Coastal rowing now on offer in Bermuda
The Bermuda Rowing Association has recently added coastal rowing to its existing flat water offering.
Coastal rowing uses wider hulls with a levelled-off stern to allow water to flow out of the boat. It usually takes place on open water, not shying away from waves and wind, unlike it’s flat-water counterpart.
The new offering could also allow the association to include beach sprint racing as a new and exciting format that combines running and rowing.
Beach sprinters run down a beach to the water, jump into open-hulled coastal rowing shells for a 250-metre slalom course, then return to the beach, jump out of the shell and sprint back to the finish line.
“This is an exciting development for our rowing community” said Andre Perez, president of the Bermuda Rowing Association.
“For several years we have offered flat water rowing to our members. However, the water and wind conditions are not always conducive to rowing with narrower boats.
“The advantage of adding coastal rowing will allow our members to row in most weather conditions.
“Having access to the coastal boats allows for year-round rowing and our members are enjoying this opportunity.”
Aside from providing another avenue for its members to pursue, the BRA aims to identify talented young Bermudian athletes and provide them with training in the hopes of them going on to represent the island.
This year, three young Bermudians have made encouraging progress rowing competitively with their university teams.
Lindsay Smith, who started in high school, now rows with the University of Guelph, Abby Powell competes for McGill University and Christopher Adderley has started his rowing career at the University of Surrey.
All three are eligible to represent the island overseas, with the BRA exploring options to provide them with opportunities to compete.
Long-term BRA member, Dara Alizadeh, who represented Bermuda at the Tokyo Olympics, is set to take part in the World Rowing Championships, which takes place in Belgrade, Serbia, next month.
Coastal rowing could also result in more of the island’s competitors following Alizadeh’s footsteps on the world stage, with talks already under way within the International Olympic Committee to include coastal rowing at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games, with a decision expected by the end of next month.