Rowing along a coast and confronting the open sea in a rowing boat is obviously not quite the same as Olympic rowing, where crews row in a straight line, preferably on very flat water and with very little wind.
Coastal rowers do not row on flat water! A competition without any waves is, for coastal rowers, utterly devoid of interest.
The attractive sport of coastal rowing is bound to become ever more popular internationally: it develops physical wellbeing and is exhilarating. It is also more easily and quickly learnt than Olympic rowing, probably due to the stability and robustness of coastal rowing equipment.
But knowing how to handle a coastal rowing boat isn’t sufficient to become a good coastal rower. Crews must be aware of tides, currents and weather, learn about the course’s topography and know what to do in the midst of maritime traffic and in case of bad weather.
Coastal Rowing In Hong Kong
Although coastal rowing has been long established in many parts of Europe, using traditional designs of boat, modern coastal rowing has been growing rapidly in Europe and other countries since the International Rowing Federation (FISA) standardized the specifications for coastal rowing boats for use in international competitions.
The boat classes are single sculls, double sculls and coxed quadruple sculls (which can also be rigged as sweep-oared boats). The FISA specifications set minimum and maximum hull widths and lengths and minimum hull weights. The specifications are intended to ensure that boats are built to adequate safety standards.
The HKCRA has adopted the FISA specifications and future HKCRA sanctioned coastal rowing races will be for boats that comply with FISA specifications, depending on the safety aspects presented by the location of the event. Coastal rowing is relatively new to Hong Kong but is seen as a fast growing extreme sport. Currently coastal rowing takes place from Deep Water Bay and is organized by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.
Hong Kong is a very suitable place for coastal rowing, with its extensive coastline and its many beaches, bays and islands.
Hong Kong is generally short of recreational facilities, but coastal rowing has the advantage that very little space is needed for storage of boats, which can be stored on racks three or four boats high. Compared with sports that require playing fields or courts, rowing can provide recreational activity for a large number of people from a very small area of land
Locations For Coastal Rowing
To increase participation, more venues for coastal rowing are needed. The committee is in the process of assessing suitable sites and initially has identified the following locations as being suitable for coastal rowing:
- Deep Water Bay (Middle Island
- Tai Tam
- Causeway Bay
- Chai Wan / Siu Sai Wan
- Kai Tak
- Tseung Kwan O
- Clear Water Bay
- Sai Kung / Hebe Haven
- Tai Po
- Tuen Mun
- Tai Mei Tuk
- Sha Tin
- Ma On Shan
- Science Park
- Castle Peak / Gold Coast
- Discovery Bay
- Tung Chung
- Mui Wo
- Cheung Chau
- Ma Wan
- Lamma Island