PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY USROWING
Thirty-three boats from six clubs are scheduled to race this week at the 2023 USRowing Beach Sprint National Team Trials at Belmont Veteran’s Memorial Pier in Long Beach, Calif.
Trials will feature racing in nine events – four open and five junior – with the winners earning the right to race at the 2023 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals scheduled for September 29 – October 1 in Barletta, Italy.
The open women’s solo event leads the way in entries with seven. Next Level Rowing’s Christine Cavallo, who won a bronze medal in the mixed quadruple sculls with coxswain at the 2021 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals and is a seven-time national team member across all levels, won both the women’s solo and mixed double sculls events at the 2023 World Beach Games Continental Qualification Regatta earlier in the year to qualify for the World Beach Games this August in Bali, Indonesia. In Long Beach, Cavallo leads a field that includes Beach Sprint National Team veterans and Next Level Rowing teammates Elizabeth Hinley and Jeni Sorli, as well as Veronica Toro Arana, who represented Puerto Rico at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and San Diego Rowing Club’s Alexandra Vallencey-Martinson, who raced on the 2021 U.S. Under 23 National Team.
Six scullers are entered in the open men’s solo event including Next Level Rowing’s Christopher Bak, who won the gold medal in the event at the 2022 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals. In addition to a spot on the Beach Sprint Finals team, the winner of the event will have the opportunity to race the event at the 2023 World Beach Games. With Bak’s victory at last year’s World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals in Wales, the U.S. automatically qualified a spot for the World Beach Games in the event.
The open mixed double sculls event also has six boats entered including the combination of Cavallo and Kory Rogers, who won the World Beach Games Continental Qualification Regatta in April. A two-time Beach Sprint National Team member, Rogers was part of the bronze-medal winning mixed quadruple sculls with coxswain crew at the 2022 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals. Hinley will be racing with Justin Stevens, who was part of the 2022 World Rowing Championships (flat-water) squad. Next Level Rowing’s Cassidy Norton, who has represented the U.S. in the women’s solo event the past two years at the World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals, is focusing on the double this year and will be racing with Cameron Kumagai in California.
Three crews are entered in the mixed quadruple sculls with coxswain. The Next Level Rowing crew of coxswain Coral Kasden, Rogers, Sorli, Alexa McAuliffe, and Bak includes three members of last year’s bronze-medal crew. Rogers, Sorli, and Bak reached the medal stand in Wales. The second Next Level Rowing entry includes coxswain Peter Choi, Julia Lonchar, Morgan Hummel, Michael Herman, and Stevens. Hummel and Choi were part of the bronze-medal crew last year.
Four scullers are entered in the junior men’s solo event including Next Level Rowing’s Malachi Anderson, who won a silver medal in the junior men’s double sculls at last year’s World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals. The junior men’s double sculls event has two entries, with all four rowers in the event trying to make their first Beach Sprints National Team.
The junior women’s solo event has two entries – Next Level Rowing’s Annelise Hahl and Palm River Training Center’s Britt Wotovich. Wotovich has represented the U.S. in the event at the last two World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals, finishing fourth in 2021. Hahl won bronze in the junior women’s double sculls last year with partner Annalie Duncomb, who rows out of Next Level Rowing. Hahl and Duncomb will be racing uncontested in the junior women’s double this week at the trials. Last week, Hahl won the women’s single sculls at the 2023 Under 19 National Team Trials, qualifying to race at the 2023 World Rowing Under 19 Championships this August in Paris.
The junior mixed double sculls event also has two entries. Duncomb will race with Anderson, while Wotovich will partner with Noah Rodger. Wotovich won silver in the event in 2021 and finished fourth last year at the world level.
Each event opens with a time trial, followed by a bracket-style, head-to-head racing format. Racing is contested in a run, row, run combination over a 250-meter, out-and-back buoyed course and uses a time trial and knock-out progression system.
Racing is slated to be held Thursday and Friday starting at 9 a.m. each day. Thursday’s racing includes the junior women’s solo, junior men’s solo, open women’s solo, and open men’s solo events. Friday’s racing includes the junior women’s double sculls, junior men’s double sculls, junior mixed double sculls, open mixed double sculls, and open mixed quadruple sculls with coxswain. Click here for more event information. Results will be available on HereNow.com.