A slightly cool but beautiful flat-water day set the scene for the second round of finals in the 2021 World Rowing Cup series. In Lucerne, Switzerland, World Rowing Cup II went into its final day of racing.

Jump to –  Men’s PairWomen’s Quadruple ScullsMen’s Quadruple ScullsLightweight Women’s Double ScullsMen’s Double ScullsWomen’s FourMen’s FourWomen’s Single ScullsMen’s Single ScullsLightweight Men’s Double ScullsWomen’s Double ScullsMen’s Eight

Women’s pair (W2-) – Final
It was 50 strokes per minute off the start for Romania’s Adriana Ailincai and Iuliana Buhus and they sat in a centre lane after winning their heat on Friday. Romania took silver at the European Rowing Championships earlier this year, and they went into the lead over Chile’s Abraham sisters. Romania settled into a 36 stroke rate pace with Chile now under threat from Spain. Aina Cid and Virginia Diaz Rivas of Spain recorded the fastest qualifying time in the heats and they were now having a battle with Ireland 1. Cid and Diaz took a bronze medal at the European Rowing Championships, and they moved into a piece going through the third 500. This gave them the lead over Romania who were now not looking so smooth.

It was Ireland and Chile now fighting it out for third and the World Rowing Cup bronze medal. Cid and Diaz charged on showing that you don’t need to lead at the start to win a race. Spain had won. Ireland 1 came storming through to take second just 0.06 of a second ahead of Romania.

Results: ESP, IRL1, ROU, CHI, IRL2, CZE

Men’s pair (M2-) – Final
Singing birds could be heard at the start line of the men’s pair as six boats jumped out of the blocks. The French got their nose in front first before Serbia took over with a slight lead. But there was nothing in it between the field, with only two seconds separating all six crews. Serbia’s Martin Mackovic and Milos Vasic had the fastest qualifying time from the heats on Friday and they must have been the favourites for today. Then Italy, rating 39, came up to challenge. The crew of Matteo Lodo and Giuseppe Vicino come from the medal-winning men’s four, and they then did a piece at the 1400 metre mark rating 40.

Serbia reacted back and held off Italy with the 2020 European Champions, Romania now moving on Italy. Italy then went to 42 as Serbia went to 40 and remained in the lead. Italy then took their rating even higher to 45 as Great Britain came through. But it remained Serbia in the lead at the finish.

Results: SRB, ITA, ROU, GBR, FRA1, BLR

Women’s Quadruple Sculls (W4x) – Final
In the race for lanes on Friday, China, the current World Rowing Champions, finished first. But today was the real deal for medals and China was up against the reigning European Rowing Champions the Netherlands. China and the Dutch had the fastest starts and they sat next to each other in lane five and six. China got to the first 500m mark in the lead with Germany getting the better of the Netherlands. Germany finished third at the European Championships and won World Rowing Cup I, and they were China’s closest challengers.

China had now moved to a full boat length lead with the Netherlands trying to play catch-up on the Germans. Now Italy started to move up and they had overtaken the Netherlands to close on Germany. But the race was all about China who had maintained the fastest boat speed on the water and they crossed the line in first with Germany finishing just ahead of Italy.


Men’s Quadruple Sculls (M4x) – Final
Italy and the Netherlands had recorded almost identical times in their respective heats on Friday. They met for the first time today. Italy are the European Champions while the Netherlands have the World Champion title. The Dutch made the best of it at the start building up the best speed. They had the lead at the 500m mark but there was only two seconds over the entire field and 1500m of racing to go. The Dutch knew this and they kept their speed up to remain in the lead rating 38 strokes per minute.

Italy had slotted into second with the big fight going on for the bronze medal spot between Poland, China and Great Britain. Germany was there as well. What could these chasers do? As the sun came out the Netherlands remained in the lead and they now had nearly a full boat length lead over the Italians. For third it was a full-on tussle between Poland and Great Britain and as they sat next to each other, they were doing direct challenges. The Dutch had taken gold with Italy in second and Great Britain had pushed ahead of Poland to take the bronze.


Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Final
France had the fastest time in the race for lanes two days ago and they sat in lane two for today’s race. It was very quiet at the start as these boats got ready to race. Romania (Cozmiuc and Beleaga) was the fastest out of the blocks. They were third in 2020 at the European Rowing Championships. But it was France (Tarantola and Bove) that took a very small lead at the 500m mark. Great Britain (Craig and Grant) then moved up on France as these two boats kept check on each other from one lane over. France missed out on going to the European Rowing Championships in this boat class, due to Laura Tarantola being injured.

Grant and Craig had now snuck into the lead. But France was going with them with Romania now moving up. Romania had been moving with Russia and had now left them behind with France becoming the target. The British sat on 36 coming into the final sprint. France was at 37 and Romania at 39. The British had won with Romania in second and France holding third.


Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Final
The World Champion Chinese set the fastest time in yesterday’s semifinals but only three seconds separated the qualifiers who came into today’s final. Switzerland went out hard and they got to the first 500m mark in the lead. But it was only one and a half seconds separating the entire field. Now China’s Zhiyu Liu and Liang Zhang took up their speed, but so did Ireland’s Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle. Byrne and Doyle hit the half way point in the lead. Doyle has been juggling his training with his work as a doctor, but it doesn’t seem to have hinder his racing today. China did a piece, but Ireland headed them off.

China and Ireland’s battle had moved them away from the rest of the field with the Netherlands 1, Great Britain 1 and Switzerland 1 neck and neck for bronze. It was a furious sprint all round with China winning over Ireland by a fraction of a second. The Netherlands had won the battle for bronze.

Results: CHN, IRL, NED1, GBR1, SUI1, FRA

Women’s Four (W4-) – Final
The Netherlands made easy work of the race for lanes in Friday. They are the reigning European Champions but have had to bring a substitute into the boat for this regatta. Denmark, who were third at the World Rowing Championships, had the fastest start before the Dutch reacted back with Great Britain in hot pursuit. The British got to the first 500m mark in the lead. They also have a substitute on board, but it wasn’t slowing the boat down. The Dutch got to the middle of the race in the lead with Romania 2 and Great Britain the closest challengers.

Moving into the final sprint the Netherlands had earned a decent lead using nice long strokes. Great Britain had come through in second with Romania 1 overtaking Romania 2 as the rain began to pelt down. The Dutch had won using 39 strokes per minute.

Results: NED, GBR, ROU1, POL, ROU2, DEN

Men’s Four (M4-) – Final
The fastest boat from the heats was South Africa. This is their first international regatta since 2019 and as a new combination they really took the rest of the rowers by surprise. They had two Olympic medallists on board including lightweight four Olympic Champion John Smith from London 2012. Great Britain got to the 500m mark in the lead. But there was only half a second between the top four boats. The British are the European Champions and they have long dominated this boat class.

Poland, the 2019 World Champions, tried to hold on to the British pace, but they couldn’t. As Great Britain went through the half way point they had earned a handy margin, leaving Poland and South Africa to go neck and neck for second. Carnegie, Gibbs, Rossiter and Cook of Great Britain continued to lead and they now had a full boat length lead at 40 strokes per minute. South Africa had got ahead of Poland to be in second with Romania moving up on Poland. As the British won, Romania managed to overtake Poland.

Results: GBR, RSA, ROU, ITA, NED2, POL

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Final
Hanna Prakhatsen of Russia stormed onto the 2021 season and became the European Champion. Today she faced for the first time the reigning World Champion, Sanita Puspure of Ireland. At the start of the race it was Madgalena Lobnig of Austria in the lead. Lobnig is known for her fast starts while Puspure often leaves it until later in the race to make her mark. Then Prakhatsen, 28, began to push and she moved into the lead through the middle of the race. This left a battle to take place between Puspure and Kara Kohler of the United States. Kohler finished third at the 2019 World Championships and this is her first international race since that championship.

Prakhatsen pushed on and had got an open water lead coming into the final sprint. Kohler then started to move. Could she catch the Russian? Puspure raised her stroke rate and got ahead of Kohler. Prakhatsen had won. Kohler was second with Puspure in third.

