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Fun, challenging and exhilarating: Canadian masters rower pumped by coastal championship experience

Michelle Boss can’t wait to watch the world’s best coastal rowers compete in her home waters in Victoria, British Columbia. The competition stirs fond memories for Boss, who competed at two world coastal championships – Istanbul in 2010 and Bari, Italy in 2011. “Each experience was different but I loved it both times. There is an interesting mix of rowing skill and nautical experience that apply. Some of the racers had one or the other, but the top coastal rowers have both.”

Racing in the women’s single sculls at the 2011 World Rowing Coastal Championships in Bari, Italy

Boss started rowing in 2004 after her karate club closed and she was looking for a new sport. In 2010, she entered a 42-kilometre race in Lac St. Jean, Quebec. That experience didn’t end well as the weather turned bad, her crew experienced epic waves out on the large lake and the boats took on water. Although they weren’t in coastal boats at the time, she still found something appealing about the experience and the concept of ocean rowing.

Boss believes the World Rowing Coastal Championships in Victoria is a great opportunity for Canadian rowers, “I think anyone who rows and has a bit of a sense of adventure can try coastal rowing. It’s especially true if you also have a bit of experience being in waves for example when kayaking, sailing or surfing.” “I went to Istanbul with almost zero coastal rowing experience. While I wasn’t as fast as those with experience, I learned a lot, had fun and met a great community of coastal rowers from around the world.”

Boss now works for Rowing Canada as a National Team Coordinator. She’s also part of the organizing committee for WRCC 2018. “Hopefully I can help the organizing committee put on an event that allows lots of rowers experience the excitement of coastal rowing.” She’s particularly excited about the venue and what it will offer to coastal rowers from around the world. “I think the location here on the west coast will provide for some interesting racing. While we don’t have the bigger rolling waves like I experienced in Istanbul or Bari, our little islands and channels create currents and chop that is really fun and can be quite challenging.”

World Rowing featured a story on Michelle in December 2011!

Coastal rowing is growing in Canada!

Salish Sea Coastal Rowing Club sets sights on World Rowing Coastal Championships

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.

 

To find out more, check out Salish Sea Coastal Rowing Club on Facebook or http://www.salishsearowing.ca/

Coach and Umpire Courses

Coach Courses

Row NS will hosting three upcoming opportunities for coach training. The Learn to Row Coach Workshop is the entry workshop for coached. This is a great opportunity for those who are thinking about coaching this summer to get an introduction to coaching. The RCA Coach Weekend 1 is for current coaches to continue along the RCA Coach Pathway and develop their coaching skills and become more knowledgeable.

  • Learn to Row Coach Workshop – April 7-8 at St. FX University in Antigonish – $100
  • Learn to Row Coach Workshop – May 19-20 at Oakwood House in Dartmouth – $100
  • RCA Coach Weekend 1 – March 23-25 at Oakwood House in Dartmouth – $150

More information

Registration for all coaching courses must be completed using The Locker.  If you have any questions please contact rowing@rowns.ca.

Umpire Course

Row NS will hosting an umpire clinic for individuals interested in becoming an umpire. Umpires are essential for the hosting, running and ensuring fair and safe regattas. This clinic is for those who are interested in becoming an assistant umpire for Row Nova Scotia or just want to have a better understanding of the rules of racing.

  • Level 1 Assistant Umpire Clinic – May 5 at Sport Nova Scotia in Halifax – free

Please email Linda Lee to register or learn more about attending.

More information

First ever Red Island Indoor Rowing Challenge a success!

We had a small but enthusiastic group at our first ever Red Island Indoor Rowing Challenge. It was a ton of fun and will definitely be repeated next February. Jason Steeves has already challenged anyone to come out and beat his personal best 2k time today of 7:26. Lots of people had personal bests today with the excitement of the cheering crowd! Thanks to everyone who helped, especially technology wiz Stephen Mellish.

The highlight of our first ever Red Island Indoor Rowing Challenge was the 2k team relay! Four rowers each do 500 metres and good transitions are key. We had 3 teams and lots of team spirit with bragging rights on the line for 2018.