Wind, rain and Italian winter racing
It was a full weekend of racing in Italy with the 13th edition of the Italian Sculling Challenge and the 3rd edition of the Orta Lake Eights Challenge.
Racing began with the 6000m Orta Lake Eights Challenge that had crews fighting through rain and sleet. Thirteen crews raced from Regione Bagnera, around the Isola di San Giulio to finish back at the Regione Bagnera. The Italian eight from Piedmont took the gold in a time of 22:15. The crew from Lombard came second (22:37), while the Champions team finished in third (22:46).
The wind then joined the rain on the second day of racing for the Italian Sculling Challenge. For the first time ever organisers were forced to shorten the course down to 3000m. It seemed to suit the German crews with Germany taking line honours in both the men’s and women’s field.
In the men’s field, Julian Schneider took home the gold. Schneider is a German national team rower and finished in the final at last year’s World Rowing Under 23 Championships in the lightweight men’s double. Schneider admitted that he was lucky to take advantage of a clash of oars between him and Joachin Agne and Gabriel Soares at the first buoy. “I’m very happy,” Schneider said, “today, apart from the wind, the conditions were ideal.” Despite the clash, Agnes managed to hold on to his second-place finish and Soares came through in third.
On the women’s side, Vera Spanke managed to come out on top after going head to head with twins Julia and Sophia Wolf. Spanke raced on the German under-23 national team last year taking bronze in the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls at the 2017 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.
“I had a lot of fun over the weekend,” Spanke said, “and winning was the top. The duel with Julia and Sophia was nice, although I have always tried to lead every race.” Julia and Sophia finished within just one second of each other to take the other two spots on the podium.