took the title in Lucerne and they have made one change to their line-up: Mateusz Biskup has replaced Fabian Baranski. Poland has not been able to settle on a line-up this season and seem to be testing combinations across all their crews.
The Swiss are likely to be medal contenders. After finishing with a silver medal at last year’s World Rowing Championships, they showed their early season speed with a repeat performance at the European Championships a few weeks ago.
Keep an eye out for the return of Kiwi double of John Storey and Christopher Harris. They are bronze medallists from last year’s World Championships and this is their first race for the 2019 season. There might be a challenge as well from the Chinese combination of Zhiyu Liu and Liang Zhang. They finished on top of the podium at the first World Rowing Cup this season.
Women’s double sculls (W2x)
There are an impressive 22 entries in the women’s double sculls and the field is full of speed. The reigning World Champions are Lithuania’s crew of Milda Valciukaite and Ieva Adomaviciute. But the duo struggled three weeks ago at the European Championships in Lucerne and finished in fifth. It was Leonie Menzel and Carlotta Nwajide from Germany who won gold in Lucerne. Menzel and Nwajide have entered in Poznan and are likely to be medal contenders.
Bronze medallists from the European Rowing Championships, Italy has also entered the same line-up for Poznan. They are definitely a crew to watch. And then there is the addition of the non-European crews. The United States has entered two power-house doubles. Olympic silver medallist in the women’s single, Genevra Stone has teamed up with Cicely Madden. Also entered from the US are 2018 World bronze medallists, Ellen Tomek and Meghan O’Leary. Both crews are likely to be strong as Stone and Madden recently beat Tomek and O’Leary at the US team trials.
Watch out too for New Zealand’s Brooke Donaghue and Olivia Loe. They are silver medallists from the 2018 World Rowing Championships and have a handful of medals around their neck. And don’t be surprised to see China in the final. They won the first World Rowing Cup of the season.
Men’s single sculls (M1x)
With 36 entries in the men’s single sculls, athletes will face a heavy schedule of racing, including quarterfinals, over the three-day World Cup regatta. It will be a test of experience against youth. Germany’s new star Oliver Zeidler recently won the European Rowing Championships and looks to be on a roll. Pushing him to the line will likely be Robert Manson of New Zealand. Manson secured the New Zealand single sculls spot over three-time Olympian Mahe Drysdale earlier this season.
Both Manson and Zeidler will have to contend with the reigning World Champion, Kjetil Borch of Norway. Borch struggled with injury in the lead-up to the European Championships where he found himself out of the final. But if he’s on form, he will be fast.
Cuba’s Angel Fournier Rodriguez is entered for the first time this season. Fournier has only competed in a handful of events since the 2016 Olympics, but carries a bucket of medals to his name and is likely to be a contender in Poznan. Watch out too for Belarus’ Pilip Pavukou and Denmark’s Sverri Nielsen. They have both posted top results already this season and they might have a shot at the podium.
Women’s single sculls (W1x)
In the absence of World Champion Sanita Puspure of Ireland and World silver medallist Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland, the top of the podium is for the taking in Poznan. The one to beat is likely to be Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig. Lobnig finished fourth at the European Championships and has a bronze medal from last year’s World Rowing Championships.
Lobnig is likely to face competition from a handful of top athletes. Denmark’s Fie Ubdy Erichsen has been climbing in the ranks over the last few years, she finished just behind Lobnig at the European Championships. China’s Jiang Yan picked up a silver medal at the first World Rowing Cup and is also entered in Poznan.
Canada’s Carling Zeeman has seen a handful of top results in the last few years and might challenge for a top spot. The United States has entered Kara Kohler. Kohler beat Olympic silver medallist Genevra Stone a few weeks ago in the US trials to secure her spot as the American single sculler. Watch out too for rowing legend Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus as well as the return to rowing of New Zealand’s Emma Twigg.
Women’s Four (W4-)
There are 15 crews entered as the season charges towards the Olympic qualification regatta later this season. The Dutch won the first two events of the season, showing their strength in the category, but they have entered an under-23 crew in Poznan.
That leaves the door open for the Americans to test their new line-ups. The US are the reigning World Champions, but have been unable to settle on a combination so far this season. Their top boat entered contains two out of last year’s winning crew and they are joined by Olympic Champions Emily Regan and Victoria Opitz.
