By Nancy Russell
Coaches and rowers with Rowing PEI have seen the changing weather conditions firsthand in recent years, with more wind and storms, including tropical storms such as Arthur (July 2014), Dorian (September 2019), Teddy (September 2020) and Elsa (July 2021). Because we don’t have a clubhouse, we have to either move our boats off the dock, or secure them and hope they can ride out the storm. It’s a lot of work and hard on the nerves!!!
The windier weather, even early in the morning, is also starting to limit our rowing time on the Charlottetown Harbour. Even in coastal boats, the wind speeds are sometimes too high, especially for new rowers. In 2021, we decided to move our flat water boats to a sheltered bay on P.E.I.’s north shore, in search of some calmer waters. The rowers had to beach launch all summer, but at least they got some flatter water.
We can definitely feel it getting windier, but now with help from the UPEI Climate Lab, we will be able to monitor what’s happening.
In July 2021, they installed a weather station, part of a network across the Island. It will collect historical data to track how conditions are changing, and also gives real-time wind speed, which is a game changer on a windy body of water!
We do encourage carpooling to our flat water training centre, which is about 20 minutes from Charlottetown.
The Charlottetown Yacht Club, which is our home base in Charlottetown, is also a member of Sailors for the Sea, which focuses on clean and environmentally friendly sailing.