Coastal Rowing

Coastal Rowing


Coastal rowing offers a thrilling and adventurous take on traditional flatwater rowing, making it a popular choice for ocean-rowing and rough-water lakes and rivers. The boats used in coastal rowing include singles, doubles, and coxed quadruple sculls, and require rowers to navigate tides, currents, rough waters, and other marine traffic, in addition to mastering the necessary equipment and techniques.

Coastal competitions come in two formats: longer races held over 4000m to 6000m with multiple buoyed turns, and beach sprints, which feature a short beach run at the beginning and end of the race, followed by a 250m “out and back” row. Coastal boats are known for their stability and durability, making them an excellent addition to club fleets. They serve as great learn-to-row boats and are perfect for club members who prefer a more stable rowing shell. Because coastal boats are built for rough conditions, club members can still get out on the water even when the weather is not ideal for racing shells.

Coastal rowing is a rapidly growing discipline in Canada and beyond, offering a new and exciting way for athletes to engage in the sport of rowing. This emerging sport can be likened to the evolution of other popular activities, such as beach volleyball from indoor volleyball and mountain biking from cycling. Coastal rowing beach sprints provide a thrilling adventure ride for spectators, competitors, and newcomers to the sport alike.



At World Rowing competition, two formats of coastal rowing competition take place: At the World Rowing Coastal Championships, the endurance format is raced. This format sees crews racing in 4-to-6 kilometre races around multiple turning points. It is a challenge of both endurance, skill, navigation, and adaptability to the changing conditions of a longer distance. At the World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals, the beach spring format is raced. Beach Sprint is a head-to-head elimination style of racing, with a short sprint along the beach, a 250m row, and a 180-degree turn before rowing back to the beach and sprinting to the finish line. Competitions are structured such that athletes who progress further are required to race multiple times within a short time window. This discipline of rowing tests your power and strength, as well as coastal navigation skills and performance under fatigue. There are currently seven boat classes for men and women: the solo, the double sculls, the coxed quadruple sculls and the mixed double sculls.

Rowing Clubs – Coastal Rowing Programs

Row for Canada

Worldwide, the discipline of Coastal rowing continues to gain momentum and continues to grow in participation and popularity on the international sporting stage.

The 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships took place at Sidney, British Columbia on the west coast of the nation that welcomed athletes from across the globe. The competition has continued to grow over the years.

The 2023 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals took place from 29 September – 1 October 2023 in the coastal town of Barletta Italy.

The inaugural World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals in Shenzhen, China in 2019 were followed successfully in 2021 in Oeiras, Portugal following the postponement from 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The third edition of the WRBSF took place alongside the World Rowing Coastal Championships in 2022 in the coastal village of Saundersfoot.

The discipline will also make its Youth Olympic Games (YOG) debut at the 2026 Youth Olympics taking place in Dakar, Senegal. For the first time, rowing will be on the sea using the coastal rowing Beach Sprint format.

Coastal Rowing has also been formally proposed by World Rowing to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, which would have significant changes to the rowing landscape worldwide. A decision is expected in June 2023.

Upcoming opportunities to represent Canada in Coastal Rowing:

Dakar 2026 Youth Olympics


Coastal Rowing NextGen Recruitment

Are you tall, strong and hardworking, but have never rowed before? You might have everything it takes to represent Canada at the next international Coastal rowing event.

Fill out this short survey and one of our team members will contact you.

    RCA NCCP Coastal Coach Workshop

    Rowing Canada Aviron announces the delivery of the RCA NCCP Coastal Coach Workshop. This hybrid workshop model will deliver virtual and in person (on the beach) modules in 2024. 

    For those interested in attending the initial virtual workshop, please confirm you have met the pre-requirements, including RCA Coach Weekend #1, as outlined in the RCA Coastal Coach Pathway.

    Dates: Tuesday May 21 and Thursday May 23 at 3:00-5:30 pm PT/6:00 – 8:30 pm ET


    Additional virtual and in-person training opportunities will be confirmed and posted throughout 2024 as we collaborate with the Provincial Rowing Associations and Learning Facilitators.

    Coaches interested in attending a virtual and in person NCCP Coach workshop in the future, and have met the prerequisites, can contact their Provincial Rowing Association or Colleen Miller.

    Coastal Rowing Resources

    Find some introductory videos regarding coastal rowing here: 

    Access Coastal Rowing Equipment

    There are several manufacturers of coastal equipment. Canadian distributors are available for manufacturers.

    Their contact information is below:

    LiteBoat –

    Ian Graeme & Janice Mason
    Victoria, British Canada

    Phil Monckton
    Toronto, Ontario

    Swift Racing Canada –

    Samuel Lavoie & John Armitage
    Amherstview, Ontario

    Maas Rowing Shells –

    Swift Canoe & Kayak
    Gravenhurst, Ontario

    WinTech Racing North America –

    WinTech Racing USA
    Shelton, Connecticut, United States of America
    203 866 7223

    Coastal Rowing Regatta Resources

    Member organizations of Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) are required to sanction all events as defined in the RCA Event Sanction Policy. Canadians participating in these events must have an active RCA # (validated through the payment of annual RCA and PRA registration fees).

    The RCA annual participant fee is $26.25. A $3.85 seat fee is charged to the participant for each event entered at a regatta. To learn more about membership and participant fees, visit the member section of our website.

    The first step in preparing to host your event is the completion and submission of the RCA online event sanction application. Once the sanction is granted, indoor and on-water rowing events can set up their event in RegattaCentral. It is recommended that regatta organizers start this process early to provide enough time for the review of sanction applications and set up on RegattaCentral.

    Check out the resource section for more information and guides to help you host a great event. If this is your first time hosting an event, contact us now so we can assist you during this exciting time!

    Coastal Rowing Umpiring Resources

    In the dynamic realm of coastal rowing, where nature’s forces intersect with human athleticism, umpires play a pivotal role in ensuring fair play and safety. A comprehensive set of coastal rowing umpire resource documents has been meticulously crafted and made readily available to empower and guide these guardians of the regatta.

    Developed through a collaborative effort of seasoned experts, these documents serve as a compass, providing a wealth of knowledge, protocols, and insights essential for effective officiation. They encapsulate the wisdom acquired through years of experience, fostering a culture of continuous learning and refinement among coastal rowing officials. This collection signifies a commitment to excellence, offering aspiring umpires and seasoned veterans alike a trusted companion to uphold the standards of fairness, safety, and sportsmanship on the ever-shifting tides of coastal rowing. As we embark on this journey, let these resources be the wind in the sails of umpires, guiding them towards a horizon where the principles of the sport are held aloft with unwavering precision and dedication.

    Guidelines for Holding a Coastal Regatta including Beach Sprints

    Are you hosting a Coastal Rowing Event? Let us know, we are here to help!

    Find out more information about hosting a Coastal Rowing event.

    Host a Coastal Rowing event

    Are you hosting a Coastal Event? Let us know and we will add it to our list!

    Add your event to the Coastal Rowing list

    Find out more about hosting a Coastal Rowing event.

    Host a Coastal Rowing event


    Upcoming Coastal Rowing Regattas in Canada and Internationally:


    Come and Try Events
    – June 22nd
    – July 27th
    – August 10th

    Cascadia Coastal Championships
    Beach Sprints – September 14-15
    Endurance Regatta – September 15

    Location: Jericho Sailing Centre Association, Vancouver, BC
    More information at