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Rowers ready for the world stage in Italy

Ready to row: (backrow from left) Michael Russell, Marcus Della Marta, Phoebe Robinson, Lucy Hope, (front from left) Lillyan Cristaudo, Elliot Shackcloth-Bertinetti, Macintyre Russell and Jack O’Toole are about to take to the water at the World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals. (Missing: Laryssa Biesenthal).

Australian rowers are ready to test themselves on the global stage as they join a record number of competitors at the 2023 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals at Barletta in Italy.

There will be six athletes in the green and gold when racing starts from September 29-October 1; Lucy Hope (Coastal Women’s Solo), Lillyan Cristaudo (Coastal Junior Women’s Solo), Marcus Della Marta (Coastal Men’s Solo), Jack O’Toole (Coastal Junior Men’s Solo), Mac Russell , Phoebe Robinson (Coastal Mixed Inclusion Double).

Hope and Della Marta will also combine in the Coastal Mixed Double and Cristaudo and O’Toole in the Coastal Junior Mixed Double. 

The team was selected after the successful Australian Coastal Rowing and Beach Sprint Championships held at Mooloolaba Beach on the Sunshine Coast in July. 

Rowing Australia High Performance Director Paul Thompson said it was a great opportunity to learn and develop in a new, emerging and exciting discipline of the sport, which could be included on the program of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. 

“This is our first toe in the water for the beach sprints,” Thompson said. “We’re starting to build some momentum. We’ve had two national championships, a Commonwealth regatta and now we are at the world level. This is just another step in the process.”

Elizabeth Newell won Gold in the Women’s Solo at the Commonwealth Rowing Association (CRA) Beach Sprint Championships held at Walvis Bay, Namibia, in December 2022, a regatta where Della Marta also showed his class when he took Bronze in the Men’s Solo.

The event has attracted more than 250 athletes from 39 nations, who will compete over three days of racing in 10 boat classes.

Where and when: The provisional timetable for the events can be found here, and entries for all the races are available here

How to watch: Live video streaming will be available on the World Rowing website on Saturday, 30 September 30, and Sunday, October 1. The video streaming will start five minutes before the first race.

How to follow: World Rowing will have a live blog, photos, interviews and all the news from Barletta as racing unfolds.