This will be the first time North America has hosted the World Rowing Coastal Championships. (Twitter/wrcc2018)

Sidney hosting world rowing coastal championships this weekend

More than 400 rowers from 24 countries will be taking part in the four-day event

The 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships begin Oct. 11 at Tulista Park in Sidney with nearly 500 athletes competing from around the world.

This is the first time the ocean rowing championship will be held in North America as 24 countries are taking part, including Canada, which will be well-represented with 14 Canadian crews.

“Victoria is a great location for it,” said Brenda Taylor, one of the race directors and part of the bid committee.

“The west coast of the Island is ideal for it,” she continued.

The North Saanich resident was a double gold medallist in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in flat water rowing and stepped into an organizing role to get Coastal Rowing to Sidney.

Victoria was awarded the rowing championships following a groundswell of support from coastal rowers across Canada, with hundreds of local volunteers and sponsors stepping in to help the Town of Sidney and Greater Victoria host the four-day event.

There will be food trucks, local vendors, a beer/wine garden and free admission for spectators. A beach cleanup is also scheduled for Oct. 14, hosted by Surfrider Vancouver Island.

RELATED: Volunteers sought for world rowing championships in Sidney

RELATED: World rowing championship features strong Indigenous connections

This event has strong connections to four local First Nations who are hosting the event on their traditional territory. Grade 4 and 5 students from ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Tribal School will welcome the rowers with dancing and singing.

All 48 coastal rowing boats provided for the championship will be available for purchase by local rowing clubs after the event wraps up on Oct. 14.

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