Five United States crews advanced out of the repechages, or second-chance races, to highlight the third day of competition at the 2006 FISA World Rowing Championships on Dorney Lake in Eton, England.
The women's pair and women's four advanced directly to the finals, while the lightweight women's single sculls, men's single sculls, and men's pair advanced to the semifinals.
In the women's pair, Anna Mickelson (Bellevue, Wash.) and Megan Cooke (Los Gatos, Calif.) won their repechage to advance to Saturday's final. The duo led the race from start-to-finish, holding off a late charge from the Netherlands. Mickelson and Cooke finished with a time of 7:04.95, while the Dutch finished in a 7:05.83 and also advanced. The two crews join heat winners Germany and Canada, as well as New Zealand and Denmark who advanced from the other repechage, in the final.
The women's four of Rachel Jeffers (Los Gatos, Calif.), Esther Lofgren (Newport Beach, Calif.), Erin Cafaro (Modesto, Calif.), and Portia Johnson (Seattle, Wash.) came from behind to win its repechage, advancing to Saturday's final. The crew sat in fourth position after 500 meters but slowly reeled in the rest of the field during the remainder of the race, passing Belarus for first place in the final 150 meters. The U.S. crossed the finish line with a time of 6:41.36, 0.88 seconds ahead of Belarus. The Netherlands finished third, followed by Germany and Canada. The top four finishers moved on to the final where they will take on heat winners Australia and China.
Lisa Schlenker (Lake Oswego, Ore.), a 10-time national team member and two-time medalist in the event, won her repechage of the lightweight women's single sculls to advance to Thursday's semifinals. Schlenker got off the line in second position but took command during the second quarter of the race. She continued to build on her lead throughout the second 1,000 meters, crossing the finish line 6.36 seconds ahead of Cuba's Ismaray Marrero Aria. Schlenker finished with a time of 7:54.14.
In the men's single sculls, Jamie Schroeder (Wilmette, Ill.) finished second in his repechage to advance to Thursday's semifinals. Schroeder sat in second place through the 1,500-meter mark before Lithuania's Sigitas Klerauskas took a slight lead coming into the final 150 meters. However, Schroeder responded with a strong final sprint and overtook the Lithuanian at the finish line. Schroeder finished with a time of 6:59.07, while Klerauskas finished in a 6:59.90. Sweden's Lassi Karonen won the race in a 6:55.90.
The men's pair of Sam Burns (Seattle, Wash.) and Dan Beery (Oaktown, Ind.) edged out the Czech Republic and the Netherlands to finish second in its repechage, earning a spot in Thursday's semifinals. The U.S. maintained second place by a comfortable margin throughout the first 1,500 meters before encountering steering problems in the final quarter of the race. The Czech Republic and the Netherlands made furious charges in the final 500 meters, but the U.S. held on for second place. Burns and Beery clocked a 6:33.86, finishing 0.18 seconds ahead of the Czechs and 0.28 seconds ahead of the Dutch. With only three crews advancing to the semifinals, the Netherlands was left out of the semifinal picture.
The men's double sculls tandem of Francis Cuddy (Amherst, N.H.) and Shane O'Mara (Tampa, Fla.) finished fourth in its repechage and will now race in Wednesday's C/D semifinals, which determine the crews that will race in the C final for places 13-18 and the D final for places 19-24. Cuddy and O'Mara got off the line in third position and were just 0.21 seconds out of second at the 500-meter mark. However, the duo dropped off the pace during the second quarter of the race and could never challenge for a top two position and a spot in the semifinals. Cuddy and O'Mara clocked a 6:30.97. Lithuania won the race in a 6:21.39, followed by the Ukraine in a 6:22.07.
With only six entries, the men's pair with coxswain is a final-only race that does not require heats. However, the six crews raced for lanes on Tuesday, and the U.S. boat of Vincent Puma (Irvington, N.Y.), Pat Godfrey (Gorham, Maine), and Ted Farwell (Madison, Wis.) crossed the finish line in first place to earn the top seed heading into Saturday's final. The trio clocked a 7:05.51 to finish 0.98 seconds ahead of Germany. The U.S. sat in second place behind Serbia for the first 1,000 meters before taking control of the race. Serbia faltered during the second 1,000 meters, dropping to fourth. While Germany and Italy were able to close the gap during the final quarter of the race, the U.S. maintained a solid advantage through the finish line.
Like the men's pair with coxswain, the lightweight men's eight raced for lanes on Tuesday. The U.S. crew of coxswain Bracknell Baker (Wellesley, Mass.), Cameron Booth (Buffalo, N.Y.), John Nichols (Palo Alto, Calif.), Will Daly (Vail, Colo.), Jake Goodman (Corrales, N.M.), Greg Ruckman (Cincinnati, Ohio), Pete Morelli (Buffalo, N.Y.), Jon D'Alba (Berwyn, Pa.), and Sam Saylor (San Diego, Calif.) finished fourth. While Germany led from start-to-finish, the U.S. battled Italy and Denmark for second place for much of the race. Italy pulled away from the rest of the field in the third 500 meters, while Denmark edged the U.S. at the line. Germany clocked a 5:48.15, with Italy finishing second just 0.60 seconds behind. The U.S. finished with a time of 5:54.75, 0.27 seconds behind third-place Denmark. The six crews will face off again in Saturday's final.