World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland raced the finals with some first-time World Cup medallists being crowned and some old favourites coming through. The lightweight men’s double was full of new faces while the Sinkovic brothers kept their gold medal streak going in the men’s double sculls. In sunny, cross-tail wind conditions with some bounce on the water a few crabs were caught and a tie was produced in the men’s double.


PR1 women’s single sculls (PR1 W1x) – Final

Birgit Skarstein set a new World Best Time when she raced in the provisional race earlier at this regatta. The Paralympic Champion from Norway has started the 2022 season at this regatta but she was not in the lead at the start. It was Nathalie Benoit of France who rated over 40 and was in the lead. The lower rating Skarstein then began to make her way through the field, but Anna Sheremet of Ukraine was in front at the half way point.

Sheremet hung on. The 21-year-old was fourth at the Paralympic Games and must have a long career ahead of her. Then Skarstein took the lead at a 30-stroke rate pace and continued on her steady and powerful way to the end. Sheremet hung on to second with the real battle going on for the bronze between Benoit and Germany 2 of Manuela Diening. Skarstein had won with Sheremet in second and Diening, racing at her first World Cup, takes the bronze.

Results: NOR, UKR, GER2, FRA, GER1

PR1 men’s single sculls (PR1 M1x) – Final

Giacomo Perini of Italy surprised everyone when he beat Paralympic medallist Erik Horrie of Australia in the preliminary race two days ago. Perini also set a World Best Time in this preliminary race and became the first rower to go under 9 minutes. Today Horrie was ready. He leapt out at an incredible pace at the start with only Perini able to hold on. This is Perini’s first ever international regatta and he was matching Horrie with a high 30s rating.

Going through the half way mark Perini still had a lead over Horrie, and a rather comfortable one, but Horrie was not giving up and these two boats moved clean away from the rest of the field with Germany’s Marcus Klemp sitting in the bronze medal spot. Horrie kept his speed up but could not catch Perini who just looked better and better as the race progressed. Perini. 26, had won.

Results: ITA, AUS, GER, HUN, POL2, POL1

PR2 mixed double sculls (PR2 Mix2x) – Final

Poland had the best race on Friday in the preliminary race to cross the line in first. They finished sixth at the 2020 Paralympic Games and they had the home course advantage. It was very close at the first 500m mark with France just a fraction in front of Poland. France includes Stephane Tardieu and Perle Bouge who won a bronze at the 2016 Paralympic Games. This is their first time racing together since. At the half way point France was still in the lead with Jolanta Majka and Michal Gadowski of Poland in second.

Tardieu and Bouge remained in the lead going through the second half of the race. Meanwhile the Netherlands sat firmly in third. The Dutch finished second at the 2020 Paralympics with Corne de Koning in the boat. De Koning now has a new partner – Chantal Haenen, who is a Paralympic cyclist – and they are improving with every race. Then Poland grabbed the lead and it was a two way sprint to the finish with France. Poland used the crowd and got there first.

Results: POL, FRA, NED, IRL

Women’s pair (W2-) – Final

Going through the heats USA1 and USA2 were the only direct qualifiers for the final. All other boats had to go to the repechage. The United States 1 leapt out quickly but then the Dutch started to come back. Clevering and Meester of the Netherlands had caught a crab at the start putting them into fifth place, but they were giving it their all and had caught up with Wanamaker and Collins of USA1. By the half way point Wanamaker and Collins still held the front but the lead was small. All of these four athletes come out of their country’s women’s four Olympic boat where the Dutch took silver and the Americans were seventh.

These two boats were neck-and-neck coming into the final sprint with Ireland just holding on to the bronze medal spot over USA 2 and the Czech Republic. The leading sprint continued but then Collins caught a crab! The Dutch had won. Collins and Wanamaker held on to second with Ireland’s Hegarty and Murtagh taking the bronze just ahead of USA2.

