Semifinal Day at LUCERNE REGATTA

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The second day of competition at LUCERNE REGATTA featured 51 races on the race schedule. Once again, the athletes enjoyed extremely fair conditions during the all-important races, where the finalists for Sunday’s finals were determined. The day ended with the first two A-finals. In the lightweight single scull category Andri Struzina won for Switzerland on the men’s side, and Sophia Luwis for the USA on the women’s side.

Copy and Paste: What applied to the conditions for athletes and spectators on Friday’s first day of competition was also true on Saturday at the concluding LUCERNE REGATTA of the 2023 World Cup series. Initially pleasant temperatures, which significantly increased during the afternoon, ideal water conditions, and barely noticeable tailwind. The main events included semifinals, last-chance races, C, D, E, and F finals, as well as the finals of the non-Olympic lightweight categories.

Most successful rowing nations

The semifinal competitions for the (largely) A finals taking place on Sunday saw Australia and Great Britain with 8 final qualifications as the most successful. Romania and the Netherlands secured 7, followed by New Zealand and Ireland with 6 final qualifications. Spain with 5, Switzerland, Germany, France, and Greece qualified 4 times for the A finals.

First final decisions

The first decisions in the non-Olympic lightweight boat classes were made on Saturday. Notably, in the women’s single scull, American Sophia Luwis clearly outperformed Irish Siobhan Mccrohan and Briton Olivia Bates for the top medals.

In the men’s category, Andri Struzina secured his first World Cup victory of his career in a fiercely contested sprint on the last meters against the long-time dominant Polish veteran Artur Mikolajczewski, who had previously won in Luzern in 2017. Frenchman Baptiste Savaete narrowly claimed the bronze medal, defeating Spaniard Manel Balastegui.

The second day of competition from the Swiss perspective

European champions Andrin Gulich/Roman Röösli confidently secured their place in the final in their men’s pair semifinal. Although the Irish duo Corrigan/Timoney led in the first 1000 meters, the two Swiss rowers took control and managed the race. Their main competitors in the final will be the two boats from Great Britain (Wynne-Griffith/George) and Romania (Cozmiuc/Bejan), who clearly dominated the other semifinal.

Raphaël Ahumada and Jan Schäuble secured their place in the final of the lightweight men’s double sculls, finishing second in the faster of the two semifinals behind the returning Olympic champions from Tokyo, Paul O’Donovan/Fintan McCarthy.

The Swiss women’s quadruple sculls team, consisting of Célia Dupre, Pascale Walker, Lisa Lötscher, and Fabienne Schweizer from the Success Project pool, earned their place in the final after a hard-fought repechage, where they managed to beat the German boat that had consistently been ahead of them this season.

In the women’s double sculls, Sofia Meakin and Salome Ulrich initially kept up with the competition but gradually lost ground. They will compete in the B-final on Sunday.

Unfortunately, the two lightweight women’s double sculls did not qualify for the finals. Both Frédérique Ro/Patricia Merz, who improved to 4th place in the semifinals, and Eline Rol/Olivia Nacht, finishing 6th in their race, fought bravely but ultimately realized that they would compete in the Sunday B-final.

The Swiss single scull competitors, Scott Bärlocher and Tim Roth, were already busy in the D and E finals early in the competition day. Bärlocher finished 21st overall, while Roth secured 26th place in the overall ranking. The coxless pair, Joel Schürch/Patrick Brunner, who advanced to the C-finals, finished 15th overall, and the double sculls duo Jonah Plock/Nils Schneider, who also made the C-final, ranked 18th overall. It’s worth mentioning that all these athletes have been predominantly competing in the larger boats, the coxless four and quadruple sculls, during this year’s international season and were only divided into pairs for the LUCERNE REGATTA.

by Jürg Trittibach