This week we put a spotlight on the lightweight events. By restricting the weight average in the crew, the max power output of each crew is kept remarkably similar – creating events with some of the tightest and most exciting racing at any regatta. Get ready to throw a blanket over all of these fields…
Lightweight Men's Four
New Zealand, Switzerland, Denmark
With a proposal floating around to axe the lightweight men’s four from the next Olympic Games, there is an added significance in taking out Rio’s title. Year after year this event produces spectacular times and neck and neck racing, with this year set to be no exception. Our NZ lightweight four took home a couple of gold medals from the World Cups this year, all with a reserve filling in for injured Pete Taylor. We’re eager to see if adding the stalwart back in propels the boat even further forward in the field, or if the Ian Wright coached Swiss crew can pin the kiwis back. Denmark’s always a favourite for this event as well, and China presents a huge ‘watch out’ factor.
Lightweight Men's Double
France, Norway, South Africa
With no kiwi crew racing in the lightweight double this year, the racing has nonetheless kept us riveted. The French have been dominant and looked good while winning races, but the Norwegians and South African’s definitely shouldn’t be written off. We wouldn’t be surprised to see another storming run from the South African’s, emulating their lightweight four victory in London.
Lightweight Women's Double
New Zealand, Canada, Netherlands
Several years ago in the Beijing Olympics, a Dutch lightweight women's double snuck through in the last chance qualifying regatta before storming home to win gold. This year the stage is set for them to repeat those same heroics – qualifying earlier this year, and dominating proceedings in the following World Cups. Our money though is going to go on the gritty New Zealanders. They’ve risen to the occasion before and will be hungry to be back on the top of the podium. Watch out for Canada to be coming back into the racing scene and asserting their dominance, and for Great Britain to turn around a woeful season by their standards and get back to the top. All in all though, this is one of those Olympic events that could go anyway on the day.