USA wins two time trials on day one of World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals – Regatta coverage and events


The US won two time trials and all eight boats advanced on the first day of competition at the 2021 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals in Oeiras, Portugal.

In the men’s individual race, Christopher Bak (Cincinnati, Ohio / University of Cincinnati) drove into the third lap (lap 16) with the fastest time in the time trial. Bak drove in the 11th of 13 time trials and finished the route in 2: 38.45. His time was almost three seconds faster than the Lithuanian Zygimantas Galisanskis, who set the second fastest time in the fourth time trial. Bak will be racing again on Sunday.

“I’m really happy with my race,” said Bak. “But I think that there is more speed in the boat. I’m just happy to make it through the first lap and I’m excited about the upcoming races.”

Aidan Ehrismann (Portland, Ore./Leodis V. McDaniel High School) and Joshua Li (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lakeridge High School) set the fastest times in the junior double sculls and secured the top spot in the quarterfinals. In the second of five time trial races, Ehrismann and Li finished in 2: 26.02 minutes. Spain finished the first time trial just behind the pace of the Americans and won the first time trial in 2: 26.44. Ehrismann and Li will next compete in the quarter-finals on Sunday.

In the mixed quad scull with helmsman, helmsman Bennett Rossell (Sarasota, Florida / Stetson University), John Olbrys (Arlington, Virginia / United States Coast Guard Academy), Christine Cavallo (Windermere, Florida / Stanford University), Hannah Huppi (Bellingham, Washington / Tulane University) and John Huppi (Reston, Virginia / Tulane University) finished second in the time trial and advanced to tomorrow’s quarter-finals. The quad achieved a 2: 34.17 and finished just before France. Spain recorded the fastest time, finishing the track in 2: 27.69.

In the women’s individual race, Cassidy Norton (Hamilton, Ohio / Ross High School) finished third in the time trial and will now take lap 2 on Saturday morning. In the first of eight time trials, Norton drove the distance in a 3: 10.50 and finished behind French rider Maya Cornut, who set the fastest time in the first run. Cornut finished the race with a time of 3: 02.52.

Brian O’Leary (Port Charlotte, Florida / Jesuit High School) finished fourth in the junior individual time trial. In the second of four time trials, O’Leary crossed the finish line with a time of 3: 06.97. He will play in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Britt Wotovich (Redington Beach, Florida / Berkeley Preparatory School) also took fourth place in the junior women’s individual time trial and made it to the quarter-finals on Saturday. Wotovich finished the race in 3: 30.58.

Wotovich and O’Leary hit the water a second time later that afternoon in the junior mixed double scull time trial. The duo finished third overall in 2: 43.71. France set the fastest time with 2: 40.89. Wotovich and O’Leary will play doubles in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Elizabeth Hinley (McHenry County, Illinois / University of North Texas) and Kory Rogers (The Woodlands, Texas / Temple University) finished seventh in the mixed double scull morning time trial before winning their knockout against Japan on Friday afternoon. The duo made it to the quarter-finals on Saturday by defeating Japan. Hinley and Rogers finished the time trial with a time of 2: 48.83 and followed in the second run with a time of 2: 25.99.

At the races on Saturday, the second round of the two open solo events as well as the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the finals of the junior and women’s solo events, open mixed double sculls and mixed foursome with helmsman will take place. The race on Sunday is underlined by the finals of the junior, women’s and mixed double sculls as well as the open men’s and women’s singles competitions. The races on Saturday and Sunday start at 10 a.m. local time.

Beach sprint races are held in a run, row, run combination over a 250 meter long buoyed course and use a time trial and a knockout progress system. The format debuted at the Mediterranean Beach Games in 2015 and the first global event was the 2019 World Rowing Beach Sprint Final in Shenzhen, China.

A total of nine boat classes are contested in Portugal. The US has entries in every category with the exception of the juniors double scull.

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