BALLARAT has taken its biggest stride forward to date in its return as a major Australian rowing centre.
Rowing Australia national development and events director Matt Draper gave Lake Wendouree a tick of approval at Saturday's Victorian Masters championships.
He said the venue's infrastructure had passed its first major test in the state regatta.
While all is in place for the four Australian Masters, which begin on Thursday, there was a plan in place to roll out further developments in the lead up to the 2014 World Masters Rowing Championships.
Draper said the Lake Wendouree rowing course had come a long way in six months since the worlds had been awarded to Ballarat.
Click here for photos from the event
"It's a huge improvement.
"It's great. The basics are in place.
"There's still a lot to do though," he said.
Draper heaped praise on Ballarat City Council in getting the 1000-metre course to where it was.
He said while there would always be weed in the lake, there was an ongoing play to manage it.
Draper said he would be sending photographs of the Victorian Masters to the World Masters organisers and he was sure they would be impressed by the progress made.
He confirmed Ballarat was well and truly back in the mix as a possible location for national events, such as the Australian titles which rotated around the states.