It is one of the most exciting sporting events of the autumn period where the Principality celebrates its indissoluble bond with the sea, an essential element of its DNA. The Challenge Prince Albert II (cpa2), under the High Patronage of the Sovereign Prince, is the yearly core meeting of the monegasque historical rowing club Société Nautique de Monaco (SNM), has been showing innovation and talent scouting since its foundation in 2005. The 17th edition of this prestigious coastal rowing race held on the 26th and the 27th November 2022 kept the adrenaline rate high in the best tradition of sporting camaraderie. It is in fact a unique sports race, and not only for the difficulty of facing the wild sea in front of the Principality in a rather unpredictable season, from the meteorological point of view. The Challenge can be considered among the most important European Coastal Rowing races to focus on collective rowing (double 2x and quad 4x) besides solo one (sigle 1x man woman). Starting from last year (2021), a further novelty was introduced to make it even more intriguing. Each team in fact consists of sportspeople from different clubs’ both men and women mixed up. The new format was welcomed by international participants, starting from Quetin Antognelli, Olympic champion who attended Tokyo 2020 and winner of past cpa2 edition, who considers it as a fairer driving force to create more balanced teams able to aim high.
As in 2021, this year's race was marked by mostly dry conditions but no less easy because of the winds in reinforcement. Circumstances that kept the attention of all 75 champions from twelve different countries, distributed in 15 teams. As explained by Mathias Raymond, president of the Société Nautique de Monaco the organisers wanted to make the challenge even smoother by introducing a clear rule already known in boarder cross in winter sports. The first to cross the line is proclaimed as the winner. All points marked in all stages of the race during the two days, including a category score, were then added up to determine the final winner. An interesting incentive for sporting talent. The total budget distributed over the first 5 classified amounted to 15,000 euro. Moreover the event is unique also considering the framework in which the latter is contested, as reaffirmed by Roland Weill, Vice-President of SNM.
The presence of leading athletes, including thirteen Olympic champions and 6 Europeans, made the sport test challenging. Despite that, the Kanghua Cosmos team made of Adrian Miramon Quiroga, Karien Robbers, Jannekje Van Der Meulen, Ronan Byrne and Felipe Tome dominated the two-day competition, bypassing the Côte d’Azur team made of Elodie Ravera-Scaramozzino, Quentin Antognelli, Anne-Sophie Marzin, Gaël Chocheyras et Morgane Besson who triumphed last year.
An exciting race that all fans have been able to follow streaming through social media thanks to the service offered by the SNM.
Photos >> Challenge Prince Albert II, 2022 edition © Eric Marie-MagAviron - The Challenge route © cpa2
To Know more about Challenge Prince Albert II and be informed about all results please visit: www.cpa2.mc
Rowing calls Sustainability through a test of strength with the forces of nature.
River and Coastal Rowing is is among the outdoor sports that most of all provide a direct contact with nature. Every rower soon learns to respect the primary element with which it has to deal, water, be it fresh or salt. But in reality every sportsman is pushed to get in touch with every other living being that shares water, in synergy with the forces of nature in respect of a genuine team spirit. World Rowing, the international rowing federation, reiterated it through a targeted awareness campaign, ‘It’s in our nature’, developed in partnership with Octagon, global creative marketing agency. Matt Smith, FISA’s Executive Director, pointed out: “It is also an articulation of the unique connection between the sport of rowing and its athletes with nature; and it reinforces World Rowing’s market-leading commitment to positive environmental impact through its Clean Water Programme and partnership with the WWF".
Based on these unique features, more and more rowing clubs are promoting sustainable actions directly linked to the practice of this sport, at professional and amateur level, in the footstep of the FISA's Sustainability Policy and Guidelines. The 2022 European Rowing Coastal and Beach Championship held from the 27th until the 30th October 2022 in Donostia-San Sebastián (Basque Country) strengthened the environmentally friendly spirit. Thanks to a close cooperation with the local City Council the ItsaSOS project was born (pun from the Basque Itsaso = Sea). This action aims at raise eco-awareness and encourage volunteers engagement to prevent marine and river litter as well as to reduce urban pollution (e.g.: cigarette buts, chewing gum etc.) which have a direct impact on water. Furthermore, special attention is paid to monitor the carbon footprint of each event via a set of agreed indicators like: waste recycling, energy efficiency (e.g.: use of solar boats), best practices, plastic-free and traffic-free initiatives, sustainable clothing and materials used to set up the awarding-ceremony podiums. All supported by operational guidelines and a dedicated information campaign for all participants.
Photos >> Official banner of the 2022 European Rowing Coastal and Beach Championship and official logo of British Rowing © all rights reserved
But Sustainability can be pursued through the daily gestures of champions rowers. The British Rowing, the national leading body for rowing in UK, reminds us effectively to become more aware of the UN's Climate Change Report. On travel front, carpooling is highly recommended to reach training sessions or regattas, if feasible. As for food and drink they suggest to use reusable containers to cut waste and the use of single use plastics. As daily use at home they recommend to use fully eco-friendly laundry detergents and cut down the use of water as much as possible. Regarding the boat maintenance, they encourage to prefer biodegradable cleaning agents being careful not to contaminate the aquifers with fossil fuel substances and minimise water consumption. Forging a Club eco culture is considered then as a priority to boost good practices and an eco-friendly ethical code and any related goal to be achieved as a team. ***
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By Maurice Abbati
Springer International Publishing