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World Rowing Beach Sprints

Have you ever surfed in a rowing boat? Or ever wanted to? The World Rowing Beach Sprints are shining a light on this new sport.

Riding the Waves

We’ve been watching the FISA World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals in Shenzhen, China. What a terrific spectacle! Crews from around the world are racing coastal singles, doubles and quads.

It goes like this. Two crews race at a time. One member from each crew lines up at the start line on the beach. On the sound of the buzzer they sprint 50m down the sand to their boat which is being held for them in the waves. They leap in and row out from the beach - around a buoyed 600m course.

The idea is to turn tightly around the far buoy and race straight back to the beach, leap out of the boat then sprint back up the beach to hit the finish buzzer.

Throwing everything at getting over that finish line

The time for completion of the race was under 3 -4 minutes.

This is a truly anaerobic sprint, hugely influenced by wind and waves and which line the rower takes around the buoys. The lead can (and does) change from one moment to the next depending on whether the athlete can catch a wave and surf the rowboat in to the shore, whether they can make a clean and quick exit from the boat onto their feet to run up the beach, or if they get tumbled by a wave.

It’s entirely different from regular flat-water rowing, and entirely different again from the Tour Rowing that we are familiar with. But such fun!

We are full of enthusiasm to try this - and we’re sure it could work out of Tahunanui or Rabbit Island beaches in Nelson, New Zealand.

Who knew there were so many ways to enjoy rowing!

Check out this video to hear more from Beach Sprint Racers...


Nelson |  New Zealand

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