The Kiwi Fan’s Guide to Watching the 2017 World Rowing Championships

Written by Leah Lassche on September 22nd, 2017.

With just 3 days to go until the start of the 2017 World Rowing Championships we bring you a run through of events featuring our New Zealand crews, so you have all the insights you need to get in the zone and cheer on the Kiwi’s as they take on World Rowing’s pinnacle event of the year.

Note- all times are local time in Sarasota, Florida (NZT - 16hours)

Sunday 24th Heats

10.20-10.40: Lightweight Men’s Single

With a long list of entries for Sarasota, the Men’s lightweight single will be a hotly contested. The 2017 season has seen some tight racing with Poland’s Artur Mikolajczewski taking out two of three World Cup regattas, establishing himself as the most consistent performer in the season so far. With the lightweight four exiting the Olympic program for 2020, the lightweight single has become a crucial event for scullers looking to prove their worth for a chance to break into, or put together a lightweight double- the only lightweight event in the Olympic program.

2017 World Cup Series: Artur Mikolajczewski, Poland

2016 World Champion: Paul O’Donovan

New Zealand Crew: Matthew Dunham

Provisional A-final schedule: 13.15 Friday 29th September

Crews to watch:
Switzerland and Hungary have been in hot pursuit over the last two regattas, after impressive performances in the first World Cup where they superseded the Pole, who was left out of the medals, proving they have the potential to turn the tide. New Zealand’s Matthew Dunham has been on the rise all year, with a standout performance at the Henley Royal Regatta earning him the coveted heavyweight diamond sculls title; Dunham showed he could be a dark horse in Sarasota.

11.06-11.21: Men’s Pair

The 2017 World Championships will mark the first year in the men’s pair that will not feature the dominant ‘KiwiPair’ combination of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, for the first time since they began their unbeaten streak some eight years ago. In the absence of this seemingly invincible force, crews from several nations have stepped up to claim the enviable top spot over the season so far, with a renewed optimism in their quest for gold. Perhaps the biggest move in the event this year was presence of the other golden duo of this generation of rowers, the Croatian Sinkovic brothers, seeking to transfer their dominance in the double scull to the pair. However, a new-look New Zealand crew of Jamie Hunter and Tom Murray proved that it may not be that simple as they snatched victory from the Croatians at the final World Cup regatta in Lucerne.

2017 World Cup Series Winners: France

2016 Olympic Medallists: NZL (gold), South Africa (silver), Italy (Bronze)

New Zealand Crew: Jamie Hunter, Tom Murray

Provisional A-final schedule: 10:38 Saturday 30th September

Crews to watch:
If the final in Lucerne is anything to go by New Zealand has a good chance of taking out the top spot in this new-look field, although the Croatian brothers are unlikely to let them get away with it without a fight. Also keep an eye on the French crew and European champions Italy who could also feature on the victory dias.

11.55-12.10: Lightweight Women’s Double

A clean slate of crews line up in the Lightweight women’s double in Sarasota, with compelling racing in the World Cup regattas proving the impressive depth the event is known for is as strong as ever. The new look Kiwi crew of Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle seized the most dominate win of the season with a 4-sec victory in Lucerne, followed by a consistent performers Polish in second. New crews will be added to the mix in Sarasota, with seasoned campaigners Katherine Copeland (GBR) and Julianne Rasmussen (DEN) also featuring in new combinations respectively.

2017 World Cup Series Winners: Poland

2016 Olympic Medallists: Netherlands (Gold), Canada (Silver), China (Bronze)

New Zealand Crew: Jackie Kiddle, Zoe McBride

Provisional A-final schedule: 11.08 Saturday 30th September

Crews to watch:
Although they have only contested one World Cup regatta together this season, the Kiwi crew’s dominance in Lucerne bodes well for victory in Sarasota. Poland have been consistently in the medals over the World Cup season and will look to feature strongly, while crews from China, Great Britain and Russia have also demonstrated medal potential.

meinruderbild DSC 0203 nur redaktionelle Nutzung Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle on their way to victory in Lucerne

12.21-12.31: Men’s Four

Always a popular event at the World Rowing Champs, the Men’s four continues to be a sought-after title for some of the world’s biggest rowing power-houses. The British will hope to continue their success in the boat, having dominated the Olympic regattas since Sydney 2000, with this year’s crew featuring Rio gold medallists from the four and eight. The New Zealand crew features a youthful line up, with Anthony Allen, Charlie Rogerson and Cameron Webster all competing in their first Elite World Championships. Alex Kennedy brings some experience to the crew, having been a part of the last years 5th place Men’s 8+ at the Rio Olympics.

