Entries are in for World Rowing Cup I in Varese, Italy – the first World Rowing regatta for the 2016 season. The regatta has attracted 528 rowers from 46 countries to this season opener.
The men’s single sculls has attracted a large and very competitive field of 29 boats. Damir Martin of Croatia has remained in the single after finishing fifth at last year’s World Rowing Championships. Martin will be up against Cuba’s two-time World Championship medallist Angel Fournier Rodriguez who was sixth at the 2015 Worlds.
The second largest field is the women’s single sculls with 24 entries. Olympic Champion Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic will take on 2015 bronze medallist Jingli Duan from China. Knapkova and Duan will also face Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland and Carling Zeeman of Canada who were both A-finalists at the 2015 World Rowing Championships.
Italy is boating the biggest team with entries in 18 of the 20 boat classes. Their flagship boat, the World Champion men’s four, has retained the 2015 line-up and they will be racing strong crews from Canada, the United States and the Netherlands. Also leading the way for Italy will be Francesco Fossi and Romano Battisti in the men’s double sculls. Fossi and Battisti will go up against two-time World Champions, Valent and Martin Sinkovic of Croatia.
In the women’s eight world bronze medallists Canada will be up against Russia who were fifth in 2015. Both of these boats have qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and they will race Germany and the Netherlands who still have a chance to qualify for Rio at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne in May.
Racing begins on Friday 15 April 2016 at 10:35 CET with heats and progresses through repechages, semifinals and to the finals on Sunday 17 April. There will be live video streaming of the A-finals on www.worldrowing.com.
Regatta information can be found at: http://www.worldrowing.com/events/2016-world-rowing-cup-i/
The World Rowing media guide will be online (from 8/4/16):http://www.worldrowing.com/mediacenter/
The World Rowing Cup series was launched in 1997 and consists of a series of three events. The overall World Rowing Cup winners are determined after the third event. This year, the three stages of the series are Varese, ITA (15-17 April), Lucerne, SUI (27-29 May) and Poznan, POL (16-19 June).
This article was originally published at http://www.worldrowing.com/news/2016-world-rowing-season-begins-varese-italy