LAKE BARRINGTON, AUSTRALIA, OCT. 31 -- Americans Anna Seaton and Stephanie Maxwell won their repechage in the women's pairs without coxswain today and advanced to the final in the World Rowing Championships.

The United States, Canada, West Germany and New Zealand moved into the final of the women's four without coxswain, although the Americans beat Britain for second place by only two-tenths of a second.

"That was a heartstopper," said American coach Holly Metcalf. "We feel very lucky."

Americans Steve Peterson and Robert Dreher were the fastest repechage winners in the men's lightweight double sculls and advanced to the semifinals in 6 minutes 48.18 seconds.

The United States, East Germany, Britain and Soviet Union made it to the men's eights final along with defending champion West Germany and fastest-qualifier Canada.

And the U.S. men's lightweight eight boat qualified fastest in the repechage, clocking 5:57.95.

"Yesterday, we were uptight and off line a bit," said crew member Chris O'Brien. "Today, we were calmer. We settled in and stayed. We used the boat speed we've got."

Meanwhile, some of the biggest names in rowing responded to second chances with big performances.

The Abbagnale brothers of Italy, who have dominated the pairs with coxswain for a decade, recovered from a disastrous first-round heat to win their repechage and clinch a spot in the final.

Giuseppe and Carmine Abbagnale finished fifth in their heat Tuesday and said they were more interested in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics than winning a sixth world title.

But when it came to the crunch, the two-time Olympic gold medalists covered the 2,000-meter course over Lake Barrington in an impressive 7:12.10.

West German single sculler Titie Jordache, the World Cup champion, overcame a throat infection to win her repechage and also gain the final.

Charlotte Hollings of Alexandria was a member of the lightweight four without coxswain team that finished fifth in its repechage, Kevin Bedell of Arlington finished third in the lightweight singles repechage, Jim Pierce of Woodbridge was a member of the lightweight four without coxswain boat that finished third and Jason Scott of Alexandria was in the four with coxswain shell that was third.

None of those advanced.