All you need to know about World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne

The World Rowing Cup series culminates with round three in Lucerne this weekend. Here’s what you need to know about the iconic event


Lucerne's Rotsee (Naomi Baker)

About Lucerne

Lucerne is seen by many as the spiritual home of international rowing – having hosted world class events since 1933.

The Rotsee – a natural lake to the north of the city – hosted the first ever World Rowing Championships in 1962 as well as three more times since. Lucerne has welcomed the World Cup series every year bar one since its inception in 1997.

When will they be racing?

It’ll be wall-to-wall racing over the three days on the Rotsee, with a massive 21 events to get through and a huge number of athletes to get down the lake.

The action kicks off at 8.30am local time (7.30am UK time) on Friday with the heats of the men’s pair and the busy morning session culminates with the men’s eight heats at 1.10pm. Repechages and quarter-finals start at 3pm on Friday.

Saturday sees the semi-finals and repechages of several of the events with a high number of entries, with a number of ranking finals rounding off the morning session. The afternoon sees more semi-finals as well as the A and B finals of most International events, including the women’s four, lightweight men’s single and lightweight men’s pair – in which Great Britain has an entry.

The rest of the A and B finals for the World Cup events will start at 9am on Sunday, culminating with the men’s eight at 3.03pm.

Click here to view the provisional schedule of racing.

How can I watch the racing?

As usual, we will be bringing you live text coverage on the British Rowing Twitter feed (@BritishRowing), as well as behind-the-scenes content from Lucerne on Instagram and Facebook.

The BBC will have live coverage of the A finals on Sunday from 9.15am (UK time) on the Red Button and online. There will also be a 60-minute highlights programme broadcast on BBC between 4.30-5.30pm on Sunday afternoon.

Live coverage of Sunday’s A finals will be streamed on the World Rowing website, as well as live tracking every race throughout the weekend. Click here for more information.

Who is in the Great Britain team?

Great Britain sends its largest team of the season to Lucerne, with 65 athletes boarding the plane for the final World Cup of the season.

The men’s quadruple scull enters on a high after winning gold in Poznan three weeks ago and following it up with a course record at the Henley Royal Regatta in the Queen Mother Challenge Cup. John Collins, Jack Beaumont, Jonny Walton and Peter Lambert return to the boat.

Vicky Thornley continues in the women’s single scull, looking to maintain her record of winning at least silver in every major competition she’s raced this summer. Tom Barras, who finished an impressive fifth in Poznan, is back in the men’s single.

The men’s four is also unchanged, with Will Satch, Matthew Tarrant, Moe Sbihi and Matt Rossiter returning.

In the silver medal-winning women’s eight, Fiona Gammond returns from illness, while Anastasia Chitty comes in for Caragh McMurtry, who moves to the pair with the returning Sam Courty.

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Karen Bennett moves back into the pair with Holly Norton – the pair won gold in the first World Cup in Belgrade in May before taking bronze in the European Championships.

Joel Cassells and Sam Scrimgeour are also looking to add to their 2017 World Cup medal collection in the lightweight pair, having won silver in Poznan and bronze in Belgrade.

Click here to see the full team.

Who else will be there?

The start list in Lucerne reads like a who’s who of anyone who’s anyone in the world of rowing in 2017, with Olympic, World and European champions on show on the Rotsee.

The eagerly awaited return of the Sinkovic brothers, Valent and Martin, will come this weekend, with the Croatians swapping the double scull for the pair this season. They will be up against another set of brothers, Valentin and Theophile Onfroy (France) – who took gold in Poznan – and Italian Olympic bronze medallists Matteo Lodo and Guiseppe Vicino.

In the Sinkovics’ traditional event, double Olympic champion Olaf Tufte (Norway) rejoins his Rio 2016 partner Kjetil Borch in the double scull in another strong field of European Championships and World Cup winners.

Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast (New Zealand) go in to the women’s pair as the boat to beat, having set a new world best time in Poznan and followed it up with an impressive win at Henley Royal Regatta last weekend.

New Zealand will look to defend their women’s eight gold from World Cup II, where Great Britain took silver, while Robert Manson has a lot to live up to after his Poznan efforts. The Kiwi single sculler knocked three seconds of the world best time, held by compatriot Mahe Drysdale, and stormed to victory. He faces the likes of Damir Martin (Croatia) and Ondrej Synek in the 36-strong field.

Thornley also faces stiff competition in the women’s single in the shape of Jeannine Gmelin (Switzerland) – winner in Belgrade, Magdalena Lobnig (Austria) – winner in Poznan, Ekaterine Karsten (Belarus) – European silver medallist, and Annekatrin Thiele – Henley Royal Regatta winner.

Where to Great Britain sit in the World Cup standings?

Great Britain currently top the World Cup standings ahead of the final round in Lucerne, but face a tough challenge if they are to seal the ranking title. GB lead with 100 points from two rounds, ahead of Poland (66) and Netherlands (57). New Zealand, who missed round one in Belgrade, sit fourth on 50 points after a stellar performance in Poznan.

In the individual events, British boats lead in four events – the women’s pair, men’s four, men’s eight and men’s quadruple scull – and second in three more – the women’s single scull, lightweight women’s double and women’s eight.