Warm conditions on opening day of World Rowing Junior Championships; Live stream available via World Rowing Facebook

The opening day of the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championship had just two Australian crews in action, the Junior Men’s and Women’s Single Sculls. In warm conditions, and a swirling wind, Cormac Kennedy-Leverett and fellow Queenslander, Taylor McCarthy-Smith, both finished second in their heats and booked places in Friday’s quarterfinals in Račice.

Cormac Kennedy-Leverett at the start (Copyright RA)

Kennedy-Leverett, the reigning World Rowing Junior Champion in the Men’s Double Scull has made the move into the single this year and today (Wednesday) took on crews from Bulgaria, Israel, Kiribati and Belgium. The Griffith University Surfers Paradise RC athlete needed a top two finish to automatically make Friday’s quarterfinals and set off at a quick pace in the warm conditions.

The Under 19 Champion of Australia led for the majority of the race and, with the top two progressing, eased off in the final 250 metres to conserve energy, allowing the Belgian sculler, Tristan Vandenbussche, to take the win and second place for himself. Kennedy-Leverett will now race his quarterfinal on Friday lunchtime in the Czech Republic.

Taylor McCarthy-Smith (Copyright Rowing Australia)

Brisbane and GPS rower, Taylor McCarthy-Smith, found herself drawn in Lane 4 for her heat, taking on scullers form Mexico, Greece, Argentina, Slovakia and Japan. The young Queenslander was the fastest out of the start and, having set herself up to ensure she would be in the top four finishers sat back in second for the race, allowing Argentina’s Maria Sol Ordas to take the lead.

Despite some commotion when the Greek sculler caught the buoy line, and capsized with some 500 metres to go, McCarthy-Smith remained unfazed and crossed the line in a time of 7 minutes 49 seconds, knowing she had done enough to reserve a place in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Tomorrow (Thursday) will see Australia’s Junior Men’s and Women’s Coxed Fours, Junior Men’s Pair and Junior Women’s Four all race their heats.

Thursday 9 August (updated due to extreme heat conditions expected)
Junior Women’s Coxed Four (Graham, Mentzines, Chancellor, Furrer and Cowap) – Heat 1, 17:00 AEST (09:00 local time)
Junior Men’s Coxed Four (Gerrard, Ullrich, Rowe, Henriques and Schmidt) – Heat 3, 17:20 AEST (09:20local time)
Junior Men’s Pair (Wynn-Pope and Thornton) – Heat 4, 17:55 AEST (09:55 local time)
Junior Women’s Four (Robinson, Ballinger, Scott and Smith) – Heat 2, 18:05 AEST (10:05 local time)