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Coastal Rowing in 2026 Commonwealth Games, after a 40-year hiatus

Rowing Australia is delighted at the announcement earlier today by the Commonwealth Games Federation, the Victorian Government and Commonwealth Games Australia that Coastal Rowing (Beach Sprint Format) has been selected to be part of the 2026 Commonwealth Games (CG2026) sports program to be hosted in the State of Victoria.

In August 2022, World Rowing, with the support and endorsement of the Commonwealth Rowing Association, Rowing Australia and Rowing Victoria, submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the inclusion of Coastal Rowing (Beach Sprint Format) at CG2026.  The EOI process conducted by the Commonwealth Games Federation, Victorian Government and Commonwealth Games Australia was very comprehensive and extremely competitive with a number of key selection criteria: universality of participation, consumer and commercial appeal, and alignment with Commonwealth Games Values to name a few.

The submission by World Rowing was underpinned with confidence that a fully aligned submission provided a compelling case for the return of Rowing, through the Beach Sprint Format of Coastal Rowing, to the Commonwealth Games for the first time since 1986 in Edinburgh, Scotland – a 40 year hiatus.

Rowing Australia CEO, Ian Robson said: “This is a fantastic milestone moment for our sport.  We have worked very hard to bring Rowing back to the Commonwealth Games.  I would like to thank World Rowing, the Commonwealth Rowing Association and Rowing Victoria for joining with Rowing Australia to ensure that the EOI submission was fully supported and aligned with our collective growth ambitions for our great sport.”

Robson added: “Coastal Rowing is a new and exciting format of our sport.  We hosted our inaugural Australian Coastal Rowing Championships in Noosa, Queensland in August this year, and the response was amazing, with the next event in 2023 set to become the Oceania Coastal Rowing and Beach Championships.”

World Rowing Executive Director, Vincent Gaillard said:  “We are particularly excited about the inclusion of Coastal Rowing (Beach Sprints) in the Commonwealth Games in 2026, a new form of rowing which has been growing globally following a significant effort to increase our sport’s universality across continents.”

Gaillard continued: “This is an important milestone for rowing as a whole and for this particular format, which has recently been included in the 2023 World Beach Games in Bali and the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar. The inclusion of Beach Sprint Rowing in the 2028 Olympic Games will also be decided in the summer of 2023. We are committed to making this format a great success in yet another prestigious, global multi sports games context.”

The next event on the international Coastal Rowing calendar will be the World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprints held in Saundersfoot, Wales from 7 to 16 October 2022.

The full Statement by the Commonwealth Games Federation is accessed via this link:

Media Enquiries:

Ben Ibrahim

Acting Communications Manager

[email protected]