The London 2012 Olympic Rowing Regatta at Eton Dorney totally exceeded all of my expectations. Team GB really did us proud getting all 13 crews into the finals with 9 of those crews winning medals.
The gold for Kat Copeland and Sophie Hosking really add a local dimension to the results. Kat is a current member of Tees Rowing Club having learned to row at Yarm School. Sophie Hosking is a Durham University graduate having been a member of the Durham University Boat Club rowing programme.
Personally I’m gutted for Jess Eddie (ex-Durham Amateur Rowing Club) and Matt Wells (ex-Queen Elizabeth High School Rowing Club) along with the other squad members with regional connections who didn’t win medals.
I’ll freely admit to being skeptical about the London Games. The modern concept of the games is tied into so many commercial interests that had threatened to overpower the competitive aspects of the regatta.
- Grandstands – excellent viewing positions
- Dorney Roar – an amazing wall of sound
- TV coverage – first class. The BBC televised everything live. Plus you got to see it all on the big screen at Dorney itself.
- Overhead cam – a 2 kilometer overhead camera track. Gave some really good shots of the racing.
- Park and Ride – I’ve never seen a bus station so big. All seemed to run smoothly.
- Toilet provision – I didn’t see a queue once!
- Empty space in the first 1000m metres – space for another 10,000 people up there!
- Water fountains (lack thereof) – we only saw two. Not really adequate for 30,000 people.
- “Programmes” – well more like magazines. They didn’t actually cover the days racing!
All in all an excellent event.