12 April 2020
In an announcement from this morning, FISA, World Rowing, writes that the votes have been tallied and the winners have been determined in the first-ever World Rowing Fantasy Cup. More than 45 000 votes were received from all across the world.
Voting in the head-to-head Fantasy Cup started Friday 10 April and progressed through Sunday morning (European time) during what would have been the 2020 World Rowing Cup I.
On the first day of voted racing the eights and the pairs took to the start line. First up was the women’s pair with the race between Canada’s Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle and New Zealand’s Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler. With more than 60 per cent of the votes, Prendergast and Gowler of New Zealand took home the first title.
Then voting for the best continued with the men’s pair, an exciting race between Australia’s Drew Ginn and James Tomkins and Croatia’s Sinkovic brothers. Martin and Valent Sinkovic quickly took the lead and kept it through to the end. The Croatian brothers finished with more than 60 per cent of the votes.
And then came the close race in the women’s eights when the United States 2012 Olympic Champion women’s eight went up against Romania’s 2004 Olympic Champion boat. Voting was incredibly tight through to the voting time with Romania only just taking the lead at the end to win.
So, could their compatriots, the USA men’s eight from 2004, pull off a win against the British men’s eight from 2016? It turned out to be a dominating performance from the British 2016 eight, which got 76 per cent of the vote.
The para PR2 mixed double sculls was between China’s Tianming Fei and Shuang Liu and France’s Stephane Tardieu and Perle Bouge. The French were unstoppable and won by an impressive margin over China.
Then the lightweight men’s double sculls saw Ireland’s Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy race against Denmark’s Mads Rasmussen and Rasmus Quist. The Danes proved their popularity and earned the higher vote count to win. On the women’s side in the lightweight women’s double sculls, the New Zealand duo of Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle remained ahead of Great Britain’s Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland for the entire voting time to win.
The Fantasy Cup finished with the men’s and women’s single sculls. For the men, the legendary Pertti Karppinen of Finland went up against the more recent star Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand. Drysdale won the most votes in what turned out to be the most voted-on race. For the women’s single it was between Australia’s Kim Brennan and Belarus’ Ekaterina Karsten. Karsten’s lengthy experience paid off and she won with 68 per cent of the vote.
The winners will now move on to World Rowing Fantasy Cup II to face new challengers. Racing for Fantasy Cup II will take place over the weekend of 1-3 May 2020.