Today, I read a short article about a rowing discipline that I have never heard of when it comes to competition: Rowing Skills Event. The article (in English) was in a newspaper in Quebec, Canada, Laval News. The article, with the head-line “Alexandre Richard wins Quebec’s first rowing skills event”, begins,
“Laval native, Alexandre Richard won the Men’s Single at la Rencontre Amicale des Jeunes du Club d’aviron de Laval. It’s a new thing in Quebec – a competition which combines a skills event with a conventional straight line race. Richard rowed his skill section in 4:02,70 minutes and his straight race in 2:28,07 minutes for a total of 6:30,77 minutes.”
The article goes on by saying that the competition had twenty-five young rowers sculling in single sculls, double sculls, and quadruple sculls showing boatmanship as they had to row forward, backward, stop, turn around a buoy, etc. The manager of the Laval Rowing Club, Mr. Daniel Aucoin, is saying that this form of competition is “better known in Europe”, which is news to me, but I have to agree that it’s a great way for children and youths to learn boating skills. Read the article by clicking here.
So how is it done? It seems the crews row 50 metres to a buoy, turn 180 degrees, back up to another buoy to touch it with their boat’s stern. Then they race 50 metres, turn 180 degrees and row slalom between some coloured buoys, turn 180 degrees again, and row 50 metres with square oar blades.
Laval R.C. has posted a “skill contest” on YouTube, which I have borrowed here:
To read more about Laval R.C. click here.
Talking about other rowing competitions for children: when I was the regatta secretary at the Hjelmsjön Regatta, in the south of Sweden, we ended the regatta with a relay race for juniors in single sculls. Three teams/clubs would compete against each other at the same time, each team using two lanes, every junior sculling 100 metres. You start the three teams’ scullers 100 metres from the finish line so they race toward the finish line. At the finish line, their three team mates are waiting for them to cross the line, so that they can scull their 100 metres toward the start. When they pass the 100-metre-mark, the third member of their team will scull towards the finish line. Of course, older juniors can row longer distances, and in any boat type. It was much appreciated by the young rowers, their coaches, families and friends, and the other spectators, who saw the whole 3×100-metre race by standing at the finish line.
Rowing Skill Events and Rowing Relay Races – there are a lot of fun things for children to do at a regatta! It is up to the regatta organisers to make it happen!