Mediterranean success in finals of coastal championships
Saturday was full of finals at the 2016 World Rowing Coastal Championships in Monaco. The wind died down over night leaving a flatter race course for the Saturday finallists. The day began with the B-finals which were raced over the same 4km course as the heats. This was followed by the six A-finals raced over a 6km course that added two more important turns.
Spain had an outstanding performance and won the overall trophy with a total of 58 points, Italy took second place and France third. At their first-ever coastal championships, Tunisia took home one medal, a bronze in the women’s double.
Women’s Solo (CW1x) – Final
Finals began with a bang in Monaco with the women’s solo. Off the start line it was UKR01 to take the early lead, but she did not have it for long. Ireland’s Monica Dukarska (IRL01) made a big move and managed to get clear of the pack coming around the first buoy. She would not be stopped. Once in the lead, Dukarska controlled the race from start to finish, taking a nearly 40 second lead over her competitors. Behind her, it was a fierce fight between Alexandra Tsiavou (GRE01) and Edwig Alfred (FRA01). They went stroke for stroke through the middle of the race, forcing Tsiavou into the fourth buoy. Alfred used this to her advantage to take a boat length lead, but Tsiavou was not finished. Into the final stretch Tsiavou had once again pulled level and with a big push, she moved ahead. Dukarska crossed the line to claim the World Championship title ahead of GRE01 and FRA01.
Results: IRL, GRE01, FRA01
Monica Dukarska – IRL01 – gold
“I had a clean start, but as I was in front, I had some trouble locating the second buoy. That was the biggest problem. Then I had two people chasing me, but I paced it well and I was confident. I wanted to win.”
Alexandra Tsiavou – GRE01 – silver
“I don’t remember what happened. France and I were together the whole race, I definitely noticed her. We crashed oars and, well, it happens. The most important is that I really enjoyed it.”
Edwig Alfred – FRA01 – bronze
“Greece passed in front of me in the last sprint. But I am very happy to win bronze because I just had a baby eight months ago. I have not been sleeping very well. To have won the French National Championships last week and have this medal, I am very happy.”
Men’s Double Sculls (CM2x) – Final
It was an incredibly fast start in this race, with the pack of 21 boats vying for the best line to the first buoy. Home favourites and 2015 World Champions MON01 were the first to get there, but not by much. ESP02, ITA02 and the other 18 boats were hot on their tails. Through the middle of the race an incredible battle took place between these top three boats. MON01 was in the lead, then ESP02, then ITA02. Back and forth around each buoy, it was anyone’s race. MON01 caught the 4th buoy with their oar and lost some ground, ESP02 pulled into the lead. Coming around the final buoy, ESP02 grabbed the best course, followed by ITA02 and MON01. The position remained the same across the line.
Results: ESP01, ITA02, MON01
Noé and Antonio Guzman del Castillo – ESP01 – gold
“This is our second year at the World Rowing Coastal Championships. Last year was a learning year. This year we had a good position at the start so we were able to push really hard in the first thousand. In the middle of the race the lead kept changing between us, Monaco and Italy. The last buoy we passed Monaco and we knew we had a good finish. We took the rate up and pushed together, trying to stay clean and long. It was pushing to the limit both technique and power.”
Lorenzo Tedesco (b) - ITA02 – silver
“It was a very hard race between the three boats. Monaco was in first for the first half of the race, Spain in second and we were in third. We passed Monaco and Spain at the second to last buoy. But at the last buoy we were just behind Spain. Spain kept pushing and we were just dead in the final sprint. I have some problems with my wrist and it was really hurting. We are still very happy. The conditions were flatter today, but we prefer the waves as we train the whole year on the sea, we are used to wavy.”
Giuseppe Alberti (b), Quentin Antognelli (s), MON01 – bronze
“We had a good start and we managed to get into the lead in the middle. We were ahead at the 4th buoy, but then we hit it. Coming around the final buoy we thought we were closer to Spain and we could catch them, but we didn’t manage to. It is really cool. Last year we won in Peru, but it was just with our small team. Here, we are in front of everyone, we can celebrate with our friends and family, it is great.”
