Types of coastal rowing boat

I have provided a focus on the basic dimensions of the boats used in this type of rowing.

Because the sport is so new to New Zealand it is unlikely many will be aware of what the sport is, and the boat differences between Coastal and traditional flat-water rowing in New Zealand.

In many aspects Coastal Rowing assists several areas of rowing that have been a challenge for rowers in the learning pathway to racing/rowing flat water boats as well as bringing a unique flavour of its own. This is a bonus over and above its racing in a category of its own.

Novice Rowing

They provide an easy pathway for novices learning to row. Their extra width provides stability which allows much faster technique coaching.

For Masters they provide instant stability that assists those with limited flexibility.

Tour/Adventure Rowing

The boats are designed to be “unswampable” allowing for greater safety when engaging in rowing adventures, they also accommodate a much larger range of the population because of their large volume. It is very difficult to adequately boat people over 100kg average in flat water boats.

This has opened up a much larger range of “adventure” possibilities because the boats’ sea-keeping abilities have significantly improved from the previous designs.

World Rowing Coastal endurance and Beach sprint racing

Here the boats come into their own, as previously mentioned the large volume means racing is held in very rough conditions and adds to the excitement and complexity of being a fast coastal racer, without sacrificing safety. Not only do navigation skills come into play but the ability to catch and ride waves as well as strength and endurance play a part.

Below is a chart giving the basic differences in size and weight to flat water boats. The Oars and sculls used are by and large the same both in size and design and this is true for most of the fittings, shoes, foot stretchers etc. It is valid to note however that these boats are relatively new to the rowing family and significant development is ongoing to customise them within the rules.

Please note also that the World Rowing (FISA) rulebook goes into greater detail on the minimum width rule to eliminate narrow boats with wide decks from attempting to compete with an advantage. If you have aspirations to design your own boat, check the rules!!

compare coastal flat water rowing boats,

Rowing Boat weights comparing flat water and coastal rowing boat specifications.

As always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch. greg@customcarbon.co.nz

This article first appeared in the Legion of Rowers newsletter

Coastal Rowing is Coming!!!

Greg Reid is a committee member for Legion of Rowers and a dedicated coastal rowing enthusiast.

I am excited to see the sport finally gaining momentum here in New Zealand, each Legion newsletter the intention is to give you more and more information about the sport of Coastal Rowing both here in New Zealand and overseas.

In 2005 I attended and raced in the first FISA World Coastal Rowing Challenge in Noli, Liguria Italy. Since then, the sport has continued to grow led mainly by France and Italy until the last 10 years.

I also attended and raced in Guernsey, Channel Islands in 2006 (where we transported and raced our own boats), San Remo, Italy in 2008 in the Quad, Plymouth, England in 2009, Istanbul, Turkey in 2010, Bari, Italy in 2012, and Monaco in 2016.

The sport particularly suits masters as the boats are easy to balance, don’t have to be stored in a boatshed and can be used on most waterways in most sea conditions. In fact, the rougher the sea state gets the more the coastal rowers enjoy it!!

The sport has been hosted in all sorts of places and attracts more and more participants each year. More recently the Beach Sprint event has been introduced to further showcase this exciting version of rowing.

Notably this year New Zealand was represented by a surfboat rower Martin Wouters who financed his way to Portugal to compete.

Recent regattas

FISA held the 2021 World Coastal Rowing Championships and 2021 Beach Sprint Championships in Oeiras, Portugal early in October.

The traditional 6km Endurance races were held in good coastal sea conditions with spectacular boat clashes on the turning buoys as up to 20 crews converged after 1.5km to round the first buoy. The 2019 Hong Kong’s Men’s singles champion even fell out of his boat on the first turn in the CM1x and got back in and recovered to 4th position!! 

The Beach Sprints are in their second year as an official World Championship event with Hong Kong in 2019 being the first time it was held. Considerable work has been done to make this event format exciting and close racing. Some of the Finals Gold and Silver medals were decided by less than 0.5 of a second!

New Zealand Beach Sprints 2022

The Nelson Rowing Club held a trial event last year and is advertising the second edition this year as follows…. Nelson Rowing Club are well advanced in the planning of their Coastal Rowing Champs Beach Sprints event on January 3, 2022 at Tahuna Beach in Nelson. This follows a successful inaugural event last summer. NRC warn it will be an earlyish start (8am), so you will need to be in Nelson the night before. The event will run in line with FISA World Rowing protocols, as seen at the recent World Champs in Portugal. There are heaps of videos of the World Champs on Youtube. All rowers are welcome to register, events will be in Swift Coxed Coastal Quads. Bring your own crew or join a blended crew to try this fun variation of rowing.

Register or get more info by contacting NRC – events@nelsonrowing.co.nz, or follow Nelson Rowing Club on Facebook for regular updates.

Row Coastal NZ is Swift Racing’s NZ Distributor and is expecting delivery of a full range of coastal rowing boats before Christmas.  Further info at www.rowcoastal.co.nz or ph Sally 021-435 722

Kanghua Coastal Boats are Kanghua’s NZ Distributor of coastal boats. Further info https://kanghua.nz/ or ph Kevin 021-706 617

I have been building and rowing Coastal Rowing boats for 22 years and if you require further information don’t hesitate to contact me at greg@customcarbon.co.nz or ph Greg 021-0238 2519. Regards Greg Reid.