City and Canton of Lucerne fully support Lucerne2027

The City and the Canton of Lucerne have announced that they fully support the candidacy of Lucerne for the World Rowing Championships 2027. Funding guarantees of CHF 900’000 each have been granted and formally communicated. The full briefing can be found here: LINK

Day 3: Rowing Festival at Rotsee

Nearly 20,000 spectators followed the races over the final weekend at Rotsee, with the grandstand seats sold out well in advance. We look back on ten successful days of world-class rowing at Rotsee with great satisfaction. The two international regattas went off smoothly and were held under the ideal conditions (despite the inconsistent weather). Following the final Olympic and Paralympic qualification regatta over the Pentecost weekend, the annual LUCERNE REGATTA (World Rowing Cup II) took place this past weekend. Over the ten days, more than 900 athletes from over 60 nations competed at Rotsee.

The dominant rowing nation at Rotsee was the delegation from the Netherlands. They won no fewer than eight medals, including five golds. At the end of the regatta day, the Dutch also provided plenty of drama: in the final meters, reigning world and European champion Oliver Zeidler was defeated by his Dutch rival Simon van Dorp. The men’s eight was won by Great Britain with only a 0.2-second lead. The Americans, who had only qualified for the Olympics this past Tuesday, were defeated in the final sprint. The women’s eight was won by the Canadians ahead of the British in a thrilling race.

Historic First for Hong Kong

When the first final races were on the schedule on Saturday, no one expected Hin Chun Chiu from Hong Kong to win his nation’s very first rowing gold medal. With an impressive start-to-finish victory, he triumphed over his European competitors from France and Italy.

Two Medals for the Swiss Boats

The Swiss boats showed they were in top form just weeks before the Olympics. Expectations were high for the home races on the Rotsee. It got loud for a first time just before 11 a.m. when Roman Röösli and Andrin Gulich raced in the men’s pair. The British European champions with Oliver Wynne-Griffith and Tom George fought side by side with the Swiss boat and eventually won against the fast-finishing Spaniards, who also overtook the Swiss duo.

Shortly before the lunch break, the lightweight double sculls with Jan Schäuble and Raphaël Ahumada took to the water. The Italians Stefano Oppo and Gabriel Soares had a furious start and quickly pulled away from the competition. Thanks to a strong final sprint, the local heroes were able to overtake the strong Irish duo (Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan) in the final meters. The crowd cheered passionately for the Swiss athletes.

The women’s quadruple sculls with Lisa Lötscher, Célia Dupré, Pascale Walker, and Fabienne Schweizer showed a strong race, finishing fifth after a powerful final sprint, just 0.5 seconds away from the medals, narrowly beaten by the Germans.

Successful Para World Cup Debut on the Rotsee

For the first time in over 120 years of rowing history in Lucerne, the first World Cup decisions in Para rowing were awarded last weekend. The introduction of Para rowing was launched two years ago, with the first test races held in 2023, and has now been successfully completed. “This makes a valuable contribution to the inclusion of all people in society,” says Fransiska Bossuyt, Para coordinator in the organizing committee. Claire Ghiringhelli was the first Swiss Para rowing athlete to compete. After qualifying for the Paralympic Games a few weeks ago, she finished her first World Cup final in 5th place. Over the past two weeks, more than 130 Para athletes competed on the Rotsee.

The Race for the 2027 World Championships in Lucerne is on

This year’s World Cup at Rotsee impressively demonstrated that Rotsee is seriously getting ready for a fifth World Championship in 2027. The organizing committee is now in the final sprint, to finalize the application documents. The awarding of the 2027 Rowing World Championships will take place in November this year.

Day 2: Historic first gold for a rower from Hong Kong

29 races were on the schedule for the second day of the LUCERNE REGATTA. The weather was more stable than the previous day, providing athletes with extremely fair conditions for the fiercely contested semifinals. In the first medal races of this year’s LUCERNE REGATTA, Hong Kong sensationally secured its first gold medal on the World Rowing stage.

While conditions on the first competition day of the second destination of the Rowing World Cup in Lucerne were challenging with wind, waves, and rain, Saturday saw the typical ideal rowing conditions for the Rotsee. The early morning was still cool, but temperatures became increasingly pleasant, and the water was perfect. The schedule included mainly semifinals, the last repechages, C and D finals, as well as the finals of the non-Olympic lightweight categories and three Para events.

Favorites Show Their Best Form

In the men’s single sculls, the athletes with the greatest potential competed together in the first semifinal. Oliver Zeidler controlled the race throughout, leaving the Dutchman Simon van Dorp and the New Zealander Thomas Mackintosh behind. In the women’s events, Karolien Florijn (Netherlands) and veteran Emma Twigg (New Zealand) dominated their heats impressively.