2017 World Cup Series Winners: Great Britain

2016 Olympic Medallists: Great Britain

New Zealand Crew: Anthony Allen, Charlie Rogerson, Cameron Webster, Alex Kennedy

Provisional A-final schedule: 11.23 Saturday 30th September

Crews to watch:
The Brits have maintained their dominance this year, but it hasn’t all been plain sailing. Australia got the better of them at the second World Cup, and were absent from the event in Lucerne, building suspense for the clash in Sarasota. Germany and the Netherlands have also looked sharp this season, and could also challenge for the top. The young Kiwis are untested at this level, but history has shown New Zealand crews ought not to be overlooked.

12.46-12.56: Men’s Quad

The Men’s Quad has provided a series of nail-biting finishes in the season so far, holding true to its reputation as a fast and furious event. With the Olympic medal winning nations boating new combinations this season, the medals have been dispersed to a new set of contenders with Lithuania and Great Britain establishing themselves as the early season favourites.

2017 World Cup Series Winners: Great Britain

2016 Olympic Medallists: Germany (Gold), Australia (Silver), Estonia (Bronze).

New Zealand Crew: Lewis Hollows, Cameron Crampton, Nathan Flannery, Giacomo Thomas

Provisional A-final schedule: 12.08 Saturday 30th September

Crews to watch:
have racked up the most wins this season with victory in World Cup’s one and three, while Great Britain have also been consistently on the pace and picked up the win in Poznan. The Kiwi’s hit their stride in Lucerne, finishing a narrow fourth behind Poland, proving they have what it takes to be in the hunt. Medal-winning margins have been very tight at all three World Cup regattas, and the final in Sarasota will be no different.

13.06-13.41: Men’s Single

Few will forget the stunning finish to the Men’s Single sculls in Rio, with Mahe Drysdale seizing gold by the slightest of margins from the fast finishing Damir Martin. But a changing of the guard in 2017 has been equally stunning, with Kiwi Robbie Manson setting a new world best time of 6.30.74, leaving the rest of the field over eight seconds behind. Cuba’s Angel Fournier Rodriguez has been a consistent performer this year, while Olympic heavyweights Damir Martin and Ondrej Synek will both hope to recover winning form in Sarasota.

2017 World Cup Series Winners: Nico Stahlberg, Switzerland

2016 Olympic Medallists: Mahe Drysdale, NZL (Gold), Damir Martin, CRO (Silver), Ondrej Synek, CZE (Bronze).

New Zealand Crew: Robbie Manson

Provisional A-final schedule: 11.27 Sunday 1st October

Crews to watch:
Robbie Manson would have to be considered a favourite this year, despite this being his first World Championships in the single. Damir Martin and Ondrej Synek have experience on their side and a swag of Olympic medals behind them, although neither featured on the podium in Poznan or Lucerne. Fournier Rodriguez from Cuba has picked up two World Cup silvers from two appearances to pose a threat in Sarasota, while Nico Stahlberg of Switzerland and Stanislau Shcharbachenia of Belarus also found form at the penultimate Lucerne regatta.

Robbie Poznan  - Copy
Robbie Manson en route to a new world best time in Poznan

Monday 25th Heats

10.39-10.46: Women’s Pair

London and Rio Gold medallists Helen Glover and Heather Stanning are notably absent from the women’s pair field this year, with a new line up of would-be world champions stepping up. New Zealand’s Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast set a new world best time in Poznan and notched up two World Cup wins from two appearances. Prendergast and Gowler competed in the women’s 8+ in Rio finishing 4th, after winning silver in both the pair and eight at the 2015 World Championships.

2017 World Cup Series Winners: New Zealand

2016 Olympic Medallists: Great Britain (Gold), New Zealand (Silver), Denmark (Bronze)

New Zealand Crew: Kerri Gowler, Grace Prendergast

Provisional A-final schedule: 10.23 Saturday 30th September

Crews to watch:
The Kiwis are in dominant form and this could well be their year to take home the gold, a title last won by a Kiwi crew back in 2011. USA’s hometown favourites Megan Kalmoe and Tracy Eisser have been consistent runners-up this year and will look to impress in front of a (no doubt) impassioned crowd, while the Danish Olympic Bronze medallists will look to move up the ranks on the back of their success in Rio.

