A really quick start for Spain using 48 strokes per minute put Aina Cid and Virginia Diaz Rivas into the early lead. One lane over were the World Champions and World Best Time holders, Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler of New Zealand. The New Zealand duo got ahead of Spain and moved into the lead with Australia 1 of Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre going with them. Morrison and McIntyre beat Prendergast and Gowler last month at World Rowing Cup II and these two boats would be watching each other intently. New Zealand was at 35 and Australia at 34 with New Zealand just a fraction in front. This battle at the front left the rest of the field far behind with Romania 1 in third and eight seconds down. Gowler then took the New Zealand boat to 36 and they managed to move away from Australia. What would McIntyre do?

Behind them Great Britain 2 of Polly Swann and Holly Hill had overtaken Romania. New Zealand and Australia were both at 36 then NZ went to 37 then 39, Australia went to 37 then 38. It was neck-and-neck. At the line Australia had the gold.

Results: AUS, NZL1, GBR2, ROU1, ESP, IRL

Jessica Morrison (b), Australia, Gold
“We expected a fight. It would have been nice to have open water like we had in the semi but it was a good race and in the last 300 meters we just decided to attack.”

Grace Prendergast (b), New Zealand, Silver
“It was a good race, we ran out to just really attack, so it’s a good learning experience for us. We’ll take from this that we’ll need to attack the conditions at all times. We’ll race in the eight later so now it’s time to go back, rest, recover and start warming up again.

Holly Hill (s), Pair, Great Britain, Bronze
“That was the outcome of my dreams! Polly called the race really well and it was really exciting for us. Our crew has just recently been formed so this is a great start.”

Re-watch the race here!


Anna Schanne and Tabea Schendekehl of Germany 1 led from start to finish and were very happy at the finish line with their B-final win. The duo missed out on making the A-final by just 0.12 of a second in yesterday’s semifinals and this must have felt good to have a great race.

Results: GER1, GBR1, AUS2, DEN, RUS, ROU2