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Coastal Rowing

What is Coastal Rowing

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Coastal rowing is the adventure side of rowing. It involves rowing along or out into coast. It is one of the fastest growing communities of rowers as the boats mean flat water is not needed to row. It is especially popular in Italy, France and Great Britain and quickly increasing in popularity in Canada.

Coastal rowing can be found in all corners of the world including the Maldives, many parts of Africa and right here in Nova Scotia. Coastal rowing boats are also used inland on some lakes and rivers where the water tends not to be flat as well as for rowing touring.

Rowing on rough water means that coastal rowing is quite different from the flat-water Olympic-style racing down a 2km buoyed course. Coastal rowers instead, often prefer rough water which adds a whole new dimension to the sport with many coastal rowers cherishing the exhilarating aspect of rowing in extreme conditions.

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. The standard boats are singles (or solo), doubles and coxed quadruple sculls.

Coastal Rowing Competitions

In competitive coastal racing there are seven boat classes including: single scull (or ‘solo’), double sculls, coxed quadruple sculls and a mixed double sculls. The pinnacle event on the coastal rowing racing calendar is the World Rowing Coastal Championships. There are two formats of racing in coastal competitions – coastal rowing and beach rowing sprints.

Coastal rowing is longer races are typically a 4000m course for heats and a 6000m course for finals with multiple buoyed turns. This format has a mass start, either from a beach or on water.

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FISA Coastal Rowing Competition Regulations

Beach rowing sprints is a head to head race between boats where each team starts on a beach. The team runs from the start line between 10m and 50m to the edge of the water, gets in their boat, and rows the 250m, three buoyed course out and back. When they reach the beach each team must get out of their boat and run across the beach through the finish.

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FISA Beach Rowing Sprints Regulations

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.

Where to Try Coastal Rowing in Nova Scotia

Rowing at Lunenburg Yacht Club

Rowing at LYC is a club located in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia that has a vibrant and active coastal rowing community that is still developing and growing every day. Rowing at LYC is welcoming to new rowers of all ages who are looking who have rowed before and would like to try coastal rowing for the first time or have never rowed before and looking for a new active and fun hobby.

In addition to joining the club, Rowing at LYC hosts coastal rowing tours throughout the summer which are open to any members of Rowing Canada Aviron (or comparable rowing federation)

Photo Credit: Josh Healey / The Chronicle Herald

Antigonish Rowing Club

The Antigonish Rowing Club is located on beautiful Lochaber Lake located 15 minutes from St. FX University and downtown Antigonish. ARC primarily focuses on flat water rowing and racing during the Fall when they host the St. FX Rowing Team. However, ARC owns coastal rowing shells that they regularly use on Lochaber Lake on windy days or use in some of the stunning nearby coastal areas surrounding Antigonish. ARC is always looking for new members to join who have an interest in flat water rowing or coastal rowing!

Photo Credit: Josh Healey / The Chronicle Herald

Coastal Rowing Tours

Coastal rowing tours

Nova Scotia has an abundance of incredible coastal rowing locations including Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Cape Breton, the Annapolis Valley and the Bay of Fundy, Cape Breton and the Thousand Islands.