Australia has also entered an all-star crew. They have three of their four silver medallists from last year’s World Rowing Championships and they are joined by Olympian Olympia Aldersey. Watch out too for strong crews from Poland and Denmark as well as a new combination from Canada.
Men’s four (M4-)
Australia won at the 2018 World Championships, but this year they have made quite a switch. They put two of their biggest names into the men’s pair and left only one of last year’s crew remaining in the four, Jack Hargreaves. It will be interesting to see what this new line-up can do.
Great Britain could be ones to watch after their gold medal win at the European Championships. They seem to have found a new combination that is gelling well together.
Italy has entered yet another new-look for this second World Rowing Cup after finishing fifth at the European Championships. They haven’t been able to find their silver medal winning speed from the 2018 World Rowing Championships.
Expect challenges from Poland and Germany as well. They have both been on the podium so far this year and are regularly top-finishers in this boat class.
Women’s eight (W8+)
This is the biggest field so far this season in the women’s eight and almost all of the top contenders have entered. The United States is putting in their new line-up. They have changed a few new names since last year’s win at the World Rowing Championships.
The US will face a tough challenge from 2018 World silver medallists, Canada. The Canadian crew has several new members, but still are likely to have similar speed to last year’s combination. Watch out too for Australia. They finished third at the 2018 World Championships.
In the absence of the Romanians, Great Britain might also be a top contender for a medal. They finished second at the European Championships a few weeks ago.
Men’s eight (M8+)
The question in the men’s eight is: can anyone beat the Germans? They raced to yet another gold at the European Rowing Championships, despite a valiant effort from the British. Poznan will be another chance for the British to take on the unbeatable Germans.
This time there is a new all-black boat in the field. The New Zealand eight has entered a crew reinforced by two rowing legends, Mahe Drysdale and Hamish Bond. Olympic Champion Bond has been tasked with using his undefeated rhythm to stroke the boat to victory and Drysdale’s incredible strength has been added to power the engine. Potentially, this new Kiwi combination stands a chance at gold. The men’s eight will definitely be one to watch.
International boat classes
The lightweight women’s single sculls has an impressive 16 entries. Many of last year’s top competitors have slotted into the double sculls, but keep an eye on Jill Moffatt of Canada. She finished 5th at last year’s World Rowing Championships. Also watch out for Sweden’s Emma Fredh and South Africa’s Ursula Grobler.
The favourite in the lightweight men’s single sculls might be the recently crowned European Champion Peter Galambos of Hungary. He will face a challenge from Poland’s Artur Mikolajczewski and Italy’s Martino Goretti.
The lightweight men’s quadruple sculls has five entries and the crew to beat is Italy. They are reigning World and European Champions. They will have to contend with the fast Austrian crew and a new line-up from China.
Para-rowing boat classes
There is a full spectrum of para-rowing entries for this World Rowing Cup. In the PR1 para men’s single sculls the race is on between Australia’s Erik Horrie and Ukraine’s Roman Polianksyi. Polianskyi had the upper hand earlier this season when he won at the FISA International Para-Rowing Regatta, but Horrie will certainly be looking to get back on top of the podium.
The PR1 para women’s single sculls sees the return of World Champion Birgit Skarstein of Norway. Skarstein has been dominating this boat class for the last two years and is likely to be on top of the podium in Poznan. Watch out too for Hallie Smith from the United States. She finished in the bronze medal position at last year’s World Rowing Championships and also entered is Germany’s Sylvia Pille-Steppat who finished fourth last year.
In the PR2 para mixed double sculls there is no doubt about the leading duo. Corne de Koning and Annika van der Meer of the Netherlands are reigning World Champions and have gone undefeated over the last two years. They will be challenged by World silver medallists Jolanta Majka and Michal Gadowski from Poland. And watch out too for the new crew from France. Perle Bouge holds the title in the PR2 women’s single sculls and has teamed up with a new partner, Christophe Lavigne.
Eight crews have entered the PR3 mixed coxed four, including the reigning World Champions from Great Britain. They will be challenged by the United States and France who finished in in silver and bronze medal positions respectively at last year’s World Championships.
There are two international para-rowing boat classes being contested in Poznan; the PR2 para men’s single sculls and the PR3 para men’s pair. Corne de Koning of the Netherlands is likely the one to beat in the PR2 para men’s single sculls, he is the reigning World Champion. And watch out for the new British combination in the PR3 para men’s pair. Paralympic Champion James Fox has made a return and teamed up with World Champion Oliver Stanhope.