Malachi Anderson takes Silver for USA at World Rowing Coastal Championships
When Malachi Anderson started saving money to compete in the United States trials for coastal rowing, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. Well, months later Anderson morphed from a Hamiltonian with a hobby to a globe trotting world class coastal rower.
Anderson, a 17-year-old Butler Tech student, spent the majority of this fall hopping around Europe training and eventually culminating in the 2022 World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprint Finals. Where Anderson and his partner, Gary Rought, became silver medalist.
Just a few months ago, Anderson was a talented rower who heard about the coastal rowing trials down at Lido Key Beach in Florida. The teenager started saving up his money in order to afford his trip down south, with no idea the opportunity in front of him.
“I’d never done coastal rowing before,” said Anderson on his feelings heading into the trials. “I always rode on flat water here in Hamilton. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go down, but it was definitely better than I ever could have imagined.”
The whole car ride heading down to Florida, Anderson was alone with his thoughts. The nerves were mounting.
“Sometimes I worry a lot about rowing because there's a lot of things that can go wrong, but there's a lot of things that can go right,” said Anderson.
And things went right.
Despite all the nerves and anxiousness he felt as he headed down to Florida, Malchi and his teammate won the under 19 event. Meaning their ticket had been punched to the World Championship in Wales, as they were representing the United States. The team barely had enough time to celebrate the event as they had under two months to plan their trip.
Anderson’s coach, Marc Oria added to the trip a stop in Oria’s home country of Spain to prepare for the competition.
“So the trip started on September 13 in Barcelona, Spain. Training with the group that [Oria] grew up rowing with,” he said. “We stayed and trained for two weeks. On the water in the morning and lifting in the afternoon.”
During their extended stay in Spain they were invited to compete in the country’s national events, albeit without the ability to win, since they weren’t nationals. They competed in Alecante, Spain for their final tune up before heading to the Isles of Great Britain.
They flew to Dublin, Ireland and traveled south along the coast to train on the open ocean.
“It was truly incredible going to Ireland,” said Malachi Anderson. “I alway heard that the country of Ireland was mostly empty. We got off the bus and all I saw was hills and ocean for miles.”
After a week training in Ireland, the US team went to Wales for the final leg of the trip and the tournament.
The Championships took place the second weekend in October on the coast of Wales in the town of Saundersfoot. At the end the event, Anderson and Rought represented our country, state and perhaps more importantly, our city proudly.
The pair, who trained most of their life on flat water, brought home the silver medal when facing off against the rest of the world. The crew spent 34 days overseas and visited three nations before returning home. If you you would’ve told Anderson in 2016, when he was a 6th grader that he would wind up with this experience– he wouldn’t have believed you.
“6th grade me had no clue how far I could go with this. And even last year I didn't expect this,” Malachi said. “I was just thinking about doing something bigger this year. My coach always loved to go further. He’s done so much for us and I can’t thank him enough.”
What is in the future for Malachi? Well, he isn’t sure.
“Right now, I’m just sitting back and training as hard as I can,” he said.