Day 3: Rowing Festival at Rotsee

Timon Wernas Allgemein, Articles

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.