Flatlanders go coastal: meet rowing sisters Kaelyn and Casie from Manitoba
As we count down to the World Rowing Coastal Championships in October in Canada, we are sharing stories from coastal competitors from around the world, including here in Canada.
We were excited to hear about two rowing sisters from Manitoba who have decided to take up the coastal challenge.
Kaelyn Gauthier is 26, a physiotherapist since 2016. Her younger sister Casie MacCharles, 25, works at the YMCA-YWCA as a health and fitness program director and has a degree in kinesiology. They are both from Grunthal, Manitoba about 45 minutes south of Winnipeg.
- How did you get interested in coastal rowing?
Our coach (Janine Stephens) mentioned coastal rowing to us at some point over the winter training season and we were totally intrigued! We started asking questions and she looked into details for us and then registered us. It’s been
a dream of ours to represent Canada in the sport of rowing and this seemed like the perfect opportunity since BC will be hosting this year!
- What’s your background in rowing?
We’ve been rowing for close to five years now, competing at both local competitions as well as nationals and speed orders on and off in the past four years. We spend most our time in a double or pair together, but occasionally we have the opportunity to compete in bigger boats or singles.
- What in particular attracted you to coastal?
The fact that we can row on the ocean is very appealing to these prairie girls! As much as we love flat water rowing down a straight course, the challenge of waves, turns, navigating around other boats, and potentially sprinting on a beach has us excited for coastal rowing.
- What have you been doing to make the transition from flatwater to coastal rowing?
Honestly we are still just adjusting to the idea of it. We know we have so much to learn, but we are starting by reading blogs and watching videos about coastal rowing as well as talking with the few contacts we’ve made who are familiar with the sport. The nearest ocean is three provinces over, so that’s just one of the barriers that we will need to find a way around. We are tossing out a few ideas currently about how/if we can get some experience prior to competing at Worlds. We’re thinking that would be helpful!
- What other preparations do you have planned?
Ideally we would like to attend either a training camp or a competition to better prepare, but nothing has been solidified at this point. Regardless of how we end up preparing, we know we will need to learn quickly and effectively, which is a challenge we are ready to face.
- What do you think it will be like to be at the Worlds?
I imagine it will be an absolute whirlwind experience, unlike any competition we’ve been at before. It will be amazing, I’m sure, to meet, interact with, and race against athletes from other countries. I have no doubt we will take so much from the experience and cherish it for many years to come.
- Where do you hope to go in coastal rowing? What are your goals?
We will see how the Worlds go and re-evaluate our plan going forward after that. I can’t say anything for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we get totally hooked and pursue this in the future. It’s difficult to make specific goals at this point given our lack of exposure to the sport. But we are highly competitive in nature so we won’t be going just for the sake of going, we will certainly do our best to be competitive with the other countries.