Coastal Rowing with Guin Batten
Guin Batten is a legend in womens rowing – she has worked so hard to get to the top of the flat water sport and is now actively working to expand into Coastal Rowing making it an Olympic sport.
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Timestamps to the show.
02:40 Background in rowing and outrigger canoeing. FISA elected representative and chair for Coastal Rowing Committee and Womens Eights Head of the River Race in London
08:35 Rowing on the sea goes back a long way. In 20 years FISA started by the French who set the boat dimensions for racing. Test World Championships in Channel Isles was run
12:00 Ocean Racing Adventuress – Tallisker Whisky Challenge is now an annual event with 30+ boats. And the Great Pacific Race from Monterrey Bay to Honolulu and the Drake Passage Crossing from NZ to Chile.
15:50 Beach Sprint Race Format is about getting the audience more involved. Be part of the Beach Games movement – simple, fast, exciting, sharp. The event needs 5 boats in 3 categories 1x, 2x and 4x. It runs a format whereby the quarter, semis and finals are all back-to-back giving 3 races in 25 minutes.
21:00 Becoming a waterman or water woman is key. There’s more skill and agility than on flat water.
25:00 Boat types – the solo (1x), double scull and coxed quad all have a maximum weight designed to keep costs of boats down. 5 manufacturers now make coastal boats.
30:45 What comes next to broaden the sport? Sprints are possible, more events especially multi-sports. FISA added coastal to the Youth Olympics in Senegal 2022.
33:00 Losing 72 Lightweight rowers from the Olympic programme after Tokyo; Guin is working with IOC and FISA to add coastal rowing for those places. It adds value not costs.
36:00 Get inspiration from surfing race formats.
38:00 IOC will get a coastal format which may be endurance or sprint racing.
42:00 How to get involved
This correspondence is in reference to a planned English Channel row to benefit cancer patients.
I am a former sweep rower at Princeton University (U.S.) several years ago, now a recreational sculler, retired U.S. Naval officer, and a cancer doctor (hematology and bone marrow transplant) at Dartmouth Medical Center (New Hampshire, USA).
In support of cancer research and survivorship, as well as dedication to our brave Allied forces who laid their lives on the line in the D-day invasion of Europe at Normandy, I plan to row the Channel on or near the 80th anniversary of D-day (2024) to commemorate that effort and raise funds for cancer research and care.
I have been so inspired by the story of Guin Batten’s 2003 crossing and all that she has done for this sport, both before and after, including your important role in open water rowing growth and support. I am currently in the UK this week to attempt to arrange this effort (until Sat, 6/25), and I would very much appreciate having the chance to speak with someone regarding the logistics of a crossing, including boat procurement and registration, and how this has been successfully negotiated with the French Coast Guard in the past (as per tales of boats being turned back).
Procuring an open water shell for the crossing remains a detail of some uncertainty, requiring some clarification, and my current hope is to lease a boat from a local rowing club or boat rental shop for the 4-6 hour crossing).
I would greatly appreciate a response at your earliest convenience, and I have listed my phone number below, since a brief conversation would be most helpful.
Dr. John Hill (RET CDR)
Dartmouth Medical Center
Lebanon, NH 03756-0001
John, I have messaged you privately.