A New Crew Each Day

By Connor Walters

San Remo, ITALY, Qualification Races, men's quadruple sculls M4X+, San Malo, rowing on the open sea. 2008 FISA Coastal World Championships. Photo by Peter Spurrier.

For 45 years, the World Rowing Tour has promoted fraternity and fitness among rowers from many nations. Far from a race, the weeklong event places rowers with a new crew heading to a different town each day.

From Sept. 16-24, the 46th tour will send rowers westward in the Ligurian Sea from Bocca di Magra to Genoa, Italy in coastal rowing shells. The seaside villages providing hospitality every evening will allow crews the chance to relax in paradise after a day of pulling together.

“The Tours are a FISA initiative as a flagship event to showcase world best practice in tour rowing and to promote international fraternity and understanding and an active lifestyle through rowing,” said Warwick Marler, FISA’s commissioner for recreational and tour rowing. “To be selected rowers need an adequate level of proficiency in rowing and fitness.”

Aside from the stunning coastal views, rowers will indeed be mixed each day and Marler said they are unlikely to row with someone from their own country. Participants from 19 countries and six continents will row between 15 and 28 kilometers daily in coxed quads built for coastal rowing. This year, crews will contain men and women between the ages of 31 and 77.

“It is not a race. It is a tour,” Marler said. “It is all about seeing beautiful parts of the world from the water with other rowers who enjoy working together to move a boat.”

Since the tour began in 1971 on Germany’s Lake Constance, 28 different countries have hosted on various rivers, canals, lakes, and the sea. Host nations are required to offer boats, a route with points of interest, and accommodations, as well as take care of safety protocols.

The seaside Italian towns where rowers will dock each day show offer colorful villages nestled into the mountains and tucked along the coast. Paired with fantastic food and lodging, the World Rowing Tour will allow rowers to experience one of the world’s great travel destinations and to celebrate the sport that brings them together.