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

The final day of the 2021 World Rowing Coastal Championships provided a variety of conditions for the competitors to contend with. There was false starts, penalties, capsizes and recoveries and the day culminated with the 2021 Champions being crowned.


Change of Format

To keep things interesting, the format was changed for the third and final day and the crews were required to do a “beach start”. In this format, after the “two minutes” signal is given by the Starter, the crews are asked to place their boats on the water. The “lanes” are issued to crews based on their performance in previous rounds. Once the start signal is given, the crews enter the boats and row away from the shore. The end of the race still involved rowing to the beach and running to the finish line.

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

Smooth Start

Conditions in the morning were the best they had been across all three days with calm waters and very little current. It was also overcast meaning the sun didn’t cause any issues with navigation! However, with the tide due to turn around midday, conditions were expected to liven up for the medal races.


Traffic Jam at TP1 in CM1x B Final

Whilst the four boats in the CW2x B final all got around smoothly, there was a few entanglements at the first turning buoy again when the twenty CM1x converged on the one point. The lead scullers got around cleanly but several of the remaining boats were attempting to take the turn at the same time and collided. For some, the best strategy was to go wide and avoid getting tangled up.


Tunisia Win CM1x B Final

Although Ali Hassan of Egypt was the early leader in the B Final of the men’s solo, it was Mohamed Khali Mansouri of Tunisia2 who worked his way through the pack to win the B final, gaining an overall position of 21st out of 68 entries. Mohamed’s time of 22:04.06 allowed him to cross the finish line 11 seconds ahead of second-placed Benjamin Louis form Belgium.


A British Affair

Seven of the nineteen boats in the B Final of the men’s quads were from Great Britain, drawn from six different clubs. GreatBritain3 and GreatBritain2 managed to get the early lead and got around the first turning buoy before the rush of the remaining crews. It was arguably the cleanest of all of the races so far with no collisions at all, perhaps assisted by the benign conditions. Great Britain3 from Tyrian Club maintained their lead throughout to cross the line 13 seconds ahead of their fellow countrymen, GreatBritain2, from Bexhilll Rowing Club.


Red Flag in Mix2x B Final

There was a false start by Hungary in the B final of the mixed doubles which meant all of the boats were recalled back to the beach to restart the race. The process of getting the boats turned around, back to the beach and ready to go again took a few minutes, but it got away cleanly at the second attempt. Unlike the penalties that had been applied in earlier rounds, this time the penalty was applied at the start with Hungary having to wait ten seconds after the rest of the crews had started. Despite their penalty, the Hungarians managed to work their way back up the pack and finished 9th out of 20, but the race was won convincingly by Carina and Malta Hein of Ruder-Club “Allemannia von 1866”, Germany.


Further to Row for Medals

There was a change of course with the A finals being raced over 6km rather than the previous 4km course. The extended course featured eight buoys to navigate as opposed to the seven on the shorter course. The conditions had also started to pick up with the wind a lot stronger, really driving the swell on the course.


First 2021 Champions Crowned

As the first medal race got underway, the competition really started to heat up in the women’s quad. Mediterraneo De Malaga, racing as Spain1, led in the early stages but around seven minutes into the race, National Guard, from Ukraine started to put them under serious pressure, and eventually moved into the lead. The Ukrainians appeared to really show their strength in the challenging conditions. Meanwhile, Libourne Club Nautique of France2 and Killorglin Rowing Club of Ireland5 were attacking Spain1 to move into the medal zone. With all of the lead five boats at 30 strokes per minute, the Ukrainians looked to be untouchable out in front, and they reached the beach first to be crowned first World Rowing Coastal Champions of 2021.

Oksana Golub (b), Olena Buryak, Daryna Verkhogliad, Yevheniia Dovhodko (s), Mykola Tantserev (c), Women’s Coxed Quad, Ukraine, 2021 World Rowing Coastal Championships, Oeiras, Portugal / World Rowing/Benedict Tufnell


Incredible Sportsmanship in CM2x

Austria had a quick start in the A final of the men’s doubles but Sweden took the early lead. However, a minute into the race, Norway’s Kjetil Borch and Jan Oscar Stabe Helvig made their move and took the lead. However, disaster then struck when Belgium suffered a collision and a broken blade. In an incredible display of sportsmanship Maxime Andre and Gaston Mercier of RCAE, Belgium passed one of their oars to the Norwegian Olympians, who had also suffered a broken blade, so they could continue with their race.

