Ballarat bid for world rowing titles

BALLARAT is attempting to put itself back on the rowing map with a bid to host a major international event on Lake Wendouree.The City of Ballarat has lodged a bid to host the 2014 FISA (International Federation of Rowing Association) World Rowing Masters Championships. The council expects the lake to be full late next year.The bid, which is backed by the Ballarat Rowing Association and Committee for Ballarat, still faces a few hurdles.Rowing Australia and Rowing Victoria have called for expressions of interest from Victorian cities interested in hosting the event. If endorsed, Ballarat will become the Australian venue nominated to FISA to host the 2014 championships. Ballarat Mayor Judy Verlin said the bid was an exciting milestone. She said the council had invested significantly in the return of Lake Wendouree."This is about the pathway back. We've been able to bid for the world masters with surety because of the investment put in place," Cr Verlin said."If this bid is successful, we will see a return on that investment flowing through to the economy."Ballarat Rowing Association president Eric Waller said the bid would give the sport a boost."It is the shot in the arm local rowing needed, considering the fact we haven't been able to row here for six years," he said.