How to learn coastal rowing

 In RowingChat

Volker Fritz talks about ways to teach (and learn) how to row and race a coastal rowing boat.
01:00 Volker’s background in touring and coastal rowing.
The big coastal rowing countries are France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. Germany and UK are getting going more recently.
02:00 touring boats are 10 meters long and are stable and wider. Coastal boats are more suited to the ocean with a thick skin to resist impact from high waves.
03:00 Learn coastal rowing
Volker runs a seminar (they already know about rowing) he teaches about the environment. Where are you is the first lesson – consider direction, wind and wave conditions. Make safety assessments.
Learn how to get in and out of the boat at the beginning.
The seminars run for 1-3 days – this is where you can prepare yourself for a beach sprint or coastal rowing race. It is 70% rowing practice.
06:00 In 2k racing you try to get every stroke the same. In coastal you need to have flexible hands, to leave more space at the finish and be sensitive at the catch.
React to an unexpected wave event – if the oar stops in a wave. Try not to lose the oar – it’s hard to get back if you let go.
Rigging for coastal – a lighter gearing is recommended. Don’t have a long outboard.
10:00 In coastal rowing you can go anywhere, there is no defined area. You plan your trip with an app or navigation instruments. Under water hazards can be identified with these apps. They show water depth, the beach type (rocky or sandy).
Marina staff are very helpful with information – we depend on this. Local knowledge is important.
12:30 When a flat water rower starts coastal they think because they can row it will be easy.
The first thing is getting the boat on the water – you can’t carry it on your shoulder.
Ways to stabilise the boat when you get on board is challenging. They know how to accelerate, turn and stop because they are the same as flat water rowing.
14:00 Coxing in coastal rowing is an issue when you start and land at a beach. Understand the waves – lateral. fore or aft. You have to understand how to manage and navigate the boat.
Accidents happen when people don’t handle the boat right.
When rowing, how do you cut the waves, how to approach a buoy with wind and current – coxes need to know this.
15:00 Approaching buoys is easy when touring. But in a race everyone wants to be the first at the buoy. The first buoy is the most dangerous part of an endurance race – 15-20 boats arrive at the same time. It’s usually 3 minutes from the start – you have to turn and then find the right course. There isn’t a rule, but Volker prefers a wider angle of approach and to consider the current. Don’t get hit or stuck on the buoy…. you can capsize.
17:00 How to turn round a buoy. In beach sprints the turn is 180 degrees.
The best way is a slingshot – have the bow towards the buoy, stop and brake with one oar and support the oar with your body (ribs or stomach) then row on the other side (half slide or arms only). The best rowers turn in 3-4 strokes or less. At higher speeds the slingshot effect is higher.
World Rowing is pushing to make this an Olympic discipline and the IOC has said it won’t be in the Los Angeles in 2028.

Rowing In Europe is Volker’s business.

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