Exciting and High-Quality Rowing on the Final Day of LUCERNE REGATTA

Timon Wernas Articles

26 races – 12 B-finals and 14 A-finals – were scheduled for the third and final day of the LUCERNE REGATTA. As they say, “third time’s a charm,” and this was certainly the case with the ideal rowing conditions prevailing throughout this year’s regatta on the Rotsee. Four boats from SWISS ROWING qualified for the finals on Saturday and Sunday, and all of them made it to the podium for the medal ceremony. Despite scorching temperatures, the rowers were provided with excellent water conditions, making it an ideal setting for their performances on the divine waters of Lake Lucerne. Additionally, the A-final day on Sunday attracted a large number of spectators – an enthusiastic audience that cheered on and supported the athletes during their races.

Most Successful Rowing Nations

The British delegation stood out as the dominant rowing nation at Lake Rotsee. They secured an impressive total of 9 medals, including four gold, three silver, and two bronze medals. The Dutch team also delivered a strong performance with a total of 5 medals – 4 gold and one bronze. The Romanian and Australian national teams also achieved notable success, earning 6 and 5 medals, respectively, both with two gold medals each. The four medals won by SWISS ROWING positioned them remarkably well among the top rowing nations. With one gold and three bronze medals, they showcased the excellent work of their organization.

First ever para finals on the Rotsee

Oficially held as an exhibition race, the finals in the PR1 men and women’s single sculls were announced as one of the highlights of this year’s LUCERNE REGATTA. With a 120 year old tradition, it was the first time ever, that the Regatta hosted para-competitions in Lucerne. The men’s race was led and dominated by Shmuel Daniel (ISR) who showed an impressive performance and won ahead of Marcus Klemp (GER) and Arkadiusz Skrzypiński (POL). In the women’s race both spectators and experts were curious to see whether Birgit Skarstein (NOR) would return to winning after having lost the heat on the previous day to Moran Samuel (ISR). She did so in a very impressive manner. Third place went to Emanuela Diening (GER) with local hero Claire Giringhelli (SUI) finishing just outside the podium in fourth position.

Final Decisions

The A-finals kicked off with the smallest but most demanding category – the women’s pair. The competition was dominated from start to finish by the Australian duo Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre, who were part of the Olympic gold medal-winning four without coxswain at the Tokyo Olympics. Additionally, they secured the overall World Cup victory in their category. The Romanian pair Ioana Vrinceanu and Roxana Anghel consistently held onto the silver position. The bronze medal went to the Greek duo Evangelia Anastasiadou and Christina Ioanna Bourmpou.

In the men’s pair, the Irish rowers Ross Corrigan and Nathan Timoney set the pace from the start, but later on, the Romanians Marius Cozmiuc and Sergiu Bejan, along with the British world champions from the previous year, Oliver Wynne-Griffith and Thomas George, took the lead. The Swiss pair of Andrin Gulich and Roman Röösli followed in their wake. Ultimately, the British secured the victory, just 34 hundredths of a second ahead of the Romanians. The Swiss duo completed the podium, winning the bronze medal and the overall World Cup title in the men’s pair category.

In the lightweight women’s double sculls, the Greek duo of Dimitra Elenei Kontou – still a junior and only 17 years old – and Zoi Fitsiou set the pace from the beginning. However, the favored British duo and last year’s world champions, Emily Craig and Imogen Grant, took control before the 1000-meter mark and maintained their lead until the end. The Greeks couldn’t fend off the charging Romanians Mariana-Laura Dumitru and Ionela Cozmiuc, who secured the silver medal. The men’s lightweight double sculls saw the French rowers Hugo Beurey and Ferdinand Ludwig making an early offensive move. The Swiss pair of Jan Schäuble and Raphael Ahumada then briefly took the lead. Subsequently, the Irish rowers Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan took charge and seemed to be in a comfortable position to win. However, the seemingly defeated French duo found a second wind and executed a strong sprint to snatch the victory away from the Irish in the final moments of the race. The Swiss pair secured third place and the overall World Cup victory in the lightweight men’s double sculls category.

In the women’s quadruple sculls, the Dutch crew took the lead right from the start. The world champions and Olympic gold medalists from China closely followed, along with the British and Swiss boats – featuring Célia Dupré, Pascale Walker, Lisa Lötscher, and Fabienne Schweizer. The Dutch team comfortably maintained their top position, while the Chinese were overtaken by the British and, surprisingly, the Swiss crew, who managed to secure the bronze medal. This was the first time a Swiss women’s heavyweight boat appeared on a World Cup podium, and they also won the overall World Cup title in the category.

