Coastal rowing is the extreme version, the adventure side of rowing. It involves rowing along a sea coast and out into the sea. 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 to name a few.
Coastal rowing can be found in all corners of the world including the Maldives and many parts of Africa. 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 of going in a straight line. 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.
Olympic rower Lassi Karonen (SWE) rowed at the 2013 World Rowing Coastal Championships and described the feeling, “The similarity (with flat-water rowing) is the movement of the stroke, everything else is different.”
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.
The pinnacle event on the coastal rowing racing calendar is the World Rowing Coastal Championships. These are held annually, usually in October, and attract competitors from around the world. The length of the race is typically 4000m for heats and 6000m for finals with a number of buoyed turns included.
There are seven boat classes for men and women: single scull (or ‘solo’), double sculls, coxed quadruple sculls and a mixed double scull.
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.
2017 Appendix 22 - Coastal Rowing Competition Regulations
2017 Appendix 23 - Beach Rowing Sprints Regulations
View comprehensive results from past World Rowing Coastal Championship regattas here: