Youth Olympic Games rowing time trials present new racing concept
The 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires, Argentina has started and time trials were the feature for day one of the YOG rowing regatta.
But these were time trials with a difference. The athletes had to race, one-at-a-time, leaving at roughly 30 second intervals going first up one lane. Then after roughly 450m the rowers had to make a buoy turn and race back down to the start for this 900m race.
This unusual style of racing meant that the skill of the buoy turn often became the decider in who recorded the best speeds and some of the top rowers from August’s World Rowing Junior Championships did not always fare so well.
The junior men’s single sculls was the first to race and Maxwell Heid of the United States got the ball rolling. He set the bar for the other rowers that would come behind him. Swiss rower, Kai Schaetzle, then set the time to beat clocking 3:30.13. Schaetzle’s time stood at the top of the results until Martin Gonzalez Volkmann from Uruguay recorded 3:28.87. This gave Volkmann the overall fastest time. Australia’s Cormac Kennedy-Leverett, who won silver at the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships, placed tenth in the time trials with a time of 3:39.17.
The junior women’s single sculls opened with Aina Prats Turro of Spain, setting a time of 4:11.61. This was then bettered by Caitlin Govaert from Belgium. Sweden’s Elin Lindroth then beat Govaert’s time by just under a second. Three races later home favourite, Maria Sol Ordas took her position at the start. As she raced down the course you could hear the home crowd cheer her on. Ordas crossed the finish line with a 5.18 second lead on Lindroth.
In the junior men’s pair, the Loncaric brothers of Croatia were first to set off and set a time of 3:22.54 which gave them third place overall. The British pair of Michael Dalton and Theo Darlow set off second and raced 3.51 seconds quicker than the Loncaric brothers to finish first. No crew was close to beating the British until Argentinean pair of Tomas Herrera and Felipe Modarelli placed second, only 1.34 seconds shy of the Brits.
Surprisingly the junior world champions from Romania, Florin Nicolae Arteni-Fintinariu and Alexandru Laurentiu Danciu placed seventh overall.
The junior women’s pair set off last. This race showed how technique is key when a buoy turn is needed. Each crew used their own technique and precision timing and this turned out to be the difference between first, second and third. Finishing first in the time trials was the Dutch crew of Iris Klok and Jessy Vermeer with a time of 3:42.55. Klok and Vermeer were followed by Maria Kyridou and Christina Bourmpou of Greece who finished in 3:43.67. Then just 0.50 second later, the Chinese pair of Dan Li and Hongjing Sun took third.
The rowing regatta at the YOG consists of four boat classes; men’s and women’s single sculls and men’s and women’s pairs. Each of the single sculls events has 24 boats, with the pairs comprised of 12 boats each.
Unlike standard international rowing competitions, the YOG rowing races are held over shorter distances. The first day of racing comprises of the crews undergoing a time trial format race which takes place over roughly 900 meters with a 360° turn around a buoy at the half way mark. Crews raced with approximately 30-45 second intervals with a ‘flying’ start. The time-based rankings from this round will determine the allocation of heats and lanes for the round 2 races, taking place on, Monday 8 October.
The next round of racing starts at 13:00 (local time) on Monday 8 October 2018.
Results are here.
Daily photo albums are here.