In the quiet of the start line, you can hear the birds singing. Then the names were called, the starter said ‘attention’ and it was all go. Ukraine had a very high starting rate and got a small lead as they dropped down to their race pace stroke rate. Only Australia was slightly off the pace. The Netherlands then got ahead. The Dutch are the reigning World Champions and also finished first at World Rowing Cup I at the start of the month.

Ukraine then moved up on the Dutch. This is the same Ukrainian crew that finished fourth at the Rio Olympics and it included the World Record holder on the indoor rower, Olena Buryak. Ukraine hit the middle of the race in the lead. But there was nothing in it with just two seconds separating the entire fleet. In the third 500 the Olympic Champions, Germany did a push and took the lead. This is a different crew than the 2016 boat, but the support must have been there. Ukraine was now in second but trying to hold on to the Germans. Now Australia really found their rhythm as was at 40 coming into the final sprint. This was one close race! China One went to 45. China got the silver and Australia bronze.

Results: GER, CHN1, AUS, UKR, NED, POL

Marie-Catherine Arnold (b), Germany, gold
“We had a really good start and we were able to keep with the others. We pushed with 500 meters to go and managed to create a boat length. It felt amazing and we really enjoyed the win. There is a big group of women to select from but looking forward to racing again.”

Caitlin Cronin, Australia, bronze
“We were expecting a tight race today after the times in the heats and the reps. It really could have been anyone’s game but we executed our plan. We will be in Lucerne where we hope to build on what we did today.”

Re-watch the live race here


After an initial lead by Romania, Great Britain got out in front and once there never looked back. Belarus made the best of it and went after the British, but they didn’t have the same boat speed.

Results: GBR, BLR, NOR, ROU, CZE, CHN2