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The First 250: September 27

BY LUKE REYNOLDS

It was a busy and historic week of rowing across the world last week. 

All eyes were on Oeiras, Portugal for the 2021 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals September 24-26. For the first time in history, the United States sent a full contingent of national team rowers to the event (excluding the women’s junior double event).

“This is obviously a new discipline of rowing, and it takes a lot of composure and flexibility to handle when things don’t go according to plan,” Christine Cavallo said after the first day of beach sprint competition. 

Cavallo raced in the mixed coxed quad.

“I can’t tell if it is because this is the first senior world championship of any kind since 2019, or if this is simply how coastal rowing is all the time, but every competitor is in such good spirits and everyone simply wants to race. It feels happy and pure and it’s been a blast so far. I feel like a novice all over again!”

Events were contested in the men’s single sculls (CM1x), junior men’s single sculls (CJM1x), junior men’s double sculls (CJM2x), open women’s single sculls (CW1x), junior women’s single sculls (CJW1x), junior women’s double sculls (CJW2x), open mixed double sculls (CMix2x), open mixed quadruple sculls with coxswain (CMix4x) and the junior mixed double sculls (CJMix2x). 

The American squad came away with two medals in the mixed quad and junior mixed double. 

For those unfamiliar with the beach sprint racing format, it’s worth taking the time to watch an explanation of how the action-packed school of rowing works.

Domestically, in the United States, races took place from D.C. to Fort Worth. The annual Charlie Butt Scullers’ Head of the Potomac Regatta drew more than 280 entries from 38 different clubs. In the men’s and women’s junior eights—the most entered events of the regatta—Thompson Boat Center had an impressive eight entries in each event.

In Fairport, N.Y., Pittsford Crew played host to the 2021 Lift Bridge Regatta which had nearly 100 entries. It was the home crew who managed to snag gold medals in both the boy’s and girl’s first varsity eight events. In the mixed recreational master’s eight it was Buffalo River who would best Genessee for the top spot in the two-boat race.

In other Rowing News, Andy Parkinson, Chief Executive of British Rowing, stepped down last week after six years as the national governing body’s head. 

“It has been an extremely enjoyable, interesting, and challenging six years with two Olympic and Paralympic Games in this time,” Parkinson said. “I joined after several rapid changes in the CEO role and am very proud of the developments the team and I have made since 2015. Six years of stability has enabled British Rowing to transform, diversify and develop into a progressive National Governing Body, with a recently agreed new strategic vision focused on further inclusion.”

Additionally, Team Canada announced its partnership with Canadian apparel manufacturer lululemon who will be the official outfitter of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams through 2028. 

Another busy week of rowing is set to kick with the 2021 World Rowing Coastal Championships set to begin on September 30 and run through October 2. The Row for the Cure #PinkTheBoathouse Challenge will begin October 1st.

The weekend holds a packed list of racing including the Poughkeepsie Regatta Head Race in Poughkeepsie, Head of the Trent Regatta in Trent, Ontario, Western Canadian University Rowing Championship in Burnaby, British Columbia, the Head of the Ohio in Pittsburgh, the Textile River Regatta in Lowell, among many others. 

Good luck to all racers!

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