Four South African crews will make a rare appearance at the first Rowing World Cup of the season in Belgrade, Serbia over the weekend.
The rowers will be looking to show some speed to secure their seats for the global championships later this year.
The squad of 10 includes Olympic and World Championships gold medallist John Smith and global women’s lightweight single sculls champion Kirsten McCann.
Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls
World champion McCann and Nicole van Wyk could be considered the squad’s strongest boat after a great start as a rowing combination at the Memorial Paolo d’Aloja International Regatta in Piediluco, Italy in April.
They raced to victory in their first outing as a double sculls combination before finishing in second place in the heavyweight double sculls class.
The country’s two top female rowers will be out to convince national coach Roger Barrow to send them to the World Championships in the same boat.
Barrow is keeping his cards close to his chest but could opt to select McCann in the single sculls boat to defend her title.
They will have their work cut out for them this weekend with Olympic champion Ilse Paulis and World Championships silver medallist Marieke Keijser of the Netherlands forming a new combination.
The fresh-faced duo of Charles Brittain and James Mitchell will look to build on their promising performances in Italy where they bagged two silver medals.
Luc Daffarn and Leo Davis, who missed out on podium places in Italy have also been entered for the Serbian regatta.
Smith and Sandro Torrente were the best combination at the opening regatta of the season but will instead find themselves in the four boat.
The quartet of Smith, Kyle Schoonbee, David Hunt and Torrente managed to hold onto their seats after making a winning start as a boat in Piediluco.
They beat the Italian crew by less than a second and will have to fire on all cylinders against world-class boats in Belgrade.
The Dutch have entered four crews while the Brits have entered two boats.