2023 World Rowing Cup I, Preview Crew Sculling

Zagreb, Croatia

4 minute read
Words Row360
Published 26.04.23

The 2023 World Rowing Cup series starts in Zagreb, Croatia. Lake Jarun hosts the 2023 World Rowing Cup I from 5-7th May 2023. With the first shot at Paris 2024 Olympic qualification fast approaching a strong start to the 2023 season is critical.

Sinkovic brothers World Rowing Cup Preview
Photo CRO M2x Sinkovic brothers
Credit Benedict Tufnell

Will the Sinkovic brothers win their fiftieth medal? Certainly that would be a crowd pleaser but the gold medal is no foregone conclusion. Spain’s Rodrigo Conde Romero and Aleix Garcia Pujolar, who won silver at last year’s world championships, are tough opposition.

Ten countries (twelve crews) have entered the men’s double sculls including Thailand, Ukraine, Slovakia and India. Argentina and Serbia are each sending two doubles. The strokeman and bowman of Estonia’s 2022 Worlds A-Finalist men’s quad reunite. They last raced together in the double at the 2021 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland.

A straight six boat shootout in the women’s doubles features Tokyo 2020 W1x bronze medallist Magdalena Lobnig. Austria’s Lobnig sisters have honed their double on camp in Austin, Texas, and are favourites for gold.

Ukraine’s Diana Serebrianska, who won the B-Final after narrowly missing a shot at the medals in Racice, races with Yevheniia Dovhodko. European bronze medallist Dovhodko stroked the Ukrainian women’s quad to fourth place in Racice.

Another new combination being tested comes from South Africa. Cambridge’s 2022 Boat Race winner Paige Badenhorst is getting to grips with two oars not one. She joins forces with 2021 Under 23 bronze medallist Kat Williams. They are altitude-training-camp strong having spent time in the Lesotho mountains.

The Swiss scullers are on double duties as they double-up between the women’s double and quad.

Lightweight doubles

There are nine lightweight women’s doubles. They include former Asian Games medallists from Hong Kong and Thailand, and the Chilean lightweight women’s double gold medallists from the 2023 Pan American Games Qualification Regatta.

More Swiss selection battles will be settled in the lightweight ranks. The longstanding and independently minded partnership of Patricia Merz and Frederique Rol competes against Olivia Nacht and Eline Rol. The Rols are cousins but no quarter will be given as the winners are likely to secure a spot at the 2023 European Rowing Championships.

Raphael Ireland and Jan Schaeuble remain the Swiss lightweight men’s double. Last year they won gold at the first world cup and in the same race the Czech duo of Miroslav Vrastil and Jiri Simanek won a bronze medal. The Czech are also competing at Zagreb in an unchanged lineup. Vrastil now has a new indoor world record – in the lightweight 40-49 age group category – after his gold medal winning performance at the 2023 World Rowing Indoor Championships.


Four entries – Croatia, Ukraine, Switzerland, and Czechia – in the men’s quads, which is two more than the women. Switzerland go head-to-head with Ukraine in the women’s quads. Ukraine placed fourth, just ahead of Switzerland in fifth, at the last world championships. Former Swiss lightweight Sofia Meakin joins the openweight quad and is expected to race from the stroke seat. Meakin missed the 2022 season due to an arm injury for which she required surgery.

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