Nearly all the crews for the 29 events ready to be contested at the 2022 Worlds are here in Racice, though some got here just in time: while many crews were taking penultimate practice lap after a week on-site--like the US crews--Ukraine was unloading a full trailer for the 12 crews and 34 athletes they brought...
and row2k ran into these "newcomers" to the M2x event on a Friday flight.
To kick off row2k's coverage, let's bring you a few things we noticed from the entries list and our notes from a day at the course yesterday.
Notes on the Entries
- The Women's Eight is just a 6-boat straight final this year, thanks in part to neither Great Britain or Germany fielding a crew. The British did finish last in the Repechage and out of the final in Tokyo and the "rumour" is that they did not find a lineup that was on the standard this year to send. The Germans scratched their W8 due to a COVID outbreak that also impacted their Women's Pair and Men's Quad.
- Other Women's Eight notes: the USA Eight is doubling up with their W2-, Romania is doubling their 4- and 2-, but the Dutch win this fun fact category, since all eight are doing the double: the NED W8+ is their W2x, W2-, and W4-.
- ITA looks to have stacked their M8+, using the athletes who are usually in their prioritized fours and pair.
- Meanwhile, New Zealand is racing zero eights here, despite having won the Men's Eight and taken a silver in the Women's Eight in Tokyo last year--and with the Kiwi press already reporting that NZ is "unlikely to contest 2024 Paris Olympics despite Tokyo Success", we are seeing the first evidence of that here.
- Doubling is not just for the big boats: Ionela Cozmiuc of Romania will race both the LW1x and W1x, while New Zealand's Jackie Kiddle will contest both the LW2x and LW1x. With all of the extra rounds of racing in those events, you don't see that sort of doubling often.
- There are Light Men's Singles here from both from Palestine and Lebanon, which may not be firsts per se (we'll have to check), but it is certainly the first time either nation has shown up in the row2k Pick 'Em, which dates back to the 2008 Olympics.
Notes on the Entries
Fall has Fallen: Passing showers and brisk breezes were the order of the day, with Fall in full swing for the end-of-summer Championship (it was the timing of the multi-sport European Championships, btw, that led to the "late" Worlds here in September).
Birthday Girls and Boys: in addition to the stroke of the Canadian women's eight, Sydney Payne, celebrating another trip around the sun, Friday saw four birthdays on the US Team: Alex Karwowski OLY, Men's Eight, Emelie Eldracher, PR3 Mixed Four coxswain, Dr. Peter Wenger, team physician, and Brett Johnson, USRowing's longtime media man--but only Payne got a sweet sash to mark the occasion, as seen above.
China Still Winning Warmups: the Chinese women continue to take dynamic warming up to new levels, performing a choreographed and synchronized set of exercises, complete with a coach calling cadence.
Practice Day for All, Even the Medics: today was the practice run for the emergency response teams here on site, who ran a full-on rescue complete with a single sculler in distress, who was taken out of the boat, back-boarded onto the dock, and wheeled up the steep Racice ramps to a waiting ambulance.
Practice Starts, by Squad: The officials were running Friday's practice starts in groups of four, which was just enough for the entire US Women's Eight and its spares, out in three pairs and a four, to run a red-white-and-blue only flight.
The Names are on the Boats: there is a lot of first-time "stuff" that has to happen when you show up to Worlds to use a fleet of brand-new boats, and that includes putting the names on the US boats that have been named. It was fitting to see that three of the boats are named for legendary coaches who passed since the last World Championship: Carie Graves, Jim Barker, and Ted Nash.
And We Got One: Rainbow over boatyard pic? Check.
Up Next: Racing
The draw takes place Saturday afternoon--you can see the seedings here--with racing starting Sunday. The week will culminate in these three days of Finals as follows, so you can mark your calendar:
- Friday Finals for the non-Olympic Lightweight events, the PR3 pairs and doubles, and the PR1 singles.
- Saturday Finals for the pairs, fours (Olympic and Para), quads, and the lightweight and PR2 Mixed doubles;
- Sunday Finals for the heavy doubles, the eights, and then the singles for both the open weight and PR1 athletes.
Plus, here is when the racing will start for each boat class, with links to the row2k previews for each:
Sunday M1x - W1x - LM1x - LW1x - LM2x - M2- - M2x
Monday W2- - LM2- - LW2x - W2x - LM4x - LW4x - W4- - M4- - W4x - M4x - PR2 M1x - PR2 W1x - PR3 M2- - PR3 Mix 2x - PR3 Mix 4+
Tuesday LW2- - M8 - W8 - PR1 M1x