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 will take place 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:

2023 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals

2023 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals Selection Guidelines & Letter of Intent
Documents updated – July 2023

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.

    Coastal Rowing Video 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

    Host A Coastal Rowing Regatta

    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!

    Host a Coastal Rowing Event

    Are you hosting a Coastal 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:

    Red Island Regatta 2023

    Event Dates: August 26-27, 2023

    Host: Rowing PEI

    Location: Brudenell River Provincial Park, Prince Edward Island

    Description: Welcome to the Red Island Regatta hosted by Rowing PEI. The regatta will be a coastal rowing event. Rowers will compete on buoyed courses located on the Brudenell River, next to the Rodd Brudenell Resort and the Brudenell River Campground.  The races will start and finish on the beach between Brudenell Island and the campground, and there is lots of room for spectators.

    More information


    Race Around The Rock

    Event Dates: August 27, 2023

    Host: Salt Spring Island Rowing Club

    Location: Drummond Park, which is located in Fulford Harbour on the South End of Salt Spring Island.

    Description: Race Around The Rock is the coastal regatta hosted by the Salt Spring Island Rowing Club.

    The event consists of an 88km relay race around Salt Spring Island and is appropriate for coastal rowing/open-water shells (see Rules and Regulations for boat specs) for any/all participants (19+/U19) in the 4x, 4+ and 2x. A boat can have a solo crew or multiple crews.

    The event is intended to bring together coastal rowers from across BC, Canada, and the Western US. This will be a celebrated event on Salt Spring Island, and a celebration of Salt Spring Island culture.

    ​This year Race Around The Rock will take place on Sunday August 27th, 2023. Please ensure that you arrive on Salt Spring by August 26th for the registration and dinner.

    Registration: Registration will be conducted through the Regatta Central portal. This registration portal will not open until the event is formally sanctioned.

    Register your interest now


    2023 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals

    Event Dates: September 29 – October 1, 2023

    Host: World Rowing

    Location: Barletta, Italy

    Description: The 2023 World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals will take place 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.

    More information


    2023 World Rowing Coastal Championships

    Event Dates: October 6-8, 2023

    Host: World Rowing

    Location: Barletta, Italy

    Description: Crews will race 4km or 6km around a course of buoys and turning points in the open sea, providing some exhilarating racing!

    More information