The 2022 World Rowing Cup series concluded with the third regatta in the series in Lucerne, Switzerland, in July.

Lucerne, Switzerland

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It was the last major international racing opportunity for New Zealand before the World Rowing Championships, scheduled for September.

More than 600 rowers from 39 nations competed across 17 boat classes at World Rowing Cup III.

A showdown was expected in the women’s single sculls between our reigning Olympic champion Emma Twigg, the 2018 World Rowing champion Jeanine Gmelin of Switzerland and Austria’s Olympic bronze medallist Magdalena Lobnig. It was to be the first time the three had raced each other since the A final in Tokyo. Unfortunately, however, Twigg was unable to race due to illness.

New Zealand Olympic champions Grace Prendergast and Kerri Williams (née Gowler) who had been dominating the women’s pair, faced Great Britain’s Esme Booth and Emily Ford for the first time. It was a tough A final and came down to the last 500 metre sprint. The Kiwis won the gold, Loana Vrinceanu and Denisa Tilvescu of Romania took silver and Great Britain took bronze.

In the men’s pair, Matt MacDonald and Tom Mackintosh, winners in Poznan and at Henley, were up against Great Britain with Tom George and Oliver Wynne-Griffith winners in Belgrade. The Brits executed an outstanding race that earned them gold. The Kiwi pair were fourth.

The women’s four of Phoebe Spoors, Beth Ross, Davina Waddy and Catherine Layburn came away with bronze after just losing out in a battle with Romania for second place.

The men’s double of Jack O’Leary and Jordan Parry who had joined forces earlier that week after sickness ruled out a men’s quad, put up a great fight against Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Finland and Hungary in the C final. The duo finished in second place, just 0.79 of a second behind the Romanians.

Kirstyn Goodger lined up against Norway, Brazil and France in the C final of the women’s single sculls. After a conservative first 1000m, Goodger made big gains on the field and did her best to reel in her competitors, coming fourth. Just seven seconds separated the entire field at the end of the race.

World Rowing Cup III was the first time we have seen the New Zealand light weight Olympic-class boats line up at international competition since 2019. Jackie Kiddle was world champion in 2019 and this year teamed up with Rachael Kennedy. In the B final of the lightweight double sculls they were third. The men’s lightweight double of Chris Stockley and Matt Dunham were also third in their B final.

Finally, Kristen Froude, Charlotte Spence, Kate Haines and Stella Clayton-Greene took the win in the B final for the women’s quad.