After 2020 left us with very little or often no opportunity of racing, we had an almost complete racing season again in 2021. While racing season in UK started already in April, athletes in most other European countries had to wait a little longer for their first race.
European Aquabike Championships 2021
First highlight of the year was of course the European Aquabike Championships in Walchsee, Austria. For most of the competitors the first race of the year. Unfortunately British athletes – the only ones who had plenty of opportunities to race before – could not start in Walchsee due to travel restrictions.
The race saw an impressive performance by Adam Lambrechts from Belgium, followed by the young Slowakian Dalibor Riska and Lukas Casanova from Switzerland. In the women´s race we had a German double win with Stefanie Tänzler taking the win ahead of Bettina Lange with Franziska Zuder from Austria taking the third spot on the podium.
Aquabike World Championships 2021
In September we then had the World Championships in Almere, Netherlands. Once again Adam Lambrechts showed a dominant performance, taking the title no less than 16 minutes ahead of American Kurt Holt, with Britain´s Mark Benson one more minute behind in third place. The women´s race was much closer with Swiss Sara Baumann taking the win about one minute ahead of the two US girls Felicity Joyce and Amber Smolik.
Men´s Aquabike Ranking 2021
After two big wins it´s not a big surprise that Adam Lambrechts is also the undisputed number one in our Aquabike Ranking Europe with a total of 4.720 points. In fact the podium in our men´s ranking is identical with the podium in the European Championships, after Riska (3.235 points) and Casanova (3.045 points) also showed good performances at the World´s in Almere and Riska also taking a win in a smaller race in his home country.
Women´s Aquabike Ranking 2022
The women´s ranking however shows a very different picture. Britain´s Clare Crabtree shows how to climb to the top of the ranking without even participating in one of the international championship races. She raced in no less than seven aquabike races, taking the women´s title in three of them, and finishing as runner up in three more. With a total of 1.349 points she´s currently well deserved #1 in the women´s ranking, ahead of Austria´s Miriam Aigner (943 points), who not only won the gold medal in her agegroup at the European´s, but also showed strong performances in two more races in Austria. Number three on the podium is British Hannah Paul (849 points) who took a considerable win in the New Forest Middle Distance Aquabike, ahead of all male competitors, and also showed a strong performance at the long distance race at Hever Castle. Also worth mentioning is #4 in the women´s ranking. Rachel Nicholl missed the podium by only nine points, taking away 840 points from one single race only. On a quite demanding course at the Middle Distance Race at Hever Castle she took an impressive win in a field of 62 aquabikers, showing all other male and female competitors how it´s done. Chapeu Rachel!
So what´s up for 2022?
The World Championships in Australia are cancelled already and the new host city for the triathlon and aquabike races not yet announced. So there is a chance that we will have another World´s in Europe this year. However, with the European Championships taking place in beautiful Bilbao in September we will certainly have a great highlight of the racing season.
But also outside the big Championship races we are looking forward to an exciting aquabike racing season in Europe. Germany, Sweden and Italy should see their first ever aquabike races while there is a bunch of new races in some other countries. Most notably in Spain, which as first European country will have aquabike championships over two different distances (middle and long distance) and also a bunch of other middle distance aquabike races.
Happy New Year from Aqaubike.Events to all aqaubikers and race organizers! May we have an exciting and accident-free racing season 2022!