First medals for the world’s top coastal rowers
The second day of racing at the 2013 World Rowing Coastal Championships saw some reprieve in harsh weather conditions experienced by the rowers on Friday. Despite light rain in the morning, there was less wind and smaller waves for the finalists. Crowds began to fill the grandstands and line the streets as the afternoon’s A-finals got underway. Local audiences were especially excited to watch local hero, Peter Berg in the men’s solo.
Men’s coxed quadruple sculls (CM4x)
There was a false start in the first A-final of the day, forcing all crews to head back to go under starter’s orders twice before commencing this race for medals. Once underway, it was level between the eight boats going into the first buoy. Italy01 managed to get their bow in front and take the upper hand on the first turn. Germany01 and France05 charged closely behind. But these crews had to pace themselves for the 6,000m course that took them out far from the shore and into rough open water. Turning the last buoy, Italy 01 was at the front of the pack. They managed to hold off the Russians who took the silver medal and France01 with the bronze.
Gold: ITA01, Silver: RUS01, Bronze: FRA01
Women’s double sculls (CW2x)
Today’s calmer conditions allowed crews to elevate their stroke rates and focus on strength and power as a race in flatter water becomes less about technical skills and more about physical condition. In the women’s double sculls, Spain01 was an early leader, until one of the crew lost an oar mid-race and so they could not finish. Russia01 and France01 led the pack through the middle of the race, but Russia showed their strength by pulling ahead in the last 1,000 meters. Germany 01 got the better of the Spanish crew and made their sprint to the line in third position.
Gold: RUS01, Silver: FRA01, Bronze: GER01
Men’s solo (CM1x)
The crowd got excited for this A-final as local hero Peter Berg was on the water. Berg led for much for much of the race along with Italy’s Simone Martini, but as the crews headed into the last 1,000 meters Berg couldn’t keep pace and dropped back to third. Lars Gumprecht of Spain, moved from fifth place through the field to challenge the leading Italian. Martini had problems at the finish line, landing his boat too early. Gumprecht sprinted to the line ahead to take the gold medal. Martini finished with silver and home favourite Berg came through to take his third bronze medal at a World Rowing Coastal Championship.
Gold: ESP04, Silver ITA01, Bronze: SWE01
Women’s coxed quadruple sculls (CW4x)
This A-final came down to an exciting sprint on the beach to the finish line. France01 had the quickest start, but were chased by Denmark01, Spain01, and Switzerland01. These four crews put in a tremendous effort throughout the race, challenging for position from buoy to buoy. France01 had the lead ahead of Denmark01 and Switzerland01 in the last 1,000m, but with a huge charge from Denmark and Switzerland, all three crews landed on the beach at the same time. Denmark01 had the best strategy for leaping out of the boat and running and it was good enough to secure them the gold medal. Switzerland crossed the line second, while an unfortunate fall in the water by the French bow meant that they took home the bronze.
Gold: DEN01, Silver: SUI01, Bronze: FRA01
Men’s double sculls (CM2x)
As these boats tore away from the start, many people had their eyes on the Greek double. Twins Nikolaos and Apostlos Gkountoulas recently switched to coastal rowing after a successful flat-water rowing career that took them to two Olympic Games and earned the silver and bronze at the World Rowing Championships as part of their nation’s men’s four. As Greece will host the 2014 World Rowing Coastal Championships these young athletes wanted to gain some coastal experience for next year. They were in 5th place at the first buoy, but worked their way through the field to finish in second. Italy01 took an early lead on the rest of the field and managed to hold off the charging Greek twins. They took home the gold, with Italy05 finishing just behind in 3rd place.
Gold: ITA01, Silver: GRE01, Bronze: ITA05