• 29 Jan 2018 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    What do a group of Victoria area coastal rowers have in common with pirates? Both are experts on local waters, share a love of the sea and are masters of plotting a course for success. A group of (pirate) coastal rowers have plotted a course to host the World Rowing Coastal Championships in 2018.   All they need is a little treasure, a good crew and some luck. 

    The Bid Committee has recruited support from; RCA, RowBC, rowing umpires and officials, other coastal rowing clubs, the Mayor of Sidney and many other groups, organizations and friends, as crewmates in the bid. 

    Salish Sea Board members Jenn Weterings, Rebecca Berger and Annette O'Shea travelled to Victoria January 2, 2018 to add our support to their bid to host the Championships. Visit the FISA web site to learn more about past championships

    We joined the meeting with rowing umpires and officials, who were getting their first look at how the rules for coastal racing differ from flat water racing. Essentially, there are very few rules for coastal races, as the ocean, tides and water conditions dictate how a race is going to unfold out on the water. Boat-to-boat contact is allowed, and in fact very likely as the boats whiplash around the turn buoys vying to gain length on their competitors. "crashes are common, and in fact part of the fun of racing, explained Guin Batten, FISA rep. As long as its not intentional and no one gets injured, we say Go For It ! and let the bashing begin!" 

    One official leaned over and whispered to me "with so few rules, the rowers won't have anything to complain about to us, this is going to fun for the officials!".

    After touring FISA around the proposed regatta sites, it was time to review the bid in detail, and the expectations of FISA. It looks like the site plan, regatta plan and support crew are in place. 

    The meetings helped to strengthen the crew and surface possible sources of funding (treasure) for the final bid submission. So the Bid Committee group of pirates has their crew and their treasure in place. Now all they need is a little luck. 

    Watch this site for updates, and get training!

  • 27 Jan 2018 12:44 PM | Anonymous

    We are a couple of weeks into 2018 and the Salish Sea club is gettin' busy!  We've rowed, added a new boat to our fleet, added some oars to our equipment, supported a bid for the World Championships and entered 3 races. All this in Month One of 2018.

    So here's what's been going on; Part One- the best row of the year

    We started the year with our traditional Polar Bear Row New Years Day. It was sunny day with well behaved water and a king tide. Our flotilla included rowers in various styles of boats, kayaks, surf ski, oc1 and even a SUP.

    The first chore, of the first row on the first day of the new year? chop out the ice from the boat, right Jenn?

    Second task of the New Year? Try to get Richards' Christmas present GPS to work!

    Then out into the beautiful Salish Sea we rowed, paddled, wing-bladed and splashed.

    Neil coasting in the wake of the rowers.

    Richard & Paul & The Melonseed

    It was a beautiful way to start the New Year, followed by potluck storytime in the clubhouse.  Havn't been out yet? Then its time to reconnect with other members and get out and play. 

    Lots of newsy news in the next post. Happy New Year everyone. 

  • 10 Aug 2017 2:57 PM | Anonymous

    What do 117 paddlers, 1 Banana boat, countless eagles and orca, and even 1 Minke whale, have in common? They all shared the waters of the Alert Bay 360 Race on the BC Day long weekend.

    Our Salish Sea double "the Banana" travelled up the north coast to the village of Alert Bay, to race against all types of paddlers. The race attracted elite paddlers from as far away as Germany and the Netherlands, to compete against club racers and recreational paddlers.  

    The regatta gathers at the start line (Banana is at the top of the photo).

    The Banana, crewed by Annette and Jennifer, was one of only two rowing shells in the race, amongst a sea of kayakers and surfskis. At 68.8 kilos and 25 ft long, we were the biggest boat in the race, up against 13 kilo surfskis. But coastal rowing is allllllll about the challenge.

    The 11km course around Cormorant Island would take us through head and tail winds, side currents, forests of kelp, eagles, whales, seals and otter. Not all who started the race would finish it.

