16 September 2021
By Göran R Buckhorn
World Rowing reports that there will be a record number of athletes and countries at the World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals and the World Rowing Coastal Championships, which are to be held in Oeiras, in the western part of Lisbon metropolitan area, Portugal. At the World Rowing Coastal Championships on 30 September-2 October, there will be more than 700 rowers from 34 nations competing.
The regatta has attracted some Tokyo Olympic rowers. Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig, Olympic bronze medallist in the women’s single sculls, will have a go together with her sister, Katharina, in the coastal women’s double sculls. The Norwegian silver medallist in the men’s single sculls, Kjetil Borch, and his fellow Olympian Jan Helvig, will race in the men’s double sculls.
In the British men’s coxed quadruple sculls, Jack Beaumont, who took the silver medal in the men’s quadruple sculls in Tokyo, will team up with Olympic finalist in the men’s four, Matthew Rossiter, and British national Richard Clarke along with James Fox. At the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Fox took gold in the PR3 mixed coxed four. This is an interesting mix. It will be fun to see how far this GB four gets as a coastal crew.
The men’s single sculls event has more than 70 entries. Adrian Miramon, of Spain, the 2019 coastal champion, will return and face Lars Wichert, of Germany, the silver medallist from 2019. Also racing in this class is Mohamed Taieb, of Tunisia, who competed in the “regular” single sculls at the London Olympics.
Diana Dymchenko, of Ukraine, in the women’s single sculls, who has won the three last coastal championships, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, is the favourite in this category. However, the 2019 silver medallist Jessica Berra, of France, and fourth placed Maria Berg, of Sweden, will try to dethrone the Ukrainian sculler at the regatta.
Prior to the World Coastal Championships, also in Oeiras, the World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals will be raced between 24 and 26 September. The World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals were rowed for the first time in 2019, but was cancelled last year, as so many other regattas, due to COVID-19.
Twenty-five nations’ 200 athletes will race in the Beach Sprints Finals. Kjetil Borch’s name is on the start list in the men’s single sculls and so is Portugal’s Pedro Fraga, who won the C-Final in the lightweight double sculls together with Alfonso Costa in Tokyo. But rowing in the Olympics is not the same as the short beach style race. Ivan Bove, of France, the 2019 beach sprints bronze medallist, will also race in this boat class. His experience will give him the upper hand.
World Rowing writes that Beach Sprints are to be featured at the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Senegal and have also been proposed as an Olympic event to the International Olympic Committee. This is the first time that junior boat classes will be racing, including the single sculls and mixed double sculls.