The beach at Brudenell Island will be full of action Saturday as Rowing P.E.I. hosts the first ever coastal beach sprint event in Atlantic Canada, as part of the 2019 Red Island Regatta.
This is the third year for the regatta, which will also feature 1,000-metre sprint races in the morning in front of the Rodd Brudenell River Resort. The finish line is close to the Brudenell marina.
In the afternoon, the rowers will switch to coastal boats and compete on a 2.8-kilometre course around large buoys, launching from the beach on Brudenell Island.
The sprint races use the Olympic-style, narrow racing shells, while the coastal boats are broader and self-bailing, made for windy, wavy conditions.
The beach sprint will be the final event of the day, with head-to-head racing between two coastal doubles. One competitor will start at the boat, while the other has to run in from the beach. They will row a 250-metre course, slaloming around three buoys, then back to shore. The finish line is back on the beach, so the race ends with another sprint.
Organizers are predicting lots of excitement for spectators, particular during the beach sprints.
The day wraps up with an awards ceremony, where participants will enjoy P.E.I. mussels and baked potatoes.
“We are excited to showcase our sport on the beautiful Brudenell River and hope Prince Edward Islanders and visitors to the Island will take advantage of this opportunity to see some great competition, including the relatively new sport of coastal rowing,” said Russ Bryden, co-chairperson of the regatta.
More than 50 competitors from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are coming to compete. There will also be 25 members from the host club, Rowing P.E.I. For the club’s new junior rowing team, it will be their first taste of competition.
Home base for the event will be activity centre in Brudenell Provincial Park. Spectators are welcome to come down to the water and cheer on the rowers.
The races begin at 7:30 a.m. and will wrap up by 4:30 p.m.
Regatta organizers are thankful for the support they have received from premiere sponsors.
Rowing P.E.I. was formed in 2010 with the loan of a recreational fleet from Rowing Canada Aviron. The club now has about 50 members, rowing out of the Charlottetown Yacht Club. Rowing P.E.I. offers learn to row programs regularly through the summer.
For more information: www.rowingpei.ca.