XRow turns rowing into an extreme sport
When it comes to Red Bull XRow events, you know it’s going to be rowing related with a twist. The third Red Bull XRow was exactly that.
Beginning in Zug, Switzerland the race was designed for eights and had them competing in a rowing and running combination event. The first part of the event was a nine kilometre row across Lake Zug, then an overland run of about four kilometres which included a steep hill. The event then headed into the second lake row on Lake Lucerne and ended by carrying the boats to the finish line – a roughly 500m run. Overall this equalled about 19km of rowing plus several kilometres of running.
The race finished in front of thousands of cheering spectators in Switzerland’s tourist destination and rowing hub of Lucerne at its historical Chapel Bridge. The top three men’s and women’s crews all received prize money.
The event opened with a mass start of the eights with crews from the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland competing. This meant that the run involved carrying 100kg of boat with most crew opting for six athletes to carry the boat and two to carry the oars with the coxswain leading the way and giving instructions. The crew made up of Swiss national team rowers took an early lead but were pressed hard by two German crews through the first part of the race. The Swiss crew made it through the first run still in the lead to get onto the second lake as the leaders.
Switzerland remained in the lead for the rest of the race. Their crew included London Olympic athletes, Mario Gyr from the lightweight men’s four and Andre Vonarburg from the men’s quadruple sculls. Second were the LightBulls from Germany followed by another German boat, the Frankfurter RG Germania All Stars which included 2010 Red Bull XRow winner and Olympic single sculling medallist, Marcel Hacker.
The win for the Swiss crew was made more special by Switzerland’s top single sculler and four-time Olympian, Vonarburg announcing his retirement. Vonarburg commented, “It is great to be able to end my career with such a race with such great team mates, even if it was brutal from the first stroke to the very last.”
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Watch highlights from the event here.