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Lucerne 2016: 'The one where it all started to get serious'

If the Aiguebelette world championships were a Rio preview, the Rotsee offered an appetiser, a small but perfectly formed vignette of top-line competition. The second round of the world cup was complete with another millimetre-tight photofinish, sudden illnesses (well, they do happen in Lucerne), a smacking crab and mad dashes for medals.

A tiny handful of crews have the rest of the world by the scruff of the neck, expected to dominate whenever they appear. So New Zealanders Eric Murray and Hamish Bond cruised to another pairs victory, while Martin and Valent Sinkovic put their Croatian shell comfortably ahead of the chasing pack of men's doubles. Britain's women's pair, unbeaten since the start of 2012, might have been expected to join them in the winners' club. But stroke Heather Stanning realised during their warm-up that she had contracted overnight sickness, and they withdrew from the final without racing, leaving Felice Mueller and Grace Luczak to beat New Zealand and USA2.

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About Row360

Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, Paralympic, college, club, ocean, and more.