    At the blast of the starters pistol, the water was churning with paddles. The Banana pulled out early with the lead pack, and proceeded to create open water between itself and the majority of the racers.  By 2km into the course, the adventures unique to coastal rowing had begun. Strong winds and a side current pushed boats towards shore, into the snare of the kelp beds. Many paddlers were caught by the huge forests of kelp that trailed 100ft ropes along the surface and dragged boats to a dead stop.

    Kelp beds surround Cormorant Island

    Successfully navigating the kelp, the Banana pulled away from the following pack and found itself alone in the narrows between Cormorant and Malcolm Islands. Eagles stalked the beaches, while otters and seals played in the kelp. A Minke whale splashed off of our stern, reminding us that we are guests in this wildest of places.  

    Coastal rowing at its best

    We tried to catch the current on the north side of the island, hoping for some free advantage and wave play, but could only find the edges of it.  We were 8 minutes behind the Canadian champion surfski double who lead the elite pack, so for the next 6 kilometers we chased them. and chased them, and chased them.

    As we rounded the final leg of the race, we could hear the cheering of the locals. The entire village had turned out with drums, rattles and horns to cheer us home. The cheers combined with the knowledge that we were in the final 2km gave us speed and inspiration to cross the finish line. The last landmark before the finish line appeared, the 'Namgis totems standing watch at the cemetery.

    We crossed the line in 10th position, to our delight and the surprise of the surfski elite. Maybe next year we will find that current, and surprise a few more!

    Gilakas'la (thank you) Alert Bay.










  • 23 May 2017 6:07 PM | Deleted user

     Canada turns 150 this year! Salish Sea is helping everyone celebrate bygiving members $150 off the regular membership prices of $350 until July 1st only. 

    Sign up before July 1st and enjoy full membership and benefits for the 2017 membership year. 

    What are you waiting for? Sign Up Here!

  • 1 Apr 2017 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    Hong Kong hopes to host the 2019 World Rowing Coastal Championships and would like us to compete. They are keen to get participation from many of the Pacific Rim coastal rowing clubs, so it would be a great experience.  They have shared some of their information with us, and we thought other coastal rowers might be interested in Hong Kong’s bid as well as other things they are doing. The points below link to PDF documents:

  • 1 Apr 2017 3:25 PM | Anonymous

    Our coastal quad is here and it is beautiful!

    The new coastal quad. The riggers fold up.

    The cox seat looks pretty comfortable.

  • 5 Feb 2017 3:34 PM | Anonymous

    Due to snowfall and unsafe road conditions, the Annual General Meeting of the Salish Sea Coastal Rowing Club  is postponed until Sunday February 19, 2017. Please join us at 4pm at the JERICHO Sailing Centre Members Lounge to discuss our first year, and develop plans for 2018. Members only please.

  • 30 Jan 2017 3:37 PM | Anonymous

    Save the Date!

    Sunday, February 5, 2017 4PM at the Jericho Sailing Centre
    Bring your ideas and energy to our AGM, and let’s crew together to keep our club vibrant and fun.

    SSCRC AGM Agenda and a brief Survey Monkey to follow shortly!

  • 2 Jan 2017 3:38 PM | Anonymous

    The best laid plans of mice (and rowers), often go awry (sorry Mr. Burns for the mangling).

    Our annual New Years Day row, was beautifully planned; crew up on the beach, row out to the bell and take selfies, maybe luck out and row with some harbour porpoise, and then gather for camaraderie and pot-luck to exchange smugness on starting the year off right.

    The last day of 2016 was still, flat water, not a breath of a wind. It was our water,  rowers water, but a day early.  And clouds heavy with snow for New Years Eve. Rowers water and fresh snow will make for a beautiful start to the year, right?

    The ocean canoes are built for waves, but got “rowers water” instead on the last paddling day of 2016. They got “our” water, and we got theirs!

    The first day of 2017 was sunny and bright, but cold. A good sign. No need to check the forecast, it’s always nice water in the winter, right?

