The Namibia Canoe and Rowing Federation yesterday announced that it will host its first-ever Commonwealth Coastal Rowing Beach Sprint competition next month in Walvis Bay. The federation will hold the competition in collaboration with the Commonwealth Association from 2 to 4 December at Kuisebmond’s Independence beach.
Introduced in 2007, coastal rowing is quite different from the flat-water Olympic-style rowing that sees rowers going in a straight line. Coastal rowing takes place often in rough water, which adds a whole new dimension to the sport.
Many coastal rowers cherish the exhilarating aspects of rowing in extreme conditions. A special rowing boat is used for coastal rowing and participants compete fiercely for glory for about 500m into the sea.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday at the offices of the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC), Namibia Canoe and Rowing Federation vice president Anton Jacobie said it’s an exciting time for the country to host a major Commonwealth rowing event for the first time.
“This is our first time hosting such an event. It’s going to be historic and we would like to use the opportunity to popularise the sport of rowing in the country. This event will also be preceded by a training camp for development, which is funded by the Olympic Solidarity Fund through the NNOC and Commonwealth Association,” he said.
The event will see top rowers from countries such as Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Barbados and the Bahamas all joining local rowers at the coast.
It was also announced that World Rowing and Commonwealth Rowing have donated 10 new boats to the value of N$1 million towards the event and these will remain in Namibia.
“We are grateful for the donation. These equipment are very expensive and to have someone donate such equipment to you feels great. This will also help us develop more talent in Namibia and we will take good care of the equipment,” he said.