Follow David Watts and the Australian Men's Quad as They Race World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne

David Watts and the Aussie M4x training on the Rotsee (Photo: © David Watts)

The third and final World Rowing Cup of the year is already well underway, with the heats earlier this morning and the semis and finals upcoming over the weekend

And, fortunately for us, badass sculler and pro photographer David Watts of Rowing Australia has been taking us along with him for the experience, via our Instagram account.

In today's racing, Dave and crew mates Cam Girdlestone, Karsten Fosterling, and Beijing Olympic champ David Crawshay won their heat in the fastest time in their event (5:38.69). (Germany took the other heat in a time of 5:38.93.) Keep tabs on the hashtags #rowingrelated and #takeoverlucerne to stay up to date with Dave, and follow his personal account (@david_watts_) and Facebook page for more great photography from his training and his travels with the Aussie national squad.

Another notable result was the return of the Kiwi Pair, racing internationally for the first time this year, and immediately returning to winning ways, taking Heat 3 of the men's pair to progress directly to the A/B semifinal. According to World Rowing, it looks like they've picked up right where they left off:
"Not always the fastest starters, New Zealand's World and Olympic Champions, Eric Murray and Hamish Bond led from start to finish in Heat Three. This is the first international regatta for Murray and Bond for the 2015 season and they crossed the line rating 33, looking very comfortable and recording the fastest qualifying time."
And, while we're on the subject of New Zealand, Robbie Manson and double partner Chris Harris got off to a great start in their first international competition of the season, winning their heat by roughly six seconds in the fastest time of the day. There's a long way to go, but the men's double is a very deep event, and will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting finals to watch this weekend.

Also adding to the excitement is the lightweight women's double—ever a competitive event—that features a very strong South African crew stroked by Ursula Grobler, the defending world champions from New Zealand (Sophie MacKenzie and Julia Edward), Canadian Olympians Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee, and defending Olympic champ Kat Copeland and partner Charlotte Taylor of Great Britain all going head to head on the Rotsee. So far, GB, RSA, and NZ have all won their heats, with Canada getting aced out of the A/B semis after a cracker of a rep with the Greeks, while the U.S. combination of Devery Karz and Michelle Sechser punched their ticket to the A/B semis with a rep win this afternoon.

In the eights, we're expecting Germany to be much closer to Great Britain than at Henley last week (Jurgen Grobler's crews often suffer 'setbacks' in Lucerne—that is to say, entirely intentional fatigue built into the training programme in anticipation of the World Rowing Championships that catches up with GB athletes in the midst of the third World Rowing Cup). On the women's side, a very strong Kiwi crew that includes international standouts Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler could offer a stiff challenge to Canada in the final (however, this is slightly complicated by the fact that the above duo are doubling up in the pair, which should be another fantastic final as they will more than likely take on Olympic champs Heather Stanning and Helen Glover of Great Britain).

You can follow all the action in Lucerne via the official website of World Rowing, including a live race tracker, full results, and the first published update from FISA, "Lucerne delivers on day one of World Rowing Cup III."


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