Rowers continue to write success story
German University Championships Rowing
Date: 02./03.07.2011 Place: Bremen
Rowers of Karlsruhe University Sports continue their success story
With a total of twelve medals, two nominations for the European University Championships in Moscow at the beginning of September as well as the victory in the overall ranking, a particularly successful weekend comes to an end for the delegation from Karlsruhe.
The 64th German University Rowing Championships was held this year together with the 12th German Masters Open on the Werdersee in Bremen. In April weather in July with temperatures just above 15 degrees, rain showers and strong headwinds, the much-coveted titles of German University Champions were fought for with the crowning of the nominations for the European University Championships (EUC). In 20 different races over a distance of 1000 m the students could measure their strength. In addition to the "old hands" in university rowing, the "newcomers" from this year's beginner courses also competed over a distance of 500 m.
With a delegation of 30 rowers, two coxswains and two coaches, the rowers from Karlsruhe started in a total of 18 races.
With plenty of thrills, the first race to start in the rough conditions on Saturday was the beginner men's double sculls. Stefan Mutschke, Jürgen Weber, Ulrich Würth, Fabian Götz and cox Matthias Apfel got into the rowing boat for the first time this year in April. Thanks to their great commitment, they were able to win 11th place against the teams from Darmstadt (with a total of four boats) and Münster (3 boats). Their fellow competitors Christina Kölle, Sandra Stein, Aven Path and Eva Lüthen climbed the podium one step higher and finished in 10th place.
Shortly after, a first highlight: In the men's double, one of the most difficult disciplines in rowing, Heiko Gulan and Simon Schiml easily dominated their opponents' field by two boat lengths. Gold for Karlsruhe, enthusiasm at the jetty and the first ticket to the EUC in Moscow that day! In the women's double sculls, as well as the light and heavy men's double sculls, all boats qualified for the finals and took triple bronze for Karlsruhe in the finals.
After successful preliminary heats, the afternoon was all about qualification for Moscow for the women's quartet in the double four. Julia Johannsmeier, Ulrike Schwarz, Lisa Maria Bode and stroke Vera Dohmen pushed to the top of the field with a strong intermediate sprint and were able to keep their opponents from Dresden, Mainz, Hamburg and Berlin/Freiburg at bay until the finish. Great jubilation of the Karlsruherinnen at the finish about this victory! Like last year in Amsterdam, they will now represent their boat class at European level and compete for Germany.
In a full six-boat field, three boats from Karlsruhe competed in the men's four. Boat 1 with Peter Wenzel, Heiko Gulan, Simon Schiml and Niklas Reisser led until the 500m mark ahead of their teammates and opponents from Frankfurt, Hamburg and Bochum. But the opponents from Bochum had caught a wind-advantaged course, which paid off in the intermediate sprint. They pushed past the leading boat and kept the Karlsruheers at bay. At the finish line it was Bochum ahead of the three Karlsruhe boats.
The first day of the regatta traditionally ended with an eights race, in which teams from one university location as well as racing teams from different universities were eligible to start. The Karlsruhe men's eight nevertheless started as a pure university boat and was able to successfully hold its own against the competition with a third place.
In difficult weather conditions on the Werdersee, the team of coach Ralf Thanhäuser wrestled for the championship medals.
Sunday began as Saturday had ended: rain and wind drifted over the course and put the rowers under a lot of pressure on the outer lanes. Vera Dohmen was the first to prepare for her start in the single sculls and qualified directly for the final. After an exciting race, all three boats were half a second apart on the home stretch and bronze went to Karlsruhe.
However, there was no time to rest - the race distances were tight and so it happened that some of the athletes had to change into the boats ready for the next race directly after docking at the jetty. In the open mixed eight, a racing team was formed with Mainz. The powerful men Marcus Schudok, Torsten Beck, Max Schumann and Sören Freissler formed the "engine room" of the boat. Successful single sculler Vera Dohmen brought female power to the boat along with Lisa Maria Bode, Julia Johannsmeier and Barbara Karches (Mainz). In a five-boat field, the eight pushed ever closer to the leading boat of the Hannover-Wiesbaden-Bochum-Berlin racing team after a crisp start through the choppy water. Both boats delivered a thrilling final sprint and at the finish the mixed team from Karlsruhe-Mainz could secure the runner-up title.
The lightweight men's double sculls with Philipp Schäfers and Philipp Pfirrmann started in the open class on the second day of competition and secured another bronze medal. The highly anticipated race of the university men's eight was the last race of this year's championship. In the supreme discipline of university rowing, the strongest German teams from Aachen, Hamburg, Dresden, Bremen, Hanover and Karlsruhe competed against each other. From the start, the parade boat of the Karlsruhe competition team (Christoph Reichelt, Felix Kottmann, Robert Schneider, Peter Wenzel, Niklas Reisser, Simon Schiml, Ulrich Geilmann, Max Detmer) and the University of Aachen fought for the lead. Over the 1000m, the bowballs took turns pushing to the front. However, in the last 300 m the Aachen eight came up more and more and could not be caught by the Karlsruhe eight despite the cheering by coxswain Madeleine Merdes. Silver for the rowers from the fan city, considering the prevailing conditions and the very strong opponents a very presentable result.
With a total of 12 medals and many points from the placings, the Karlsruhe students were able to win the overall ranking at the end of the weekend and were repeatedly awarded as the best team in Germany.
A special thanks goes to head coach Ralf Thanhäuser for his commitment and daily work with the athletes as well as to the Karlsruhe Rowing Club Wiking for providing the equipment. Furthermore we would like to thank the company THOST Projektmanagement for the friendly support of the Karlsruhe team.
Lisa Maria Bode, Vera Dohmen