Wind, waves and excitement for women’s coastal heats
The weather conditions worsened for the first round of women’s racing at the 2013 World Rowing Coastal Championships in Helsingborg, Sweden. White capped waves greeted these competitors and while coastal rowers generally love wavy conditions, many claimed the course to be extremely tiring as they had to battle against a heavy cross wind that made it a battle to stay on course. But almost athletes crossed the finish line with a smile on their faces, calling this real coastal rowing.
Women’s coxed quadruple sculls (CW4x+)
The first to brave the conditions were the women’s quadruple sculls. In heat one Real Club De Regatas De Alicante (ESP) took the lead and managed to fight their way around the buoys to finish in a time of 23:20. Despite their best efforts to sprint to the line, Switzerland’s Lausanne Sport finished just one second behind the Spainish club. The top four boats qualify for the A-final.
Qualifiers: ESP 01, SUI 01, FRA 03, SWE 01
The top two boats in the second heat includes several returning finalists from the 2011 World Rowing Coastal Championships in Bari, Italy. Cofradia Pescadores Torrevieja of Spain sprinted across the line ahead of France’s Marseille RC. Denmark’s Danish Students Rowing Club came across in third, despite a rough start that had them caught on the starting buoy for several seconds. Coping with steering problems throughout the race, they managed to make up time and finish third.
Qualifiers: ESP 02, FRA 01, DEN 01, FRA 04
Women’s double sculls (CW2x)
While the weather was challenging for the quadruple sculls, it was even more so for the smaller boats, the doubles and solos. In the first heat of the women’s double, Societe Nautique De Lagny of France took the first qualifying spot to the A-final in time of 24:44. They were followed by the Real Club Mediterraneo De Málaga (ESP) and Slavia Prague (CZE). The top six boats qualify for the A-final in this category.
Qualifiers: FRA 01, ESP 01, CZE 01, ITA 02, NOR 02, SWE 0
Finishing first in the heat two was Russia’s Strela Cska Vmf Dynamo. This crew of Julia Kalinovskaya and Elena Lebedeva two rowers have both competed for many years at the senior level in Olympic style rowing, and it seems their transition to coastal rowing has paid off. They were followed closely by Germany’s Koelner Ruderverein 1877, who managed to finish second despite several steering problems caused by the wind. A gap of almost three minutes separated these two crews from the rest of the pack.
Qualifiers: RUS 01, GER 01, ITA 01, BEL 01, NOR 01, HKG 02
Women’s solo (CW1x)
The biggest challenge in the solo was keeping hold of the oars. Several rowers lost the handle of one or both oars throughout the race, forcing them to come to a complete stop. Italy’s Veronica Paccagnella held a commanding lead over the field in heat one, finishing 36 seconds ahead of Stephanie Chantry (FRA). Following closely behind was Oisin Forde of Spain, who dashed up the beach with a smile on her face. The top six boats qualify for the A-final in this category.
Qualifiers: ITA 01, FRA 02, ESP 01, GRE 01, FRA 04, FRA 06
Some of the boats in heat two submerged completely under the water during the race, but the challenge of choppy conditions didn’t stop 2011 World Rowing Coastal Champion,France’s Charlotte Culty from finishing ahead of the pack in a time of 26:00. Following close behind were two more French rowers Jessica Berra and Edwige Alfred. It looks like France might have more than one athlete on the podium tomorrow.
Qualifiers: FRA 01, FRA 05, FRA 03, BEL 01, SWE 01, FRA 08