Para rowing season kicks off in Gavirate

Great Britain’s mixed coxed four crew, as well as Norway’s Birgit Skarstein are among those to watch for. 11 May 2017
GBR's rowing gold medallists at Lagoa

The Great Britain Gold Medal winning crew of Grace Clough GBR (bow), Daniel Brown GBR, Pamela Relph GBR, James Fox GBR and James Olicer (cox) in the LTA Mixed Coxed Four - LTAMix4+ Final A at the Lagoa Stadium.

ⒸThomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC.
By Fumiaki Fujita | For the IPC

The 2017 Para rowing season will kick off on Saturday (13 May) in Gavirate, Italy, where the first major international regatta will take place.

More than 100 athletes from around 17 countries will take on the Gavirate International Para Rowing Regatta. For many it will be their first time back on a boat since the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, and it will also help in their preparations toward the 2017 World Para Rowing Championships set for 24-31 September in Sarasota, USA.

The regatta will especially give athletes an opportunity to test the new rowing distance, which has been extended from 1000m to 2000m following an approval of the rule change at the World Rowing Extraordinary Congress back in February.

Italy is looking to make an impression on home waters with athletes competing eight boat classes, including the Paralympic events: women’s single sculls (PR1W1x), men’s single sculls (PR1M1x), mixed double sculls (PR2Mix2x) and mixed coxed four (PR3Mix4+).

Great Britain will send a strong squad including defending Paralympic champion Laurence Whiteley in the PR2Mix2x. His partner Lauren Rowles is returning from an injury and will only take part in training. New member Emma Todd will join the PR3 Mix 4+ squad of Daniel Brown, James Fox and Grace Clough – all three returning from the boat that won gold at Rio 2016.

After finishing off the Nordic skiing season, dual-athlete Norwegian Birgit Skarstein looks to bounce back from her fourth place performance from Rio 2016 as she headlines the PR1W1x. But also looking to rebound is Israel’s world champion Moran Samuel, who took silver from September’s Games.

In the men’s equivalent, Paralympic champion Roman Polianskyi of Ukraine will be the favourite.

The regatta will also feature boats from Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia and Uganda.

Full details of the 2017 Gavirate Regratta event can be found at World Rowing’s website and also followed at

World Para Rowing's Facebook Page.