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.