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Double Trouble on Day One of the World Rowing Junior Championships

Both Australian doubles secure automatic quarter-final berths

Australia’s two Junior double sculls were in action today (Wednesday) on the opening day of the 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships being held in Trakai, Lithuania. In humid conditions, with a light breeze, the two crews were cheered on by a strong travelling crowd of Australian supporters on the shores of Lake Galvé.

The Junior Men’s Double Scull, of Cormac Kennedy-Leverett and Fergus Hamilton, opened proceedings for Australia, winning their heat to secure a place in Friday’s quarter-finals. Meanwhile, the Junior Women’s Double Scull of Taylor McCarthy-Smith and Skyla Froebel finished in second place in their heat to book a place in their respective quarter-final on Friday.

The Junior Men’s Double Scull won their heat (Copyright Rowing Australia)

Australia’s Junior Men’s Double Scull of Cormac Kennedy-Leverett and Fergus Hamilton were the first Australian crew to race at the World Rowing Junior Championships. The crew, drawn in Lane 3, needed a top four finish and powered out the start and found a good rhythm as they approached the 500 metre marker.

The Dutch were leading but the Australians muscled past them as the crews reached the halfway mark, rating 34 strokes per minute. Kennedy-Leverett from The Southport School in Queensland, and Hamilton, from Melbourne Grammar School, continued to increase their lead on the field as they approached the 1500 metre markers.

With a strong middle thousand under their belt, the crew, coached by Tom Abramowski, cruised to the line some two lengths ahead of their closest competitors, Italy, to secure themselves a place in Friday’s quarter-finals. Their time of 6 minutes 32 seconds proving to be the fastest of all five of the heats in their boat class.

An hour later, Australia’s Junior Women’s Double of McCarthy-Smith and Froebel took to the water. The crew also needed a top four finish to automatically book a place in Friday’s quarter-finals. The duo, who are the U19 National Champions of Australia in this boat class, were drawn in Lane 1 against crews from Serbia, Denmark, Canada and Sweden.

The Australian duo had a fast start, holding in the first 500 metres alongside an in form Canada. As the crews began to break away, Canada pushed into the lead with Australia, coached by Jon Trovas, sitting comfortably in second place. The Australians held off challenges from both Denmark and Sweden, to ensure they crossed the line in second, in a time of 7 minutes 21 seconds, and reserved themselves a berth in Friday’s quarter-finals.

Race times for both the Junior Men’s and Women’s Doubles will be confirmed on Thursday evening, once the repechages have been completed. Both crews are confirmed to race on Friday in the quarter-finals.

Race times for Thursday 3 August
Junior Men’s Quadruple Scull – 11:36 local time (18:36 AEST). Top two to semi-finals, rest to repechage
Junior Women’s Eight – 11:54 local time (18:54 AEST). Top two straight to A-Final, rest to repechage