The Coastal Rowing Championships in Portugal are over. 9 of the 34 participating nations won medals. The event was dominated by rowers from Ukraine and Spain. Ukraine won 3 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze, and Spain won 2 golds, 1 silver and 4 bronze.
Here are all results.
Some insights on the Coastal Rowing Championships by members of Coastal Boats who were in Oeiras
Buoy and Turning Point 1
The first buoy was the most dangerous point in the race for all races. Depending on the tide, the water moved towards the Tagus and Lisbon or towards the open sea. Between 10 to 20 rowing boats romped around the buoy again and again. Some capsized, skulls were broken, boats were rowed to pieces – Turning point 1 was the place where the decisions for the rest of the race were made. Adrian Miramon capsized here, Lars Wichert wasn’t able to continue after the buoy. Good for Edouardo Linares Ruis, the rower from Berlin skilfully used his chance, passed Miramon and won his silver medal! Congratulations for this achievement!
The turmoil at buoy 1? Some rowers successfully avoided it. Carina and Malte Hein took this buoy far out, rowed carefully around it and set the groundwork for their victory in the B-Final.
Conclusion: Probably one could even have approached the buoy incorrectly in the turmoil and just accepted a time penalty. In many cases, the penalty time would be have been shorter than the time lost on this buoy.
Coastal Rowing WM: TV– beautiful scenes vs. boat damage
World Rowing is under a lot of pressure. Coastal Rowing is not Olympic yet, the association needs money and has to see that the races remain exciting. Contrary to the recommendations of the boat suppliers, on the third day they insisted on starting the boats in a Beach Start. This format was seen as more interesting and, above all, should ensure a more TV-friendly staging.
But these starts are everything but “fin-friendly”. The boat builders had to accept World Rowing’s instruction. Just ask Swift or Filippi, who both donated about 50 boats to FISA, how many fins got broken at this event. You wouldn’t believe it. This “format change” and the acceptance of damage to the boat, just to get better pictures on TV seems to be questionable.
False starts and time penalties
Another questionable aspect was the management of false starts by World Rowing. False starts and unfair behaviour at the start were punished with a 10 second time penalty. But not only that – the whole field had to go ashore after the false start. Take the boats out, carry them ashore and focus again. Sometimes the siren only came after about 300m. As rowers we know – at this point in time we have the starting strokes and already 30 “big ones” behind us. A race termination is annoying. I asked myself why the teams weren’t allowed to continue rowing and why the time penalties were added up in the overall standings. In one case (CW2X) that even led to another broken fin.