After the last of the Finals B had been completed, it was time for the medal finals of the 2023 World Rowing Coastal Championships. With a slightly condensed programme due to forecasted conditions, the A-Finals in Barletta were raced under beautiful Italian blue skies. While some titles were defended, others changed hands. Spain won the overall Team Trophy for another time!

Coastal Women’s Solo (CW1x)

Clare Jamison of Mumbles ARC (GBR01) was the first out in front, but it was close with Killorglin Rowing Club’s Monika Dukarska (IRL01) who then briefly took the lead before the reigning World Champion in this boat class, Jessica Berra (FRA01, Endaika Arraun Elkartea) moved into the front. It was still all very close with Dukarska  still well in the mix as well as 2022 silver medallist Dina Dymchenko of Baku RC (AZE01). As the lead scullers approached the beach, Dukarska was looking very comfortable with the lead that she had established in the second half of the race. The battle for the silver medal was where the excitement was though – between Dymchenko and Berra. Dukarska got to the line first to claim gold while in the race for silver, it was a reverse of last year’s order, with Dymchenko crossing the line ahead of Dymchenko.

2023 World Rowing Coastal Champion: Monika Dukarska (IRL01, Killorglin Rowing Club)

Silver: Diana Dymchenko (AZE01, Baku Rowing Club)

Bronze: Jessica Berra (FRA01, Endaika Arraun Elkartea)

Coastal Men’s Double Sculls (CM2x)

Next Level Rowing (USA01) got out in front early in this race with a scrum for positions behind them. In the initial stages of the race there was a tussle between two Italian crews; Canottieri Padova (ITA01) and C.C.SATURNIA -Trieste (ITA03). However, towards the middle of the race, GER02 and SWE01 had moved towards the front of the field and were looking like they might be challenging for medals. The Swedish crew had some good navigation and managed to put themselves in a strong position – Stockholm’s och Höganäs Roddförening had a World Championship title to defend! In the final stages of the race, things got very exciting at the front with overlap between SWE01 and USA01 and ITA03 were also still keeping the pressure on. In one of the closest finishes we have seen in a Coastal Championships, it all came down to the sprint to the line and Kory Rogers run was just that much faster than Dennis Gustavsson, and Next Level Rowing (USA01) had broken the winning streak of the Swedes.

2023 World Rowing Coastal Champions: Next Level Rowing (USA01) 

Silver: Stockholm och Hoganas Roddforening (SWE01)

Bronze: Berliner Ruder-Club e.V. (GER02)

Coastal Women’s Coxed Quadruple Sculls (CW4x+)

It appeared to be the defending champions, Real Club Mediterraneo de Malaga (ESP02) that got their noses out in front, but they were being chased hard by Hollandia RC (NED01), who quickly took the lead and were first around turning marker 1. A second Spanish boat, ESP01 from Club De Mar Clot De Lillot El Campello were also still well in the mix and then there was a large number of other boats in the chasing pack with lots of congestion around the turning marker 1. As the boats went further out to sea, the water was slightly messier and the pack was starting to spread. With the Dutch boat continuing to lead at the fourth turning marker, boats were still jostling for places behind them and a navigation error could prove costly for anyone. As the lead boats made the final turn towards the beach, the Spanish boat was continuing to pile the pressure on Hollandia RC to try and defend their title, but it wasn’t enough, the cox of the Dutch boat, Dieuwke Fetter sprinted to the line to claim the gold. Malaga had to settle for silver and it was bronze for an Irish composite boat.

2023 World Rowing Coastal Champions: Hollandia RC (NED01)

Silver: Real Club Mediterraneo de Malaga (ESP02)

Bronze: Composite – Arklow/Kilmacsion/Castletown/Killorglin/Portmagee (IRL02)

Coastal Women’s Double Sculls (CW2x)

