St Andrews prepares to host new rowing competition
The countdown is on for a new rowing competition between the four home nations coming to St Andrews this month.
The inaugural Home International Rowing (HIR) Beach Sprints will be hosted by Scotland through a partnership between the University of St Andrews, Scottish Rowing, and Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, and will take place on Saturday 20 August at St Andrews’ East Sands.
Teams from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales will compete throughout the day in Beach Sprints, an emerging international discipline that starts with a sprint on the beach of between 10m and 50m. The athletes then enter a boat which slaloms around two buoys, then turns around a third buoy at 250m and rows straight back to the beach before one of the rowers exits the boat and runs to the finish line.
Teams of four junior athletes and four senior athletes will compete across the day in coastal solos and mixed doubles, with 26 races in all taking place between midday and 2pm and from 4pm to 5.30pm.
Between the two blocks of racing, Saints Sport at the University of St Andrews will put on some display racing and fun activities so the whole St Andrews community can get involved. This new international sporting event, with food and drink vendors, a DJ and commentator alongside the races and beach activities, promises to be a great day out for all the family.
The HIR Beach Sprints is an exciting addition to the rowing calendar and one that it is hoped will create a clear pathway into Great Britain’s and Ireland’s national teams in the future.
The University has invested heavily in establishing a coastal rowing programme by purchasing equipment including two coxed quadruple sculls, two single sculls and one double scull. Scottish Rowing recognises the University’s ambition to become a centre of excellence for rowing in the UK and has made a significant financial contribution towards expanding its fleet of boats.
Dr Fergus Knight, Saints Sport Assistant Director, said: “Following the successful Saints Coastal Regatta in May for clubs across the UK, also organised in partnership with Scottish Rowing, Fife Sports & Leisure Trust, and the University Boat Club, we are excited to be hosting this UK-wide event. The HIR Beach Sprints 2022 presents a great opportunity to learn how to put on an international standard event, showcase the town and demonstrate the University’s high aspirations in coastal rowing.”
The HIR Beach Sprints event aims to build on the long and distinguished history of the Home International Rowing Regatta (HIRR), an annual competition dating back to 1962 that has been an established platform for several international and Olympic rowers from across the home nations.
The list of partners for the 20 August HIR event includes Fife Sports & Leisure Trust (facilities at East Sands Leisure Centre); Swift Racing (providing boats); Red Bull (product, DJ and festival setup); Actiph Water (product for athletes and spectators); Concept2 (providing oars for racing); All Mark One (photography and commentary); Rival Kit and Macron Store Dundee (official event T-shirts); St Andrews Brewing Company; St Andrews Sailing Club; and St Andrews Coastal Rowing Club.
All photos taken at the Saints Coastal Regatta in May.
Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.