LAKE Wendouree prepares to showcase some of the best rowing talent in the state with the Wendouree Ballarat Regatta returning to the lake for the first time since 2002 this weekend.
Wendouree Ballarat Rowing Club president Eric Waller said having a regatta of this magnitude was great for Ballarat and its rowing community.
“It’s one of the biggest individual regattas Ballarat has seen for a very long time,” Waller said.
“We’re very grateful for the support from the local schools and clubs.”
About 670 individual competitors will be racing in the tournament, with more than 200 races scheduled to take place over the weekend.
“All the Ballarat schools will be competing,” Waller said.
The event will test local schools in the lead-up to the Head of the Lake regatta, which will take place on March 3.
“There are also selection events – there will be selectors for the state squad attending – that will compete in the national regatta in March,” he said.
“One of the highlights of the day will be the appearance of the Melbourne public schools that compete in the Head of the River – they rarely come to Ballarat.”
After Lake Wendouree was dry for so many years, it is the first time the annual regatta has been able to return to Lake Wendouree since 2002.
“It means a great deal to the club that we can be back rowing on Lake Wendouree,” he said.
“And we’re very thankful to the City of Ballarat for their work to restore the lake.”
The event is free for spectators with races about every five minutes from 8am to 5.30pm today and tomorrow.