48 crews take Great Britain to 12 A-Finals and one gold medal at the World Rowing Coastal Championships 2022
Great Britain turned out in full force at the first world coastal championships to be held in Wales, competing against 22 other nations in three days of exciting racing
Last weekend saw the first World Rowing Coastal Championships hosted in Wales come to Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire.
From Friday to Sunday, crews from all over the nation joined us in Wales to compete across a 4 km course, testing their mettle against some of the best coastal rowers in the world.
Coastal men’s solos (CM1x)
The coastal men’s solo competition was well represented by GBR crews, with 12 rowers from British clubs competing in the category. 11 crews progressed through to their B Finals, with Phil McCorry of Bexhill RC placing third, ranking 21st in the world.
Des Nevitt of Jersey RC made the A Final and ranked an impressive 13th in the world, supported from the beach by Clare Jamison, Charles Cousins and other teammates from the GB Beach Sprint Team, who are currently training in Tenby ahead of the World Championship Beach Sprint Finals this coming weekend.
The team were desperate to get out on the water themselves, with Clare saying, “It’s so great to be at the World Champs to support Des and we’re really looking forward to next weekend – hopefully we’ll get some waves like this!”
Coastal men’s double sculls (CM2x)
Six British crews took to the waves in the coastal men’s double sculls. Four of those crews (Eastbourne RC, Fishguard and Goodwick Jemima RC, Hollowell Scullers and Mayflower Offshore RC) progressed onto the B Final, where they placed 13th, 15th and 16th respectively.
An early clash for Hollowell Scullers Tim Fenemore and Sean Sinclair left them missing a stroke-side blade, but they soldiered on, determined to finish the course. When Mayflower Offshore RC had a similar clash, they gave their good set to the Hollowell boat to allow them to catch up with the rest of the fleet. “We are so grateful to Robin and Jamie, who we race in South West League, for lending us their blades mid-race.” Said Tim. “It truly was in the spirit of coastal rowing to sacrifice any chance of finishing to allow us to continue and chase the pack down.”
Coastal men’s coxed quadruple sculls (CM4x+)
It was two A Final places for the CM4x+, when Mayflower Offshore RC and UL Tyrian Club placed ninth and second in their heats respectively.
Tokyo 2020 Olympians Jacob Dawson, Henry Fieldman, Ollie Cook and Matt Rossiter raced for UL Tyrian Club alongside captain and former GB Rowing Team athlete Richard Clarke, who described the A Final as “survival of the fittest” before the crew took to the water. Coxswain Henry pronounced the conditions “challenging but fine” and, after the race, said “Anyone who wants to give coastal a go should – that was amazing fun.” The crew brought home Great Britain’s only medal when they finished first after an extremely eventful race.
Heather Pfeil, cox for Mayflower Offshore RC, was particularly pleased with her boat’s performance in the Friday heats. “It’s been a great day of rowing so far – the weather was a little iffy for a short time but it’s cleared up and the racing has been great,” said Pfeil. The crew now rank 18th in the world in their category.
Runcorn RC, Cardiff University BC and the Coastal Rowing Academy all took part in the category’s B Final, placing sixth, eighth and ninth respectively.
Coastal women’s solos (CW1x)
The coastal women’s solos opened the competition on Friday, only to be hit with a biblical shower of rain and wind as soon as they left the beach. Five crews went on to represent Great Britain in their B Final, with smiling faces from both Martha Owen and Alys Phillips of Fishguard and Goodwick Jemima RC. Jersey RC were especially proud of Laima Pacekajute who ranked ninth in the world after her A Final, just behind Miriam Sheehan from Ireland.
Sophie Bostock of the Coastal Rowing Academy finished third in her B Final, calling it a “phenomenal race” after she was pipped by Carina Hein of Germany in a photo finish. “I’m absolutely exhausted but I gave it everything I had and I really enjoyed it,” said Bostock.
Coastal women’s double sculls (CW2x)
The coastal women’s double sculls A Final was awash with British crews, as boats from Tideway Scullers School, River Teign RC / Norwich RV, Coalporters ARC and the Coastal Rowing Academy took to the water. “We battled the Italians around the course for our heat,” said Sophie Bostock, racing again alongside her partner Liz Beswick. The crew finished 16th in the World after a tough race and approached their result with the trademark cheerfulness that has made the Coastal Rowing Academy, set up specifically to field crews for these Championships, such an inviting place to train. “All that it means is that we’ll have to come along again next year!” Liz was keen to share her love for the exciting sport. “Coastal rowing is for everyone. You don’t have to be an Olympian to join in and have a good time!”
The Tideway Scullers crew of Anna Childs and Judith Schulz placed 12th in their A Final as the fastest British crew with a personal best time of 29:19.62. “The Thames prepares you for the rough stuff quite well as it turns out,” Judith joked after the competition.
Jersey RC, Carrick RC, Jersey RC, and Dover RC all raced in the B Final, with Jersey coming first and Dover an impressive fourth, shortly followed by Carrick in fifth. Martha Owen and Alys Phillips raced their second final of the weekend in the double sculls, finishing in seventh after an exhausting weekend of double racing.
Coastal women’s coxed quadruple sculls (CW4x+)
An impressive cohort of GBR crews entered the coastal women’s coxed quadruple sculls, with four out of six progressing onto A Finals, and two onto B Finals, including home-turf club Wisemans Bridge RC.
Tideway Scullers School placed seventh in the A Final, followed by Carrick RC in 13th, River Teign RC in 15th and Dolphin RC / Christchurch RC placing 17th overall.
Coastal mixed double sculls (CMix2x)
It was fantastic to see mixed rowing this weekend, with two crews from Wales (Carmarthen RC and Clwb Cychod y Tywi competing in the mixed category and making it into their B Final.
Coastal rowing is well-known for its exciting racing and welcoming community, and it was a privilege to see the variety of rowers who represented our nation competing on the world stage.
Congratulations to all of our GBR rowers!