Adrian Miramon Quiroga, Coastal Men's Solo, Spain, A-final, 2019 World Rowing Coastal Championships, Hong Kong, China

The 2023 European Coastal and Beach Sprints Championships got underway in flat calm conditions today in La Seyne-Sur-Mer, France. The competition saw a mix of familiar names and new faces as heats and the first set of finals took place in the endurance races.

Familiar names in MCW1x

The first event to take to the water was the MCW1x which is for European national team crews nominated by their member federation. The first heat saw a seven-second win for Maria Berg of Switzerland who is a well-established name in the coastal rowing scene, and won silver in this boat class at last year’s event. However, Berg’s time of 21:00.04 was beaten in the second heat when another familiar name entered the competition; Diana Dymchenko! Racing for Azerbaijan, Dymchenko clocked an impressive 20:15.75. Everything was set for the final! When the final came round later in the day, Dymchenko held the top spot over the longer (6km) course, and claimed gold, but it wasn’t to be for Berg, and she had to settle for sixth place. Berg will race again tomorrow in the mixed double. The silver went to Irish Olympian Monika Dukarska with Romania’s Popa Andreea claiming the bronze.

Miramon Quiroga defends title

In the heats of the MCM1x, Great Britain’s Charles Cousins went out with a point to prove and won the first heat in a time of 19:07.61, establishing a comfortable lead. In that same heat, reigning European champion in this boat class, Adrian Miaron Quiroga finished fourth; perhaps he knew he had done enough to qualify and was conserving his energy for the final later in the day? The second heat was won by France’s Vincent Noirot and, whilst conditions may have helped, the top three in this heat all finished in a time quicker than what had been achieved by Cousins. The final was the last race of the day and was expected to be a great battle. The Spaniard was able to defend his title and it was silver for Sweden as Dennis Gustavsson improved on his sixth place finish from last year. Cousins took bronze and we’ll see him race again several times this weekend including in the mixed double in the endurance tomorrow where he will come up against Miramon Quiroga once again!

Best of the Club events

Racing is also offered for Clubs, with crews nominated by the member federation in which they are located. The competition in these boat classes was equally as strong with well-contested heats and finals today. There was a well-deserved win in the men’s quads for “Central Sport Club of the army of the Defence Forces of Ukraine”, earning them the gold medal. Meanwhile, in the women’s quads, the honours went to “Club de Mar Clot de L’Illot” from Alicante, Spain.

Coming up tomorrow

The second day of the Championships will start with two B Finals (CCM2x CCM1x) before four more medal finals in the endurance events, including the Member Federation mixed doubles, which have plenty of familiar names entered! In the afternoon, we will move on to the Beach Sprint format with processional time trials for all six boat classes.