Composite Winners 2

A World Cup hat-trick and a World Rowing Championships title gave Oliver Zeidler of Germany the Men’s Crew of the Year award. The Women’s Crew of the Year award went to Great Britain, with Emily Craig and Imogen Grant going unbeaten this season, being crowned World Champions and beating the World Best Time in their boat class. The Netherlands’ success at the World Rowing Championships also saw Francesco Fossi taking the title of Coach of the Year for 2023. Australia went home with the Para Crew of the Year award, and the USA’s Caryn Davies is the recipient of the Thomas Keller Medal.

World Rowing Coach of the Year

Francesco Fossi, The Netherlands
Francesco Fossi is the coach of the Netherlands’ Men’s Double Sculls and Men’s Quadruple Sculls, both of whom finished the 2023 season as World Champions. A former Italian Olympian (London 2012 and Rio 2016), After Rio, Francesco moved to the Netherlands for family reasons and started coaching at the ASR Nereus club, before becoming head coach at DSRV Laga in 2018. After the Tokyo Games in 2021, Francesco joined the Dutch NationalRowing Team as national coach and led two of his crews to a World Championship title this year in Belgrade.

World Rowing Para Crew of the Year

Nikki Ayers, Jed Altschwager, PR3 Mixed Double Sculls, Australia
What a year it has been for Australia’s PR3 Mixed Double Sculls. Nikki Ayers and Jed Altschwager have been unstoppable in this field since joining forces at the start of the year. Not only are they the 2023 World Rowing Champions in the PR3 Mixed Double Sculls, they broke the World Best Time twice this season, beating the previous time from 2017 by over 20 seconds. A great sight ahead of the 2024 Paralympic Games, where the PR3 Mixed Double Sculls will make its official Paralympic debut.

World Rowing Men’s Crew of the Year

Oliver Zeidler, Men’s Single Sculls, Germany
Olli Zeidler is the 2023 World Rowing Champion in the Men’s Single Sculls, his third World title in this boat class. In 2023, he also completed the World Rowing Cup ‘hat trick’, winning all three World Cups in the same boat class in the same year. Not only did Zeidler won all these races, he did it in dominating fashion, against tough competition in the men’s single sculls. The ultimate goal for Olli Zeidler now? Nothing else than a Olympic Gold Medal in Paris in 2024.

World Rowing Women’s Crew of the Year

Imogen Grant, Emily Craig, Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls, Great Britain
Emily Craig and Imogen Grant are the 2023 World Rowing Champions in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls, retaining their title from 2022. The duo also set a new World Best Time in this boat class at the 2023 World Rowing Cup II. Perhaps more impressive, since the beginning of the Olympiad, Craig and Grant haven’t lost a single race in the super-competitive lightweight women’s double sculls category. They will look to ride their winning streak to the finish line of the A-Final in Paris next year.

Thomas Keller Medal

Caryn Davies, United States of America
Caryn Davies is the winner of the 2023 Thomas Keller Medal. The Thomas Keller Medal is the highest distinction in the sport of rowing and recognises an exceptional international rowing career as well as exemplary sportsmanship and a legendary aspect. The award was named after the late President of World Rowing (at the time FISA), Thomas Keller.

Caryn Davies is a three time Olympic medallist in the Women’s Eight, and four time World Champion at the senior level. She had an international career spanning 20 years, from 1999 at her first Junior World Championships, to 2019, and her last World Rowing Championships.

Part of the 2008 World Rowing Crew of the Year, this was Caryn’s fourth nomination to the Thomas Keller Medal. She will be presented the medal at the 2024 World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne by Dominik Keller son of Thomas Keller and chairman of the Thomas Keller Medal committee.

Distinguished Service to International Rowing

Svetla Otzetova (Bulgaria)
This year’s recipient of the Distinguished Service to International Rowing Award has been involved in International Rowing for over 55 years. Olympic-standard regatta courses worldwide bear her imprint. Svetla Otzetova’s experience in rowing and architecture has allowed her to be involved in the design of the world’s most prestigious rowing and canoeing regatta courses for World Rowing Championships, and Olympic and Paralympic regattas over the past 40 years.

A two-time Olympian, Svetla saw the birth of women’s rowing at the Games – where she also won her Olympic Gold in the Women’s Double Sculls in 1976. She was only the third ever Woman to serve in the International Olympic Committee, and was the president of the Bulgarian Rowing Federation until 2012.

Svetla’s involvement with World Rowing began in 1979, as a member of the Regatta Organisation and Installations Commission. This position slowly evolved into her full-time occupation in 1998 as the Events Director. One of Svetla’s main responsibilities was to evaluate the bids submitted by cities worldwide to host World Rowing Cups, World Rowing Championships and Olympic Games.


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