Everything You Need to Know About the 2017 World Rowing Championships

Despite the impact of Hurricane Irma, the local organizing committee has released an official statement confirming that the 2017 World Rowing Championships will happen as planned. That means that in just a few days, one of rowing’s biggest international events will take place over the course of a week in Sarasota, Florida. This year’s installment marks the first time the regatta has been held in the United States in more than 20 years, and rowing enthusiasts across the country are eager for the action to begin.

As a supplier of American-made dual-density boat and erg pads to some of the sport’s most accomplished athletes, RowingPad™ is especially proud to welcome the world’s competitive rowing community Stateside.

In fact, we are offering free shipping on all purchases for the next two weeks as a celebration of the amazing performances to come and to support rowers of all ages and levels as they improve their skill. Use the code RPWCFS at checkout.

The WRC takes place in the three years leading up to the Olympic Games, and we have every reason to expect a spectacular week of top-level rowing on the breathtaking blue waters of Sarasota’s new racing venue at Nathan Benderson Park. From the picturesque lake setting to the international superstars, here are the highlights for the 2017 World Rowing Championships.

Nonstop Action From International Rowing Talent

This year’s World Rowing Championships will feature 1,700 delegates from 70 different countries—a global competition for today’s upcoming superstars and current record-holders alike. With races in more than 26 different boat classes for both men and women, the regatta is truly a showcase for the range of talented athletes making their mark in the sport right now.

Keep your eye on gold medalists from last summer’s Olympics in Rio who will be looking to continue their winning streak. Great Britain, which won the World Rowing Cup series earlier this year, has a particularly strong team going into the regatta, with 14 Olympians, including four gold medalists, and two Rio 2016 Paralympic champions among its 64 athletes.

Team USA (which claimed gold in the women’s eight and silver in the women’s singles in Rio plus a women’s four gold medal at the 2016 World Rowing Championships) announced its final team at the end of August. The 78 athletes include 19 Olympians or Paralympians, all aiming to build toward the 2020 Olympic Games.

Check out the full racing schedule here.

A World-Class New Venue

The newly developed Nathan Benderson Park was designed from scratch specifically to host top-level rowers from around the world. The incredible new space, transformed from a former borrow pit, cost more than $40 million to create and includes everything necessary for hosting racing events of Olympic standard.

The 600-acre park is anchored by the spring-fed, 400-acre lake, which was built to FISA racing standards (the only FISA Grade A course in North America) and has 8 x 13.5 meter lanes. The race course is 2,180 meters in length, 630 meters wide and (on average) 6 meters deep. The lake also features multiple 1,500-meter lanes for crews to warm up and cool down as well as a floating wave attenuator platform for TV crews and dedicated areas for coaches.

A Stellar Location

Situated on Florida’s west coast, the Sarasota-Bradenton area is in a prime spot for welcoming travelers from near and far. Just one hour south of Tampa, two from Orlando and within easy access of Interstate 75, the racing venue and surrounding communities are near several major airports and offer plenty of lodging options for competitors and spectators alike.

Who wouldn’t want to cap off a day of watching world-class rowing with a sunset stroll along the stunning white-sand beaches of Siesta Key and Lido Key? Or visiting one of the many art galleries or museums that make up the charming downtowns of Sarasota and its neighboring towns.

A Full Slate of Fan Entertainment

In case the promise of all the action on the water isn’t enough to make you immediately pack up and head south for the week, consider the jam-packed lineup of events and activities on offer for attendees. Dubbed “Fan Fest,” the visitors’ experience program changes daily to reflect a new theme, from technology to family fun and pets to hosting a local farmers’ market, and includes fireworks, live music, food trucks, and weeklong vendor displays.

Away from the racing hub at the park, the business communities in Sarasota and the surrounding areas will welcome visitors to partake of self-guided walking tours, restaurant weeks, microbreweries, shopping, dining, riverwalk attractions and a collectors’ car show.