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Inaugural Australian Coastal Rowing and Beach Sprints Championships awarded to Queensland

Noosa Main Beach to host event on 21 and 22 August 2021; Sykes set to provide equipment for all competitors

Rowing Australia (RA) today announced that the inaugural Australian Coastal Rowing and Beach Sprints Championships (ACRBSC) will take place on Noosa Main Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland on 21 and 22 August 2021.

Co-hosted by RA and Rowing Queensland (RQ), this new National Championships will comprise two exciting disciplines of the sport of rowing – the endurance category of coastal rowing and the beach sprints that are a head-to-head elimination style of racing that includes on-water slalom style racing with a beach sprint start and finish across the sand.

Additionally, RA is pleased to confirm that Geelong-based boat builder, and long-term supplier to RA, Sykes, has a signed a three-year partnership with the event to provide participants with a fleet of new Coastal boats and oars for the ACRBSC. The event will include racing opportunities for multiple categories, continuing to highlight the inclusive nature of rowing, with opportunities across Open, Youth, Masters, Para and Mixed Gender big boats.

RA Board Director and Chair of RA’s Coastal Rowing Working Group, Sarah Cook, said “We are delighted today to be able to announce, alongside Rowing Queensland, that the 2021 Australian Coastal Rowing and Beach Sprint Championships will take place at Noosa Main Beach West in August this year.

“Rowing continues to develop and diversify as a sport and we know the people of Noosa will welcome the inaugural competition to its shores. Participants will simply have to pack their zooties and be ready to race, with Sykes providing boats and oars for all competitors. We’re excited to launch this new type of championships and are looking forward to working with Rowing Queensland to deliver a fantastic event on the Sunshine Coast.

“As an observer on the World Rowing Coastal Rowing Commission, I can attest that this aspect of our sport is continuing to expand globally with its confirmed inclusion in the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, and consideration being made for its inclusion in the event program for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. I’m looking forward to Australia building a base of highly competitive rowers thanks to these Championships.”

Noosa Main Beach

Additionally, Rowing Queensland have the opportunity to secure the event for a further two years (2022 and 2023) should they obtain further funding support to host the Championships on the Sunshine Coast.

RQ Chair, Nick Parr added, “We are excited to have the opportunity of co-hosting the inaugural Australian Coastal Rowing and Beach Sprint Championships. This area of our sport in Australia is in its infancy and RQ recognises its enormous potential.

“We have the climate, resources, and existing expertise through our Member Club Coastal Rowing & Touring Australia and the Noosa community to ensure that the event is successful. RQ will use the event to grow coastal rowing in Queensland.”

Managing Director of Sykes, Mark Nothnagel commented, “Sykes is a proud Australian based boat builder and we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Rowing Australia and Rowing Queensland for this event for the next three years.

“Whilst the inaugural event will use new boats sourced internationally from Sykes’ global partners, we are in the process of investing in and expanding our capability so that we can supply locally built boats for the second and third years.

“At Sykes we are passionate about contributing to growing the sport of rowing in Australia. Coastal and Beach Sprint racing events like these are competitive, exciting, and fun for athletes and spectators alike. Furthermore, Australia has an extensive coastline including so many bays and estuaries and these are just perfect for Coastal Rowing adventures. We really believe that the success of this event will be the catalyst for further growth throughout Australia, especially when summer returns.”

An RA-RQ Management Committee will be formed shortly to help with the planning and running of the event, with further details to be released in due course.

Key Facts:

What: 2021 Australian Coastal Rowing and Beach Sprints Championships

When: 21 and 22 August 2021

Where: Noosa Main Beach (West), Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Categories: Youth, Open, Masters, Para and Mixed Gender

Boat Classes: Solo, Double and Quad

Entries Open: 1 June 2021

About: The event will comprise the Beach Sprints that will be run from Noosa Main Beach (West), while the Coastal Rowing course will be from Noosa Main Beach (West) heading towards Dolphin Point.

Coastal rowing uses wider hulled boats and takes place on open water and is not dissimilar to a favoured Australian past-time of ‘surf-boat rowing’. The endurance event will include solo, double and quad boat classes across various categories including youth, open, masters, para and also mixed gender big boats.

Beach Sprints is a head-to-head elimination style of racing, with a short sprint along the beach, a 250 metre row, and a 180-degree turn before rowing back to the beach and sprinting to the finish line. Competitions are structured such that athletes who progress further are required to race multiple times within a short time window. This discipline of rowing tests your power and strength, as well as coastal navigation skills and performance under fatigue.