A record-breaking number of participants had registered for the LUCERNE REGATTA. 700 rowers from no fewer than 52 nations competed on Lake Rotsee. Ideal conditions prevailed with exceptionally warm temperatures. The first day of intense competition marked the start of the best-attended regatta before the upcoming World Championships.
The presence of the almost complete world elite from various rowing nations attests to the high ranking of the Lucerne Regatta. Traditionally, it is the most important international showdown of the rowing year, second only to the World Championships. It serves as a crucial test before the World Championships scheduled in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, in September. Moreover, it is also an opportunity to secure Olympic quota places for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games on the Save sidearm. The event took place in excellent conditions with warm to hot temperatures, calm water, and a gentle breeze of northerly winds at times throughout the day.
Large fields of participants
More than 700 rowers from 52 nations competed in the Olympic 7 boat classes, and for the first time and for testing purposes, two Para-Skiff events were introduced. Notably, China, Australia, Germany, Great Britain, and Romania sent sizable delegations to test their skills on Lake Rotsee. In contrast, the USA and Italy only sent small delegations. Once again, it was evident that nations with a broad range of competitive athletes are more likely to perform at the forefront.
The first competition day from a Swiss perspective
The highly regarded Swiss boats demonstrated their ambition to perform strongly in Lucerne. Notably, the pair of Andrin Gulich and Roman Röösli and the lightweight double sculls crew of Raphaël Ahumada and Jan Schäuble, both fresh European champions and World Cup winners in Zagreb, impressed with their performances. The women’s double sculls crew of Sofia Meakin and Salome Ulrich also qualified for the semifinals. However, in the women’s quadruple sculls competition, only the winning boat directly qualified for the A-final. The Swiss crew with Célia Dupré, Pascale Walker, Lisa Lötscher, and Fabienne Schweizer finished second behind the very strong and newly formed Dutch crew and will aim to secure a spot among the top six in the Saturday repechage. The lightweight rowers Frédérique Rol and Patricia Merz, as well as Eline Rol and Olivia Nacht – both competing in the double sculls – and Andri Struzina in the single sculls, qualified for the semifinals.
The rowers who typically form the SWISS ROWING men’s quadruple sculls participated in the double sculls. Both pairs, Jonah Plock and Nils Schneider, as well as Maurin Lange and Dominic Condrau, advanced to the C-final. Similarly, Joel Schürch and Patrick Brunner, usually part of the men’s four, competed in the pair without coxswain and were also relegated to the C-final. Scott Bärlocher and Tim Roth, competing in the single sculls, will compete in the D and E finals, respectively.
by Jürg Trittibach