The 2017 Championships was especially noteworthy due to the inclusion of para-rowing for the first time in the regatta’s long history with Brazil and Argentina sending para-rowers.
Brazil proved to be the stronger nation, taking gold in all three para-rowing boat classes. Brazil’s Rene Campos Pereira captured his first major international medal on home waters following up on his sixth place finish at the Rio Paralympics last September. He beat out Carlos Vysocki of Argentina to take top honours in the PR1 para men’s single sculls (PR1 M1x).
Brazil also took gold in the PR2 para men’s single (PR2 M1x) race where sculler Michel Gomez Pessanha similarly built on his seventh place finish in the para mixed double sculls at the Rio Paralympics. And in the PR3 para mixed double sculls (PR3 Mix2x), Andre Arthur Dutra and Dina Cristina Barcelos de Olivera of Brazil crossed the line ahead of the Argentinians Pablo Geer and Gracia Sosa Barreneche.
The inclusion of even these three para races in such a major regatta is a big step forward as the South American Rowing Championships is the most important South American rowing event.
Overall, Argentina and Chile were the big winners at this year’s competition. With seven of the ten member nations taking part, the regatta itself was slightly smaller than usual in the wake of last year’s Rio Olympics, but it was the Argentines and Chileans claiming victor in almost every boat class to finish the regatta ranked first and second respectively in the overall team standings.
As expected, the dominant force in women’s races were Chile’s Abraham sisters. The first day of finals was decidedly golden for both. Not only did Antonia and Melita Abraham team up to capture gold in the women’s pair, they individually won the women’s single (Antonia) and lightweight women’s single (Melita). On the second day of racing, the Abraham sisters partnered up again to win the women’s double sculls and then joined team mates Josefa Vila and Cristina Hostetter for silver in the women’s quadruple sculls behind a powerful Argentine crew.
The sisters can add these wins to their increasingly impressive resumes that include a shared silver medal performance in the women’s quadruple at the Toronto 2015 PanAmerican Games and a seventh place finish in the women’s pair at the 2016 World Rowing Under 23 Championships, just weeks before Melita represented Chile at the Rio Olympics, in the lightweight women’s double.
On the men’s side another sibling duo, Brian and Cristian Rosso of Argentina raced to similar success throughout the regatta. Brian took gold in the men’s single, followed on day two by his older brother Cristian, who partnered with Rodrigo Murillo to claim victory in the men’s double sculls. The brothers won another gold, along with Murillo and Ariel Suarez, in the men’s quadruple sculls.
W1x CHI, BRA, ARG, URU, PAR
W2- CHI, ARG, BRA
W2x CHI, ARG, BRA, PAR, URU
W4x ARG, CHI, BRA, URU
LW1x CHI, ARG, PAR, URU, BRA
LW2x ARG, BRA, CHI
U19W1x CHI, ARG, URU, PER, COL, BRA
U19W2- CHI, ARG, URU
U19W2x CHI, ARG, BRA, URU
M1x ARG, BRA, PAR, URU, COL
M2- ARG, BRA, CHI
M2x ARG, BRA, CHI, PAR, URU, COL
M4- ARG, CHI
M4x ARG, CHI, PAR
M8+ ARG, CHI
LM1x ARG, BRA, PER, PAR, COL
LM2- BRA, CHI, ARG, URU
LM2x CHI, ARG, PER, BRA, URU
LM4- CHI, ARG, URU
LM4x ARG, PER, URU
U19M1x URU, BRA, PAR, PER, CHI, ARG
U19M2- ARG, CHI, BRA
U19M2x ARG, PAR, URU, CHI, BRA
U19M4- CHI, ARG, URU
U19M4x CHI, ARG, URU, BRA