SARASOTA COUNTY – The 2017 World Rowing Championships will feature 1,700 athletes from 69 countries. That also means a lot of boats.
“There are certainly hundreds of rowing shells and skulls,” World Rowing Championships Media and Public Relations Manager, Max Winitz, said.
So, how do they all get here?
“Well they come in these large shipping containers on these enormous cargo ships. We have these containers which were filled with rowing shells and skulls come from overseas going into various ports throughout the state of Florida. Then going on to these large flatbed trucks and transported here to Nathan Benderson Park,” Winitz said.
Some were affected by Hurricane Irma, especially containers scheduled for the Port of Miami. But, fortunately, the storm had a minimal effect.
“That has since been resolved and we still have containers coming in today with these boats,” Winitz said.
What if you were boat less, days before you row on the world’s stage?
“I cannot imagine a situation where I don’t have my boat,” Moran Samuel, member of Team Israel, said.
But, believe it or not, it’s actually not the worst thing that can happen.
“We have a contingency plan in place where some of our local and regional rowing clubs would have donated their boats. So, we were in touch with them just in case something like this were to happen,” Winitz said.
“Obviously you can do many, many things, but, in the end it comes to sitting in your boat. Feeling comfortable in your boat. I say in your boat because it’s so specific,” Samuel said.
All that’s left is for those boats to hit the water, then, go!
“That moment, the adrenaline is kind of all over your body and it’s amazing,” Samuel said.