Olympic Test Regatta, Day One

The Rowing Service

The Pacific Rim Regatta doubling as the test event for next year's Olympic Regatta got under way at 7.35 am local time. An early morning shower greeted the 250 rowers from 20 nations and the 830 volunteers, but the rain cleared before the start of racing. The wind was light with just a puff of cross coming from lane 6. Not enough to warrant a change of lanes.

BW1X, heat 1: Local athlete Kelly Matthews easily qualified for Friday's final, being untroubled down the course. Kelly the World Jnr Champ in 1998 and silver medalist at the Nations Cup in 99 looks firm favourite for the final. heat 2: Taryn Langton, silver medalist from the Jnrs in double in 98 won the second heat

BM1X: heat 1: Rob Mill from Aus won this event leading from the start. heat 2: As with Kelly Matthews, Tom Laurich is from the local Nepean Club and lives within 5 mins of the course. Tom won heat 2, easing down at the finish to hold out Ian Mongan also from Australia. Piyadanai from Thailand finished 5th. The 19 year old Thai sculler will be endeavoring to qualify for next year's Olympics in 2 weeks time in Tokyo.

BML1X, heat 1: A close race down the course, Marco Lipps from South Australia, qualifying for Friday's final. heat 2: Karl Parker, 99 Nations Cup Gold Medalist and 7th in St Catherines in this race was untroubled to win in comfortable manner. Parker like Kelly Matthews and Tim Laurich are very local athletes living within 5 mins of the course.

W1X. heat 1: The World Champion from 98, Rina Fedstova from Russia won this race by 8 lengths. Looking in control, through out the race. Polish sculler Angnieszk Tomczak finished 2nd and Thai sculler Phultharrda Nikree, finished 3rd. heat 2. Teressa Luke from Canada (Gold W2- & Bronze W8, St Catherines lead from the start to win by 6 lengths from Benedicte Luzum (Fra).

M1X, heat 1: Valvec Chlupa , from the CZE (4th 99 Worlds) easily won Heat 1. heat 2: A close race for the first 500 metres, between Nicola Sartori, ITA (6th 99 M1X) and Australian sculler Jamie Rowe. However Sartori was not stretched and rowed down in the last 300m. The closed race so far of the day. heat 3:Derek Porter, CAN (3rd 99 M1X) cruised through this race. Semi Finals of this event will be held on Thursday. Friday's final should be the highlight of this Regatta. World Champion Rob Wardell, NZL is racing at the regatta but only in the M2X with Rob Hellstrom, from the NZL M4-.

Conditions remain to be perfect, with little wind on this very picture perfect course. The next set of heats will be based on time trials over 1900 metres to enable full test of this system. It is ironic that conditions are improving with the wind virtually nil.

The time trial system worked to perfection, and hopefully if conditions are similar to this next year will not even be considered.

W2- heat 1: The World Champions from 97 & 98 Alison Korn & Emma Robinson easily won Heat 1. The Canadians had a comfortable win by nearly 9 seconds. They led from the start and had in excess of 2 boat lengths at the 500m. heat 2: In the second heat the USA crew of Sally Scovel & Liane Nelson crossed the finish line first in a time 8 seconds faster than heat 1. However they were relegated to last as their boat weighed light. (by 800 grams) They will now have to race a repechage on Thursday.

M2- Four Heats, first only to semi-final, rest to repechage. heat 1: With a lack of entries from Aus the locals were hoping to see Oarsome Foursome member Mike McKay racing with Robert Jahrling. However they were withdrawn overnight. Heat 1 had Laurent Porchier & Xavier Dorfman, FRA leading all the way, however Thomas Ebert & Thomas Poulsen, DEN, half of the all conquering lightweight four endeavoured to challenge the French heavyweights but to no avail. heat 2: Dario Lari & Pasqua Panzarino, ITA (4th 99) took the lead from the start. The race was on for the first 1000 between the Italians and the Slovian. In the third 500m the Italian pulled away to win by 6.68 seconds. The Australian crew of Dave Weightman & Rob Scott were entered in this race but withdrew as Dave Weightman is suffering from a stress fracture. heat 3: There was a delay to the start of this race, as one of the boats was damaged on the way to the start. Morgan Crooks & David Calder, CAN, winners at Vinena at 99 World Cup, 3rd in Lucernce and 4th at the World Championships will have to qualify by the repechages. The Italian crew of Mattia Trombetta & Raffaello Leonardo, from their eight, grabbed the lead in the last 500m to qualify direct for the semi final. heat 4: Silver medalists from St Catherines Oliver Martinov & Ninoslan Saraga, CRO, were the most impressive crew of all the Men's Pairs. They looked very good. Untroubled from the start, they cruised over the 2000 meters and look favourites for the final. The other half of Denmark's Lightweight Four finished second.