10.53-11.00: Women’s Four

The Women’s Four will line up in Sarasota with renewed interest, with the event reinstated in the Olympic program for 2020. Australia appear to be the early favourites this year, but significant changes to the USA and Canadian crews could shake things up. The young Kiwi crew of Jackie Gowler, Kirstyn Goodger, Beth Ross, and Ellie Jeurissen will make their world championship debut in Sarasota. Goodger and Gowler showed promise in making the A-final in Lucerne in the pair, while Ross and Jeurissen step up from the U23 squad.

2017 World Cup Series Winners: Australia

2016 World Champions: Great Britain

New Zealand Crew: Jackie Gowler, Kirstyn Goodger, Beth Ross, Ellie Jeurissen

Provisional A-final schedule: 11.38 Saturday 30th September

Crews to watch:
Australia are two from two in the World Cup series and will hope to make it a hattrick in Florida. They will no doubt come under pressure from the home favourites, USA had two crews in the final in Poznan, and a refined combination could see them put pressure on the Aussies. The Canadian crew has the experience of four of the women who competed in the 8+ in Rio, while the Netherlands and Romania both looked strong in the early season and could yet be contenders.

11.07-11.28: Men’s Double

With the Sinkovic brothers opting for the pair this year, the men’s double is another event seeking a new world-title holder. Poland have rotated their combinations over the course of the World Cup season with consistent success, while the Kiwis managed to hold them off the top spot in Poznan and Lucerne, the latter by less than a second. It is an impressive start to the Olympic cycle for both nations, neither of whom featured in the medals in Rio, while Lithuania and Norway (silver and bronze in Rio respectively) will look to respond in Sarasota.

2017 World Cup Series Winners: New Zealand

2016 Olympic Medallists: Croatia (Gold), Lithuania (Silver), Norway (Bronze)

New Zealand Crew: Chris Harris, John Storey

Provisional A-final schedule: 10.42 Sunday 1st October

Crews to watch:
New Zealand took out two World Cup titles this season, showing consistency and composure, which will serve them well in Sarasota. The event could well be a nail-biter, with Poland showing some impressive progress over the season, and Olympic medallists Lithuania and Norway coming back into the fray following intermittent absences in the World Cups. Italy and Switzerland have also shown potential, and could well round out a very competitive final.

170617 Rowing WCIIPoland (94) M2XChris Harris and John Storey win gold in Poznan

11.39-11.53: Women’s Double

New Zealand have stepped up to claim two World Cup victories this season, and are the most consistent performers in the World Cup series. The depth in this field is impressive, with five other nations sharing the remaining medals across the three regattas, including two Dutch crews on the podium in the Belgrade, and two French chasing the Kiwi’s home in Lucerne. With so many of the top combinations new to the boat class this year (including the Kiwi’s), it will be exciting to see who will come out on top.

2017 World Cup Series Winners: New Zealand

2016 Olympic Medallists: Poland (Gold), Great Britain (Silver), Lithuania (Bronze)

New Zealand Crew: Oliva Loe, Brooke Donoghue

Provisional A-final schedule: 10.27 Sunday 1st October

Crews to watch:
New Zealand are the favourites in Sarasota, where consistency under pressure could make all the difference in a field full of newcomers. The French showed in Lucerne they are quick starters, and will hope to establish a gap in the early stages and try to hold off the Kiwis in the second half. Despite winning silver in Poznan, China have opted for a new combination in Sarasota, untested in this event. The Netherlands come back into the mix having featured strongly in Belgrade at the start of the season, while Australia will hope to improve on their fourth place in Lucerne, where they finished less than a second short of the podium.

12.04-12.25: Women’s Single

The rivalry between Australia’s Kim Crow and New Zealand’s Emma Twigg was a feature of the women’s single in the last Olympic cycle, but with both women absent in 2017 the event is set to crown a new champion. Duan Jingli of China is the only Rio medallist returning, and will face some stiff competition from scullers from Switzerland, Canada, Austria and Great Britain to name a few. Kiwi Hannah Osborne is taking on the challenge of both her first elite world champs and first international season in the single. Osborne showed promise in making the A final in Poznan, and will hope to continue progress through the rankings in Sarasota.

