World Rowing revealed today the winners of the 2021 World Rowing Awards.

China’s winning streak in the women’s quadruple sculls secured them the top award for the Women’s Crew of the Year. A continuing surge in Irish men’s rowing resulted in the lightweight men’s double sculls winning Men’s Crew of the Year. Canada’s success in the women’s eight also saw Michelle Darvill taking the title top coach for 2021. Ukraine went home with the best Para Crew of the Year, and Norway’s Olaf Tufte is the recipient of the Thomas Keller Medal.

World Rowing Coach of the Year
Michelle Darvill, Canada
At this year’s Olympic Games, Michelle Darvill’s crew took away a surprising gold medal in the women’s eight. Darvill has been a regular for Canada on the coaching scene since 2009, and has gained ongoing success with the U23 team and the senior team, ultimately coaching the women’s eight to their second gold medal at the Olympics in the discipline.

World Rowing Para Crew of the Year
Roman Polianskyi, PR1 men’s single sculls, Ukraine
What a year it has been for Roman Polianskyi. He has raced at every opportunity since the 2019 World Championships and won every race he took part in. By the end of the 2021 season, he held the titles of Paralympic Champion, European Champion, and World Champion. He had also set a new World Best Time in the PR1 men’s single sculls, and hasn’t lost a race since 2018. A class of its own.

World Rowing Men’s Crew of the Year
Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan, Lightweight Men’s double sculls, Ireland
The combination of Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan has been on the podium of every international competition in the very competitive lightweight men’s double sculls. The Olympic Gold medal came after a tight battle with Germany, but won by less than a second, for what would be the first-ever gold medal for Ireland in rowing at the Olympics. The duo went unbeaten in 2021, and had previously won gold at the World Championships in 2019.

World Rowing Women’s Crew of the Year
Yunxia Chen, Ling Zhang, Yang Lyu, Xiaotong Cui, women’s quadruple sculls, China
Since coming together in 2019, this crew has gone unbeaten in the women’s quadruple sculls. In dominating fashion, the Chinese crew that had won the 2019 World Rowing Championships, claimed the Gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, with a six-second margin in the A-Final – and a new World’s Best Time.

Thomas Keller Medal
Olaf Tufte, Norway
Tufte is the winner of rowing’s most prestigious award, the Thomas Keller Medal. This comes following a career that spanned seven Olympic Games. Along the way Tufte accomplished the rare feat of medalling in two Olympic events. He did this in the single with two Gold medals (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008) and the double with a Silver (Sydney 2000) and a Bronze medal (Rio 2016). The diverse rower has spent time racing in the four and in the quadruple sculls, with the Tokyo Olympics included in his repertoire. Tufte is also a World Rowing ambassador for the Kafue River and Rowing Centre.

Distinguished Service to International Rowing
Peter and Dick Dreissigacker (United States)
The Dreissigacker brothers transformed the rowing world with their carbon fibre oars and with their creation of the Concept2 Indoor Rower. Their contribution to the sport has brought the healthy, full-body motion of rowing to tens of millions around the world. All the while, the Dreissigacker brothers upheld their commitment to accessibility by ensuring a low price so that more people could afford to experience it.

The World Rowing Sustainability Award and the Filippi Spirit Award have not been awarded for 2021.

The winners were announced today during a virtual ceremony that was live-streamed on World Rowing’s YouTube Channel. Watch again the ceremony here.