LIVE: Finals day in Lucerne at the 2021 World Rowing Cup II

Lucerne Switzerland

Words Tom Ransley
Photography Benedict Tufnell
Published 23.05.21

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Check out the report from day one here and from day two here


In the morning pre-paddle Morgan Bolding was in the three seat of the British eight – filling in for Ollie Wynne-Griffith. The men’s eight will be the last race of the day and both the Dutch and the British will have substitutes onboard.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

The women’s pairs are on the start pontoon. In the centre lanes are Anida Cid and Virginia Diaz Rivas of Spain are next to Romania’s Adriana Ailincai and Luliana Buhus. These are flanked by two Irish crews, the Chileans and the Czechs.


European silver medallists Romania take an early lead. Slow-starters Spain are chasing them down along with the young crew from Chile.


Hunting down the first medals of the day are Spain – they have overtaken the Romanians as they approach the last 500 meters.


Passing the Grandstand the European bronze medallists will taste gold. Ireland are desperate to get the silver but Romania are fighting hard to hold them off. Chile are in fourth and Ireland 2 at the back.


Spain win. Romania hold on to the silver medal and Ireland takes the bronze. Brilliant race for the minor medals and dominant performance from Spain.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

Now it is the turn of the men’s pairs. A good start from the French Turlan twins they are going stroke for stroke with the Serbian pair.


In the middle kilometre a great race unfolds. The Serbian pair are out in the front and underrating their opposition. The Italians are on forty strokes a minute. As the French drop back and Romania move into third place the British pair from Oxford Brookes are in fourth place.


In the red buoys sprinting to the line the Serbian are a length in front. Nothing in it between the British, the Italians and the Romania.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

Serbia gold. Italy silver. Romania bronze. Great Britain in fourth.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

All smiles for the women’s pair collecting their medals on the podium.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

At the other end of the Rotsee the women’s quadruple sculls have finished their warm up and line up at the start.


Quick start from China – taking half boat length within the first 300 metres. They are the 2019 World Champions and wish to control the race early doors. But can the Dutch reel them back in?


China are distancing themselves from those scrapping over minor medals. The Dutch and Italians are putting pressure on the Germans while Poland the silver medallists from Linz 2019 are further back.


Gold is certainly China’s to lose. But it is super tight between the Germany and the Italians. Poland chasing hard behind them.


Exhaustion at the finish line. China take gold. Germany for silver and Italy win bronze

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

Men’s pair medal ceremony. Masked crewmates present each other with their medals.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

Men’s quadruple sculls blast off the start line. At the first marker the Dutch are half a boat length ahead of the Italians. Close behind in third position are Poland who won silver in Linz 2019.


The British make their move in the third quarter and China are slipping back. As the crews reach the last quarter Poland are putting pressure to get into the bronze medal position.


As they approach the finish the Dutch are in control a length ahead of the Italians who have a length on Great Britain. The British responded well to the Polish pressure. China and Germany are further back.


The women’s quadruple sculls are ready to receive their medals on the podium. The Germans look delighted with their bronze.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell
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Credit Benedict Tufnell
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Credit Benedict Tufnell

Harry Leask reflects on winning the bronze medal for Great Britain in the men’s quadruple sculls.


Women’s lightweight double are on the course. A clean start by all the crews.


Emily Craig and Imogen Grant are exchanging blows with the French who are returning from injury.


In the third 500-metres the British are out in front rating 36 strokes a minute. The Russians are slipping back while France and Romania are right in the mix and about half length down on Great Britain.


Great Britain win gold. Romania get the silver medal. France have the bronze.


The men’s quadruple sculls medal ceremony is underway.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell
Photo ITA M4x
Credit Benedict Tufnell
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Credit Benedict Tufnell

Switching up the order in their crew, the British men’s double take their position on the starting blocks. The home favourites Switzerland are in lane 6. Ireland are hoping to make a return to form after a disappointing European Rowing Championships in Varese. China the current World Champions have looked strong throughout this regatta. The Dutch and the French will be determined to make their mark in this world class line up.


China take a slender lead as they pass the boat park and hear the cheers from fellow athletes.