Meanwhile, Eskil Borgh and Dennis Gustavsson of CLUB, Sweden, continued to lead the race throughout and crossed the line first to win the gold medal. They were closely followed by Italy1 and Spain1.


The Dymchenko Dynasty Ends

Khadija Krimi of Tunisia got the early lead with a very fast 150m in the A final of the women’s solo but then caught a boat-stopping crab which she struggled to recover from, and she dropped down the pack. Whilst this was happening, reigning champion, Diana Dymchenko from Concorde Club, Ukraine, worked her way up the pack and gradually started to open up a clear-water lead. However, halfway through the race, Carabinieri’s Stefania Gobbi, representing Italy, moved into the lead and held gold medal position for the rest of the race. Dymcheno, who has won this boat class at the last three World Rowing Coastal Championships, took the silver medal.


Drama at the Start of CW2x Final                     

It was another red flag and klaxon for the A Final of the women’s doubles with the crews being recalled to the beach. The Russian crew had false started and were awarded a ten second penalty. Meanwhile, Ireland had suffered damage to their fin and were allowed some time to repair it ahead of the restart.


CW2x Take Two

As the women’s double final got underway for the second time, all eyes would be on the Russian crew to see if they could make up the ten second penalty and overhaul the Ukrainians who had posted the fastest times in the heats. Whilst the Ukrainian boats and Denmark1 had all had fast starts, leading up to the first turning buoy, the Russians were already starting to work their way through the pack. Ukraine1 held the lead all the way to the finish, with Denmark1 taking silver, and it was bronze for Yevheniia Dovhodko and Daryna Verkhogliad, also from Ukraine, just a few hours after they had won gold in the quad.



Remarkable Recovery for Miramon Quiroga

 Monaco’s Guillaume Blanc had a fantastic start in the A Final of the men’s solo, establishing an early lead with a great line. However, Spain’s Adrian Miramon Quiroga soon moved up. 2019 silver medallist from Germany Lars Wichert was also in a strong position but unfortunately suffered a broken blade, and had to abandon his race. There was then drama as reigning World Champion Miramon Quiroga capsized at the first buoy. He righted the boat incredibly quickly and was back underway.

Meanwhile, fellow countryman, Jaime Canalejo Pazos, who raced in the Spanish men’s pair at the Tokyo Olympic Games, took advantage and moved into the lead, which he held all the way to the finish. With Germany’s Eduardo Gabriel Linares Ruiz from Berlin Ruder-Club taking the silver medal, there was a warm reception for Miramon Quiroga who came in to take an astonishing bronze medal


Second-Time Lucky for Men’s Quad Final

 A false start by Czech Republic, Italy1 and Finland saw the crews being recalled and restarted with the three offending crews receiving a ten second penalty. Ukraine had a clear navigation around the first buoy but GreatBritain8 got tangled on it and caused a blockage. This allowed Czech Republic to recover from their penalty and move into second place. Nobody could catch the Ukrainian boat, and the Czech Republic had indeed overcome their penalty to win silver. Great Britain picked up their first medal of the Championships coming in third.


From Beach Sprint Gold to Coastal Gold

 It was an incredible performance for Ander Martin and Esther Briz Zamorano from Spain’s Circulo De Labradores De Sevilla as they followed-up their gold medal in the mixed double at last weekend’s World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals with gold in the same boat class at the Coastal Championships. What was perhaps equally incredible was that Spain also picked up silver and bronze in this boat class. For Adrian Miramon Quiroga and Jaime Canalejo Pazos, it was just two hours after they had won medals in the men’s solo.

The presentation of medals brought the 2021 World Rowing Coastal Championships in Oeiras, Portugal to a close. The 2022 edition of the World Rowing Coastal Championships will be held in Saundersfoot, Great Britain on 7 – 9 October 2022.