Svetla Otzetova is FISA’s Events Director and Chief Technical delegate at the 2010 World
Rowing Championships. Otzetova was Olympic Champion in the women’s double scull
for Bulgaria in 1976 and World Champion at the 1978 World Championships at Lake
Karapiro, New Zealand.
In 1978 New Zealand hosted the World Rowing
Championships for the first time. The event is still
considered by many as the most successful World
Championships ever held.
This was the first time that the World Rowing
Championships had been organised in the southern
hemisphere and this was a real test for the New
Zealand Rowing Federation and for the country. The
critical role of Chairman of the Organising Committee
was given to Don Rowlands who delivered on
all promises (read Don Rowlands on page 16). In
New Zealand, the rowing legacy that lives on from
this first international event can be seen at all levels of
rowing, and the current successes of New Zealand’s
national rowing team is, in itself, a tribute to the huge
popular success of the event back then.
Lake Karapiro received further recognition from
the rowing world when at the 2006 FISA Ordinary
Congress held in Eton, Great Britain, it was appointed
to host the 2010 World Rowing Championships.
The Organising Committee which was established
has worked tirelessly for four years to create a
venue worthy of the World Championships at Lake
Karapiro and to pull together a team of dedicated
volunteers to make this event the best ever.
As a World Champion from 1978 in Karapiro,
I look forward to the upcoming World Rowing
Championships with great emotion and anticipation.
I am a big fan of this venue and still fondly remember
competing on Lake Karapiro 32 years ago. What made
the 1978 world event so special was the atmosphere
and how so much was done for the athletes to make
them feel welcome. The importance of this aspect
of the organisation is sometimes underestimated.
Although the Lake itself has remained the same,
along with all its history and spiritual significance
(read on page 22-23), and the enthusiasm and
dedication are still as strong as in 1978, if not
stronger (page 11-12), the technical standards
for such a regatta have risen - this is not a barrier
for the 2010 World Championships being a success.
As the lead Technical Delegate for these
championships and having myself competed
on this lake, I am particularly excited to see the
result of these past years of preparation. I am sure
we will have fantastic championships because
© Detlev Seyb
things are on track for a big success. The great
rowing community is bringing the local culture
and all the different segments of the championship
organisation together in a seamless manner to
provide an event that promises to be enjoyable,
exciting and smooth-running for competitors,
spectators, media and officials alike.
This event is a unique opportunity to showcase our
sport and the Karapiro region not only within New
Zealand, but also to the rest of the World and hopefully
the new legacy in the southern hemisphere from this
2010 event will foster many more successes for at least
as long as those inherited from the previous edition.
I hope you enjoy this issue of World Rowing
e-magazine fully dedicated to this year’s host
country of the 2010 World Rowing Championships.
; ■ Svetla Otzetova, FISA Events Director