Dr. Philip Doyle will be pleased to be in front of the Chinese crew as they blast into the final quarter. The British and the Dutch are battling it out for the bronze.


Cowbells are ringing as the Swiss launch a tremendous sprint. The bronze is tight fight contested by three crews; Great Britain, Switzerland, Netherlands. China are not letting go of the gold medal just yet – tremendous pressure on the Irish double.


China gold. Ireland silver. Netherlands bronze.


The weather breaks as the women’s four come racing down the Rotsee.

Photo Volunteers in the rain
Credit Benedict Tufnell

The Dutch win the gold medal from the outside lane nearest the railway line. The British women’s four secures the silver medal and the bronze medal goes to Romania.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell
Photo NED W4-
Credit Benedict Tufnell

Men’s double receive their medals.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell
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Credit Benedict Tufnell

The men’s four line get started with their A-Final. Romania and Great Britain are the first crews to approach the first 500 metres. But watch out for the South African men who recently qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and unleashed a ferocious sprint to earn their spot into this final.


The British are storming. They are looking good out in front of the chasing pack. The gold medal is theirs to lose as they pass the grandstand. But it is a fierce contest for the minor medals. South Africa are currently in silver and Romania are close behind. All the crews are in the last few hundred meters.


Gold for Great Britain. Silver for South Africa. Romania get the bronze medal.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell
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Credit Benedict Tufnell

Current World Champion Sanita Puspure of Ireland prepares for the women’s single sculls showdown. Alongside her Great Britain’s Victoria Thornley. The favourite for this event has to be the Russian Hanna Prakhatsen who is unbeaten this season. America’s Kara Kohler is in the outside lane and on the opposite side is the Swiss sculler Jeannine Gmelin.


Austria’s Lobnig has the fastest start and as the scullers move into the second 500-metres this looks to be a great race unfolding.


Hanna Prakhatsen is a length lead as the field sprints for the line. There is overlap between the Kara Kohler in the silver medal position, Sanita Puspure and Victoria Thronley. The rest of the scullers aren’t far behind.


Gold for Russia’s Hanna Prakhatsen.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell
Photo RUS W1x
Credit Benedict Tufnell

The men’s single sculls are charging down the Rotsee with Zeidler out in front but the Lithuanian sculler is trying to stick with him.


Germany wins gold. Sverri Nielsen takes the and Kjetil Borch claims the bronze medal.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

Lightweight men’s double sculls has started.


Ireland lead the filed as the crews approach the red buoys. It will be a tight fight for the minor medals.


Ireland win the gold medal. Germany takes the silver medal and the Norwegians get the bronze medal.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell
Photo Kjetil Borch
Credit Benedict Tufnell

Women’s double line up on the start line. Watch out for the newly formed American double. Romania are the favourites.


Romania are loving the tailwind as they fly down the Rotsee at 37 strokes a minute. They are establishing as considerable lead at the front of the field.


Olympic silver medallist Gevvie Stone and Kristi Wagner push into the bronze medal position as the crew enter the final quarter of the race.


Romania have a good lead and the Netherlands look safe in second place. The Americans are in bronze as they sprint to the line. The Czech are trying their best to get through to the medals but are fast running out of gas.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

Gold goes to Romania, silver to the Netherlands and bronze to the United States.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

Gevvie Stone reflects on winning the bronze medal for the United States in the women’s double sculls.


Men’s eight line up ready to race. Great Britain with a change in line up – Tom George moves towards the stern and Morgan Bolding comes in for Ollie Wynne-Griffith. The Dutch will race for the first time after they were unable to compete in the preliminary race. Germany will be desperate to reclaim their golden record after missing out on the podium at the Europeans.


Does a race between Great Britain’s men’s eight and the Deutschland Achter ever disappoint? The Dutch have been dropped while Germany and Great Britain are in a fierce contest – barely a bow ball in it.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

Great Britain win the gold by the smallest of margins. Germany will be disappointed with their silver medal. Last place for the Dutch they have work to do.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

The eights medal ceremony is the last of the 2021 Lucerne World Rowing Cup II.

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Credit Benedict Tufnell

And that concludes finals day in Lucerne. See you in two weeks at 2021 World Rowing Cup III in Sabaudia.

Over and out.