AUSTRALIAN Masters Rowing Championships organisers are hopeful of getting through the last two days of the regatta on Ballarat’s Lake Wendouree without interruption.
Icy temperatures and rough water conditions forced the abandonment of the bulk of yesterday’s program.
Organising committee chairman Peter Fraser said there had been no choice but to call off the second day of the championships after two crews – a scull and a coxed four – were tipped into the water.
Twenty-four events were completed.
The remaining 70 races, of which 50 had gold medals up for grabs, have been cancelled.
Fraser said unfortunately there was no room to fit them into an already busy schedule for today and tomorrow.
Today’s program, which begins at 8am, features 71 races and tomorrow’s finale has 75.
Championships officials had their eye on weather conditions right from the outset yesterday.
An air temperature of five degrees, with a wind chill factor of zero, led Fraser and his committee to delay the start to racing by an hour to 9am.
When rowing did get under way, while the temperature remained low water conditions were considered suitable for racing.
This changed mid-morning as the wind picked up, with the decision to call off the day’s program being made about 11am.
Fraser said conditions over the last 200-300m of the 1000m were excellent; it was a different scenario at the start in open water became largely unrowable as the chop increased.
He said it was disappointing from an organisational point of view to have to cut short the second day, but from a competitors’ safety point of view there had been no other option.
Fraser paid credit to the work of regatta volunteers, medical staff and surf life savers.
The forecast for today and tomorrow is a maximum of 11 degrees, with possible showers.