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11 wins for Australia on opening day of World Rowing Cup 2

Strong first day for Australia in Poland, with 11 crews progressing

Australia opened its World Rowing Cup campaign in Poland overnight with 11 out of 17 crews progressing to semi-finals or A-Finals.

Eight crews won their heats to progress to quarter-finals, semi-finals and one A-Final; meanwhile three crews were victors in their respective quarter-finals and repechages to book places in Saturday’s semi-finals at the event being held in Poznan on Lake Malta.

Predicted stormy conditions for later in the day on Friday saw the race schedule reviewed ahead of the start to ensure all the heats were raced before the lunchtime storms blew in over Lake Malta.

Five-time World Champion Erik Horrie opened Australia’s World Rowing Cup 2 campaign today (Friday), with a strong performance in his heat. The New South Welshman won his heat in the PR1 Men’s Single Scull, crossing the line just three seconds off his World’s Best Time to book himself into the semi-finals.  

The Women’s Double Scull of Amanda Bateman and Olympian Genevieve Horton, had a strong start to their heat. The duo needed a first place finish to progress to the semi-finals and came out firing. When they hit the 1500m mark, the 2018 New Zealand World Championship silver medalists, Brooke Donoghue and Olivia Loe made their move on the young Australians. The double upped their rating, but couldn’t quite catch the Kiwis, crossing the line in second. In the afternoon’s repechage the Australians led from start to finish, and booked themselves into Saturday’s semi-finals.

Australia’s two Men’s Double Sculls, Hamish Playfair and Campbell Watts and Luke Letcher and David Bartholot both progressed to the quarter-finals. Playfair and Watts won their heat, and then backed up in their quarter-final with a strong performance to win again and progress to the semi-finals; meanwhile, Letcher and Bartholot finished third in their heat, before placing sixth in their quarter-finals to progress to Saturday’s D-Final.

Campbell Watts and Hamish Playfair (Copyright RA)

The new pairings of Alexander Hill and Joshua Booth (Men’s Pair) and Annabelle McIntyre and Jessica Morrison (Women’s Pair) both had fast heats, winning their respective races comfortably and progressing the their semi-finals. Lilly Tinapple and Georgie Gotch, racing also in the Women’s Pair, finished sixth in their heat and later raced the repechage finishing fourth overall. The duo will now contest the C-Final on Saturday.

McIntyre and Morrison in action (Copyright RA)

The Women’s Four, World Championships silver medalists in 2018, have had one new addition to the crew since last year, with Olympia Aldersey coming into the crew, joining Katrina Werry, Sarah Hawe and Lucy Stephan, with the latter moving into the stroke seat. The crew won its heat to go straight to the semi-finals on Saturday.

The Men’s Four of Jack O’Brien, Jack Hargreaves, Nicholas Purnell and Timothy Masters won their heat in a time of 5 minutes 55 seconds and progressed into the semi-finals, alongside fellow heat winners Great Britain, Poland and Italy.

As the rain began to drop, Sarah Pound and Alice Arch took the water in the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull. Pound and Arch led at the half way mark, with Great Britain 1 and 2 hot on their heels. The Australians needed a top two finish to make the semi-finals, and with Great Britain 1 pushing into the lead, the Australians sprinted for the line against the second British crew. In a valiant sprint to the line the Australian combination were pipped at the line by the second GB crew.

In the afternoon’s repechage, Pound and Arch put in a gutsy performance, just missing out on a second place finish by 0.54 of a second after a sprint for the line with South Africa. The duo will now race the C-Final on Saturday.

The Lightweight Men’s Double Scull of Hamish Parry and Leon Chambers had a good race against eventual heat winners, and automatic semi-finalists, Germany. The Australians later went on to contest the repechage, moving through the field at a steady pace finishing in first place, in a time of 6 minutes 29 seconds to move through to Saturday’s semi-finals.

Chambers and Parry (Copyright RA)

The Women’s Eight, which saw Annabelle McIntyre and Jessica Morrison join its ranks after winning their Women’s Pair heat, were stroked by 2018 silver medalist Molly Goodman. The crew steadily moved their way through the race, starting at the back of the pack, the Australians slowly picked off the competition from Poland, Canada and ultimately New Zealand to win in a time of 6 minutes 11 seconds – booking themselves a berth in Sunday’s A-Final.

The Women’s Eight (Copyright RA)

The Men’s Eight took on hometown favourites Poland and recent European Champions in the Men’s Eight, Great Britain, in their heat. The crew finished in second in a time of 5 minutes 35 seconds and will contest Saturday’s repechage in a bid to join Germany and Great Britain in the A-Final.

In the non-Olympic boat class of Lightweight single sculling there were great heats from the two lightweight single scullers, Georgia Nesbitt and Sean Murphy. Both scullers progress straight to Saturday’s semi-finals.

Current race times for Saturday 22 June at World Rowing Cup 2

D-Final: Men’s Double Scull (Letcher and Bartholot): 17:25 AEST (09:25 local time)

C-Final: Women’s Pair (Tinapple and Gotch): 18:00 AEST (10:00 local time)

C-Final: Lightweight Women’s Double (Pound and Arch): 18:40 AEST (10:40 local time)

A/B Semi-Final: PR1 Men’s Single (Horrie): 19:00 AEST (11:00 local time)

A/B Semi-Final: Lightweight Women’s Single (Nesbitt): 19:26 AEST (11:26 local time)

A/B Semi-Final: Lightweight Men’s Single (Murphy): 19:38 AEST (11:38 local time

A/B Semi-Final: Women’s Pair (Morrison and McIntyre): 19:50 AEST (11:50 local time)

A/B Semi-Final: Men’s Pair (Booth and Hill): 20:02 AEST (12:02 local time)

A/B Semi-Final: Women’s Double (Bateman and Horton): 20:14 AEST (12:14 local time)

A/B Semi-Final: Men’s Double (Playfair and C Watts): 20:26 AEST (12:26 local time)

A/B Semi-Final: Women’s Four (Aldersey, Werry, Hawe and Stephan): 20:32 AEST (12:32 local time)

A/B Semi-Final: Men’s Four (Masters, N Purnell, Hargreaves and O’Brien): 20:50 AEST (12:50 local time)

A/B Semi-Final: Lightweight Men’s Double (Parry and Chambers): 21:32 AEST (13:32 local time)

Repechage: Men’s Quadruple Scull (Antill, Girdlestone, A Purnell and D Watts): 21:44 AEST (13:44 local time)

Repechage: Men’s Eight (Donald, Black, Medway, Hicks, Turrin, Keenan, Moore, Widdicombe and Brodie): 21:56 AEST (13:56 local time)

The A/B Finals of the Lightweight Men’s and Women’s Single Sculls will be later in the day in Poland.