2021 World Rowing Coastal Championships, Oeiras, Portugal / World Rowing/Benedict Tufnell

With the weekend of World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals racing complete, it is time to prepare for the World Rowing Coastal Championships. The racing in Oeiras, Portugal continues. Here’s who to watch.

Men’s solo (CM1x)
The men’s solo is absolutely packed with talent. In a field of more than 70 scullers, the best will have to work their way to the top. We see the return of elite coastal rowers as well as some of the world’s best flat-water rowers. The favourite must be the coastal rowing expert and defending World Champion, Adrian Miramon Quiroga from Spain01. Miramon Quiroga won the event in 2015, 2016 and 2019, finishing with a bronze medal in 2017 and just shy of the podium in 2018. He is probably one of the most experienced scullers in the field.

But what a field. The 2019 silver medallist from Germany, Lars Wichert is also set to compete. Keep an eye too on some of the world’s top flat-water rowers like Olympic gold medallist Koen Metsemakers from the Netherlands. Last week, we saw Olympic medallist, Kjetil Borch of Norway win a silver medal in the beach sprint event, showing that it’s possible to transition successfully to coastal rowing. He’s back to do the endurance race. Watch out too for the very experienced Peter Berg from Sweden and also flat-water rower Mohamed Taieb from Tunisia.

Women’s solo (CW1x)
There are an impressive 37 entries in the women’s solo, meaning it will be a steep climb to the top. In coastal rowing, the path to the A-final is unpredictable due to the nature of the sport. But all eyes must be on the returning champion Diana Dymchenko of Ukraine01. Dymchenko took the world title in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and will certainly be looking to cap it off with four in a row.

She will have to put up with a fierce field, including 2019 silver medallist Jessica Berra of France01. Berra has a stack of coastal medals hanging in her closet, including gold from back in 2015. Keep an eye on the five Irish scullers as well. Monika Dukarska is entered as Ireland05, but is World Champion from 2016 and won a silver medal in 2017.

Men’s double sculls (CM2x)
The men’s double also has more than 70 entries and many new combinations. The favourites might be the defending World Champions from Spain, Ander Martin and Carlos Gonzalez, even though the crew has been entered as Spain10. Keep an eye too on the two crews from Ukraine. Defending silver medallist Yuriy Ivanov has teamed up with a new partner Sergii Gryn.

Spain and Ukraine will both have to deal with some top crews from Italy. Italy has historically done well in this boat class and their number one line-up is Simone Martini and Luca Chiumento. Martini has won the men’s solo several times and Chiumento comes out of the Italian men’s flat-water double. Watch out too for Monaco01, they have two coastal medal-winning athletes lining up. And don’t rule out an interesting combination from Norway of Kjetil Borch and Jan Oscar Stabe Helvig.

Women’s double sculls (CW2x)
The women’s double has 30 entries and, most striking, no crews entered from France. The French have dominated this category in recent years and their absence will leave a gap on the podium. Several crews will be looking to find their way into those tops spots. Keep an eye on the boat from Russia. They have a new line-up but have consistently put together top women’s doubles for the world-level event.

Ireland has entered five crews and are definitely looking to make it to the podium with their top crew of Eimear Walsh and Ella Cialis. Watch out too for the United States – these former lightweight rowers had to qualify in the United States to earn this spot competing at the event. And don’t rule out a top performance from Denmark. They have historically done well in the women’s quadruple sculls event, but are likely to have some top doubles as well.

Men’s coxed quadruple sculls (CM4x+)
The coxed men’s quad is almost synonymous with Italy in coastal rowing. They have won three of the last four titles in this event, with several crews also placing in the minor medals. They have four of the five members from their 2019 World Champion crew entered again for Italy01. With all their eggs in one basket, they must be going for gold. But it will be tough. The Czech Republic has entered an all-star boat of some top flat-water athletes. The Czech Republic won this category back in 2016 and will want to return to podium glory.

Keep an eye too on the other usual suspects. Spain has had some very speedy crews in this boat class, as has Portugal. Portugal has entered eight crews for this home event and their knowledge of the course might just give them the upper hand. And keep an eye too on Ukraine – there are some leading names in that boat.

Women’s coxed quadruple sculls (CW4x+)
Hong Kong won the title on their home course in the women’s quad back in 2019, but they are not entered this year, leaving a gap in the podium. Russia has entered two of their silver-medal winning crew from 2019, and it seems like this might be their best shot at winning for the 2021 event. Keep an eye too on France. They have stacked all crews with top athletes, especially the France02 boat, which includes world silver medallists from the women’s double Maya Cornut and Josephine Cornut-Danjou as well as top solo sculler Edwige Alfred.

Watch out too for some interesting combinations from Great Britain. Great Britain04 has several former national-level flat-water athletes who are giving coastal rowing a try. And definitely don’t rule out Spain, who have historically performed well in this category and Ukraine, who have entered a powerhouse of a line-up.

Mixed double sculls (CMix2x)
The mixed doubles category has been established for several years and is gaining in popularity and level of competition. The defending champions are Diana Dymchenko and Yuriy Ivanov from Ukraine, but they are entered as Ukraine02. Can the Ukraine01 combination of Serhii Budko and Anastasiia Kozhenkova post an even faster time?

They will have to watch out for 2019 world silver-medallists from Spain Nadia Filipe Garcia and Adrian Miramon Quiroga. Although Spain has entered seven crews and they are likely to all have good speed. Keep an eye too on the French duo of Edwige Alfred and Ludovic Dubuis. They finished with a silver medal back in 2018. The field in the mixed doubles is certainly wide open – and the exciting new category always provides for excellent racing.