Highly competitive racing continued today at the Samsung World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland (May 25 to 27), with Canadian crews locking up a couple more berths in tomorrow's medal rounds.
The men's pair of Scott Frandsen (Kelowna, BC) and David Calder (Victoria, BC) showed solid form, as they won their semi this afternoon in 6:21.51, controlling the race. Britain was second in 6:23.08 and Italy also moved forward to the final from this semi in 6:27.52.
"Today's race was a good one for Scott and I, we wanted to get out and test ourselves against the Italians. The last time we raced them, they won a bronze medal at the Worlds and we were fifth, so it was a big step for us," said Calder, a three-time Olympian. "We felt like we built on the heat yesterday, and we hope to build even more for tomorrow's final."
Men's team alternates Spencer Crowley (Lantzville, BC) and Will Dean (Kelowna, BC), rowing in the other men's pair semi, were fourth in 6:28.19. Just missing out on the third A final berth, this crew must row in the B final tomorrow.
The lightweight men's double of Doug Vandor (Dewittville, QC) and Morgan Jarvis (Winnipeg, MB) had a solid semi, finishing a tight second to New Zealand to advance. New Zealand's time was 6:15.74, Canada crossed the line in 6:16.08, and Great Britain also advanced in 6:21.46.
"We are here as a first test to see how we compare. We were in a semi with some of the best boats, and we knew we wanted to be in there competing with them," said Jarvis, "so today we managed to do that - head in, working together and focused on our race. It turned out pretty well. It's a positive first step to keep going forward and do more work in our training."
The men's four was fourth in the rep in 5:54.41, and must now row in the B final for places seven to 12. Greece won this rep in 5:50.17. The Canadian men's four is Derek O'Farrell (Montreal, QC), Anthony Jacob (Vancouver, BC), Mike Wilkinson (North Vancouver, BC) and Peter McClelland (Aurora/King City, ON).
Despite a strong start, the lightweight women's double of Tracy Cameron (Shubenacadie, NS) and Lindsay Jennerich (Victoria, BC) finished third in the rep today and must now row in a B final. Denmark won the rep in 6:54.33, Great Britain was second in 6:55.46 and Canada third in 6:58.19 - top two went to the A final.
"This boat has the potential for a lot of speed, with more training," said Kenny Wu, who is coaching the double. "They will learn a lot from this, and we have work to do."
The men's double of Kevin Kowalyk (Winnipeg, MB) and Michael Braithwaite (Duncan, BC) were sixth in the semi in 6:25.90, and proceed to the B final.
The women's pair of Larissa Lagzdins (Burlington, ON) and Carolyn Ganes (Saskatoon, SK) was fifth today in the semi in 7:11.97, and also go to the B final.
"Overall it was a fairly positive day," said Rowing Canada Aviron's High Performance Director, Peter Cookson. "We have four boats in the A finals, and two that came pretty close (the men's four and light women's double). Strong performances in all the finals tomorrow will set us up pretty well for London."
See www.worldrowing.com for more details. Finals are tomorrow, with Canada in medal contention in the men's and women's eights, men's pair and lightweight men's double.