The second edition of the European Rowing Coastal Challenge was held in the beautiful Tyrrenian sea on the western coast of Italy over the weekend with competitors from 15 European nations travelling to compete.

The 175 rowers included Tokyo Olympians and medallists from the World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprint Finals, so the competition was expected to be fierce. The racing spanned three days and included two forms of coastal rowing: endurance and beach sprint. It culminated with the finals of both disciplines on Saturday, 30 October.

Host nation Italy topped the medal table with four gold medals, just one more than Spain. The national anthems of Estonia and France were also heard as their rowers picked up gold medals during the competition.

On the last day of the competition, it was clear from the outset that it would be an exciting day of racing as the quarterfinals of the men’s solo got underway. In the first quarterfinal, Kjetil Borch, who won silver for Norway at the Olympic Games earlier this year, beat Germany’s Maiko-Benedikt Remmers by just over a second. A photo-finish was required in the second quarterfinal with experienced Spanish coastal rower, Adrian Miramon Quiroga being eventually being confirmed as beating Estonian Ander Koppel by 0.13 seconds. Borch would go on to beat Miramon Quiroga in the first semifinal but, in an exact repeat of the World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals, Italy’s Giovanni Ficarra got the better of Borch in the final, to take the gold medal.

It was gold again for Italy in the women’s solo when the young Italian Alice Ramella overtook Olympian Agnieszka Kobus-Zawojska, who won silver for Poland at the Olympic Games earlier this year.

Spain’s Miramon Quiroga was back for more action in the mixed double when he joined forces with Nadia Felipe Garcia. The Spanish duo beat Germany in the quarterfinal and Italy in the semifinal. The final saw them up against the French duo of Ludovic Dubuis and Edwige Alfred. After a close-fought race, Spain was victorious, bringing an end to Italy’s gold medal streak.

The afternoon session saw the finals of the endurance competition, raced over a 6,000m course, with eight buoyed turns. While the beach sprint racing had seen competitors represent their nations, the endurance racing was for clubs.

The first endurance final saw victory for a “Tokyo Super Crew” with Italy’s Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini teaming up with France’s Laura Tarantola and Claire Bove. The rowers all represented their nations at the Tokyo Olympic Games earlier this year where they finished just 0.14 seconds apart to win the gold and silver medals in the lightweight women’s double sculls.

Speaking on the combination, Bove says, “Valentina sent us a message asking us if we would be interested in participating with them in this competition. We said to ourselves that it could be hypercool and that it was an opportunity to create links.”

At this event, nineteen-year-old Alessandro Calder coxed the foursome to a victory of 46 seconds ahead of an all-Italian crew.

Italy would go on to win gold in the men’s double and also the women’s solo. In the women’s solo, Stefania Gobbi repeated the result from the recent World Rowing Coastal Championships once again beating the strong Ukrainian Diana Dymchenko.

Spain added to their gold medal tally with a win in the women’s double sculls. Ainoha Casanova Calpena and Nadia Felipe Garcia represented Club de Mar Clot de L’Illot El Campello in Alicante. The duo finished eighth at the World Rowing Coastal Championships in Portugal, but took gold in Italy with a win of nearly a minute ahead of the home nation. Another gold came for Spain in the men’s solo with Adrian Miramon Quiroga leading Sweden’s Peter Berg back to the beach by over 40 seconds.

Estonia pulled off an impressive gold in the men’s quad, crossing the line well over a minute ahead of Italy1, with Poland1 taking third place.

The last race of the event was the final of the endurance mixed doubles which saw a reversal of the result from the beach sprint competition earlier in the day. France’s Ludovic Dubuis and Edwige Alfred beat Spain’s Felipe Garcia and Adrian Miramon Quiroga by almost thirty seconds, with the Netherlands in third place.

As coastal rowing continues to grow, there are already plans for the third edition of the European Rowing Coastal Challenge. Filippi, the main sponsor and official boat supplier for the event, has already pledged their support.