Coastal Rowing is Coming!!!

Coastal beach sprint rowing, Union Christchurch crew

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 –, 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 or ph Sally 021-435 722

Kanghua Coastal Boats are Kanghua’s NZ Distributor of coastal boats. Further info 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 or ph Greg 021-0238 2519. Regards Greg Reid.