Coastal rowing is a form of rowing that takes place on open, and sometime rough water – on the sea, lakes and rivers where the water is not flat. This discipline of rowing is one of the fastest growing throughout different parts of the world and is now increasing in popularity in Canada.

Olympic rower Lassi Karonen (SWE) described coastal rowing: “The similarity (with flat-water rowing) is the movement of the stroke, everything else is different.”

Coastal rowing uses wider hulls with a levelled off stern to allow water to flow out of the boat. It is the extreme version of rowing, and perfect for adventure seekers who enjoy the thrill of the unknown rowing conditions and beautiful coastal scenery.

Coastal rowing is easier to learn than flat-water rowing, due partly to the stability and robustness of the boats which differs from the Olympic-style boats. To become a good coastal rower, crews must be aware of tides and currents, learn about the course’s topography and know what to do in the midst of maritime traffic and in case of bad weather.

In World Rowing competition, two formats of coastal rowing competition take place – endurance format and beach sprints. Endurance format races are 4 – 6 kilometre races around multiple turning points. Beach Sprints are head-to-head elimination style racing, with a short sprint along the beach, a 250m row, and a 180-degree turn before rowing back to the beach and sprinting to the finish line.

There are currently seven boat classes for men and women: single scull (or ‘solo’), double sculls, coxed quadruple sculls and a mixed double scull.


The Manitoba Rowing Association purchased two double coastal rowing boats in 2021. The MRA is excited to bring this new Coastal Rowing discipline to Manitoba. The boats, currently housed at the Pinawa Rowing Club are available for all MRA members to use. Anyone interested in using the boats must have taken a Coastal Rowing Clinic hosted by MRA. The next Coastal Clinic will take place on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at the Pinawa Rowing Club.

In addition to taking the Coastal Clinic, all users must familiarize themselves with the Coastal Rowing Handbook. A laminated copy of the handbook will remain with the boats for reference.

To reserve use of the coastal boats, please contact Executive Director Alli Gervais at Reservations must be submitted a minimum of one week in advance of the date requested.


The MRA is excited to host its first Prairie Beach Sprint Regatta on Saturday June 22, 2024 in Gimli, Manitoba. The event begins at 9 am and will be held on the North Beach. This event will be the first Beach Sprint in the Manitoba and will be an exciting opportunity to watch these boats in action! There will be opportunities for members to try it out for themselves to experience the thrill of this type of rowing.

Registration is open on Regatta Central. For questions, please contact Janine Stephens at