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Winds throw rowing into disarray

Winds throw rowing into disarray

RIO DE JANEIRO: High winds gusting across the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon forced organisers to call off the second day of the 2016 Olympic rowing regatta on Sunday.

The decision followed a day of difficult conditions on the opening programme on Saturday, with some rowers complaining that the races should have been postponed then. One boat capsized and several others were nearly swamped.

Winds blowing through the mountains overlooking the lagoon again whipped up the waters on Sunday and by mid-morning, white waves were rippling across the water and palm trees on the shore were bending.

International rowing federation executive director Matt Smith said gusts of up to 34 mph (15 metres per second) were pushing buoys into the lanes.




He said races would be rescheduled for Monday and Tuesday when less wind is expected.

“We’re hopeful that it will settle down,” Smith said, adding it’s possible to extend the race program by one day until Aug. 14 and schedule more races in the remaining days if the high winds persist. “We are old and experienced in staging regattas. We have a lot of tricks up our sleeves,” he said.

British Rowing performance director David Tanner said he absolutely supported the decision.

“I absolutely support the decision. We definitely, definitely shouldn’t be racing in these conditions,” said Tanner.

Wind also complicated racing on the first day of rowing on Saturday when Serbia’s men’s pair capsized and other competitors struggled to keep their boats from taking on water.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2016

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