Lake Wendouree will host first rowing regatta since COVID-19 lockdowns

This Saturday 7 November, Lake Wendouree will host the first Rowing Victoria regatta post Covid-19 lockdowns.

The Rowing Victoria Schools – Ballarat Regatta is usually held at Lake Wendouree in early November and is attended by schools from across the state. This year the regatta will only be open to regional schools as Melbourne still has a 25 kilometre radius travel restriction. The regatta is expected to host over 300 competitors from schools in Ballarat, Horsham and Hamilton.

The regatta will introduce lots of new procedures to ensure its Covid-safe. Some of these measures include the attendance of a Covid-safe marshal, schools will be cordoned off from each other, Covid-safe signage will be installed and there will be restrictions around teams launching off the pontoons. School spectator marques will also be prohibited, there will be no post event medal presentations, and no more than 10 people are to gather for race briefings.

On the water, a maximum of six racing lanes will be used allowing for 15 metres between each boat, and there will be no eight-person rowing boats competing on the day. Competitors will remain on the water between heats, semi-finals and finals and on completion of their races they will be encouraged to go home.

City of Ballarat CEO Janet Dore says Council is committed to working with Rowing Victoria to deliver regattas in a Covid-safe format.

“The City of Ballarat’s support for these activations are an important aspect of Ballarat ‘s post-Covid sports event program. These regattas will help promote Lake Wendouree as an ideal sporting venue and will support economic activity in Ballarat.”

“We appreciate Rowing Victoria’s proactive approach to competitive rowing and we look forward to welcoming competitors and spectators to our lake.”

Lake Wendouree will be closed to all boating activity on Saturday. The City of Ballarat has notified the Ballarat Yacht Club and the other local clubs and schools of the changes.

This regatta is the first of a series of events Rowing Victoria plans to stage on Lake Wendouree in 2020. Rowing Victoria are currently planning three new events on 22 and 28 November, and 20 December, which will be called Lap of the Lake Distance Regatta.

Introducing a new and innovative format, these races will see crews follow a course of varying lengths designed around the Lake. Crews will navigate the course and are timed separately for each section with an aggregate time then calculated to determine winners.

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