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Thrills and spills on second day of World Rowing Cup II

An exciting second day of the World Rowing Cup II in Varese, Italy saw 13 Australian crews in action. Four crews claimed victory in their heats to automatically secure semi-final berths in Saturday’s racing, while Erik Horrie won his para-rowing semi-final in the Arms and Shoulders Men’s Single Scull to book his place in Saturday’s final.

The Men’s Pair of Jack Hargreaves and Nick Wheatley led from start to finish in their heat to claim their spot in Saturday’s semi-final. The U23 athletes’ win was swiftly followed by victories from Alexander Belonogoff and James McRae in the Men’s Double Scull, Sally Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey in the Women’s Double Scull and Kim Crow in the Women’s Single Scull. By winning their heats, each crew automatically qualified for their semi-finals on Saturday.

The day began with the new partnership of Molly Goodman and Genevieve Horton in the Women’s Pair, the young duo were leading for the majority of the heat only to unfortunately catch a crab with just 200 metres to go, however the tenacious crew got back in their boat and rowed across the finish line to ensure a place in the repechages.

The pair, coached by Bill Tait, turned the morning’s upset around with a solid win in their repechage, leading from start to finish thus securing themselves a place in the semi-final of the event to be held on Saturday morning in Italy.

The new combination for the Men’s Quad Scull of David Watts, Karsten Forsterling, Cameron Girdlestone and David Crawshay took to the waters in Varese yesterday in a tough heat alongside Olympic Champions Germany and strong racers Poland. With only the top crew making it directly through to the final, it was a tough race and despite Germany leading from start to finish, Australia challenged right to the very end. The crew will compete in the repechage today (Saturday).

The Lightweight Men’s Four of Darryn Purcell, Nick Silcox, Perry Ward and Tim McDonnell needed a top two finish to automatically make the semi-final of their boat class. The Australians faced stiff competition from New Zealand and China 2 in a bid to make the semi-finals and while New Zealand claimed victory the new look Australian crew were just outsprinted by the Chinese at the finish and thus raced in the repechage later in the day.

Up against the two Japanese crews, plus Poland and Canada, the crew coached by Brett Crow led the race from start to finish, holding off pushes from Japan and Canada in the afternoon sunshine, the Tasmanian-based crew won in a time of 6:00:28. They will now go on to race the semi-final later today.

The Men’s Four of Alexander Lloyd, Spencer Turrin, Alexander Hill and William Lockwood needed a first place finish to automatically qualify for the A Final for the event, but hosts Italy had other plans in mind and the local crew stormed out in front to push Canada, Germany and Australia out of contention. Australia’s Men’s Four will now contest the repechage today (Saturday) to make Sunday’s final.

The Women’s Quadruple Scull heat featuring Australia’s Jennifer Cleary, Madeleine Edmunds, Kerry Hore and Jessica Hall was a hotly contested race. Australia headed the field with the United States and as the two crews raced from opposite sides of the regatta course it was hard to tell who was leading.

By the halfway mark the USA had taken the lead over Australia, with China fast pushing on the Queensland-based crew, who tried valiantly to hold of the Chinese charge. In the final sprint both Australia and China were rating 38, and closing in on the USA, but it was China who snapped up second place giving Australia’s crew the chance to qualify for the final via the repechage tomorrow.

The Women’s Eight who arrived in Europe earlier this week were drawn in a tough heat with USA, Great Britain and New Zealand. The latter had entered its U23 crew from 2014 into this year’s event and the Trans-Tasman rivals had a score to settle after the recent Winter Regatta at Lake Karapiro that the ARTeam Women’s Eight attended. With only one qualifying place up for grabs in the heat, the British crew went out fast, with the others chasing but the current World and Olympic Champions USA were not going to be out done and used their sheer power to push through and win the race. The releatively new Australian crew, which includes to recent US college graduates, Rosemary Popa and Meaghan Volker, finished in third place, ahead of New Zealand with a time of 6:04 and will progress to the repechage.

