This is a big year for the World Rowing Junior Championships as it serves a dual purpose.
Apart from determining the fastest juniors in the world, the championships will also play the
crucial role of being the test regatta for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Eton Dorney
regatta venue, just outside of London, is where it will all be happening.
10 of the 13 events, winning both the men’s and
women’s single sculls, as well as the men’s and
women’s quadruple sculls. Great Britain took gold
in the women’s eight and the United States won the
Eton Dorney belongs to Great Britain’s renowned Eton
College (established in 1440), whose former students
include Prince William and Prince Harry, Olympic rowing
champion Sir Matthew Pinsent (who is also the President
of this regatta) and actor and rower Hugh Laurie. The
racing course and part of the warm-up channel (1,000m)
were completed in time for the 2005 World Rowing
Cup. By the time Eton Dorney hosted the 2006 World
Championships, the entire warm-up channel had been
completed. In the last couple of years small adjustments
have been made to bring it up to full Olympic standard.
This year 50 nations are expected to participate in
the junior championships.
The event, during which organisers and officials will
be testing for any concerns prior to the 2012 Olympic
Games, will be held from 3 to 7 August. Junior rowers
are 18 years of age or younger and have usually been in
the sport for about three to four years by the time they
participate in the championships. For the majority of
athletes it is their first international rowing regatta and
their excitement and youthful enthusiasm is evident,
as is the dedication of the many family members who
travel, often great distances, to show their support.
Germany has had a huge imprint on the medals
podium. Last year, in Racice, Czech
crews medalled in
Apart from the eight-laned race course, Eton Dorney
includes a 60m wide return lake filled with water from
ground boreholes which provides drinking quality
water as well as a 1,000m canoe training course. A
road around the entire racing course allows coaches
on bikes to follow their crews down the course during
training and will also be used by commentary and
With the River Thames and Henley nearby, Eton Dorney
is in the heart of a region that has great tradition in rowing.
There are also sightseeing opportunities nearby at the
British royal family’s Windsor Castle and the historic
town of Eton.
The Italian Men’s Eight (Marco di Costanzo, Matteo Macario,
Roberto Bianco, Fabio Vigliarolo, Giuseppe Vicino, Enrico D’Aniello,
Vincenzo Abbagnale, Simone Angeloni, Bernardo Nannini) enjoying