PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY WORLD ROWING
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The 2023 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals & Coastal Championships get underway next week in Barletta, Puglia, Italy.
Beach Sprints and Coastal Rowing have both grown in popularity in recent years and as a result, entries for both events have been coming from all over the world – and feature again a good mix of Olympians and experienced coastal rowers.
The World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals will take place from 29 September to 1 October in Barletta. The event has attracted a record number of 187 crews entered from 39 nations, from as far away as New Zealand, Peru, Japan and the United States.
The reigning World Champion in the Men’s Solo, Christopher Bak of the USA, will look to defend his 2022 title. Competition will be fierce, with young and hungry rowers such as endurance superstar Adrian Miramon Quiroga of Spain or local favorite and 2021 World Champion Giovanni Ficarra looking to leave a mark on the Italian beach.
For the Women’s Solo, all eyes will be on 2019 World Rowing Champion in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls, Jackie Kiddle of New Zealand, fresh off a qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. She will face other Olympians, such as Monika Dukarska of Ireland or Elodie Ravera-Scaramozzino of France, but also experienced beach sprinters – Sarah Pidgen of Canada, Khadija Krimi of Tunisia, or Clare Jamison of Great Britain.
The World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals will also feature the Mixed Double category – with the reigning champion of Spain, Ander Martin looking to defend his title from 2021 and 2022 with a new teammate, Nadia Felipe Garcia. Experienced crews from France (Edwige Alfred and Ludovic Dubuis) or Canada (Sarah Pidgen and Aubrey Oldham) will be trying to dethrone the Spaniards.
The Mixed Coxed Quad has 11 entries and once again, we could be looking at a Spain versus New Zealand rematch from last year in Wales. Also, for the first time, an inclusion event will be staged – the PR3 Coastal Mixed Double Sculls – although this event is not part of the World Championship programme yet.
Beach Sprints are to feature at the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Senegal and the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Australia. The discipline has also been proposed as an Olympic event for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games to the International Olympic Committee.
The 2023 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals will be live streamed on worldrowing.com on Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October.
Following the World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals, the World Rowing Coastal Championships will be raced from 6 to 8 October at the same location. The event has attracted 258 crews from all over the world.
The Men’s Solo has attracted 55 entries and sees some well-known names on the international scene, such as Adrian Miramon Quiroga (representing Ireland and the Wicklow Rowing Club), Joel Naukkarinen of Finland, Simone Martini of Italy, or Charles Cousins of Great Britain being entered.
The Women’s Solo could be a showdown between the 2022 gold and silver medallists, Diana Dymchenko of Azerbaijan and Jessica Berra of France. Other names to watch include Monika Dukarska of Ireland, Sarah Pidgen of Canada and Christine Cavallo from the United Stated.
The Irish have put together a Men’s Coxed Quad with a lot of pedigree – with Daire Lynch, recent bronze medallist at the World Rowing Championships and Olympian Ronan Byrne. That crew may be the favourite to win it all.
The 2023 World Rowing Coastal Championships will be live streamed on worldrowing.com on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 October.