In the men’s double sculls repechage, four final spots were awarded. The Italians Rambaldi/Sartori and the resurgent French Olympic champions Boucheron/Androdias showed their best form. For the women, the Irish duo Hyde/Bergin, the Norwegians Helseth/Kavle, and the Australians Bateman/Hudson are the top contenders for podium spots on Sunday.

In the women’s pair semifinals, the Dutch duo Clevering/Meesters and the Australians Morrison/McIntyre established themselves as favorites, while in the men’s pair, the victory seems likely to come down to the British team Wynne-Griffith/George or the Swiss duo Gulich/Röösli.

In the lightweight men’s double sculls, the Irish team O’Donovan/McCarthy, the Italians Soares/Oppo, and the Swiss team Ahumada/Schäuble will likely battle for the win on Sunday. In the women’s event, the British duo Craig/Grant and the American pair Sechser/Reckford are expected to duel for the victory.

In the large boats, only the men’s four had repechages, while the quadruple sculls and eights had lane allocation races on Friday due to the small number of entries.

Most Successful Rowing Nations

The semifinals, mostly held on Saturday but some on Friday, saw the following nations as the most successful: the Netherlands with 10 A-final qualifications, Great Britain with 9, Australia with 8, and the USA and New Zealand each with 7. The Swiss national team has four boats in the finals on Sunday.

First Final Decisions

The first decisions in the non-Olympic lightweight boat classes were made on Saturday. In the women’s single sculls, Ireland’s Siobhan McCrohan won, ahead of American Sophia Luwis and Briton Olivia Bates. In the men’s event, the unexpected happened: Hong Kong’s Hin Chun won, marking a sensational first for the small rowing nation from the Far East. France’s Baptiste Savaete came second, and Italy’s Patrick Rocek finished third. Three Para events also concluded, with gold medals going to Ukraine (twice) and Italy.

The Second Day of Competition from a Swiss Perspective

The day’s races began with the Para-rowers in the single sculls. Swiss athlete Claire Ghiringhelli secured her place in Sunday’s final with a third-place finish in the PR1W1X semifinal.

In the men’s pair, reigning world champions Andrin Gulich and Roman Röösli faced their major rivals from Great Britain, Oliver Wynne-Griffith and Tom George, in their heat. The British duo won decisively, with the Swiss team seemingly saving their energy for the final.

Raphaël Ahumada and Jan Schäuble secured their place in the lightweight men’s double sculls final in commanding fashion. They left their Irish arch-rivals, reigning Olympic and world champions Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy, far behind.

The Swiss men’s four with Kai Schätzle, Patrick Brunner, Tim Roth, and Joel Schürch, consistently in third place from start to finish in their repechage, failed to secure one of the two available spots for the final.

In the women’s single sculls, Aurelia-Maxima Janzen had to settle for last place in her semifinal, after initially keeping up well but then gradually falling behind. She will compete in the B-final on Sunday.

Jürg Trittibach

Day 1: Intense racing on the Rotsee

A total of 234 teams in 23 boatclasses from 43 nations entered for the LUCERNE REGATTA 2024. Held immediately following the final Olympic and Paralympic qualification regatta, the races served as a form test for the participating national teams on their way to Paris. The first major competition day was marked by fiercely contested races.

The participation of a significant portion of the world elite from various rowing nations highlights the high importance of the Lucerne Regatta. Unlike in “normal” years, this event did not serve as a final rehearsal ahead of the season’s peak, the World Championships, but as a form test for the rest of the season, including World Cup III in Poznan and the Olympic and Paralympic Regatta in Vaires-sur-Marne near Paris. Under cloudy skies, a few warming rays of sunshine occasionally broke through in the morning until strong gusts of wind began to sweep across the Rotsee at the start of the afternoon session, creating waves and causing delays in the race schedule. These were later replaced by heavy rain showers, soaking the athletes when the races resumed. The race schedule on the Rotsee included preliminary and repechage heats, as well as a round of quarterfinals in the numerically largest single scull category.

Para-Rowing Included in the Regatta Program for the First Time

In addition to the seven Olympic classes for women and men, para-rowing was included as an integral part of the regatta program in Lucerne for the first time. Competitors in seven categories (PR1 and PR2 men’s and women’s single sculls, PR2 mixed double sculls, PR3 men’s pair, and PR3 mixed double sculls) competed for World Cup points.

Large Fields of Participants

A total of 234 teams from 43 nations competed in the seven Olympic boat classes for women and men. Large delegations from Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the USA were put to the test on the Rotsee, while China, France, and Canada sent only small delegations, and leading rowing nation Romania was notably absent.

