From the finish line area, the conditions on the race course Wednesday afternoon looked fine. So when it was announced over the venue intercom that racing was going to postponed, and was then canceled some thirty minutes later, there was visible confusion around the grandstands.
Seems that what was happening in the finish area was extremely different from the top of the course where the winds were blowing in such a way that the racing conditions were judged to be unfair from lane to lane.
The wind effect was difficult to detect, as the condition of the water did not appear to be any different from lane to lane. Check out this photo gallery row2k shot from the mid-course bridge.
And so with only the four quarter finals of the lightweight men four have been completed, the remaining afternoon race schedule was canceled and the Thursday morning schedule adjusted to accommodate the missed races.
Racing will start 45 minutes early Thursday. The new schedule can be found here.
While the decision to end racing prevented any further problems for the FISA fairness committee, the fact that the races had been run in conditions that were determined to be unfair was met with protest from some of the crews that raced.
The unfair lane appeared to be lane six, in which all but one of the crews that raced in the lane finished in first. The one exception was the Irish lightweights, Gary and Paul O'Donovan. They were racing in lane three.
New Zealand, racing in six, lead until the final 500 meters. The O'Donovans started in four and raced back through the length of the course to take the win and advance.
In a tweet minutes after the announcement, French lightweight Thomas Baroukh said: "Give me my race back please!! If racing was unfair today, why should we acknowledge the results in those unfair conditions?"
FISA met to consider a request from four countries to rerun the races, but that request was turned down.
Notes From The Course
At the top of the Wednesday schedule, 10 para events and the men and women's lightweight pair preliminary races were run without issue. The US had five crews rowing those events. Hallie Smith, rowing in the women's PR1 women's single finished second and will row in the reps.
In the para women's PR3 pair, Jaclyn Smith and Danny Hansen rowed unopposed due to a last minute withdrawal by the Italian entry. Smith and Hansen were moved into the C final of the open women's pair Saturday . . .
Jaclyn Smith and Danny Hansen
Tigers galore. In the first heat of the men's eight, Princeton University was well represented, with five alums racing, including two in the US eight, one in the Canadian eight and one in the Australian eight . . .
Airing their laundry near the start. Team GB is staying in the hotel directly behind the start line and are apparently making sure everyone knows. Or maybe they are just drying their laundry.