Results: RUS, USA, IRL, AUT, GBR, SUI1

Men’s Single Sculls (M1x) – Final
The biggest boat class at this regatta, these scullers had to go through quarterfinals and semifinals to get to today’s final. From the semis it looked like Oliver Zeidler of Germany would be the one to beat. Zeidler is the World and European Champion and he sat in lane four. Mindaugas Griskonis of Lithuania 2 shot out the quickest at the start. Griskonis was just ahead of Zeidler at the 500m mark and these two boats had a slight lead over the rest of the field.

Zeidler then pushed into the lead with Norway’s Kjetil Borch and Sverri Nielsen of Denmark racing each other for the bronze medal spot. Zeidler started to really show his pace as he moving into the third 500. Griskonis tried to hold on. Griskonis raced and medalled at the Rio Olympics in the double and his doubles partner, Ritter was also in this race. Nielsen was now ahead of Borch, as Zeidler continued in the lead at a 35 stroke rate pace. These rowers were enjoying a slight tail wind as they came into the close of the race. Nielsen then took on Griskonis with Borch also moving up on Griskonis.

Results: GER, DEN, NOR, LTU2, LTU1, IRL

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Final
The World and European Champions, Ireland (Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan) had the fastest qualifying time from yesterday’s semifinals. Today they took on the European silver medallists, Germany. Rating over 50 strokes per minute, Germany’s Rommelmann and Osborne showed early speed. During 2020 Jason Osborne raced in cycling’s virtual e-race and won. He has talked about moving to cycling in the future. Norway 1 now did a push and at the 500m mark it was just over a second between the entire field.

Ireland had a bit of a wobble at the start, but they remained at 39 strokes per minute and had the lead at the half way point. Norway 1 and Germany became the closest challengers with still 1000m of rowing to go. McCarthy and O’Donovan continued to move the quickest and they had nearly a boat length lead going into the final sprint. Norway, third at the Rio Olympics, had come into second with Germany and Italy hot on their heels. At the line the Irish had done it. Norway, Italy and Germany had just 0.39 of a second between the three of them. Italy had missed out on a medal.

Results: IRL, NOR1, GER, ITA, BEL1, BEL2

Women’s Double Sculls (W2x) – Final
Coming through from the heats on Friday, Romania looked to be the crew to beat as they recorded the fastest qualifying time. Nicoleta-Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Radis of Romania are the European Champions and they sat in the middle lane of the Rotsee regatta course. Romania had the best start and they kept on 40 strokes per minute to make a dent from the beginning. The closest challenger was the Czech Republic with Netherlands 1 and Netherlands 2 moving well. With less than 800m gone, Bodnar and Radis had a small open water lead and they now sat on 37 strokes per minute.

The real battle was going on for silver between the Czech Republic (Antosova and Fleissnerova) and the Netherlands 1 (de Jong and Scheenaard). Romania was now way, way out in front. The United States now moved up to try and get into a medal position. They overtook the Czechs and tried to move on the Dutch. At the line Romania had won by 8 seconds over the Dutch and the US.

Results: ROU, NED1, USA, CZE, ITA1, NED2

Men’s Eight (M8+) – Final
The race for lanes on Friday ended up being a two boat race between Germany and Great Britain. These two crews have a long history of rivalry and are the two dominating crews in the men’s eight. Germany is the World Champions while Great Britain are the European Champions. They had one substitute in the boat today. The World silver medallists, the Netherlands joined in the race today.

It was bow ball to bow ball at the start with Germany having a very slight advantage at the 500m mark. Great Britain followed in second with the Dutch still on the pace. They went through the 500 at a 1:20 pace in these now tail wind conditions. Great Britain then did a push and at 38 strokes per minute they took the lead at the half way point. Germany pushed back as the coxswains pushed their crews on. Germany and Great Britain were back to neck and neck as Germany got a very tiny lead. But all the Germans had was a couple of metres and the sprint was on. Germany was at 40 and the British at 39. The British had done it. They crossed the line in a time of 5:24 just a fraction ahead of Germany who were 0.03 of a second back. What a finish to the day!

Results: GBR, GER, NED