    We navigated the fresh snow and ice en route to JERICHO. When we pulled into the parking lot, we saw the clubhouse windsock. Horizontal. ” Maybe it’s not windy, maybe the sock is frozen into that position” I thought, hopefully. Hoping for freezing temperatures rather than wind and waves is the sign of an optimistic rower, unwilling to allow plans to go awry. Not a good sign. But we were undaunted. The skate from the car had us all concentrating on staying upright, and not polishing the ice with any bruised body parts. I was wondering how to get any ice off the boats, and if the boat Dolly’s were under snow, and if the oar locks would be sticky. This will be interesting, I thought.

    Then we saw the water. The roiling, boiling, smashing water breaking on the beach. And the sheet of ice that was the launch ramp.  So now the challenge was in actually getting the boats down to the beach, without breaking anything that we cared about. (Boat and bum equally valued).  And then of course there would be the challenge of launching into 3ft waves. Oh, and then the rowing against a steady 17 kt breeze, gusting to 20kts and freezing the windsock.

    A steady 17 kts breeze and 3ft chop, kept the Salish Sea rowers warm, dry and ashore today.

    Rowers are generally optimistic creatures, we see “challenges”, not impossibilities, and “fun”, not hazards. We have a coastal rowing club so that we have bigger boats for bigger waves. But today, we didn’t launch. We drained our thermos’, remained hopeful for better water in the days ahead, and when a crewmate suggested brunch, we navigated to a warm kitchen. Where we of course, talked about rowing. Happy New Year everyone.

  • 2 Aug 2016 3:44 PM | Anonymous

    Salish Sea entered a double and single into the race around Cormorant Island in the Alert Bay 360 race. Oh, and 90 other kayaks, surf skis, canoes, OC1 and even a pontoon-catamaran- peddley -craft-thingy raced as well.

    Marla & Ruth, Annette heading to the start line.

    On the days leading up to race day, paddlers and rowers alike paced the shore, cursing the 35 kts winds (gusting to 45) and 6 kt currents that were threatening the race. Never have so many paddlers demanded, pleaded and prayed to the weather gods ” stop the wind, stop the wind, just for a little while. I promise to be good”. After three days of high winds, we were desperate. Race day dawned with manageable 15kt winds, a strong current and a flood tide. Over 90 boats launched into the headwind and the race was on.

    Kevin & Marla getting the Banana double ready to race

    59 minutes later the fastest boat (a racing K2) crossed the line, followed quickly by surf skis, outriggers, kayaks and rowing shells. (pontoon-catamaran- peddley -craft-thingy came in at approx 2hrs.)

    The head current was strong, giving an advantage to our Salish Sea rowers as they powered past anything driven by arm strength. Legs always win. Then it was 2km of broadside winds and 2 ft chop, pushing small boats into the kelp beds and rocks. No advantage there. Then for one long 5 km stretch it was surf ski heaven. Picking through the currents and eddies to find the fastest run, these greyhounds of the waves owned the beach. And the it was the rowers turn. We started to pass groups of boats,finding our zen speed on the north stretch of the race. One thing rowers know how to do is race a long straight stretch of water, we live for it. Rounding the final point for home, the hard work started. Legs against a 6kt current means you can’t let off even for a second. (Feels like an erg on setting 10). And the headwind joins in to bring out your stubborn. The shores were lined with folks cheering us on, banging drums and bells. Wonderful to have the community of Alert Bay urging us on.

    Hulagirl welcomes Annette back to beach. It’s a loooonnngg row in dog years.

    After the race, the showers and prizes it was time for a celebration at the Big House.

    The racers of the Alert Bay 360

    An evening of song, dance and food hosted by the T’sasa’la Cultural Group brought home to us all how important it is that we stay connected with our ocean through our sport and through our behaviour.

    The Raven Dance at the Big House

    The blanket dancers whirl and sing

    Alert Bay with its clear clear waters, abundant marine life and skies filled with Eagles is a potent reminder of how precious our planet is. Gilakas’la Alert, thank you for hosting us and for reconnecting us. We are Salish Sea.

    Raven watching from eagle totem

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