The 2nd Finnish Coastal Champs were arranged in Helsinki on Saturday the 21st of September. The weather was much better than predicted and the Baltic sea offered an almost flat surface.
The Finnish Coastal Champs has a unique race format in that you can do as many race starts as you want, in as many crews as you manage to put together. Also you don't need your own boat but can borrow a single and/or a double from the race organizers, here's some of the racing boats lined up before the race:
What's better than spending an entire day rowing in different crews, trying to be the fastest rowing around an island? And after you've given your all there's sauna and swimming in the sea :-). The Coastal Champs is a friendly event which attracts not only elite but also novice rowers. We had some competitors who had never sat in a Coastal rowing boat before the race day :-). Below some reflections from elite and novice rowers alike, smiley faces all around after the finish line (in Finnish):
New route and record speeds
This year the route was lengthened by a few hundered metres to a total of 1700m, again around the Rajasaari island in central Helsinki:
There were about the same number of competitors as last year with rowers from all around Finland, from Oulu, Turku, Tampere, Kouvola, and Lohja. The stars of the race were Finnish elite rowers Joel Naukkarinen (3 gold medals in all his races) and Anni Keisanen (2 gold medals and one silver) who powered their boats with stunning results:
Measuring rowing is always a chance to learn and so we measured the boat acceleration of top rowers Joel Naukkarinen and Anni Keisanen in their C1X races using the Quiske App. An experienced coach can gain a lot of detailed insight into the rowing technique and power application just by looking at acceleration data. Below you can see a comparison of the Gold winning boat acceleration of Joel (blue graph) and Anni (green graph):
The acceleration graph shows the average rowing stroke measured during the race (at 32 SPM) for both rowers. The graphs of Joel (blue) and Anni (green) were overlaid in the cloud and there are some differences worth noting: Joel has a fast and explosive leg drive and strong acceleration all the way to the finish. Anni has a past in competitive skiing and has only rowed for a few years and we measured her technique for the first time: her catch is a bit slower and her boat gains in speed a bit later during the drive phase. Congratulations to both rowers on their Gold medals (which of course they got in the Mixed C2X too):
Finally: Welcome to Helsinki in 2020!
The third Finnish Coastal Champs will be arranged on September 19th, 2020. We might make the distance again a bit longer but overall the race format will be the same.
Hope to see you rowing in Helsinki next autumn! Contact us at Quiske for more info ;-)
Photos: Kristina Björknäs, Marja Rauttola