First rowing Coastal Worlds in Asia a success in Hong Kong
British rowers joined over 500 athletes at the World Rowing Coastal Championships last weekend. Camilla Hadland reports
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club played host this year to the World Rowing Coastal Championships, with over 500 athletes from 29 countries and regions competing in the regatta. A total of 22 boats from British clubs made the journey to test out their skills against the rest of the world.
GB crews performed well, though finished out of the medals, with eight qualifying for A finals including a total of four crews in the men’s coxed quadruple sculls.
A highlight of the Championships came when the women’s singles title was won by Diana Dymchenko of Concord, Ukraine for the third year in a row. She later went on to partner with Yuriy Ivanov in the mixed double sculls to repeat Concord’s gold medal success.
In the men’s singles, there was disappointment for Great Britain’s Eduardo Linares Ruiz, representing UL Tyrian, who was unfortunately not able to replicate his gold medal performance from 2018, finishing fifth this time around.
Instead, it was Spanish rower Adrian Miramon Quiroga who went on from his singles win at the World Rowing Beach Sprints Finals the previous weekend to repeat his victory in the same boat class.
The women’s coxed quadruple sculls event had opened the A finals, and was the centre of a lot of controversy. The Spanish crew from Alicante, who led for the entirety of the race, incurred a time penalty of 2 minutes for crossing the start line too early, allowing the Hong Kong China rowing team to take victory on the line on home water. The sole GB representative was a UL Tyrian crew who finished eighth out of the 16 finalists.
It’s very exciting for a cox. The bends, hairpin turns – it’s just really good fun
It was an all-Italian affair in the men’s coxed quadruple sculls with crews from Italy securing both gold and silver medals. British interest was well represented with three UL Tyrian crews racing, finishing in fifth, ninth and 16th while a crew from Jersey RC came 17th.
The men’s double sculls title was awarded to Spain’s Torrevieja following yet more time penalties awarded by the umpires, proving that staying out of collisions around the 6km course pays dividends.
Russia was the dominant force in the women’s double sculls, leading the field from the starting buzzer to take gold across the line followed by crews from France and Hong Kong. Two GB crews made the A final cut with a Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club / Scarborough RC composite finishing ninth while Bexhill RC / Deal RC came in 15th.
The course proved to be a challenge, and Louise Cox of UL Tyrian’s women’s coxed quad relished the choppy waters.
She said: “It’s very exciting for a cox. The bends, hairpin turns – it’s just really good fun. We don’t have a lot of experience in coastal rowing, but there are so many more factors to take in while racing.”
The competition was set to an iconic backdrop, Tim Fenemore racing for Hollowell Scullers said: “When you see the videos and the pictures afterwards, you get a sense of the scale of the venue, and the backdrop is just amazing.”
It was the first time at the Championships for many British athletes, including Honor Bailey of Fishguard Rowing. “I only started coastal rowing a few months ago, and Fishguard have been really supportive in my transfer from river rowing to the rougher conditions. I’m hooked!”
World Rowing praised the success of the Championships. Cameron Allen, FISA Event Manager, said: “The local organising committee in Hong Kong were exceptional to work with, and we owe the huge success of the event to them.”
Next year, the World Rowing Coastal Championships will be held at Oeiras, Portugal.
For more information visit here.