World Rowing Coastal Championships
Rowers take a test run through the course prepared for the 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships in Sidney. (Steffen Rapp)

In just a few short days professional athletes from all over the globe will descend on Vancouver Island for the World Rowing Coastal Championships.

The World Rowing Coastal Championships date back to 2007, and the competition in Sidney will mark the first time the event has ever been held in North America, and the first time that it’ll feature a beach start.

“Coastal rowing is the extreme version, the adventure side of rowing,” says World Rowing in their description of the sport.

“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.”

Back in February, Sidney won the bid to host the international World Rowing Coastal Championships.

“We are receiving fantastic support from the local community, including the Town of Sidney and Tourism Victoria, as well as from the rowing community across Canada,” said Brenda Taylor, a race director and olympic double gold medalist, to Rowing Canada Aviron.

Now, the city issued a public notice today warning that preparations have begun at Tulista Park Boat Launch, and that it will be closed until the end of the competition on October 14th.

When the championships do begin, make sure to check out the Canadian team. Spectating the races will be free, so now’s the perfect time to watch world class athletes at work, and to show some patriotic pride.

“It feels like we’re taking on an adventure that’s not going to stop in October,” said Julien Bahain in May, a race director and 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medalist. “It’s going to continue beyond.”

The event will be free for all spectators, and organizers are hoping sizable crowds come to take in the action. Last year, over 600 rowers from 30 nations participated in the event.

The World Rowing Coastal Championships

  • When: October 11th to October 14th
  • Where: Tulista Park, Sidney
  • Admission: Free!

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