Aussie Rowers Kings and Queens of Poznan

Photo courtesy of Nick Jones / Rowing Australia

Australia were crowned Kings and Queens of Poznan, after a World Cup Gold rush on the weekend.

The Australian Rowing Team (ART) has finished on top of the medal tally at World Rowing Cup III in Poznan, Poland, claiming 11 medals out of 13 events, including six Gold.  

The ART had 12 boats racing for medals on Sunday across 13 events. Six of those finished on top of the podium – the Men’s Eight, Women’s Eight (1), Women’s Pair, Women’s Double Scull, PR3 Mixed Double Scull and the Women’s Single Scull.  

The Women’s and Men’s Four collected Silver, as did the second Women’s Eight crew, whilst Bronze went to Erik Horrie in the the PR1 Men’s Single Scull and the Women’s Quad Scull. 

World Rowing Cup III was the last international regatta before the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the ART unfurled one of the best World Cup results in its history.  

“It was a great team result,” Performance Director Paul Thompson said. “We know the competition will be deeper in Paris, however there have been improvements across all the boats since the Luzern World Cup. 

“For me, the important thing wasn’t what they did but how they did it, racing with maturity and rhythm.  

“The team is building momentum, and we now go back to the AIS’s European Training Centre in Italy to prepare for the Games, whilst the Para rowers fly back to Australia for their next step towards Paris.”

World Rowing Cup III: Women’s Single Scull – Gold. Tara Rigney enjoyed a commanding victory in the Women’s Single Sculls to cap off a strong pre-Paris preparation. This was her first World Cup Gold Medal and a confidence-boosting triumph before the Olympics.  

“I’m quite stoked to be winning the Gold. It was a good race. I was hoping for more lumpy conditions like yesterday to prep for Paris but Poznan turned it on and it was beautiful and flat,” Rigney said. 

“I feel like I’m definitely in a good place. It’s always hard; World Cup II, when we come off the plane, it takes a while to find your feet. But honestly, I’m just having so much fun with my coach [Ellen Randell] and my training squad of the Double [Amanda Bateman and Harriet Hudson] and Kate Rowan. I laugh every day, train hard… it’s going really well.” 

Women’s Eights – Gold and Silver. The AUS 1 crew of Paige Barr, Bronwyn Cox, Georgina Rowe, Katrina Werry, Jacqueline Swick, Giorgia Patten, Sarah Hawe, Lucy Stephen OAM and Hayley Verbunt (coxswain) went wire-to-wire to claim Gold.

“We executed a good start. It’s just bringing all the pieces together. We were lucky enough to have another Australian Eight, so we could have a bit more of a ding-dong battle at the end and really see how we perform under pressure,” Bronwyn Cox said. “It’s just putting it all together and seeing how it goes.”

The AUS 2 crew of Eliza Gaffney, Jean Mitchell, Olympia Aldersey, Lily Alton Triggs, Samantha Morton, Annabelle McIntyre OAM, Jessica Morrison OAM, Molly Goodman and Hannah Cowap (coxswain) won the Silver Medal.    

Women’s Double Scull – Gold. Amanda Bateman and Harriet Hudson have gone strength-to-strength in this World Cup series. The duo claimed Gold by 0.29s, moving through the second-placed Norwegians in the dying stages of the race. The crew from France rounded off the podium by claiming the Bronze.  

“We did a good job and it was definitely a step forward leading into the Games. It’s always good to beat a European crew as an outsider, us and the Kiwis love taking down any European countries we can,” Bateman said.  

Women’s Pair – Gold. Annabelle McIntryre OAM and Jessica Morrison OAM made it look easy, claiming the Gold in the Women’s Pair by seven seconds. The combination had clear water by the 1000m and moved away from the rest of the pack. Silver went to Ireland, followed by Denmark for Bronze.  

“We’re really just practising trying to lead out a race, really get that start going. We’ve seen over the last couple of years all the boat classes getting faster and faster, so that’s something we have to adapt to as well,” McIntyre said. 

 Women’s Fours – Silver. Both the Men’s and Women’s Aussie Fours claimed Silver on Sunday behind Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand. After coming sixth at World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne a few weeks ago, Silver was a step in the right direction for the crew of Olympia Aldersey, Jean Mitchell, Lily Alton Triggs and Molly Goodman. 

Women’s Quad Scull – Bronze. After coming away with a sixth-place finish in Lucerne, the Women’s Quad came to Poznan with a medal in their sights. The crew of Ria Thompson, Laura Gourley, Rowena Meredith, Caitlin Cronin claimed the Bronze and will aim to keep the upwards momentum leading into Paris.  

PR1 Men’s Single Scull – Bronze.  

Erik Horrie OAM came away with the Bronze medal on Sunday morning, behind Great Britain’s Benjamin Pritchard, followed by Giacomo Perini from Italy who claimed the Silver.