Another former Olympian has successfully entered the world of Coastal Rowing. Michael Brake stepped away from rowing after the Tokyo Olympics, where he was part of the successful Kiwi men’s eight programme. Brake has been rowing internationally since 2012 and in that year, won a world championship at the World Rowing Junior Championships. At the 2014 World Rowing U23 Championships, he won silver. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, he competed with the New Zealand eight and competed in the same boat class at 2020 Tokyo. Abby Wilson, a 1News Sport Reporter reports that another former Olympian enters Coastal rowing and brings Olympic champ Michael Brake out of retirement
“I thought why would I not want to try this, it’s exciting, it’s new, it’s still really a growing sport as more and more people are becoming aware of it more and more people are coming and trying it and enjoying it.” The beach-based discipline was last year added to the 2026 Commonwealth Games programme for Victoria, Australia and it’s expected to be made an Olympic event from 2028.
“There will be a serious push from New Zealand to get people to the Commonwealth Games, whether I’m part of that I’m not sure at this point,” Brake said, although he’s definitely testing the waters. Coastal rowing is a long way from the calm of a two-kilometre flatwater course on Lake Karapiro. In the beach sprint event competitors start and finish the 500m race with a beach run and have to contend with waves and navigation when rowing out and back to a buoy.
Brake is just one of a number of New Zealand’s elite rowers taking part in the Coastal Rowing Beach Sprint National Championships at Nelson’s Tahunanui Beach, the third time the event has been held in the country. Read full report