BY LUKE REYNOLDS
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It was a big week rowing news-wise.
World Rowing announced that it is supporting the use of the Long Beach Marine Stadium as the venue for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics and the shortening of the course from 2000-meters to 1500-meters.
That’s huge news with potentially sport-changing implications. And…rowing fans had a lot to say about it.
“You are changing the nature of the sport. Changes the nature of the athletes and training. Please don’t do it. Would athletics run the 100m over 75? The marathon over 30? Swimming’s 800m over 600m? Basketball have three quarters instead of four? It’s a slippery slope we ride,” University of Queensland Boat Club head coach Richard Powell said on Facebook.
Another Facebook commenter, Peter Edwards, said: “Maybe we should shorten all years to 9 months, while we’re at it.”
And, finally, “In other news, I (could likewise expect to) hear that the International Chess Federation is supporting the proposal of removing the knights (and their four pawns) from Chess, because everyone finds that they make the game too hard. The Board can then be reduced by 25% to make it simpler for the general public to understand, allowing advertising and commercial sponsorship on the remaining 36 squares. In rowing at the top level, the last 500m is where all the previous 1500m of skill and tactics become rewarded for the very best in the sport. Without that last 25%, the sport becomes a dumbed-down base trial of mere strength and ‘training,’ rather than higher level ‘coaching,'” Matthew Hackett wrote.
Not every person agreed that the move was a bad thing. Some wrote that—like many other sports—having more than one Olympic distance is not a bad thing.
Time will tell which approach sticks but there is sure to be a lot more talk as Los Angeles nears. Who doesn’t love a healthy debate?
In addition to World Rowing’s announcement, the organization also reelected Jean-Christophe Rolland of France for a third presidential term.
In racing news, Head of the Lagoon took place this past weekend in Foster City, Calif.
Marin had a strong showing at the event winning the men’s and women’s junior eights, the women’s junior U17 quad, and the women’s high school frosh/novice eight. East Bay won the men’s masters eight and River City B won the women’s.
Down south, the annual Head of the South took place in Augusta, Ga. Triangle Rowing Club won the points trophy with 202 points. Atomic Rowing and TriStar finished second and third in the points trophy standings, respectively.
Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. Try to get in an alumni row if you’re visiting home.