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Pembrokeshire to host 2022 World Rowing events

Saundersfoot beach

In its latest round of event allocations, World Rowing has announced that Great Britain will stage the 2022 World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprint Finals. 

Andy Parkinson, British Rowing CEO commented, “We are delighted to be able to bring international rowing back to Great Britain for the first time since 2018. The British rowing community has a long history of delivering world-class events and we look forward tremendously to hosting the international rowing family again in 2022.”

The 2022 World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprint Finals will be staged off Saundersfoot Beach in Wales in association with Welsh Rowing and supported by Welsh Sea Rowing. The event will take place over two weekends in October and, with the event in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, British Rowing is aiming to lead the way in environmentally-friendly event delivery.

“The exciting nature of coastal rowing will fit perfectly with the Pembrokeshire coast. We already know that British Rowing has the capability of staging world-class events and we are looking forward to working with the organising committee to make these events truly memorable,” said FISA (World Rowing) President Jean- Christophe Rolland.

It is anticipated that some form of coastal rowing will become part of the Olympic programme from Paris 2024 onwards so it’s particularly exciting for British Rowing to be hosting an event in the new Olympic discipline. Coastal rowing, as a whole, offers a fantastic opportunity for the sport of rowing to broaden its reach into the coastal communities around the world and beach sprints, in particular, presents an exhilarating new format of the sport hoping to capture the attention of a younger, more diverse audience.

The event will be hosted in association with Welsh Rowing and supported by Welsh Sea Rowing. Theo Huckle QC, Chair of Welsh Rowing, said “We are thrilled to be hosting the World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprints Finals in 2022 at Saundersfoot. West Wales has shown how successfully it can host international sports events and we now have the wonderful opportunity for Wales and Saundersfoot to represent the UK and be at the forefront of developments of rowing as a global and accessible sport for all.”

As a potential new Olympic discipline, the hosting of the event will be supported by funding from UK Sport and Welsh Government. Esther Britten, Head of Major Events at UK Sport said, “Our ambition is to continue to evolve our major events programme by securing innovative and impactful sporting events to take place right across the UK. We are delighted to be able to add this World Championships to our programme and look forward to working with new host Saundersfoot, British Rowing, FISA and the Welsh Government.”

Eluned Morgan, Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language said, “Amidst the significant challenges that we are currently facing, I am delighted that we received news today that the new Wales International Coastal Centre in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire has been chosen to host this event in 2022. This will give us a future opportunity to showcase the world class venue to a new audience. The unique surroundings of the Pembrokeshire National Park will provide a stunning backdrop for competitors, officials and spectators and the event will provide a meaningful legacy for the sport in Wales and inspire the next generation to get involved”.

The event is likely to welcome over 1,000 competitors from around the world to the Pembrokeshire coastline, providing a welcome boost to the local economy. Councillor Phil Baker, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Licencing and Major Events commented, “I am delighted that Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, Wales has been successful in securing this fantastic series of sea rowing disciplines. Pembrokeshire has an impressive pedigree in delivering world class events and I know that the residents of Saundersfoot and Pembrokeshire will provide a great Welsh welcome to both the competitors and visitors alike and I look forward to being part of the delivery team to make this dream a reality.”

Tegryn Jones, Chief Executive of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority said “Pembrokeshire has an unrivalled coastal landscape which will provide a stunning location to host the championships and we look forward to working with partners to organise an event that meets the highest standards of sustainability and provides a legacy in the future.”

The event will take place off Saundersfoot Beach and will be supported by the new Welsh International Coastal Centre, Michael Davies, Chief Executive said “It has been a true team effort to secure the bid against other world-class venues. This event will establish a lasting legacy for coastal rowing at Saundersfoot Harbour’s new Marine Centre of Excellence, which will be a future gateway for all ages and abilities to access the sport.”

British Rowing had also bid to host a World Rowing Indoor Championships at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London but, unfortunately, this bid was unsuccessful. British Rowing is extremely grateful to the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and London & Partners for their support for this bid.