World Cup Opener

Varese, Italy

9 minute read
Words World Rowing
Published 04.04.24

The 2024 World Rowing Cup I will take place on Lago di Varese, Italy from 12 to 14 April 2024, with 34 countries participating – the biggest contingents coming from Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands and the home nation, Italy. Athletes from Uganda, Peru, Tunisia, Brazil, and Angola will also be trying to get the first medals of the international rowing season.

The men’s single sculls has attracted the largest number of entries with 30 names, and includes the reigning World Champion, Oliver Zeidler of Germany. Fresh off his title at the 2023 World Rowing Championships, Zeidler wants to start his season on a high note, but will face tough competition in Italy – including the World silver medallist, Simon Van Dorp of the Netherlands, who pushed Zeidler to the limit in Belgrade. Damir Martin of Croatia will be looking to build confidence in his journey to Paris, while Kjetil Borch of Norway will test his speed before going through the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in May.

This event will also see the return of the Sinkovic Brothers… in the men’s pair. A surprise move from Martin and Valent, who competed in the double sculls in 2022 and 2023, but will look to defend their Olympic title in the pair later this year. Competition will be fierce, with the gold, silver and bronze medallists from Belgrade competing in this event – Switzerland, Great Britain, and Ireland. A good measuring stick – and a potential preview of what the A-Final at the Olympic Games could look like.

The women’s single sculls will also be hotly contested. Will Karolien Florijn build on her unbeaten streak of 23 races? On her way to success, she will face a very tough field, led by last year’s winner of World Cup I, Virgina Diaz Rivas of Spain, young phenoms Alex Foester of Germany and Aurelia-Maxima Janzen of Switzerland, and the grand return of 2018 and 2019 World Champion, Sanita Puspure of Ireland.

Among Italy’s large delegation on home waters, the men’s quadruple sculls, who won a silver medal at the World Championships last year, will certainly be one to watch. The reigning Olympic Champions in the lightweight women’s double sculls, Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini, will try to regain their 2021 form – they will have to go through Final Olympic Qualification Regatta to try and defend their title in Paris, but will surely want to perform on Lago di Varese to show the rowing world they are back.

There will be seven crews in both the men’s and women’s eights, and on the men’s side, the battle between Great Britain and the Netherlands will continue, having been on the podium at every event they competed in last year. Can Germany play spoilers and regain their form that made that boat unbeatable for so long?

As the first World Rowing regatta of the season, Varese will be an opportunity for crews to check on the progress they have made in off-season training, and to find their swing in this all important racing year which will culminate with the Olympic Games regatta in Paris.