Rowing along a sea coast and out into the sea… Confronting the open sea in a rowing boat is obviously not quite the same as Olympic rowing, where the requirement is to row in a straight lane, preferably on very flat water and with very little wind. Coastal rowers do not row on flat water! A competition without any waves is, for coastal rowers, utterly devoid of interest.

The attractive sport of coastal rowing is becoming ever more popular internationally: it develops physical well-being and is exhilarating. It is also more easily and quickly learnt than Olympic rowing, probably due to the stability and robustness of coastal rowing equipment. But knowing how to handle a coastal rowing boat isn’t sufficient to become a good coastal rower. Crews must be aware of tides and currents, learn about the course’s topography and know what to do in the midst of maritime traffic and in case of bad weather. Rowers should be able to swim at least 25 metres and always have a life jacket at hand.

Like any sport that has a racing element to it,the ability to attend international races and participate has enabled us to develop boats that conform to the international rules. This means we can have meaningful races right here in New Zealand as well as just enjoying Coastal rowing for fitness and adventure.

Following two trips to Europe to compete in the Coastal Rowing World Challenge format which was held in Guernsey and Noli respectively, it was decided to adopt the FISA rules and specifications of Coastal Rowing to ensure we were on par with the rest of the world and to ensure compliance with the rules regarding safety, boat sizes and classes and racing.

A copy of the FISA specs are available on the World Rowing website here: Appendix 14

Throughout the sports development we have seen entries swell when the champs are held in Italy or France and drop away in other countries. We’ve also seen:

  • The requirement for rowers to be of senior classification (over 18)
  • Qualification racing on the Friday to establish “A” and “B” finals for Saturday
  • More boat manufacturers entering the market

The purpose of the New Zealand Coastal Rowing Association is to promote and make available the experience of Coastal Rowing. Its an exciting sport and offers many advantages  over as well as complimenting flat water rowing. We will endeavour to keep this website up to date and full of information about the sport as it progresses and welcome your enquiries and interest.