Ryde Rowing Club’s Sharon Ayles represented England at the first ever Commonwealth Beach Rowing Sprint Championships, which took place at Sandbanks Beach in Poole last week.
8 commonwealth countries including Barbados, Canada, England, Namibia, Scotland, Uganda, Vanuatu and Wales were all represented at the inaugural one-of-a-kind rowing event.
Sharon coxed the England Mixed Coxed Coastal Quad and also supported the management and coaching of the England squad.
In this style of racing – in FISA Coastal Boats rather than the club’s usual type of boat – crews start on the beach and sprint to their boats, which are held in the water by boat holders. They then slalom out to sea for 250m before turning around the final marker buoy for a straight sprint back to shore. When they reach land, 1 member of the crew jumps out and will sprint up the beach to cross the finish line.
Unfortunately, the English crew, who experienced some difficulties with their boat, were defeated in the semi-final by Wales.