Results: NED1, USA1, IRL, USA2, CZE, CHN2

Men’s pair (M2-) – Final

The Dutch had the fastest time coming through from yesterday’s semifinal when they had a huge race against New Zealand. Today these two crews met again and also with Japan, Switzerland, Moldova and the United States to contend with. The Swiss were at 48 at the start and came out flying. But it was New Zealand’s MacDonald and Macintosh that got to the 500m mark first. They kept their rating up at 40 and held it. The two Kiwis come out of the Olympic Champion eight and there’s no doubt that they’ve been hand-picked as the top two.

At the half way point New Zealand had more than a boat length lead with the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United States and Japan right on top of each other and fighting for the silver medal spot. MacDonald and MacIntosh had now moved clean away with the Dutch and the United States remaining neck-and-neck. The Dutch crew of van Lierop and van Sprang looked to have the better sprint and were moving away from the US. But no one could catch New Zealand. Grady and Best of USA1 held on for bronze.

Results: NZL, NED, USA1, JPN1, SUI, MDA

Women’s double sculls (W2x) – Final

The Netherlands had the fastest time – and by a lot – from yesterday’s semifinals. Youssifou and de Jong of the Netherlands are at their second World Rowing Cup of the season. At World Rowing Cup I they took gold in both the eight and double. Being able to swap between sweep and sculling must work well for them as they doubled up in Poznan as well. The early leaders were de Jong and Youssifou with the Chinese going with them. De Jong took bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in the double and with new partner Youssifou they were now moving away from the Chinese with Ireland moving into second. The Irish crew included the great single sculler Sanita Puspure with new partner Zoe Hyde.

Ireland then looked to be cementing their silver medal spot as China saw themselves under threat from the United States 1. Kohler and Vitas were rating lower than China but continued to move on Xu and Shen. This brought the two crews up to Ireland. The Dutch finished first, Ireland held on to second and the USA1 were in third with Kohler catching a crab just after crossing the line. Only half a second separated second to fourth. China was unlucky.

Results: NED1, IRL, USA1, CHN, USA2, GER1

Men’s double sculls (M2x) – Final

Martin and Valent Sinkovic of Croatia don’t look like they’re giving up first place any time soon. But today was a new day and Poland and the Netherlands had been looking good through the earlier rounds. Germany went out at 50 strokes per minute, but the Sinkovic brother were already starting to show. Croatia got to the first 500m mark just a fraction in the lead with Poland the closest challengers. The Sinkovic’s were at 38 with Poland’s Zietarski and Baranski at 39. Australia and the Netherlands 1 and 2 were neck-and-neck which was bringing them up to Zietarski and Baranski who were holding tightly on to Croatia. Could the Sinkovic brothers shake off the Poles?

The race remained incredibly close going into the final sprint. Martin and Valent now had a boat length lead but there was very little between Poland, Netherlands 1 and Australia and Netherlands 2. Croatia went to 40 and so did Poland. The crowd was on their feet. The Sinkovics had done it again. Poland snatched silver and then in a photo finish for bronze. Everyone waited. This was taking longer than normal. It must have been incredibly close. The Dutch duo of Metsemakers and Broenink had tied with Australia’s Antill and Cleary.

Results: CRO, POL, NED1 tied with AUS, NED2, GER1

Lightweight women’s double sculls (LW2x) – Final

Yesterday’s semifinals saw the United States record the fastest time. The duo of Sechser and Reckford had raced in the A-Final at the Tokyo Olympics and are back for another year together. They were the only crew to go under 7 minutes in the semis. Ireland jumped out rating 51 and got a slight edge at the start. But it was Sechser and Reckford that got to the first 500m mark in the lead. There was nothing in it though with Ireland and Australia hanging on tightly and only two seconds separating the entire field.

Reckford and Sechser got into a slight lead with Ireland, Australia and China moving in a practical line together. This was going to be a full 2000m race. The Americans looked like they were cruising as they now began to move away from the rest of the field. The rest of the field now closed on each other and only two seconds separated five boats. The sprint was on for the line with China’s Zou and Qiu having a slight margin. The United States had won, again going under 7 minutes. Australia’s Reardon and Coleman just got second with Ireland in bronze at just 0.09 seconds ahead of China.

