All you need to know about the 2017 European Rowing Championships
The 2017 European Rowing Championships take place in Racice, Czech Republic this weekend. Here are the key things for you to know before they begin
Racice is located approximately 40km northwest of Prague in the Czech Republic. The population of the small town will swell dramatically over the course of the European Rowing Championships, with only around 300 people living there on a permanent basis.
The residents live in close proximity to a world class watersports venue, though, with the lake built on an old sand quarry back in 1986. The 2,350m expanse boasts eight lanes and is encircled by a five kilometre road.
The 1993 World Rowing Championships were held in Racice; Great Britain finished second in the medal table, with all four medals being gold. Greg and Jonny Searle won the coxed pair with Garry Herbert, while Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent won the coxless pair. There were also wins for GB in the lightweight men’s single and the lightweight women’s four.
When will they be racing?
It’s a packed schedule for the European Championships, with heats and some repechages set to take place on Friday, with racing starting at 10.00 local time (09.00 in the UK). The remaining repechages and semi-finals will be held on Saturday, while the A and B finals will take centre stage on Sunday.
Click here for the provisional racing schedule.
How can I watch the racing?
The BBC will be showing live coverage of Sunday’s finals on the Red Button and on the BBC Sport website. Coverage starts at 9.30am until 1.45pm, with all of the medal finals broadcast live.
There will then be a highlights show from Racice, presented by Sir Matthew Pinsent and Dame Katherine Grainger between 3.30-5pm on BBC Two. This programme will be available on the BBC iPlayer in the days after the event.
You can also follow live text coverage across all three days on the British Rowing Twitter feed, as well as getting behind-the-scenes footage on Instagram. Daily reports will be posted on the British Rowing website.
You can also watch live coverage of Saturday’s semi-finals and Sunday’s A finals on the World Rowing website, as well as live tracking every race throughout the weekend. Click here for more information.
Who’s in the Great Britain team?
Great Britain is sending 50 athletes to Racice for the European Championships – many of who already competed in World Rowing Cup 1 in Belgrade earlier in May.
All four gold medal boats from Belgrade remain intact, with Karen Bennett and Holly Norton in the women’s pair, and Matt Rossiter and Jacob Dawson in the men’s pair.
Moe Sbihi, Will Satch, Matthew Tarrant and Callum McBrierty return in the men’s four and Peter Chambers teams up with Will Fletcher again in the lightweight men’s double scull.
Both men and women will race a double scull and a quadruple scull, with Vicky Thornley racing in the single on the women’s side.
>>> Click here for the team announcement
Joel Cassells will look to win his third consecutive men’s lightweight pair title, with Sam Scrimgeour looking for his second in a row.
The men’s eight, which won silver in Belgrade, returns with just one change – Tom Jeffery comes in to the boat and Tim Clarke will travel as a spare.
The new-look women’s eight will debut in Racice, with several of the athletes making their first senior international appearances.
Peter Lambert replaces Tom Barras in the men’s quad, joining Jack Beaumont, John Collins and Jonny Walton; the women’s quad is unchanged from Belgrade.
Barras is set to join Frazier Christie in the men’s double sculls, with Georgia Francis and Emily Carmichael making their first appearance of the season in the women’s double.
Who else will be there?
Over 500 athletes from around Europe will descend on Racice this weekend, including a number of Olympic medallists from Rio 2016 making their first international appearances since the Games.
Chambers and Fletcher will face a tough challenge in the lightweight men’s double, with reigning Olympic champions Jeremie Azou and Pierre Houin (France) set to make their first appearance of the season.
Italy field a host of their Rio 2016 bronze medallists as well. Matteo Lodo and Giuseppe Vicino transfer into the pair, where they will face Dawson and Rossiter. Domenico Montrone and Matteo Castaldo remain in the four and are joined by Giovanni Abagnale and Marco Di Costanzo, who won bronze in the pair in Rio.
In the women’s pair, Hedvig Rasmussen returns to the Danish boat, racing with Christina Johansen, who returns to racing after a break.
The men’s single scull looks strong once more, with Belgrade’s surprise winner Nico Stahlberg (Switzerland) back in action against the man he beat, Olympic silver medallist Damir Martin (Croatia). Multiple world and Olympic champion Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) returns to action in front of his home fans.