2023 Red Island Regatta promises beach rowing excitement on the Brudenell River

2023 Red Island Regatta promises beach rowing excitement on the Brudenell River

August 20, 2023 

The beach at Brudenell River Provincial Park will be full of action on Saturday August 26th and Sunday August 27th as Rowing PEI hosts Atlantic Canada’s only all-coastal rowing regatta. With 65 rowers and more than 100 entries, it is also one of Canada’s largest coastal rowing events.

This is the fifth year for the Red Island Regatta, which will feature beach sprint racing on Sunday, an exciting new racing format that may soon be included as part of the Olympic program.


On Saturday, the rowers jump in coastal boats on the beach next to Brudenell marina and compete on a 2.5-kilometre course around large buoys. The coastal boats are a broader variation on traditional rowing shells, and they are self-bailing, made for windy, wavy conditions,


The beach sprints on Sunday are head to head racing between two coastal doubles and two coastal singles. The competitors have to run from the beach, row a 250-metre course, slaloming around 3 buoys, then back to shore. The finish line is back on the beach, so the race ends with another sprint to the flag.

Saturday includes a hospitality event for competitors, where participants will enjoy P.E.I. mussels and baked potatoes. There is also an Awards Ceremony, where winners take home a bag of P.E.I. potatoes!! 


More than 60 competitors are expected from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario, as well as from the host club, Rowing P.E.I.  For the club’s newest junior rowers, called Crew 23, this will be their first taste of competition. 

Organizers are excited to have Olympian and World Rowing Honourary Umpire Guylaine Bernier as chief umpire for the Red Island Regatta in 2023. Bernier competed for Canada at the 1976 Olympics in her home province of Quebec. She was also the first Canadian women certified as FISA Umpire in 1987, and attended four Olympic Games as a member of the Umpiring Commission. She was inducted into the Quebec Sport Hall of Fame in 1996 as an Athlete,  and in 2019 into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame as a Builder.  

As one of Canada’s biggest promoters of coastal rowing, she will be available to speak about this exciting format and how it is growing around the world. 

To read more about Guylaine’s accomplishments: https://www.sportshall.ca/hall-of-famers/hall-of-famers-search.html?proID=685&lang=EN

Spectators are welcome to come out and cheer on the rowers, who will be launching from the beach next to the Brudenell Marina. The races run from 12:30 to 4:30 pm on Saturday and 8:00 am to noon on Sunday.

Regatta organizers are thankful for the support they’ve received from their sponsors: East Coast Docks, the governments of P.E.I. and Canada, the Montague Waterfront Development Corporation, P.E.I. Parks, Rodd Brudenell Resort, the PEI Potato Board, Montague Sobeys, DP Murphy and ADL. 

Rowing P.E.I. was formed in 2010 with the loan of a  recreational fleet from Rowing Canada Aviron. The club now has about 75  members, rowing out of the Charlottetown Yacht Club, Brackley and Brudenell.  Rowing P.E.I. offers Intro to Row programs regularly through the summer.

For more information: www.rowingpei.ca

To see the race schedule for Saturday and Sunday: https://www.regattacentral.com/v3/cms/regatta/8443/heat_sheet

Contact: Elysia Atkinson 

Email: eatkinson@sportpei.pe.ca

Cell phone # (902) 213-6951