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!

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