Entries for the first World Rowing Cup ever to be hosted in Australia have closed with more than 250 athletes from 18 countries confirmed to race at the inaugural Sydney International Rowing Regatta next week.
Many Olympians and Olympic medallists will from 18 to 24 March with the World Rowing Cup component being contested on 22-24 March.
The Regatta will combine the Samsung World Rowing Cup 1, the Australian Open Rowing Championships, the Australian Open Schools Championships and the premium domestic events, the King’s and Queen’s Cups Interstate Regatta, in a week-long festival.
It will be the biggest rowing spectacle in the Asia Pacific region since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
The largest teams participating in the opening round of the Samsung World Rowing Cup include host country Australia with 62 athletes, followed by China (44), Great Britain (43) and New Zealand (41).
Great Britain, who topped the medal ranks at the London 2012 Olympic Rowing Regatta, will line up at the 2000 Olympic regatta course with a record number of nine Olympic medalists, including five London 2012 Olympic gold medalists.
Six Olympic gold medalists will be featuring in the U.S. team, who have arrived in Sydney with no less than fourteen 2012 Olympians on board.
World Rowing Cup Team Canada is featuring four Olympic medallists. Smaller teams will compete from Hong Kong, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Portugal, Hungary, Germany, Estonia and France – the latter including the French 2012 Olympic silver medal winning men’s pair with Germain Chardin and Dorian Mortelette.
Australia has entered 22 crews including seventeen London 2012 Olympians.
London 2012 Silver and Bronze medallist Kim Crow, Olympic silver medallists Will Lockwood, Josh Dunkley-Smith, James Chapman and Olympic bronze medallists Chris Morgan and James McRae will be leading the team, which holds a promising mix of youth and experience.
The majority of the team will be competing in their first Senior World Rowing Cup.
For all of them, it will be the first time to race at an international rowing event on home waters.
Drew Ginn, OAM, four time Olympian, three time Olympic gold medallist and member of the London 2012 silver medallist four and now Rowing Australia Head Coach, supports the extra motivation an international competition on home territory brings to the team.
The Australian Open Schools Rowing Championships have also attracted international interest and successful overseas crews will come from Great Britain, the USA, Ireland and Italy.
The 2013 Regatta will start on Monday 18 March with the Australian Open Rowing Championships running through the week.
The King’s and Queen’s Cup Interstate Regatta will be held on Saturday 23 March.
The climax will be the finals of the Australian Schools Rowing Championships and the Samsung World Rowing Cup (22-24 March) on Sunday 24 March.
It is the first time the Samsung World Rowing Cup is coming to the Southern Hemisphere.
It is one of three World Rowing events which will lead up to the annual World Rowing Championships, this year to be held in Chungju, South Korea 25 August – 1 September 2013.