The crew made up of coxswain Sarah Banting, Lucy Stephan, Hannah Vermeersch, Renee Chatterton, Popa, Volker, Charlotte Sutherland, Alexandra Hagan and Katrina Bateman will once again face Great Britain and New Zealand, as well as Germany and China in a repechage that requires a top four finish to see them into Sunday’s final.

The two reserve scullers, Fiona Albert and Max McQueeney had good starts to their World Rowing Cup campaigns. McQueeney finishing in the top four of his Men’s Single Scull heat to make the quarter-finals. The young Tasmanian needed a top three finish to make the semi-finals, however it was not to be and a sixth place finish sees McQueeney into the D Final on Saturday.

Meanwhile, young Fiona Albert had a great race in the Women’s Single Scull where she battled with New Zealand’s Fiona Bourke and Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig. Finishing in third, the Queenslander raced in the repechage later in the day for a semi-final berth but it wasn’t to be and she will compete in the D Final on Saturday.

Today (Saturday) is a busy day of racing for the Australian Rowing Team, with the first set of medals up for grabs. Erik Horrie will compete in the final of the Arms Shoulders Men’s Single Scull, while Kathryn Ross and Gavin Bellis will race in the final of the Trunk and Arms Mixed Double Scull.

Race Times for Saturday 20 June at World Rowing Cup II, Varese, Italy

Women’s Four, Exhibition Race – Crew 1: Meaghan Volker, Katrina Bateman, Alexandra Hagan and Charlotte Sutherland; Crew 2: Lucy Stephan, Hannah Vermeersh, Renee Chatterton and Rosemary Popa. 1730 AEST (0930 local time)
This is a race for lanes in the finals that will be held tomorrow (Sunday)

Men’s Single Scull, D-Final – Max McQueeney 18:10 AEST (10:10 local time)

Women’s Single Scull, D-Final – Fiona Albert 18:15 AEST (10:15 local time)

Women’s Pair, Semi-Final – Molly Goodman and Genevieve Horton 21:00 AEST (13:00 local time)
Top three finish will see the crew into the Final

Men’s Pair, Semi-Final – Jack Hargreaves and Nick Wheatley 21:10 AEST (13:10 local time)
Top three finish will see the crew into the Final

Men’s Four, Repechage – Alexander Lloyd, Spencer Turrin, Alexander Hill and William Lockwood 21:45 AEST (13:45 local time)
Top two finish will see the crew into the Final

Women’s Quad Scull, Repechage – Madeleine Edmunds, Kerry Hore, Jennifer Cleary and Jessica Hall 21:50 AEST (13:50 local time)
Top two finish will see the crew into the Final

Men’s Quad Scull, Repechage – David Watts, Cameron Girdlestone, Karsten Forsterling and David Crawshay 21:55 AEST (13:55 local time)
Top two finish will see the crew into the Final

Lightweight Men’s Four, Semi-Final – Darryn Purcell, Nick Silcox, Perry Ward and Tim McDonnell 22:10 AEST (14:10 local time)
Top three finish will see the crew into the Final

Men’s Double Scull, Semi-Final – Alexander Belonogoff and James McRae 22:20 AEST (14:20 local time)
Top three finish will see the crew into the Final

Women’s Double Scull, Semi-Final – Sally Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey 22:25 AEST (14:25 local time)
Top three finish will see the crew into the Final

Women’s Coxed Eight, Repechage – Lucy Stephan, Hannah Vermeersh, Renee Chatterton, Rosemary Popa, Meaghan Volker, Charlotte Sutherland, Alexandra Hagan, Katrina Bateman and coxswain Sarah Banting 22:35 AEST (14:35 local time)
Top four progress to the Final

Women’s Single Scull, Semi-Final – Kimberley Crow 22:50 AEST (14:50 local time)
Top three finish will see Crow through to the Final

Arms and Shoulders Men’s Single Scull, FINAL – Erik Horrie 23:50 AEST (15:59 local time)
Medal opportunity

Trunk and Arms Mixed Double Scull, FINAL – Kathryn Ross and Gavin Bellis 00:11 AEST (16:11 local time)
Medal opportunity