The 2017 World Rowing Cup series heads to Poznan, Poland for the second of three regattas in the series. Almost 500 athletes will compete from 39 countries with several countries, including Australia, China and New Zealand, arriving on the international scene for the first time this season. The event will be staged from 16-18 June 2017 on Lake Malta, near the city centre of Poznan.
Both Australia and New Zealand will be present with new-look crews as these nations are rebuilding after post-Olympic retirements and sabbaticals. For New Zealand, taking the place of Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale in the men’s single sculls will be Robert Manson. Manson will meet Olympic silver medallist Damir Martin of Croatia as well as European Rowing Championship bronze medallist Stanislau Shcharbachenia from Belarus.
In the women’s single sculls, Great Britain’s Victoria Thornley will be going for her third medal of the season. Thornley took silver at World Rowing Cup I and then went on to become the European Champion last month. Thornley will face 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Jingli Duan from China as well as European Championship bronze medallist, Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus.
Duan is part of the large contingent from China that includes two women’s eights. They are bound to be testing early-season speed and will line up against the Olympic Champion boat from the USA.
The Olympic gold and silver medallists from the lightweight men’s double sculls are back racing each other again. France’s Jeremie Azou and Pierre Houin and the O’Donovan brothers from Ireland met up last month at the European Rowing Championships with the Olympic order staying the same. Both of these talented crews will race strong opposition from Poland and Great Britain.
The lightweight women’s double sculls has seen Weronika Deresz and Martyna Mikolajczak of Poland dominate so far this season. On their home waters they will be going for a hat-trick. But the arrival of Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle from New Zealand as well as two Chinese entries, must see an increase in competition for the Polish duo.
Poznan will be the first World Rowing event where Para-Rowing is raced on the same “field of play” at 2’000 metres following the decision taken at the FISA Extraordinary Congress last February in Tokyo. Nineteen para PR1 men’s single scullers will line up with Paralympic Champion Roman Polianskyi of Ukraine looking to be at the top of the field. In the para PR1 women’s single, Paralympic bronze medallist and 2015 World Champion from Israel Moran Samuel, will face good competition from 2014 World Champion Birgit Skarstein of Norway.
At World Rowing Cup I last month, Great Britain finished first for overall points, the Netherlands second and Poland third.
Racing begins on Friday 16 June 2017 at 8:30 CET with heats for the para-rowing boat classes. Racing then moves on to World Cup and International boat classes. It progresses through repechages and semifinals to the finals. The first finals will be raced on Saturday 17 June starting at 16:24 CET with the para-rowing finals followed by International boat class finals. World Cup finals will take place on Sunday 18 June starting at 10:35 CET. These will be broadcasted on several television channels around the world and will be live video streamed on www.worldrowing.com.
The World Rowing Cup series was launched in 1997 and consists of a series of three events. The overall World Rowing Cup winners are determined after the third event. This year, the three stages of the series are Belgrade, SRB (5-7 May), Poznan, POL (16-18 June) and Lucerne, SUI (7-9 July).
This article was originally published on WorldRowing.com