2017 World Cup Series Winners: Magdalena Lobnig, AUT

2016 Olympic Medallists: Kim Brennan, AUS (Gold), Gevvie Stone, USA (Silver), Duan Jingli, CHN (Bronze)

New Zealand Crew: Hannah Osborne

Provisional A-final schedule: 10.57 Sunday 1st October

Crews to watch:
Switzerland’s Jeannine Gmelin’s absence in Poznan cost her the world series title, but she still claimed the most victories of the word cup series, taking gold in Belgrade and Lucerne. Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig has been consistently on the podium this season and will likely contest the medals, while Carling Zeeman of Canada made an impressive appearance in Lucerne to take silver. Don’t rule out China’s Duan Jingli, the Olympic bronze medallist proved her class in Rio, and her form in Poznan puts her firmly in the mix. Olympic Silver medallist in the double sculls, Victoria Thornley of Great Britain could also feature in the final.

Tuesday 26th Heats

13.28-13.33: Women’s Eight

An event dominated by the USA for the best part of a decade, the women’s eight could feature the biggest upset of the regatta If American’s can’t clinch the gold on home turf. It won’t be easy for them either, they have already been beaten by two crews this season, including our very own Kiwi eight. The New Zealanders have gone from strength to strength since their credible 4th place in Rio last year and will back themselves to challenge for the top spot.

2017 World Cup Series Winners: New Zealand

2016 Olympic Medallists: USA (Gold), Great Britain (Silver), Romania (Bronze)

New Zealand Crew: Emma Dyke, Lucy Spoors, Rebecca Scown, Kelsi Walters, Kelsey Bevan, Georgia Perry, Ashlee Rowe, Ruby Tew, Sam Bosworth (cox).

Provisional A-final schedule: 11.42 Sunday 1st October

Crews to watch:
The USA have made a couple of crew changes since their bronze medal in Lucerne, and will be hoping to find a few extra seconds to take them to the win in Florida. Romania have been impressive in the early season, winning the European championships and gold in Lucerne echoing the golden years of the Romanian eights before the USA took over. The New Zealanders picked up a win in Poznan and silver in Lucerne to show their medal potential, while Great Britain also finished in the medals in both Poznan and Lucerne. Historically strong nations Canada and Russia are yet to race this season, throwing an element of the unknown into the mix.

170618 Rowing WCIIPOLANDfinals W8 (231)The New Zealand Women's eight take center stage on the podium in Poznan

13.38-13.43: Men’s Eight

The Men’s eight has seen some quality crews race this year, with the Germans storming back to the top spot after finishing second to Great Britain in Rio. The Brits have had a change around in their boat with key players from Rio moving into the four, but the depth of the squad should not be underestimated. The Netherlands have also had some strong crews over the last few years and could mount an effective challenge, while the home crowd will be behind a new USA crew yet to race internationally this season.

2017 World Cup Series Winners: Germany

2016 Olympic Medallists: Great Britain (Gold), Germany (Silver), The Netherlands (Bronze)

New Zealand Crew: Steven Jones, Brook Robertson, Michael Brake, Shaun Kirkham, Isaac Grainger, Paddy McInnes, Drikus Conradie, James Lassche, Caleb Sheppard (cox).

Provisional A-final schedule: 11.12 Sunday 1st October

Crews to watch:
With new entries and crew changes since the last regatta in Lucerne, there is cause to expect the unexpected in the Men’s eight in Sarasota. While Germany have had a dream season so far, setting a new world best time in Poznan and winning the latter two World Cup regattas, they were pushed in Lucerne by the Australians. The Aussie crew has since been reworked, with the nation prioritizing the four which could affect their chances. The Netherlands had two competitive crews in the A final in Lucerne and could consolidate an impressive combination. The Kiwis had a great start to the season in Poznan chasing the Germans home to silver, and will hope to recover their medal winning form in Sarasota, while Romania and Great Britain are also potential threats.


Concept2 NZ wishes the New Zealand Rowing Team all the best for success in Sarasota.
Go well team, we'll be cheering at the TV for you!