The Estonian men's coxed quadruple sculls (coxed fours) team won a silver medal at the European Rowing Coastal Championships (ERCC) in San Sebastien, Spain. There was also a bronze medal for Estonia's Ander Koppel in the men's single sculls.
The Estonian team of Mihhail Kushteyn, Allar Raja, Tõnu Endrekson and Johann Poolak, with cox Ander Koppel won silver in the men's coxed fours with a time of 22 minutes 29.682 seconds. Spain took gold in the event, finishing ahead of Estonia in 22 minutes 28.28 seconds, with the bronze medal going to Monaco.
Despite taking home a silver medal, Tõnu Endrekson was not completely satisfied with the start his team made. "We had a lot of work to do to get on the right track, so it gave our competitors a slight advantage. You have to be aware of the currents and the angle of approach, otherwise you can lose a lot," said Endrekson.
Ander Koppel also competed for Estonia in the single sculls event, earning a bronze medal for finishing third in a field of 18 competitors with a time of 2 minutes 04.03 seconds. The gold and silver medals both went to Spain, thanks to Ramon Gomez Cotilla and Franco Nicolas Repetto of Spain with times of 26 minutes 15.96 seconds and 26 minutes 38.15 seconds respectively.
"In some ways it's just like classic rowing, but also different enough," said Koppel, who explained that the boats used are quite different and that you need also need to have some additional skills in your repertoire. "The way you go into the turns requires tactical planning and a lot of experience," Koppel said.
Elsewhere at the championships, Arnold Sanglepp and Karl-Joosep Raudkivi represented Estonia in the men's double sculls finishing in 12th (26 minutes 32.74 seconds).
Coastal rowing is a relatively new form of competitive rowing, which although similar in many ways to classical "academic" rowing, involves bigger and heavier boats that have been adapted for use at sea. Similar to sailing events, coastal rowing races, which are usually of distances between four and six kilometers, do not begin with boats in defined lanes, but instead get underway once they have all lined up together in at the starting line.
Editor: Michael Cole