The 2015 Pan Am games will be one of the biggest sporting events to hit Ontario in recent years. The Canadian province is no stranger to world-class sporting events – and numerous world-class events are coming to the Niagara Region, including Rowing.
Royal Canadian Henley Regatta Centre
The Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course is a facility that’s been operational since 1903. It was designed as a permanent residence for the prestigious Henley Regatta – which is currently among the largest of North America’s rowed and sailed boat race meets, with nearly 3 000 athletes competing annually.
The rowing events hosted at this course are grand in scale – where other venues such as the Welland Flatwater Centre are designed for short sprint races, the events at Henley are generally 2km long and are always a gruelling test in endurance and teamwork. Modern rowing requires every muscle group in the body, sweeping the oars with a combination of arm and leg motions. The smaller sculling boats may crew between one and four rowers, while the larger sweeping boats will generally have twice the crew. The larger the crew, the greater the demand on the individual rowers keeping in synchronisation with their team-mates.
World Class Rowing Venue
The facilities at the rowing course have been regularly redeveloped and renovated to allow the course to keep a world-class status. It keeps consistent stillwater conditions across Martindale Pond, where the course is plotted. The course accommodates eight adjacent rowing teams along the track. The most recent upgrade, valued at almost a million dollars, has replaced the bridgework connecting the island-based facility to the mainland and refurbished the area. Regular upgrades like this have enabled the course to consistently keep its ‘A’ rating from the International Rowing Federation.
The events at the Henley course are world-class even outside of the Pan Am Games. The course has hosted the World Rowing Championships twice and the Henley Regatta is a premier sporting event – making it an ideal venue for the Pan Am Games. And with Canada’s strong international record in rowing events – it was a top-four contender at the last Pan Am Games in Guadalajara – the 2015 games promise keep that world-class pedigree alive.
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