W2X Two heats, first to final, rest to repechage. This event is mixed with the lightweights racing at this regatta with the heavyweights. heat 1: Lin Liu & Xiuyun Zhang, CHN, (2nd 99) had a poor start and had to play catch up. Lightweight Double Scull World Champions Constanta Burcica & Camella Macoviciuc, ROM, won looking very good. The New Zealand crew containing Sonia Wadell (5th 1X 99) finished third. heat 2: The USA entered two double sculls. Two members of their quad scull (10th 99) in one double and the LW2X (2nd 99, 1st 98), in the other. The two USA crews battled it out for the only place in the final right down the course. The lightweight double had to be content with second after making a concerted effort in the middle 1000.

M2X Three heats, first 3 to semi finals rest to repechage. heat 1: In continuing perfect conditions the lead changed down the course several times between the Rossano Galtarossa & Alesio Sartori, ITA and Ian McGowan & Nick Peterson, USA. The USA went past the Italian in the third 500m but the Italians were able to regain the lead at the finish. With the first three crews qualifying for the semi finals the pressure was minimum. heat 2: Much interest in the second heat as Rob Waddell, NZ(1st MIX 98 & 99) was entered with Rob Hellstrom (M4- 6th 99). The race however belonged to Michelangelo Crispi & Leonardo Pettinari, ITA (ML2X, 1st 99). The battle was on for the first 1000m with the USA crew until the Italians pulled away in the second half. The New Zealander finished 3rd. The Italian looked impressive in the glass conditions. heat 3: The slower of the three heats, but the closest of the three. The race was between the Denmark, Italy and Norway. The Italian crew lead off the start and nothing separated the three crews with 500m to go. However it was the Norway crew that crossed the line first, holding off a fast finishing Denmark crew.


2-, 3 repechages first two to semi final. Rep 1: It was a battle of the lightweights in the first rep, with the two qualifies being half of the Denmark Lightweight Four and half of the Italian Lwt Four qualifying for the semi finals. Rep 2: Only one crew to be removed in this race. The Italian pair of Marco Penna & Luigi Sorrentino (spares) failed to make the semi final. Rep 4: rep 3 was not required. Six starters in this rep with only 2 going through so it was always going to be a tough battle. The surprise here was the elimination of Esklid Ebesen & Victor Fedder, DEN (ML4- 1st 96,97,98,99). they were beaten by Iain Brambell & Chris Davidson, CAN (ML4- 6th 99). The rep was won by Catello Amarante & Salvatore Amitrano, ITA (ML4-, 4th 99)

M1X 1 repechage, 3 to semi finals. Rep 1: To the delight of the crowd and more important himself the rep was taken out by Yorghui Ciu, CHN. He came from behind to win by 1.15 seconds from Michak Wojciechowski, POL.

With racing now concluded, athletes, rowers and officials are more than happy with the Regatta Site. The weather has been perfect, with virtually no wind. Television broadcast will commence tomorrow, with a number of boats being required to carry small cameras weighing approx. 1 kg.


Alison Korn, CAN, W2-: "It was a fine race. This is the first time in Australia that we've raced. I'm hoping to row here next year (for the Olympics)."

Emma Robinson, CAN, W2-: "The race was really good. I like the start system here. It will be interesting when there are more boats here next year (for the Olympics). It is a good chance to check the venue and race in Australia.

Sally Scovel, USA, W2- : "I'm unhappy because we were disqualified, but it's our fault that we didn't check the boat. But, I'm happy that we were in front by twenty seconds."

Ninoslan Sarago, CRO, M2- : "It's good enough to be the first in our heat. And it's quite a new experience for us in this boat. The Regatta Centre here is one of the most beautiful we've seen, it reminds me of our homeland. I heard that there was a situation with the wind but I didn't feel it. we just came to see the sight of the Olympics and check out the situation."

More updates possibly on FISA (if the computer setup permits). Links will be made from the Rowing Service New Info page when they are active.