Looking ahead to Lucerne

Lucerne, Switzerland

3 minute read
Words World Rowing
Photography Benedict Tufnell
Published 28.06.23

The 2023 World Rowing Cup series will conclude in Lucerne, Switzerland, with the third and final regatta in the series. This will be the last major international racing opportunity for many nations before the all-important 2023 World Rowing Championships in September, which will be the first opportunity for nations to qualify their boats for the Paris 2024 Olympic & Paralympic Games.

Row360 coverage of 2023 World Rowing Cup Series

Nearly 700 rowers from 52 nations will be competing across the 16 boat classes. Australia, Great Britain, and Germany will be sending the largest teams to the Rotsee, the “lake of the gods”, and will be looking to build on their World Cup standings from earlier this season – while the overall leader, Switzerland, will be trying to win the World Rowing Cup on home waters.

The highest number of entries comes in the men’s single sculls, where an all-time record of 46 crews will line up for Friday’s heats. There are also high entries in the men’s pair (31 boats) and the women’s single sculls (30 entries).

Only two crews will be going for the World Cup hat-trick. Oliver Zeidler in the men’s single sculls will face tough opposition with Sverri Nielsen of Denmark, Stefanos Ntouskos of Greece, and the reigning bronze medallist at the World Championships, Graeme Thomas of Great Britain, making his international season debut.

The other crew looking for the hat-trick will be the Swiss combination of Raphael Ahumada Ireland and Jan Schaeuble in the lightweight men’s double sculls. The recent European Champions and winners of the first two World Rowing Cups of the season will face for the first time in 2023 the reigning Olympic and World Champions of Ireland, Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan, for what is likely to be one of the most anticipated races on the Rotsee.

A showdown is expected also in the women’s single sculls, with the reigning World and European Champion Karolien Florijn of the Netherlands facing Alexandra Foester of Germany, winner on the Rotsee last year, as well as World Cup II in Varese earlier this year, but also the reigning Olympic champion Emma Twigg of New Zealand, Tara Rigney of Australia, and Virginia Diaz Rivas of Spain, winner of the World Rowing Cup I.

The men’s eight has seven entries, and all eyes will be on the rematch between Great Britain, Romania and the Netherlands, who were only separated by 0.52 seconds at the European Championships. Don’t count out Australia and Germany, on the podium at the World Rowing Cup II in Varese.

The World Rowing Council has decided that a test of Time Trials is needed for rowers in preparation for possible contingency scenarios. The Heats for all events at the 2023 World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne will be run as Time Trials, except for boat classes that have 12 or less entries. All following rounds (repechages, quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals) will be in side-by-side format.

Racing will begin on Friday 7 July at 8:30 CET with the heats of the women’s pair. Racing then progresses through repechages, quarterfinals, semifinals to the finals which will be raced over two days – Saturday 8 July for the international boat classes and Sunday 9 July for all Olympic boat classes.

Row360 coverage of 2023 World Rowing Cup Series