Results: USA, AUS, IRL, CHN, POL1, SUI

Lightweight men’s double sculls (LM2x) – Final

This presented one of the newest fields of 2022 and although Norway had got the fastest time in the semifinals, it could go any of the six ways as these crews gain experience with every race. France got a slight lead at the start.  Switzerland then got a small margin. Schaeuble of Switzerland finished first at World Cup I in this boat class. They still had a fraction of a lead at the half way point. Then Norway did a piece in the third 500 and got their bow ball in front. Benske and Tjoem of Norway went to 40 going into the final sprint putting Switzerland into second and under threat from France and Germany. Norway had won. France’s Beurey and Ludwig grabbed silver and Switzerland hung on for the bronze.

Results: NOR1, FRA1, SUI, GER, USA, UKR

PR3 mixed coxed four (PR3 Mix4+) – Final

Italy went out to an early lead but it wasn’t long before Germany got their bow ball in front. Germany finished first in the test race on Friday and with just three boats competing it was likely that results wouldn’t alter much. Italy, though, at this stage was holding on to the German lead. Then Germany began to pull away. Stroking for Germany, Susanne Lackner has been on the para rowing scene for years including a medal back in 2007. Her crew now had a full boat length lead as they went into the final sprint at 32 strokes per minute. The order was not going to change.

Results: GER, ITA, KOR

Women’s four (W4-) – Final

Australia recorded the fastest time from the heats on Friday. But it was Ireland that was fastest out of the blocks. Ireland took bronze at the Tokyo Olympics while Australia is the Olympic Championships. There’s a sprinkling of these athletes back in the boat in 2022. At the 500m mark it was Australia in the lead with the Netherlands slipping into second. Behind these two crews Canada, New Zealand and Ireland were neck-and-neck.

First to the 1000m mark was Australia who still had the Netherlands hot on their heels. These two boats were starting to move away from the rest of the pack. The United States had now moved up to join Ireland and New Zealand with Canada right there as well. This race for bronze was a four-boat battle.

In the final sprint the Netherlands were at 37, Ireland went to 40 to take on New Zealand. The United States was right there. Australia had won. The Dutch took silver and Ireland got the better of New Zealand to win bronze.

Results: AUS, NED, IRL, USA, NZL, CAN1

Men’s four (M4-) – Final

Australia had the fastest time in the heats and with three member returning from the Tokyo Olympic Champion boat – Purnell, Turrin and Hargreaves – it all looked good for a win today for their first international regatta of the 2022 season. China and Australia went out together at the start and they went through the 500 together. At World Cup I China took bronze in the four and these four members also took bronze in the eight. The Netherlands has two fours in the final and they must be doing a private boat race at this regatta.

Australia now began to pull away and going through the middle of the race they had nearly a boat length lead over China with the Netherlands 1 and United States moving up on China. Australia then went to 40 strokes per minute and raced their own race at the head of the field. The Netherlands 1 went after them. Rienks, Rienks, Knab and de Graaf had closed on Australia. The Australians reacted back and went to 42. The Netherlands held onto them. The United States went to 42 and tried to shake China. Australia had won by 1 second over the Netherlands 1 with the United States in third.

Results: AUS, NED1, USA, CHN1, NED2, POL

Women’s quadruple sculls (W4x) – Final

China took gold at the Tokyo Olympics and they have kept three members of this Olympic Champion quad. They come into the final with the fastest time from the heats. The Netherlands had the early lead. They finished second to China in the heats and were the World Cup I winners where China took silver. The Netherlands, China and Switzerland went through the first 500 together, splitting this into a two-group race.

Switzerland, three out of four of whom are the reigning under 23 champions in this boat class, then dropped back into the second group leaving China and the Netherlands to battle it out at the front. Australia was now challenging Switzerland and underrating them in the process. China then did a push and managed to almost shake the Dutch with Australia and Switzerland neck-and-neck. China had won as Switzerland took on the Netherlands. The Swiss had done it. A wobble in the Dutch boat gave Switzerland the silver.


Men’s quadruple sculls (M4x) – Final

There was a pause as the starter asked to realign the boats. The crews then got away with the Netherlands the favourites to win after getting the fastest time in the heats. The Czech Republic took off at 49 strokes per minute, with China getting to the first 500m out in front. Poland 1 was the closest to China as they charged towards the half way point. Behind China and Poland 1, Estonia and Switzerland were neck-and-neck with the Netherlands right behind them. Throughout this regatta the Dutch have proved to have rather slow first halves and it looked like they were doing the same in this race. But history shows that the finish isn’t decided until the final beep.

