At this writing late on Saturday, the draw and start lists had just become available; see them here:
Conditions at the racecourse look very good presently, and have been so all of the past week; winds are light and the lanes are fair; the organization is good, and everything seems ready for racing.
A couple notes on the eve of racing:Folks who are following closely will see some new advancement progressions as FISA adopts a quarterfinal system to replace the old heats-rep-semis-finals. The idea is to avoid heats that are too loaded - oops - as well as semis that are too loaded; I believe the system is in a trial stage this year. One offshoot of the new system will be a bunch of heats that will eliminate only one crew; another seems likely to be heats in some near row-overs in some heats when you have a situation where three medal contenders line up against an emerging rowing nation in a three-to-advance race. Yet another courts disaster: if a top seed has a terrible row, broken equipment, ate some bad dates, they can go straight to the E Final with a bad heat. Yipes.
Megan Cooke of the US W2- was forced to withdraw from the women's pair for medical reasons; she is okay but is questionable to compete this week. Portia Johnson from the W4- will take Megan's seat in the bow of the pair. Substitution rules would allow Megan to return to racing if she mends, although there's no telling if this is a possibility; however, like all of the US women's squad, Portia has spent a lot of time in pairs, so shouldn't be too much out of her water. We'll keep folks apprised of the situation.
Meanwhile, the same pair's draw in the heat is nuts difficult; the top three crews from Lucerne plus the United States - that's very tough luck of the draw, tho some believe that seeding committee might have missed one there.
Heat 5 of the Men's double is a doozy, with a healthy dose of medals going down the lanes; the GB entry finished second at Lucerne in July, the Hungary double won worlds in 2002-2003, bowman Ivo Yanakiev in the Bulgarian double rowed in the Olympic singles finals in 2000 and 2004, taking bronze in Athens, and evergreen Vaclav Chalupa, winner of multiple singles medals since the early 1990s sits bow of the Czech entry. This race is 3 to advance, oof.
It's late and we've been awake for about 36 hours; we'll be at full strength Sunday with heaps of coverage, be sure to check in often. Tremendous luck to all the crews as the World Champs (and Olympic qualifier) get underway at 9:30am Munich time tomorrow.