This week's video comes to us from the Bosbaan, where the 2013 Holland Beker saw truly elite, international competition over the weekend. Perhaps the most outstanding racing came in the women's single, where the A Final closely mirrored a world championship or Olympic final in recent years—the lineup included two-time Olympic champ Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus, Kim Crow of Australia, New Zealand's Emma Twigg, reigning Olympic champion Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic, another two-time Olympic champion (albeit in the women's eight) in Eleanor Logan, and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist (also in the eight) Chantal Achterberg of Holland. As it turned out, the final was a wire-to-wire victory for Kim Crow, who looks to be on top form and may be the athlete to beat in this event for the foreseeable future, holding off both Karsten and Twigg in the closing stretch, with Knapkova finishing fourth. Elle Logan had another solid race in a great field, finishing just over four seconds back of the Olympic champ.
@RoelBraas van @rsvu wint de #HollandBeker als eerste Nederlander sinds '95. Wát een ongelooflijke race! #roeien pic.twitter.com/W68X0z5iqj
— Maarten v.d. Akker (@maartenvdakker) June 30, 2013
On the men's side, Mahe Drysdale led through much of the middle 1000m, but couldn't hold off Roel Braas of The Netherlands, whose composed and steady rhythm saw him through to the victory, with Hannes Obreno of Belgium (fourth at U23 worlds in the BM1x last year) sprinting into second place. The victory for Braas marked the first time that a Dutch sculler has won the event since 1995—at least, we're pretty sure that's what "eerste Nederlander sinds '95" means. As Mahe tweeted after the race, he's still getting back into shape following some time off before what was, in rowing terms, probably the closest thing we've got to "The Decision" last fall, when he announced that he would continue to train for Rio.
Had a good @HollandBeker final, led till 1750m. Unfortunately the lack of training caught up with me finishing 3rd. About 12sec to find!
— Mahe Drysdale (@MaheDrysdale) July 1, 2013
It'll be interesting to see if Mahe can find a few of those seconds at Henley this week, in a fantastic field that includes Luka Špik of Slovenia, home crowd favorite Alan Campbell, and Aleksandar Aleksandrov of Azerbaijan. If Campbell and Drysdale meet in the final, it would be a repeat of the 2007 regatta (that time, Campbell got the better of Drysdale after an epic battle down the course).
PHOTO: mucking around boats today as Henley gets ready to regatta! pic.twitter.com/fbl1H3BeEz
— Louise Norton (@norton_louise) June 30, 2013
And, speaking of Henley Royal Regatta, our International Research Department has been hard at work, slaving away while most Henley goers concerned themselves only with picking out the right baguette carrier. But, their sacrifice has born fruit, much to the benefit of rowing banter along the towpath. Stay tuned for our HRR Picks and Predictions post, coming up very soon.
Also, we'll announce the winners of our Flat Water Tuesday Photo Contest, and publish a gallery with our top picks/pics! Busy week ahead!