Friday, August 3, 2012

Bulgaria shaping up

There is a little story behind the Plovdiv rowing course. Until 1988 it was only a 1000m long. But when in 1989, Plovdiv won the bid to host the World Canoeing Champs, the rebuild was approved to include the rowing distance of 2000m as well. It was redesigned by architect and former Olympian in the women's double's scull Svetla OtzetovaShe approached the integration of the rebuild in a Frank Lloyd Wright way, that is, integration with nature to be the key concept.

The first characteristic is the water level is only only 20cm above the road. This according to Otzetova creates very fair conditions. Lanes have never been re-seeded as we saw on day 7 of the rowing in Eton where the top lanes were seeded from left to right instead of middle to outside lanes. This also means for the spectators, they are more fused with the rowers as the the first row is only 12cm from the first lane. The second integration is that the facilities are all under the boathouse. This was the best way to not disturb the natural aesthetics of the grounds. Finally the weed problem that Plovdiv has too, as well as seen in Beijing (video of Mahe asking divers to remove weeds from his boat) and in Eton, a symbiosis relationship of fish that eat the weeds was created, and rowers can see these big fish in the water.
Read the full interview with World Rowing and Otzetova here

Watch this video of biking along the course.

More photos here and maps here.

USRowing has provided supporting documentation for rowers and spectators here.


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