Coastal rowers will ride the waves along with orcas around Victoria, B.C.
There will be many “firsts” when the World Rowing Coastal Championships comes to Victoria, B.C., Canada October 11-14, 2018.
This will be the first time that the World Rowing Coastal Championships come to Canada. Until now, it has been held in Europe and South America but never before in North America.
To add to the excitement of an already thrilling brand of rowing, the event will also feature a beach start, the first ever for this international competition.
The event is coming to Victoria thanks to a groundswell of support from coastal rowers across Canada.
Hearing that the World Rowing Federation, FISA, needed a location to host the event, a team of volunteers quickly rallied to put together a bid. The Organising Committee includes representatives from coast to coast, including a couple of Olympic medallists in rowing.
“The Organizing Committee is working hard to host an excellent event for athletes, spectators and supporters,” said Brenda Taylor, a double gold medallist at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and Race Director, along with Julien Bahain, three-time Olympian and bronze medallist.
“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,” Taylor said.
Rowing Canada Aviron also sprang into action to support the bid from Canada.
“Rowing Canada Aviron is thrilled to support the successful bid for the first Coastal Rowing Championships held in North America,” said CEO Terry Dillon.
“We are confident that the Organizing Committee will deliver a world-class event and leave a lasting legacy for coastal rowing in Canada.”
In December, Guin Batten, Chair of FISA’s Rowing for All Commission, travelled to B.C. to meet the group and tour the potential venue.
“The potential for coastal rowing in Canada is immense,” says FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland, “and we know that hosting the event will give a big boost to this exciting discipline of our sport. And we are pleased that this event will take place for the first time in North America.
“We would like to congratulate the organising committee for their successful bid to host the coastal championships and we appreciate knowing that time is limited between now and the start of the event in October. Rowing Canada has chosen an ideal location to host the 2018 event and we invite the world to travel to Victoria.”
The event has been endorsed by the Town of Sidney (Greater Victoria) where the venue will be located, and many sponsors have jumped on board in support of this history-making event.
The Organizing Committee is now busy with the logistics for the event which is expected to attract hundreds of participants from around the world.
Organisers hope that rowers from across Canada will take advantage of this chance to compete in a World Championship, including the many rowers who have never experienced coastal conditions before. The championship is open to anyone, making it a unique opportunity for all Canadian rowers to compete at an international level.
There will be free access to the site for spectators and organizers hope to have large crowds to welcome the world’s best in coastal rowing.
As part of the legacy of the event, the 48 coastal boats provided for the championship will be available for purchase by rowing clubs after the event, which could dramatically extend the reach of coastal rowing across Canada.
The Organizing Committee is also eager to make the 2018 event environmentally sustainable, reflecting the importance of clean water to their sport.