The Swiss national rowing championships get underway in Lucerne on Saturday - six weeks before the start of the world championships.
Around 800 competitors will take part in the event, including most of the big names in Swiss rowing. But the championships will go ahead without Switzerland's best-known rower.
The Olympic silver medal winner, Xeno Müller, who has won the national single sculls title five times, will be at home in the US until the middle of August.
His absence from the Lucerne competition leaves Simon Stürm, Stefan Sax and Olivier Gremaud battling it out for the top place.
The women's event promises to be equally exciting. Caroline Lüthi, Bernadette Wicki and Pia Vogel, who are all participating in the world championships, will be hoping to prove that they are the best in Switzerland.
The events are being held on Lucerne's Rotsee, a 2,400 metre-long lake, which winds through beautiful countryside.
The Rotsee will also be the venue for the first world championships of the new millennium. It's the fourth time Lucerne has staged the world event since 1962.
swissinfo with agencies