The 2018 World Rowing Cup season concluded in Lucerne, Switzerland with New Zealand topping the medals table and Germany the overall World Cup points table in a show of rowing competence.

This was the final World Cup in the three-regatta series and for many countries, the last chance to test their crews internationally before the World Rowing Championships in September. New Zealand’s medals came in six races with five of them gold medals. This included the women’s pair of Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler who remain unbeaten since 2017. Prendergast and Gowler raced from the front ahead of Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens of Canada.

The New Zealand women’s double sculls and women’s eight finished first and in both cases, Canada was in second. Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue held off Gabrielle Smith and Andrea Proske of Canada in the double with Canada chasing New Zealand to the line in the women’s eight. The United States finished third.

But perhaps the most anticipated race was the men’s single sculls with two New Zealand scullers taking on two German scullers. Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale and Robbie Manson of New Zealand were racing each other to be the top sculler for their country; Tim Ole Naske and Oliver Zeidler were doing the same for Germany. Manson dominated the second half of the race to finish first and take the mantle for his nation with Zeidler getting silver. Third place went to reigning World Champion Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic.

Gold also went New Zealand’s way in the men’s pair. The duo of Tom Murray and Michael Brake managed to hold off France’s Onfroy brothers as well as Lukas Helesic and Jakub Podrazil of the Czech Republic. These two boats took silver and bronze respectively.

Germany had a successful regatta earning eight medals, four of them gold. Their win in the men’s eight came after a close battle with Australia for the full 2000m race. The Netherlands came through in third. Germany finished second overall on the points table for the Lucerne leg of the World Rowing Cup but it was enough to win the overall 2018 World Cup series. Germany finished the series with 130 points just ahead of the Netherlands on 127 points and Great Britain on 104 points.

Host nation Switzerland had saw gold medal success in both the women’s single sculls and lightweight men’s single sculls. World Champion Jeannine Gmelin rounded out the World Cup season as the top women’s single sculler with this regatta seeing her battle against Sanita Purspure of Ireland who took silver and Carling Zeeman of Canada who took bronze.

The next major event will be the 2018 European Championships to be held in Glasgow, Great Britain from the 2-5 August. This will be followed by the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria from the 9-16 September.

The World Rowing Cup series was launched in 1997 and consists of a series of three events. The overall World Rowing Cup winners are determined after the third event. This year, the three stages of the series were Belgrade, SRB (1-3 June), Linz-Ottensheim, AUT (22-24 June) and Lucerne, SUI (13-15 July).

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