Poland then did a piece and caught up to China. Poland finished fifth at World Rowing Cup I and they were making the most of the crowd as they charged for the finish. China went to 43 and came back on Poland. The Estonians with the evergreen Tonu Endrekson in the crew were motoring. China had won, Estonia was second and Poland held on for third.

Results: CHN, EST, POL1, NED, SUI, CZE1

Men’s single sculls (M1x) – Final

The semifinals provided a lot of equal times with the Netherlands, France and Denmark all within half a second of each other. Bastian Secher of Denmark, Melvin Twellaar of the Netherlands and Matthieu Androdias of France were the ones to beat. At the first marker it was Monaco in the lead just a fraction over Androdias. This is the first time Monaco was in a A-Final at a World Rowing Cup, and surely Quentin Antognelli was making the most of it. Everything was to change in the second 500. Twellaar moved into the lead with Androdias in second. Twellaar and Androdias raced each other at the Tokyo Olympics in the men’s double. Androdias won with Twellaar getting silver.

Twellaar now began to move away with Benjamin Davison of the United States moving up on Androdias. Davison raced in the eight at the Olympics but has prior experience in racing the single. Twellaar was now sprinting for the end and went to 39 to take first. Androdias held on to second with Davison in bronze medal spot.

Results: NED, FRA1, USA, DEN, MON, CAN

Women’s eight (W8+) – Final

The test race on Friday had Australia win by a handy margin. Five boats got away cleanly. Germany was at 42 strokes per minute with the Netherlands moving into a tiny lead. The Dutch are all rowing in other boats at this regatta with de Jong and Youssifou winning the double earlier today while four members took silver in the four just over an hour ago. At the 500m mark the Dutch had a half boat lead over Australia who was just a fraction ahead of Denmark.

By the middle of the race the Netherlands were dominating. Behind them Australia and Denmark went neck-and-neck but these two crews were quite a distance back. Germany and India were pretty much out of the picture. Denmark now gave it a shot to go after the Netherlands. Australia tried to hold on. The Dutch went to 37 in the final sprint with Denmark going to 38 and trying to close some more. The line came too soon for Denmark. The Netherlands had won.

Results: NED, DEN, AUS, GER, IND

Women’s single sculls (W1x) – Final

Winners of the semifinals, the Netherlands and Germany must have been the favourites to medal today. Jeanine Gmelin of Switzerland went out at over 40 strokes per minute. Karolien Florijn of the Netherlands went with Gmelin and got to the 500m mark together. Gmelin is the most experienced in the single of the field while Florijn comes out of the Dutch Olympic four where she won silver. Florijn won the single at World Rowing Cup I and Gmelin must have had an eye on her.

Florijn got to the middle of the race in the lead with Gmelin going with her and these two scullers moved away from the rest of the field. Next up was Australia’s Tara Rigney with Germany’s Alexandra Foester, and the Czech Republic right on her tail. Florijn then solidified her lead with Gmelin solidly in second. Rigney looked to be shaking off Germany. Florijn had won.

Results: NED1, SUI, AUS, GER, CHN1, CZE

Men’s eight (M8+) – Final

Australia had the fastest time in the heats with Germany winning the other heat. Canada came through the repechage but had to pull out for medical reasons leaving five boats racing. The Czechs went out at 45 with Poland at 46, but it was Germany that looked to be taking an early lead. The Germans got silver at the Tokyo Olympics and they’ve been rebuilding their team since. Germany got to the first 500m mark in the lead with Australia hot on their tails. At the half way point Germany still had the lead followed by Australia with Poland trying to close the gap on Australia. These three boats looked to be the ones that would take the medals.

In the second half of the race the gaps between the crews widened with Germany breaking away from Australia and Poland slipping back a bit. It was now down to the final sprint and Australia was closing on Germany. The Germans crossed the line in first.

Results: GER, AUS, POL, CZE, IND