There was a clash off the start as the 18 boats all tried to fight for the racing line and it was Hollandia RC (NED02) that got clear out in front – it was looking like a repeat of the CW4x+ as Real Club Mediterraneo de Malaga (ESP01) were chasing the Dutch again. However, the Lobnig sisters from Austria were up at the front too – could they transfer their speed from flat water into a coastal medal? As the race progressed, the Austrians were really putting pressure on Hollandia RC – perhaps the tiredness from the earlier race was now showing? However, there was drama when the two lead boats NED02 and AUT01 became tangled up and ESP01 was able to take capitalise. Hollandia RC had retained their lead. The drama at the front continued as NED02 and AUT01 just couldn’t stay apart, getting tangled up at another turning buoy! Van der Meulen and Robbers of Hollandia were clearly desperate to defend their title from 2022, but the Lobnig sisters were a real threat and, by halfway, they had taken the lead. After a collision between ITA02 and MON01, the Monaco crew from Societe Nautique de Monaco were awarded a sixty second penalty which could prove costly at the end of the race. After all of the battles, it was the Netherlands in the lead on the final row to the beach and it was another gold for Hollandia RC and a third in Barletta for Janneke Van der Meulen.

2023 World Rowing Coastal Champions: Hollandia RC (NED02)

Silver: Austrian Rowing Team (AUT01)

Bronze: Real Club Mediterraneo de Malaga (ESP01)

Coastal Men’s Solo (CM1x)

Keen to defend his title, Adrian Miramon Quiroga of Wicklow Rowing Club (IRLo3) established the early lead, with Gabriele Loconsole (ITA02) hot on his heels. With Christopher Bak of Next Level Rowing (USA01) now moving into the medal zone and Charles Cousins (GBR03) also challenging, it was clear that this was going to be a close one. The top three solos stayed close together for the remainder of the race and really separated themselves from the rest of the field. For Miramon Quiroga, it was a third gold in this boat class, and his second in Barletta, having won at the Beach Sprint Finals last week.

2023 World Rowing Coastal Champions: Adrian Miramon Quiroga (IRL03, Wicklow Rowing Club)

Silver: Christopher Bak (USA01, Next Level Rowing)

Bronze: Charles Cousins (GBR03, Mumbles ARC) 

“Ecstatic, Ecstatic, I couldn’t be more happy!” – Christpher Bak, CM1x, Silver

Coastal Men’s Coxed Quadruple Sculls (CM4x+)

Stuttgarter Rudergesellschaft von 1899 e.V. (GER02) took the early lead, but they were under enormous pressure from the boats either side of them and there was clearly going to be a lot of work to be done by the coxes to get the best line around the turning buoys. By marker 1, it was S.S: Murcarolo ASD (ITA02) out in front, ahead of GER02, with Rowing Club Genovese (ITA01) holding third place. It was still wide open! There was disaster for the Irish composite crew (IRL04) after a collision with USA02 bought them to a standstill and it looked like the race was over for them. The local supporters started to get interested when it looked like it could be gold and silver for Italian boats as ITA02 were being closely followed by ITA01 – however, that was nearly all over when both of those boats made a navigation error and GER02 sensed opportunity and they regained the lead for the first time since turning point 1. However, ITA01 soon regained control of the race. It was a sprint to the line between ITA01 and GER02 and the attempt to win by the German runner failed as he exited the boat early and tripped into the water. Rowing Club Genovese (ITA01) claimed gold as Giacomo Costa sprinted to the line!

2023 World Rowing Coastal Champions: Rowing Club Genovese (ITA01)

Silver: Stuttgarter Rudergesellschaft von 1899 e.V. (GER02)

Bronze: S.S: Murcarolo ASD (ITA02)

Coastal Mixed Double Sculls (CMix2x)

Following her win in the solo earlier on in the day, Monika Dukarska and partner Ronan Byrne (IRL02) got out in the lead in the race. However, also looking for another medal was Charles Cousins. Having won bronze in the CM1x, he was now racing with Clare Jamison for Mumbles ARC (GBR02). As the breeze just started to pick up a little bit, conditions were starting to get slightly more challenging particularly towards turning markers 3 and 4. IRL02 continued to extend their lead as the race progressed and after a slight mistake from Cousins, the French composite crew from Seynois/Lyon Caluire (FRA06) started to eat in to the advantage held by GBR02. As the boats approached the final buoys, IRL02 looked comfortable, but the race for silver was still on.

2023 World Rowing Coastal Champions: Composite – Shandon/Killorglin (IRL02)

Silver: Composite – Seynois/Lyon Caluire (FRA06)

Bronze: Mumbles Amateur RC (GBR02)