SEA and flat water rowers will be launching out to ride the waves at the British Rowing Offshore and Beach Sprint Championships in Saundersfoot this weekend - just over 100 days ahead of the World Coastals at the Welsh seaside village.
The British offshores take place on Friday to Saturday (June 24-25) and the sprints on Sunday (June 26).
The Welsh Rowing Beach Sprints were held last month at the stunning Pembrokeshire venue, with double Olympic champion Helen Glover and world medal sculler Charles Cousins among the winners.
And this weekend’s action comes shortly after a successful holding of the Welsh Rowing Offshore Championships at Mumbles.
The WR sprints saw 20 women singlers, 16 men singlers and eight mixed doubles take to the sea.
Cardiff Metropolitan graduate Glover, who returned to rowing to finish fourth in the Tokyo Games with Polly Swann after having three children, proved she is still a force to be reckoned with, taking the women’s singles final by 5.14 seconds from Oxford Blue Clare Jamison in 3mins 22.70secs, with Agecroft RC’s Eva Barrellon-Kendall third.
Cousins, who gave the Irish lightweight Olympic doubles champions a close race at Henley Royal last August with former GB crew mate Sam Townsend, also took to the sea like a duck to water.
He came home 6.45 seconds clear of Jersey coastal specialist Des Nevitt in 3.09.33, with Scottish Home Countries international Gregor Maxwell in bronze.
And the former GB duo then teamed up in the mixed doubles to add another gold, beating Jamison and Maxwell in the final by 10.93 seconds in 3.13.30, Italian coastal internationals Annalisa Cozzarini and Rosario Panteca taking third.
Cornwall-raised Glover told British Rowing: “Living by the sea, I’ve always been drawn to the coast and I’ve always felt very at home getting out on it, whether it’s in a kayak, a rowing boat or out for a swim.
“It was so fun to be racing with Charles – something we never got to do on the GB Rowing Team was to mix between the men and women. I kind of felt like I had a free ride!
“Saundersfoot is incredible for a rowing venue – there is so much atmosphere. My three kids spent 11 hours on the beach and didn’t want to leave at the end!”
Twenty four boats also launched out at the WR Coastal Championships in Mumbles Bay.
Chloe Evans and Swyn Williams in the Ladies Double
James Walker (33.33) from the host club took men’s singles gold from Thames RC’s Till Andreesen (34.24) and Fishguard and Goodwick Jemima RC’s Che Owen (36.41).
Women’s champion was Wales Bryony Jones from Llanion Warriors (35.22), with Dolphin RC’s Andrea Davies in silver (37.15) and Llandaff RC’s Swyn Williams in bronze (38.23).
Hollowell Scullers’ Tim Fenemore and veteran Wales flat water cap Sean Sinclair (28.39) won men’s doubles from Dover RC’s Chris Hall and Tom Stothart.
Jones and Andreesen also combined to take out the mixed doubles (31.22), with Fishguard brothers Che and Sam Owen second (34.22) and mum Martha Owen and Kraig Murley third (35.35).
Women’s quads went to Wiseman’s Bridge (29.05) from Fishguard (33.28).
To ‘wet’ the appetite, see a short film of the Welsh Beach Sprints at www.facebook.com/WelshSeaRowing