FatSculler’s blog has this interesting opinion piece about why the public rowing fans can’t watch the selection regatta.
This weekend is the final trials for the GB rowing team with places up for grabs at the European Championships (and the Under 23 team as well). As GB didn’t send a team to the first World Cup in Australia, the Europeans are being used as a season opener for the full squad for the first time in a number of years. So the racing this weekend promises some intriguing contests.
But what is most disappointing is that the trials are being held “behind closed doors” at Caversham with “Only bona fide members of the working media will be permitted to attend”. It’s amazing, and extremely frustrating, that GB Rowing do not make more of the trials as a public race. There is a definite appetite amongst the rowing public to watch the finals of trials and have the (increasingly rare) opportunity to watch the current (and future) stars racing on home water. Surely it would have been feasible to hold the trials at Dorney or even Nottingham to allow the public to come and watch? I can think of few British sports which are so reluctant to “open up” their trials to public spectating, especially given the need for GB Rowing to secure a title sponsor. I would have thought they would have grabbed every opportunity possible to promote the “GB Rowing” brand to potential sponsors. It’s a definite opportunity missed yet again, and, for a rowing geek like me, an extremely frustrating one as well!
Anyway, rant over….on to my preview of the racing.