The Bahamas Rowing Federation was attending the American Cup Coastal Rowing Championship in Lima Peru from the 20th to the 23rd of April 2022. Participants were Destiny Rolle, Andrew Bowe and Michael Knowles of the Skullers Rowing Club in Exuma. With great success:
Juniors grab Gold and Bronze
BRENT STUBBS, Senior Sports Reporter at @tribunemedia.net reports that EXUMA junior rowers Andrew Bowe and Destiny Rolle made history on Thursday when they grabbed gold and bronze medals respectively in the under-19 boys and girls Beach Sprints at the America’s Cup Coastal Rowing Regatta.
The duo, coached by Michael Knowles, are representing the Bahamas Rowing Federation at the inaugural event in Lima, Peru that is sanctioned by the World Rowing and Americas Rowing against competitors competing from South America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The beach sprint is an event where the competitors run from the sand to their boat on the water and jump on to row for 500 metres, before hopping off and running back on the sand across the finish line. Bowe went into the final with the fastest qualifying time before he posted his winning time of two minutes and 50.73 seconds. Rolle, who had the third fastest qualifying time, clocked 3:09 for her bronze. Bowe, a 12th grader at Blake Academy, said he was extremely proud of his accomplishment.
“At the end of the race, I felt very dead, but small things . . . winning made up for it,” Bowe said. “We did two races, the open 6K and the junior beach sprint. The open 6K was extremely competitive, especially at the end. Me and Destiny were fighting to keep up with the competition. “The beach sprint was a bit competitive, but not as competitive for me. I had a little more experience than the other competitors, so it made it rather easy for me.” While they won’t receive their medals until Saturday during the closing ceremonies, Bowe said he’s looking forward to returning to Exuma where he hopes to celebrate with his family and friends.
Coastal Rowing: Successful rowing at the Coastal Rowing Championship in Lima Peru, Credit Facebook https://www.fb.com/rowingfederation/
Although she was disappointed in not winning the gold, Rolle said she will accept the bronze. I’m kind of disappointed, but grateful for the opportunity to compete and happy that I placed,” said the LN Coakley High student. “I knew I could have done much better, but my body wasn’t agreeing with me today. The bottom half of my body completely didn’t agree with me. The competition was very competitive. It was a learning experience. It was very nice. In the girls category, it was really tough, but I’m happy that I was able to perform very well against them.”
Rolle said she’s thrilled that at least one of them secured a gold. “He did very well. I am so proud of him,” said Rolle of Bowe’s achievement. On Wednesday, the duo competed in the endurance event where they placed fourth out of seven boats in an adult event.
“I was extremely pleased. I couldn’t be more proud of how they performed,” said Knowles, of the Ferries, Little Exuma, who has been working with Bowe for the past three years and Rolle for a year. “This makes them the first Bahamians to ever win a medal in rowing an an international event, so this is a humbling experience. It just shows the amount of work that we have put in.”
Federation president Jason Williams, a former national distance runner, was thrilled by the accomplishments of the two junior rowers. “The federation has fostered the growth of rowing in all forms throughout the Bahamas and Exuma was one of the first ones that got started and Michael Knowles and his club ran with it and put in the work required to produce quality athletes,” Williams said. “We would like to see this growth continue throughout the entire islands because it gives young men and women an avenue to explore new opportunities in our natural surroundings, which is water.”
With the sport of sailing expected to be pegged by the Bahamas Government as the national sport of the country, Williams is appealing to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to add the sport to the proposed Bahamas Games programme when the event returns in 2023.
“Our hope is to eventually win a medal at the Olympic Games and compete for medals on par with track and field,” Williams proclaimed. The BRF is hoping to send another national team to compete in October in the United Kingdom for the World’s Beach Rowing Finals with Bowe and Rolle, according to Knowles, as the anchor of the team that should include a few more competitors. “The competition here was very good,” said Knowles, who will return home with the team on Sunday. “They had to work for their medals. Andrew dominated his event and Destiny was a little disappointed because she really wanted to win the gold as well.” Knowles said he will continue to push the pair. He noted that their performances will be an inspiration to the other 10-plus members, who range in ages from 10-16.