Men’s and Women’s Fours take gold and World Rowing Cups in Lucerne; Men’s Eight have incredible race for the line with Germany to take silver
Australia concluded its World Rowing Cup campaign today, with the Men’s and Women’s Fours winning gold medals in convincing style in Lucerne, Switzerland. In addition to the two gold medals, Australia’s Men’s Eight had an incredible battle with the reigning World Champions, Germany, to win a silver medal on the Rotsee.
By virtue of winning two golds and a silver medal today, plus the two silver medals won by Alice Arch and Hamish Parry yesterday (Saturday), Australia finished third on the medal table at World Rowing Cup 3.
The Men’s Eight race proved to be the most gripping of finals, with Australia leading the majority of the race. Australia, coxed by Kendall Brodie, were the fastest at the start and were in the lead at the 500 metre mark, with the Australians, alongside Germany, stroking 41 as they both approached the midway point.
There was little between the field at the halfway point, with only a couple seconds separating all the crews. Germany picked up its pace and began to make its move on Australia who were still in the lead with less than 500 metres to go. Brodie called on stroke, Angus Widdicombe, to up the rate to 42, as Germany went to 43. As the crews sprinted for the line, it was Germany who edged across the line just 0.14 of a second ahead of the boys, and girl, in green and gold.
Liam Donald, who was sat in the bow seat today, said post-race, “We had a good start, which we’ve been practicing. We needed to then work hard in the 1000 metres to push on and forwards. It’s actually my first time racing here in Lucerne, so this result feels really special.”
The Women’s Four of Molly Goodman, Sarah Hawe, Rosie Popa and Lucy Stephan wrapped up their World Rowing Cup season with another gold medal and winning the World Rowing Cup for the boat class.
The crews had an even start, with the Danes showing first and muscling into an early lead. Stroking 47, the World Champions, Australia, were in hot pursuit, with the rest of the field nipping at their heels. The Australians began to up their rating coming into the second half of the race and reduce the Danish crew’s lead, and in the process became the fastest crew on the course.
As Goodman had the crew stroking 42, they passed the Danes to take the gold medal, while Denmark finished in second and USA 2 in third. Stephan, of Melbourne University Boat Club, said post-race: ““It was a really tough race. At the 1000 metres, I called it and as racers, we really came together. Winning our last race before the World Rowing Championships is something we can really build on. It was great to race and win here as well as it is such an amazing course.”
Australia’s Men’s Four continue to dominate their boat class walking away with the gold medal in Lucerne, as well as the overall World Cup for the Men’s Four by virtue of winning gold at both World Rowing Cups 2 and 3.
At 48 strokes per minute, Australia powered out of the start in a bid to exert their lead over the competition, including the fastest semi-final qualifiers, The Netherlands as well as an inform South Africa. At the 500 metre mark, Australia had pulled into the lead, stroking 41, and as they continued along the Rotsee, the crew took a clear water advantage over their competition.
As the crews crossed the line, it was Australia who took gold in a time of 5 minutes 51 seconds, with Netherlands in silver and South Africa in bronze. Post-race, Jack Hargreaves said: “We had a decent start, it was a bit choppy out in the middle of the race as the Eights were warming up as we came down the course, but we had a solid second 1000 metres and at the end we just held onto it.”
Elsewhere in today’s A-Finals, the young Australian pairing of Bronwyn Cox and Giorgia Patten of West Australia finished sixth in the final, which was eventually won by reigning World Champions, New Zealand. The duo will now go onto compete at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Poland in 10 days.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Women’s Quadruple Scull finished sixth in their A-Final, the Men’s Quadruple Scull fifth in their A-Final and the Women’s Eight fifth in their A-Final.
In the B-Finals held earlier in the morning, the Women’s Double Scull of Harriet Hudson and Ria Thompson finished sixth, while the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull of Verayna Zilm and Georgie Masters finished third. Both of these crews will now go on to contest the World Rowing U23 Championships. Meanwhile, Madeleine Edmunds finished second in her B-Final of the Women’s Single Scull, concluding the event ranked eighth overall.
With the conclusion of the World Rowing Cup season, the Australian Rowing Team will now return to Australia ahead of the World Rowing Championships team being finalised in the coming week.