The USA Jr. Men's 8+ pulled wednesday's racing out of the fire for the US, qualifying directly for Friday's semifinal out of their heat. Other US crews raced with mixed results in the wednesday afternoon racing.
The USA JM8+ had drawn perennial contender Germany in their heat, along with Poland, Italy and Switzerland (it's been all but forgotten that the Swiss won this event in 1994 with a crew coached by the late Harry Mahon).
With the Germans leading as expected, it was Italy, and not the US that made the charge into Germany, holding their lead to just two seconds at the 1500 meter mark. Germany would hold on to win, with Italy and USA taking the other two qualifying slots in the semi.
On the distaff side, the USA JW8+ had a harder time of it, facing Romania, Germany and the Ukraine in their heat. With Romania leading the Germans attacking, the Ukraine and the US crew were left to shut it down early, and will join Germany in the reps tomorrow.
In the other heat, the Byelorussians continued their surprising run so far at this regatta, turning in the fastest time of the day ahead of Russia and New Zealand. Six of the athletes in the Byelorussian eight had raced previously, doubling into the eight from the JF4- and JF2-. The final promises to be a barnburner, but for the US crew, their first priority must be to get out of the reps.
In other US action, the US JM4+ finished 5th in their qualifying heat, which was won by Romania, while the US JM2+ finished behind the Ukraine, Peru and Yugoslavia in their opener. The US JW2x finished 3rd in their heat behind Sweden and the Czech Republic, while the JM2x finished fourth behind Italy, Austria and Poland. All four crews will race in the repechages tomorrow.