Revival of the Grand Moscow Regatta

After a decade-long absence, boat races are back on the Moscow River for the 48th Grand Regatta. Teams from 10 countries are participating in the competition, and organizers promise tough competition.

The venue for the event is the Kolomensky Canal, a tributary of the Moscow River, which was once specially designed for boat races. During Soviet times, the Moscow Regatta was highly popular but, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the event was stopped, and the canal hasn’t been used for international scale competitions for more than a decade.

The organizers of this year’s Grand Moscow Regatta see the event as a revival of the large-scale competitions held in the Russian capital, and hope it will attract new rowing stars. Despite the fact the world’s best – England and Germany – aren’t participating in the event, the races promise to be tough, they say.

This is a good start for Grand Moscow Regatta to become as attractive as the world-famous and most-prestigious Henley Regatta in the United Kingdom, says Patrick Rombauk from FISA, the International Rowing Federation. But there is a long way to go, and the first step is to hold events of this kind on a regular basis.

“And the do a lot of advertising and publicity and bid, of course, to the international organization so you can be on the waiting list [for the World Championships]. At the moment the list is full until 2012, but regular events in Moscow will certainly serve as candidature for the Moscow International Regatta,” said Rombauk.