The First Day of Competition from a Swiss Perspective

The top-rated Swiss boats showed their intent to play a strong role in Lucerne. The pair of Andrin Gulich/Roman Röösli and the lightweight double sculls team of Raphaël Ahumada/Jan Schäuble both won their heats confidently. The other five boats were relegated to the repechage heats, where the women’s double sculls team of Sofia Meakin/Salome Ulrich failed to advance to the semifinals. Shortly after, Aurelia-Maxima Janzen had a better run in her repechage: leading from start to finish, she defeated the veteran American Kara Kohler and advanced to the semifinals. On Saturday, the second day of competition, four more Swiss boats, including para-rower Claire Ghiringhelli, will attempt to advance to the next round of the regatta.

Favorites Showed Their Best Side

Several remarkable performances were seen from top-tier athletes in rowing. For example, three-time German scull world champion Oliver Zeidler appeared dominant. The British lightweight double sculls duo Emily Craig/Immogen Grant, two-time world champions, also had a strong showing. The British pair Oliver Wynne-Griffith/Tom George demonstrated in their heat that they will be a tough challenge for the Swiss duo Andrin Gulich/Roman Röösli in the men’s pair competition. The Dutch pair Ymkje Clevering/Veronique Meesters in the women’s pair and the double sculls team of Melvin Twellar/Stefan Broenink each delivered impressive runs, establishing themselves as favorites in their respective boat classes.

Jürg Trittibach

FOPQR: Men’s Four and Aurelia-Maxima Janzen Secure Tickets for Paris

The men’s four and single sculler Aurelia-Maxima Janzen secured the 5th and 6th Olympic starting spots for SWISS ROWING at the final qualification regatta on Lucerne’s Rotsee. The two women’s double sculls teams did not share the same success: Jeannine Gmelin and Nina Wettstein in the open weight, and Eline Rol and Olivia Nacht in the lightweight category, each finished their finals in fifth place.

A total of 183 boats competed for the remaining 37 spots (30 Olympic and seven Paralympic) at the final qualification regatta. Nineteen finals—14 Olympic and five Paralympic—were held on the final day of the regatta. Athletes had to contend with steady drizzle throughout the day.

Confident Olympic Qualification for the Men’s Four

Anticipation was high for the first competing Swiss boat of the final day: the men’s four. Kai Schätzle, Patrick Brunner, Tim Roth, and Joel Schürch delivered. By the 500-meter mark, they were in second place, close behind the favoured Italians. This positioning remained at the 1000 and 1500-meter marks. The boats from Germany, Denmark, and South Africa did everything they could to intervene in the fight for the two quota places but to no avail. The Swiss maintained their high pace and secured the ticket to Paris behind the Italians.

Olympic Ticket for Single Sculler Aurelia-Maxima Janzen

Aurelia-Maxima Janzen started well in the women’s single sculls and established herself in second place behind the heavy favorite, two-time world champion Sanita Puspure of Ireland. By the 1000-meter mark, Spain’s Virginia Diaz Rivas had caught up to and even overtaken the Swiss, while the Irish sculler pulled ahead. At 1500 meters, the race outcome seemed decided. But then the unexpected happened: Sanita Puspure faltered, being overtaken first by the Spaniard and then by the 20-year-old Swiss sculler, who still had reserves to draw upon at the end of the race.

Women’s Double Sculls Jeannine Gmelin and Nina Wettstein Settle for Fifth Place

In the women’s double sculls, Jeannine Gmelin and Nina Wettstein followed a good start by taking second place behind the favored Czech team of Santruckova/Luksova. Even at the 500-meter mark, the order remained the same, though the British duo Hodgkins-Byrne/Wilde was already exerting considerable pressure. In the subsequent segments, the Swiss pair lost ground continuously, ultimately being passed by the German and South African teams as well. They finished in fifth place, well behind the coveted quota spot.

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls: Fifth Place Out of Reach for Olympic Ticket

Eline Rol and Olivia Nacht in the lightweight double sculls tried to turn the seemingly impossible into a positive outcome. Initially keeping up well, they were in fifth position at 500 meters. They held this position throughout the race, but the distances to the leading boats, the French pair Bové/Tarantola and the Greek pair Fitsiou/Kontou, steadily increased. The leading boats were not challenged by the Australians and secured the two quota places. The Swiss duo finished in fifth place.

Most Successful Rowing Nations

The most successful delegations at the “last chance for Paris” regatta were the USA with 4 quota places. Denmark and Italy secured three tickets each, while Switzerland, France, and Greece each claimed 2 spots for Paris. In the Para competitions, Paris Paralympic tickets went to France (2), Brazil, Israel, Italy, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.


The official LUCERNE REGATTA magazin 2024 is available in today’s Luzerner Zeitung (local newspaper). Come by at the Rotsee to grab a free copy and find interesting news and insights about the regatta.

