Australian Rowing Team wraps up World Rowing Cup 3 with five gold medals, three silvers and one bronze
Australia wins overall 2019 World Rowing Cup
It was a golden conclusion to World Rowing Cup 3 for the Australian Rowing Team, with the team winning five gold medals, three silver medals and one bronze medal.
By virtue of such strong performances at the event in Rotterdam, Australia was crowned the World Rowing Cup 3 champions and topped the medal table. In addition, the combined table-topping performances of Australia at World Rowing Cup 2 (in Poznan) and World Rowing Cup 3 saw the team crowned the 2019 World Rowing Cup Champions.
In blustery and wet conditions in the Netherlands, Australia claimed gold medals in the Men’s and Women’s Pairs and Fours, silver medals in the Women’s Double Scull and Women’s Eight and a bronze medal in the Women’s Quadruple Scull. These medals were in addition to the gold and silver medals won by Australia’s Lightweight Men’s and Women’s Single Scullers on Saturday.
Rowing Australia Performance Director, Bernard Savage said, “It’s extremely pleasing to wrap up our World Rowing Cup season by topping the medal and points table here in Rotterdam and also winning the overall World Rowing Cup.
“The weekend provided some challenging conditions and the crews all worked hard to deliver on the water. The performances at the two World Rowing Cups are certainly very positive as we lead into 2019 World Rowing Championships in Austria, which is also the Olympic qualification regatta. We will now take the opportunity to collect our thoughts and reflect on the performances of all our crews before finalising our team for the World Championships.”
The Women’s Pair of Annabelle McIntyre and Jessica Morrison saved their best race of the regatta to today’s final. The young combination, who doubled up in the Women’s Eight, claimed gold in an excellent final that saw them sit in second for the majority of the race, before the duo sprinted through the 2017 World Champions, New Zealand, in the final 250 metres to claim gold.
“We expected a fight. It would have been nice to have open water like we had in the semi but it was a good race and in the last 300 meters we just decided to attack,” said Morrison on the Australians victory in the final.
Following the Women’s Pair’s stunning victory, the Australian Men’s Pair of Alexander Hill and Spencer Turrin took out gold in their A-Final. The duo took off at 46 strokes a minute and took an early lead by the 500 metre mark, setting a cracking pace. By the halfway point, the Australians had nearly a boat length lead, a lead they maintained as they crossed the line to take gold.
Post-race, Turrin said, “It was a good race today, we stepped it up well throughout the regatta. We’re looking forward to stepping it up, as a team, coming into the World Rowing Championships.”
Australia’s sweep boats continued the gold rush in Rotterdam, with the Men’s and Women’s Fours both dominating their A-Finals to win gold medals. The Women’s Four of Olympia Aldersey, Katrina Werry, Sarah Hawe and Lucy Stephan moved into a clear lead in their race by the 500 metre mark and crossed the line unchallenged in a time of 6 minutes 48 seconds.
Stroke seat, Lucy Stephan said, “It was a good race! We’ve been focusing a lot on our start so we made sure to stay in the boat and managed to hold off the Danish crew. From now, to the World Championships, we’ll just be working on getting faster.”
The Men’s Four of Tim Masters, Nick Purnell, Jack Hargreaves and Jack O’Brien powered out of the start and moved clear away from the competition to take a clear water advantage, and win, in their A-Final. They were followed over the line by the crews from Great Britain and Germany.
Purnell admitted that the race today had heightened meaning for the crew, with the passing of four-time Olympic coach, Nick Garratt. “To win here means a lot for us and also for our country. Nick Garratt, who has coached me before, passed away at the beginning of the week so it’s really nice to be able to win the podium for him. The water was really wavy up at the start so we focused on rowing clean and it paid off.”
In tough conditions, the Women’s Double Scull of Genevieve Horton and Amanda Bateman took home a silver medal, despite a valiant battle at the line with the overall race winners, Romania. The young combination kept their composure in rough water to maintain a consistent race and coming into the final 250 metres, traded the lead with the Romanians who ultimately took the win, with Canada following Australia over the line to take bronze.
“That was an insane race! We’ve prepared well for these types of conditions so we just had to stay composed and trust ourselves. We’re really happy with the result,” admitted Olympian Horton.
The Women’s Eight had a Trans-Tasman battle with the New Zealand Eight in their final. The Russians were the first to show in the final, but the New Zealand and Australian crews muscled their way through the pack to take first and second place, with the Canadian crew taking third.
Coxswain, James Rook admitted the crew had work to do, “It was a bit windy today but we had a decent race. There is lots to improve on so we’ll keep getting better towards the World Rowing Championships next month.”
The Women’s Quadruple Scull was reseated after World Rowing Cup 2, and the change paid off today, with the crew, stroked by Canberra’s Cara Grzeskowiak, taking third in their final. Germany were the eventual winners, with Poland taking silver.
Grzeskowiak, admitted the race had not been easy, “They were tough conditions today but we stuck to our race plan and stayed focused. The late Nick Garratt was my coach back at home, so it was nice to put in a performance like this and I think we did him proud!”
The Men’s Quadruple Scull of Caleb Antill, Alex Purnell, Cameron Girdlestone and David Watts finished fourth in their final, while the Men’s Eight finished in sixth in their A-Final. It was sixth place finishes also for the Men’s Double Scull of Hamish Playfair and Campbell Watts and the Lightweight Men’s Double Scull of Hamish Parry and Leon Chambers.
In the B-Finals earlier in the day, Georgie Gotch and Lilly Tinapple finished third in the Women’s Pair; Joshua Hicks and Sam Hardy were first in the Men’s Pair B-Final; Alice Arch and Sarah Pound were second in the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull while David Bartholot was sixth in the B-Final of the Men’s Single Scull.