In the men’s quadruple sculls, the Dutch crew established dominance from the start. The Germans and British boats initially tried to chase them down, but the Romanian boat made a strong effort in the later stages of the race, pushing the Germans back and securing the silver medal behind the Netherlands. It’s worth noting that the Estonian boat, with Tonu Endrekson, the oldest participant in the Lucerne Regatta at 44 years old, finished in sixth place.

In the men’s coxless four competition, the Dutch crew took the lead early on. However, after the 1000-meter mark, the first of two British boats assumed control. The Australians chased them, and later on, the New Zealanders increased their pace, overtaking the Dutch and securing the bronze medal behind the British and Australian boats. In the women’s coxless four event, the Australian crew took the lead immediately and held onto their position for most of the race. The Dutch, Romanian, and British boats closely followed. The Dutch team faltered due to the high pace, dropping back, while the Romanians managed to overtake the Australians to secure the victory. The British team took the bronze medal.

In the women’s single sculls, the Dutch rower Karolien Florijn established herself as the leader from the start. Australian Tara Rigney and veteran Emma Twigg from New Zealand followed closely. This order remained unchanged throughout the race, with the three other finalists finishing more than 8 seconds behind, effectively having their own separate race.

In the men’s single sculls, German rowing star Oliver Zeidler dominated the race from the beginning and impressively claimed the lead. At times, he extended his advantage to 16 meters over the following Danish sculler, Sverri Nielsen. Although Nielsen seemed to reduce the gap at one point, Zeidler pulled away again and won the race with an almost 8-second lead. Nielsen secured the silver medal, while New Zealander Thomas Mackintosh, who transitioned from the eight to the single scull, claimed the bronze.

In the women’s double sculls, the Romanian Olympic champions from Tokyo, world champions from Racice, and European champions from Bled, Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Radis, set the tone from the start and maintained their lead. The Chinese and Lithuanian boats tried to keep the distance as close as possible, but the Romanian crew held their pace effortlessly. The Lithuanians, Donata Kareliene and Dovile Rimkute, overtook the Chinese duo of Shiyu Lu and Shunagmei Shen and secured the silver medal.

In the men’s double sculls, the two-time Olympic champions, six-time world champions, and seven-time European champions Valent and Martin Sinkovic returned to their usual category after five seasons in the pair without coxswain. However, they were upstaged by the Dutch rowers Melvin Twellaar and Stefan Broenink, who led from the start and increased their pace, maintaining an impressive stroke rate of 40 per minute for a significant portion of the race. The brothers from Zagreb had to settle for the silver medal. The Spanish duo Aleix Garcia Pujolar and Rodrigo Conde Romero held the third position for most of the race, but the Irish rowers Daire Lynch and Philip Doyle executed a powerful sprint towards the end, securing the bronze medal.

In the women’s eight race, the Australian crew dominated for most of the race. After 1,500 meters, the Canadian team went on the offensive, with the British boat in tow, ultimately claiming the lead. The Canadians had to settle for second place in the final 250 meters behind the British. The Romanian team never seriously contended for the top spots and finished last among the four competing boats.

In a close-fought men’s eight race, the British team took the lead from the start, closely followed by the Australian boat. The Romanians held onto the third position for most of the race, but in the last quarter of the race, the Dutch crew surged forward to snatch the bronze medal. The top two positions remained unchanged, with Australia finishing ahead of Great Britain.

Final day for the other Swiss boats

The B-finals started with the women’s double sculls, where the Swiss duo of Sofia Meakin (CA Vésenaz) and Salome Ulrich (See-Club Luzern) competed for places 7 to 12. The two rowers initially mixed well with the field, briefly falling behind but eventually executing an impressive final sprint to secure second place in the B-final and finish eighth overall. They finished just behind the German pair of Maren Völz and Leonie Menzel.

In the B-final of the lightweight women’s double sculls, two Swiss boats competed. Frédérique Rol (Lausanne-Sports Aviron) and Patricia Merz (SC Zug) formed “Switzerland 1” and consistently held onto the third position throughout the race, finishing in the same place at the finish line. In the final stages of the race, Eline Rol (SN Genève Aviron) and Olivia Nacht (RC Baden) were able to improve their position and cross the finish line in fifth place. In terms of the overall rankings, these results placed them in ninth and eleventh positions.

Jürg Trittibach