How to follow the World Rowing Coastal Championships in Victoria
Coastal rowing has often been referred to as the mountain biking of rowing. If you’ve never watched it, all the boats, turns and waves can be dizzying.
Now is your chance to see the 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships in Victoria, Canada as all finals will be live on www.worldrowing.com on Saturday 13 October.
Here are a few tips and tricks on how best to follow the World Rowing Coastal Championships.
Coastal rowers compete in wide, self-bailing boats. This means the stern of the boat is flat to allow water to flow out. Contrary to Olympic rowing, waves, wind, tide and current are welcome in a coastal rowing race. The boats are built to handle the waves and an experienced crew will be able to use the surf to their advantage to increase speed.
Adding to the adventure and excitement, every coastal rowing course is different and is adapted to the location. In port locations, for example, the rowers start and finish on the water. When the location is next to a beach, either a beach start or a beach finish can be used. With a beach start, one of the crew members begins at the start-line which is delineated on the beach, while the other crew members wait with the boat in the water. The crew member on land runs to the boat, pushes off, jumps in the boat and the crew begins the race. With a beach finish, exactly the opposite happens – one crew member jumps out of the boat and runs up the beach to the finish line. In Victoria a beach start will be used and an on-water finish line.
The length of coastal races can vary, but at this championship event, the heats take place over a four-kilometre course and the finals take place on a six-kilometre course. These courses include several buoyed turns with varying degrees of angle. With as many as 20 boats per heat, it can be difficult to get around the turns without bumping oars. As the boats careen toward the first turn, the crews try to take the most advantageous line. But this can mean that the boats arrive at the same time and the same angle to get around the turn. Crews must be careful to avoid crashes, which can at best slow them down and at worst disqualify them.
The progression system in coastal rowing depends on the number of entries in each category. When the entry exceeds the possible number of crews for the heats, the lower-ranked crews from each national federation must first pass through a qualification race. This is the case for the men’s solo at the championships in Victoria, Canada.
Here is how you can follow the racing online: