ENTRIES are open and the excitement is building ahead of the World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprints in Pembrokeshire in October.
The prestigious global event was awarded to the Pembrokeshire village of Saundersfoot in 2020, and now the ultimate showcase for flatwater’s ‘wilder cousin’ is almost here.
The venue played host to the Welsh Rowing Beach Sprint Championships in May, followed most recently by the British Rowing titles, where more than 220 competitors launched out in more than 100 boats.
GB flatwater world medallist Charles Cousins again proved a dab hand at the coastal offshore version, partnering Jersey’s Des Nevitt to a 25-second win in 21.04 over Peter and Chris Berg from Sweden, the former a previous World Coastals singles champion, with Mayflower’s Robin Steward and Jamie Board in bronze.
Irish duo Andrea Kinsella and Mary Ann Kent took out the women’s doubles in a thrilling finish by just four seconds from the Coastal Rowing Academy’s Sophie Bostock and Liz Beswick, crossing in 26.36, with Exmouth/Tideway Scullers pair Anna Child and Judith Schulz third.
And Peter Berg and wife Maria had 22 seconds in hand crossing for mixed doubles gold in 22.55 from Exmouth’s Will Loftus and Christchurch’s Claire Jamison, with Italian double Annalisa Cozzarini and Rosario Panteca in close attendance taking third.
Loftus, sixth in men’s singles in the 2021 worlds in Portugal, had earlier headed the Brits open field, coming home nine seconds clear of Limerick University’s Kealan Mannix in 26.17.
Paul Coutanche of Jersey RC, who had 35 rowers in action, took bronze just five seconds back with first Welsh finisher Carmarthen’s Tim Chesworth in fourth.
European gold medallist Maria Berg took out the women’s singles in 25.36 from Irish duo Sionna Healey and Xena Jordan by 14 and 20 seconds respectively, with Llanion Warriors’ Bryony Jones best Welsh finisher in eighth.
London University alumni club Tyrian won the open coastal quads in 21.03 from Plymouth-based Mayflower and a Cardiff University/Loughborough Students combination, while Jersey’s A boat beat the B boat to the Masters title in 22.38, with Exeter/Mayflower squeezing to bronze by just five seconds.
The seven-boat women’s masters final saw victory for an Exmouth/Teign/Tideway Scullers crew in 25.27, as Christchurch/Dolphin grabbed silver with Carmarthen/Llanion combo Amy Lawrence, Alison Morris, Tyenne Morgan, Sarah Parker and Caroline Williams taking a Welsh bronze from Teign in fourth.
In the beach sprints, Fishguard & Jemima RC’s Jerry Owen stormed to open singles victory from Cousins to retain his title, while in the women’s singles Christchurch’s Jamison scored an upset over double Olympic pairs champion Helen Glover, leading her into the first buoy where the international slipped the wrong side and had to double back round.
Glover did win the mixed doubles though with former GB team-mate Cousins, with Jersey’s Nevitt and Laima Pačekajutė in silver.
The World Rowing Coastal Championships will be hosted by Welsh Rowing and British Rowing in Saundersfoot over the weekend of October 7-9, followed by the Beach Sprints from October 14-16.
Athlete entries are now open until September 16 with seven event categories in the coastals – CM1x, CW1x, CM2x, CW2x, CMix2x, CM4x+ and CW4x+ – and nine in the beach sprints – CM1x, CW1x, CMix2x, CMix4x+, CJM1x, CJW1x, CJM2x, CJW2x and CJMix2x.
For more information see www.britishrowing.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/WRCCBSF-2022-Bulletin-Final.pdf and www.worldrowingcoastals2022.org