Women’s Coxed Quadruple Sculls (CW4x+) – Final
FRA09 and RUS01 finished first in their respective heats and were favourites for today’s Final. It was RUS who managed to get out in front at the start and round the first buoy ahead of the field. FRA09 was in hot pursuit and after coming around the second buoy, they charged. With a spurt of power, they overtook the Russian boat and continued to push away. Russia maintained their second position without any real challenge from the pack behind them. But the bronze medal was still up in the air. Coming around the last buoy, ESP02 and GER02 were going stroke for stroke. ESP02 grabbed the better turn and managed to slip into the bronze medal spot. Charging for the line, FRA09 took gold, RUS01 silver and ESP02 held on to bronze.
Results: FRA09, RUS01, ESP02
Elodie Ravera Scaramozzino – FRA09 – gold
“Our goal off the start was not to get any penalties and take the best course to the first buoy. The Russians started ahead, but then we began to find our rhythm. Between the second and third buoy we made a big push and managed to get ahead.”
Alice Mayne – FRA09 – gold
“This was my first time doing coastal rowing, yesterday was the first time I had ever been in a coastal boat. It is more fun because you have to adapt to the waves. The most important is to have a good coxswain, she was telling us when a wave was coming, and how to react.”
Elena Lebedeva – RUS01 – silver
“This was my first experience with coastal rowing and I am very happy, I like it. It is harder, though. The boat is too heavy! And you have to deal with the waves. My teammates are the world champions in the double and they gave us advice. They explained about the traffic, how to deal with the other boats and get around the buoys, how to row in the waves and how to rig the boat. That is very important.”
Mirjam Kreusel – ESP01 – bronze
“It was very tough. We didn’t know where we were until the end. We just kept thinking, don’t stop, don’t stop because they are catching us. The level of the competitors was very impressive. This was our third coastal championships. We were in Sweden and in Thessaloniki (Greece). In Sweden we had the beach finish, then in Thessaloniki we had really big waves, here was something in between.”
Men’s Solo (CM1x) – Final
What a race! All 21 boats were charging to the first buoy and it brought catastrophe. ESP01 had the lead and he was being chased by ESP03 and TUN01. ESP03 crashed right into the buoy bringing his boat to a complete stop. TUN01 unfortunately got trapped in the fray and broke his oar. This completely shifted the leading trio as ESP01 strode out ahead of the tussle behind him. Coming out of the crash it was PER01 and SWE01 who got away cleanly. What a disaster for the Tunisian rower whose race was over. From that point, ESP01 managed to hold his lead, while PER01 and SWE01 went back and forth before PER01 solidified his silver medal, leaving the bronze for SWE01.
Results: ESP01, PER01, SWE01
Adrian Miramon Quiroga – ESP01 – gold
“As the others crashed at the first buoy it kind of kicked me back. I thought I had control over the course, but then it put me a bit out of control. I am a bit crazy. I got a bit lost in the buoys and had to get back on track. At the next buoy I figured it out. I don’t believe it. Yesterday I had a lot of doubts, my boat was not quite right. But I got a new boat and today it was much better. Euro Diffusion are the best boats for competition.”
Eduardo Linares – PER01 – silver
“It was crazy, we went in a huge group to the first buoy. There are very strong competitors, good rowers. The conditions in Peru are quite different from the conditions here. Today it was too flat, I am used to more waves.”
Dennis Gustavsson – SWE01 – bronze
“As the pack crashed at the first buoy, I had seen so I was able to go on the outside. I saw as Lars Gumprecht went into the buoy and the others crashed through them. After the turn I tried to take on Peru. I was very tired, but I kept pushing. Today I found the conditions too flat because in Sweden we train with very choppy water, so I preferred yesterday’s conditions.”
Women’s Double Sculls (CW2x) – Final
Eighteen boats lined up in the women’s double, all with the goal of crossing the line first. But no one could stop Italy. They had a great start and took a lead that was impossible to catch. They left two-time World Champions FRA01 to fight for the silver medal alongside TUN01 and DEN01. Through the middle of the race FRA01 and TUN01 went almost 4km stroke for stroke. With DEN01 pushing up behind them, it was impossible to let off the pace. Rounding the final turn, FRA01 had a bit more in the tank and pushed past TUN01. DEN01 dropped off the pack leaving the first three to cross the line and take their medals. It was ITA01, FRA01, TUN01. This was the first time Tunisia had ever participated at a World Rowing Coastal Championships.
Results: ITA01, FRA01, TUN01
Federica Molinaro, Beatrice Millo – ITA01 – gold
“We got into a coastal boat for the first time two weeks ago at the Italian Championships. We had never done it before. So we really weren’t expecting this medal. As we were in first, we had some trouble with the direction, knowing which buoy to go to. We had to turn around a lot. As the medal was unexpected it makes it even better. We are best friends, we have matching tattoos and we think that is why we row so well together.”
Diane Delalleau, Nathalie Collet – FRA01 – silver
“We had a good start, Italy got out to the lead and then it was a fight between us and Tunisia the entire race. Normally coastal races are not so close. We went for nearly 4km right next to them. Denmark was pushing from fourth, so that made the race even closer. It was intense, but a really, really good race. This is our second silver and we’ve won gold twice. It feels great.”
Khadija Krimi, El Houda Nour Ettaieb – TUN01 – bronze
“This is the first time we participated in a coastal rowing competition. It was very hard. This was actually the first time Tunisia has ever participated in a coastal rowing championships. We are best friends, so we get a long really well. We divided the tasks, she had the steering and I just had to push hard. From the start we just wanted to avoid hitting other crews and having penalties. Yesterday we used the race to get a feel for everything and today we had a good race. We are here thanks to the support of Almadanya who helps support women’s sport in Tunisia.”
Men’s Coxed Quadruple Sculls (CM4x+) – Final
The final race of the day saw a magnificent startline with 22 men’s coxed quads lining up. This was going to be an intense race. The crews’ number one priority was to avoid crashes that would result in costly penalties. ITA01 made the best of it off the line, being hotly pursued by CZE01, ITA02 and MON01. But the entire pack was descending on the first buoy and it looked like absolute chaos. Who would come out on top? It was CZE01. They took the lead and ran with it while ITA02, ITA01 and MON01 were left vying for the lesser medals. MON01 could not keep the pace and dropped back. Finally, through the last buoy ITA01 got the better of ITA02. At the line CZE01 claimed gold, ITA01 silver and ITA02 bronze to the disappointment of the home crowd, MON01 finished outside the medals in fourth.
Results: CZE01, ITA01, ITA02
Matyas Klang – CZE01 – gold
“Yesterday was the first time we ever stepped in a coastal boat. The difference is … bigger waves. No, but honestly Poznan (World Rowing Cup) and Brandenburg (European Rowing Championships) this year were harder. The waves were just as big, but here we had the right boat! Our strategy was to lead from start to finish. We did it just for fun, we didn’t know what to expect. But two weeks ago we came third in the Red Bull X Row and this was not as hard, we really don’t like running … at least we didn’t have to run with this boat!”
Stefano Gioia – ITA01 – silver
“It was a very tough race. The reigning world champs, Monaco, finished fourth! So you can see how tough the competition was. We had a good first leg of the race. Then the Czech crew and Italy started pushing up. We wanted to hold off the other Italian crew, and we did. We are happy to be on the podium this year.”
Davide Mumolo – ITA02 – bronze
“Coming into the last buoy we were third and we were so tired. The waves gave us some problems. I am not so happy with this medal because we wanted to be first. But it was a good race and so I have to be happy.”