Coastal rowing is growing in Canada!
Members of the Salish Sea Coastal Rowing Club, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, are thrilled that nearby Victoria will host the World Rowing Coastal Championships in October. Salish Sea is already putting together plans to train crews for the event and hopes it will attract even more rowers to “go coastal”.
“This will be the first time that the World Championships in coastal rowing has ever been held in North America, and is a huge boost for coastal rowing in Canada,” said Annette O’Shea, president of the Salish Sea club. “This is an opportunity for Canadian rowers to take on the world and compete in the most beautiful coastline anywhere.”
“We started the club because we are excited about getting out on the ocean, experiencing the solitude and independence,” said founding member Rebecca Berger. “Big waves or small, our fleet is seaworthy in most weather conditions.” Salish Sea started with a fleet of three Euro Diffusion boats, built to excel in waves and rougher water than any flat-water rowing shell can handle. They now have a quad, a double and a single.They have also added a Maas and Liteboat. Club organizers say their fleet of coastal boats allows Salish Sea members to row in more weather conditions, more days of the year, and longer duration rows than any other rower.
“Our dream has always been to share our beautiful coastline with other rowers, and share a more diverse rowing experience with flat water rowers,” said Annette O’Shea. “To row with whales, seals and porpoise, and to row through a school of migrating salmon is a privilege that is distinctive to coastal rowers.” Their motto: the ocean is our playground. “We wanted to create a club that could take advantage of the rougher and windier conditions that happen frequently in English Bay.”
Salish Sea Board members Jenn Weterings, Rebecca Berger and Annette O’Shea travelled to Victoria on January 2, 2018 to add their support to the Canadian bid to host the Championships. “It was a dream at the time of the club’s inception to host the World Championships in Canada and on the West Coast.” The club hopes to send crews to the WRCC 2018 in Victoria and are hoping the opportunity to train for a world championship will inspire some Vancouverites to give coastal rowing a try. “We are going to field some very strong crews and make Canada proud,” said O’Shea.
Salish Sea plans to offer new, specialized crew development programs starting in the coming weeks, for a select number of athletes. They are also hoping to welcome coastal rowers from around the world to Vancouver. They are working with the organizing committee to offer visitors a chance to add on a trip to Salish Sea as part of their WRCC 2018 experience. “We look forward to welcoming rowers from around the world this year, as the World Championships arrive in Victoria,” said Berger. “Big waves or small, we are bounded only by the limits of our imagination and endurance.”
The Salish Sea Coastal Rowing Club (SSCR) is based out of Jericho Sailing Centre in Vancouver.
Salish Sea is a large area of coastal waters off the south coast of British Columbia stretching to the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., officially designated in 2010. The name refers to the language of the indigenous groups that originally occupied the area.