World Rowing Championships 2027

The Rowing World Rowing Championships are set to return to the Rotsee in 2027, after a waiting period of over 20 years. The LUCERNE REGATTA Association, together with SWISS ROWING, will submit a formal application to the World Rowing Federation in June. This represents a historic opportunity for the city, which has been hosting international rowing regattas for over 120 years. In Luzern’s long history of rowing, the Rotsee has already hosted four World Championships, most recently in 2001. These would be the first World Championships on the Rotsee where all Para-Rowing titles are also contested.

The sporting significance of the Rowing World Championships 2027 is immense, as a large portion of quota places for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles will be allocated. However, under the motto “Inspire Beyond”, the 2027 World Championships are envisioned to be more than just an international elite sporting event. The event aims to bring rowing into the city center and become a rowing festival for everyone. A “World’s Village” in the city will host public viewings, award ceremonies, and a program of concerts and other cultural events.

The biggest challenges to overcome in the coming weeks are securing funding and ensuring an adequate supply of hotel rooms. The World Championships are scheduled to take place in the second half of August 2027, so demand for hotel rooms in Luzern will be very high.

Further information can be found in the official press release (German only).

Martin Helseth: The medal diver from the Rotsee

During the LUCERNE REGATTA 2023 on the Rotsee, a gold medalist accidentally drops her award into the Rotsee waters. As is customary in rowing circles, help promptly arrives.

Rare as it may be, occasionally something is lost during the journey from the winner’s dock to the exit pontoon, such as a gold medal. This is what happened to Bente Paulis of the Dutch quadruple scull winning boat at the LUCERNE REGATTA 2023.

Someone had to be found to take on the search for the precious metal by diving. Mark Emke, the Dutch coach serving the Norwegian national team, upon hearing of the mishap, immediately knew what to do. A phone call to his protégé from the quadruple sculls, Martin Helseth, was enough. If you can cut a good figure on the water, you may also be able to do so in the water. As a passionate freediver, this also applies to the 29-year-old Norwegian.

But let’s allow Martin Helseth himself to recount the events: « I was enjoying lunch after finishing our final race when our head coach, Mark Emke, called me.
He informed me that Bente Paulis had lost her gold medal while celebrating at the pontoon in the boat park after winning the women’s quad A-final.
Mark had told them that I was on the case, and it put a bit of pressure on me to put it mildly. I did not want to leave Bente Paulis empty handed after such a great accomplishment. »

However, the conditions for a successful dive were less than ideal, as Martin Helseth explained further: «I hadn’t brought my diving mask to Switzerland and had to put my contact lenses in a plastic bag filled with water, which was intended for the disposal of dog feces. I had no idea how deep the lake was at the point where the medal was supposed to be, so I jumped in and started swimming downwards with my eyes nearly closed. Eventually reaching a depth of 8 meters, I spotted something blue on the lakebed. It was in fact the gold medal! I grabbed it and headed towards the light again. Bente was overjoyed! »

On another note, Martin Helseth will return to the Rotsee this year and take part in the Lucerne qualifying regatta, aiming to secure a spot for the Olympic Games in Paris. True to his word at the LUCERNE REGATTA, he remarked, «From now on, I will always bring my diving mask to rowing regattas. »

June 27.-29. 2025 LUCERNE REGATTA

The LUCERNE REGATTA 2025 is due to take place from June 27th – 29th on the Rotsee in Lucerne. As in previous years, we are very thrilled to be hosting another World Rowing Cup III in 2025. It will be the third and final leg of the World Rowing Cup 2025.

LUCERNE REGATTA 2024 will host first para-inclusive WORLD ROWING CUP on the Rotsee

In a historic decision, the annual Rowing World Rowing Cup on the Rotsee from May 24th to 26th, 2024, will feature all nine Para-Rowing categories for the first time. This is a milestone in the 120-year history of Lucerne Regatta. A week earlier (May 19-21, 2024), the Final Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta will also be hosted in Lucerne. The inclusion of Para-Rowing in Lucerne Regatta presents a significant opportunity for Luzern as a global rowing hub, particularly in anticipation of future World Championships on Rotsee.

In May 2024, Para-athletes will officially participate in the Rowing World Cup on Rotsee for the first time, marking a historic moment for this century-old event in the heart of Luzern. The additional effort invested in Para-Rowing since 2022 has proven worthwhile. The successful test races in 2023, met with enthusiasm from both spectators and participating athletes, led to the decision to fully integrate Para-Rowing into the World Cup Regatta, resulting in the entire Lucerne Regatta in 2024 being conducted as a para-integrated event.

With the upcoming qualification regattas and the Rowing World Cup, Luzern is set to be the center of international rowing for over 10 days in 2024. Over 1,000 athletes in more than 500 boats are expected on Rotsee.

Further information can be found in the official press release: