Successful debut for coastal rowing at the Asian Beach Games
The Asian Beach Games in Danag, Vietnam boasted an exciting four days of coastal or beach rowing. Athletes from 9 nations participated in the event which used a beach-launch format. The four days of racing saw good weather conditions, with challenging but manageable waves.
Thailand topped the medals table taking 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal. The Thai team was one of the most experienced teams having trained in coastal boats for some time before the event. Many participants were relatively new to the sport having participated in the FISA Beach Rowing Camp earlier this year.
The format of the racing involved a 50m sprint from the beach to the water by one crew member. That crew member then jumped in the boat, the crew raced 600m including three buoy turns before coming back to shore. Another crew member jumped out and sprinted 50m on the beach to the finish flag. This format led to exciting racing.
Races were held in the men’s and women’s solo (1x), double sculls (2x) and coxed quadruple sculls (4x+). Preliminary time-trials determined initial seeding, followed by a knock-out format with crews racing two by two. This meant that athletes could have several races in quick succession.
“It was pretty tough racing actually because all the races in each event were rowed back-to-back,” said Head Coach for Hong Kong China, Chris Perry. “So you would do a time trial, a quarterfinal, a semi and a final all in the space of two hours. Each race in itself was tough, but lots of racing back-to-back was even more challenging. Everyone stepped up, however, and there were some great races as well as excitement for the spectators too.”
One of the stand-out races was the final of the men’s solo event between Thailand and Hong Kong. Despite tough waves and weather conditions, the two boats landed on the beach at the same time, with the final beach sprint determining the medal. Thailand was just able to grab the flag at the line less than 0.5 seconds ahead of Hong Kong. The crowd was on their feet for this exciting race.
For more information and results, click here.