Rowers  register  for  World Masters Rowing Championships with late influx expected

More than 1120 participants have registered for the October World Masters Rowing Championships on Lake Wendouree.

Rowing Australia says it expects a large number of last-minute entries before the regatta registrations close at midnight Wednesday.

Previous world masters titles in Italy, Germany, Poland and Canada have all attracted about 3000 participants.

Rowing Australian general manager (events) Jo Verden said the closing date had been extended by a few days to allow for a late influx.

“It will still be a good-sized regatta,” Ms Verden said.

“The events boards is very much focused on making sure it’s a terrific experience for all participants from within Victoria, around Australia and around the world.”

She said about 30 per cent of the registered entries came from overseas, including a 141-strong Japanese contingent.

Ms Verden said volunteer numbers were very positive.

“There are a lot of local volunteers involved and we are looking forward to working with those people.”

However, she said volunteer opportunities were still available and interested people could register via the Rowing Australia website.

She also said possible inclement conditions, such as those experienced at the 2012 Australian Masters Rowing on Lake Wendouree, had already been factored into planning.

“Elements can affect the competition but it’s about making sure everyone has a fun and safe experience in Ballarat,” she said.

“We’re focused on making sure they will all leave Ballarat having had a good time.

“(International rowing federation) FISA is very impressed with the work the City of Ballarat has done and FISA has endorsed the course.”

Previous estimates of combined competitor and spectator numbers for the event have been as high as 10,000, with predictions the October 9 to 12 event would boost the local economy by as much as $2.2 million.

The City of Ballarat has invested $3.2 million to prepare Lake Wendouree to an international standard, including $404,000 on World Masters Rowing infrastructure – including eight pontoons.

fiona.henderson@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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