Over the past weekend, the Barbados rowing team accompanied by coaches Anthony Yarde and Tonya Rock competed in the inaugural Commonwealth Rowing Beach Sprints at Sandbanks, United Kingdom. Those representing the team were Christian Howard and Kyle Spenard competing in the men’s doubles (MC2X), and Paige Proverbs and Cherisse Holder competing in the women’s doubles (WC2X).
In preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Rowing Beach Sprints, athletes attended a two-day training camp, where they learnt how to row on the sea for the first time. On competition day, rowers competed against teams such as Wales, Scotland, England, Vanuatu, Uganda, Namibia and Canada. With gusto rowers ran 10m, hopped into their boats, slalomed around three buoys along a course of 250m, before rowing back to the beach, exiting their boats, and ran to cross the finish line in fine fashion.
Barbadian rowers must be commended for their guts and determination having only learnt to row on water for two days. Barbados’ athletes braved the waters, fought the crosswinds and unstable sea conditions that they encountered on the water. Commendably, the women who experienced technical difficulties with one rower losing her seat mid-course displayed tremendous courage and tenacity by completing the course despite encountering these challenges.
Though Barbados did not advance to the semi-finals, the island is now the only Caribbean country which holds doubles records for men and women for the Commonwealth Rowing Beach Sprints. The Barbados Rowing Team will now prepare for the Pre- Pan American Games in Brazil and the World Rowing Coastal Championships in Canada to be hosted later this year. (PR)