Eights do respectably

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Von: Eric Baumann


The 2022 season in the rowing Bundesliga has ended in Hamburg on the Binnenalster. The men from Gießen Eight had to be content with eleventh place in the final table, the women Gießen/Wetzlar came sixth.

At the end of the Bundesliga season, the rowers of the Gießen Rowing Society and the Gießen Rowing Club Hassia went to the Hamburg Binnenalster last weekend. Against the team from Leipzig, the Giessen Eighth was able to win a clear start-finish victory in the time trial, but it was only enough for tenth place.

In the round of 16 it was against strong Mülheimer on the track at Hamburg’s Jungfernstieg. With a strong start, Giessen tried to get in front of the Ruhr boat early on, but the second in the table held back from the start. Up to halfway both boats were equal. But then it was the Mülheimers who were able to push the bow ball of their eights forward stroke by stroke. At the finish, it was clearly half a boat length, with which the later bronze winner won the race. “They were just stronger at the back,” admitted Nils Braden. “We can’t get to that level at the moment.” For Gießen, it was only about the second half of the table from then on.

In the quarter-finals, there was a duel between Gießen and Hanau. Still feeling frustrated about the lost round of 16, the rowers from Lahn got ahead of Hanau early on. But after 50 meters they obviously had a problem, slowed down and just followed behind. Giessen crossed the finish line safely as the winner.

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Because of the complicated race system with 18 boats, there was another clash between Giessen and Hanau in the semifinals. The rowers from Main saw their chance to make up for the mistake. Gießen was able to prevail again at the start, but then a port rower caught a crab. The boat rocked and faltered. Hanau took the chance and was immediately back on the same level. But the Sparkasse rowers from the Lahn kept their nerve. Two beats later they were back in their rhythm. With an early final sprint, they pushed their eights back in front of the Hanau team and crossed the finish line with an air box advantage.

Just in time for the final for places 13 and 14, the Hanseatic city showed its wet side. In the pouring rain, Giessen took to the track against the team from Krefeld. Both teams got off the starting blocks well and shot nose to nose across the Binnenalster. Halfway through the course, it was the guys from Giessen who put everything in at the end of the season and were able to pick up the pace. They were the first to cross the finish line by just under a second and secured victory in the final race of the season.

“That was one of the best races of the season,” recalled batsman Johannes Birkhan. “We just cleared our heads and did what we can – rowed fast.” For team boss Eric Baumann, the result did not reflect the performance of the day.” We won four out of five races today and are still only 13th. That’s the way it is in this racing system, we have to live with it,” says the team boss.

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Münster once again secured the »match day« gold medal ahead of local heroes Hamburg and Mülheim. At the end of the season, Gießen is in 11th place in the overall standings. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make up for the absences due to illness, which hit us hard in the summer.”

In Hamburg, Michel Dronka, Nils Braden, Nico Weber, Michael Wieler, Fabian Kröber, Felix Weber, Johannes Birkhan, Sven Keßler, Michael Zönb and Simon Baar rowed – steered by Lara Bot.

Munster ends the season as Bundesliga champion ahead of Mülheim, Hanover and Hamburg. It is followed by Osnabrück, Berlin, Mainz, Frankfurt, Hamelin and Minden. Gießen is in eleventh place ahead of Leipzig, Bremen, Krefeld and Hanau. Witten/Bochum, Kassel and the Rhineland-South racing community form the conclusion.

Solid place for Lahn swans

The Lahnschwane team had to start the fifth and last day of racing in the women’s rowing league last weekend under difficult conditions. On the one hand, the weather with wind, waves and rain on the Binnenalster in Hamburg was not at its best, on the other hand, the swans had to deal with absences due to illness – and this once again showed the sportsmanship and fairness among the athletes of rowing: the team from Giessen and Wetzlar was only able to start because one athlete from the women’s eight of the “Meenzer Express” was willing to sit in the boat of the competition.

In the time trial, the Central Hessian women placed in a strong fifth place. In the race against the league champions from Berlin, however, they had to admit defeat. In the semi-final against Minden, the Lahnschwane dominated again and decided this for themselves. In the final, Gießen/Wetzlar again met their opponents from the round of 16, Krefeld. Here you could clearly feel that the team was not only less experienced, but also significantly weakened. The Lahnschwanes ended up sixth in the last competition, which also meant a solid sixth place in the overall Bundesliga table.

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Coach Marlon Welsch was satisfied with his team, which was able to position itself firmly in the middle of the table in its first season and thus has a good starting position for 2023. League winner 2022 was the “Havelqueenachter” from Berlin.