Racing for the 2018 World Championships begin on Sunday, September 9, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Below, we preview the M8+ and W8+ events.
ENTRIES - 8
THE FAVORITE – The women's eight is another tough field with multiple crews with the speed to make the podium and potentially take home the gold. Romania is the defending champion in the event and returns their entire lineup from 2017. They are the slight favorites in Plovdiv by virtue of their win recently at the European Championships over the Dutch and the British.
MEDAL CONTENDERS – New Zealand, Canada, and the United States were the top three eights at World Cup III and will be the primary challengers to Romania. Canada were the silver medalists in 2017 and bring back most of the crew in addition to three rowers from their U23 eight that have won the last two U23 world championships. Great Britain and The Netherlands should also challenge the top crews for a medal.
USA PROSPECTS – The USA W8+ of Vicky Opitz, Gia Doonan, Emily Regan, Felice Mueller, Dana Moffat, Tracy Eisser, Kristine O'Brien, Olivia Coffey, and Katelin Guregian were selected out of the Princeton Training Center. The crew finished third at World Cup III and return just one rower (Regan) and the coxswain from the 2017 crew that finished fourth. They will be looking improve on last year's result and make the podium in Plovdiv.
2017 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – Romania got out to a quick start and controlled a close race from the lead to win the gold medal, ending the United States eleven year run in the event. Canada sprinted through New Zealand to win the silver, with the USA finishing fourth. Video here.
2018 GER M8+
ENTRIES - 9
THE FAVORITE – Germany are the defending champions and have gone unbeaten in 2018. They return all nine athletes from the crew that won in Sarasota.
MEDAL CONTENDERS - The men's eight is one of the deepest fields in Plovdiv, with many crews that should challenge for a podium finish and all nine crews capable of making the final. The Dutch finished second at the European Championships. Great Britain has prioritized the eight after two years with the four as their flagship crew. Canada's top rowers are also in the eight for the first time since 2012 and will be looking to make their mark in the big boat. The United States crew is untested internationally in 2018 following their somewhat surprising silver medal in Sarasota.
USA PROSPECTS – The USA M8+ of Alex Karwoski, Glenn Ochal, Tom Peszek, Tom Dethlefs, Conor Harrity, Mike Di Santo, Andrew Reed, Patrick Eble, and coxswain Julian Venonsky were selected out of Oakland Training Center. They return four rowers (Karwoski, Peszek, Reed, and Eble) and the coxswain from the eight that won the silver medal at the 2017 World Championships. They will be looking to make the podium again and continue to build momentum into Tokyo 2020.
2017 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – Germany led wire to wire to win the A Final by 1.6 seconds. The United States held off a sprint from Italy to take silver with the Dutch coming in fourth. Video here.