71 countries to be represented at World Rowing Championships at Benderson Park

First team expected for practice will be from Ukraine, event staff says

The homepage of the 2017 World Rowing Championships website includes this encouragement for volunteers to register. Image from the website

On Aug. 22 — with a month and a day to go before the beginning of 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park — the event staff announced that 71 countries are scheduled for the competition.

“Multiple shipping containers with rowing sculls and shells” will be arriving from overseas in about a week, Max Winitz, media and public relations manager, announced in a news release. On Aug. 28, he continued, construction will begin on the 2,000-seat grandstand.

“Around 400 volunteers are still needed,” he added, with more than 1,600 already registered.

Meredith Scerba, executive director of the 2017 World Rowing Championships, has explained to the Sarasota County Commission that the volunteers are vital to the smooth functioning of the event, quite a variety of jobs to be filled — from greeting teams at the airport and hotels, to assisting with operations at the park as the competition is underway.

The first team to arrive at Benderson Park to train for the 2017 World Rowing Championships will be from Ukraine, Winitz noted. The athletes tentatively are expected on Sept. 7, he added.

“Construction is wrapping up on Nathan Benderson Park’s new Starter’s Pavilion,” he continued. “It will house officials and timing cameras during the event and serve as a pavilion on non-event days.”

VIP tickets for viewing the competition from within the Nathan Benderson Park Finish Tower have sold out for Championship Weekend (Sept. 30 to Oct. 1), Winitz noted. A few VIP seats are still available for the period of Sept. 24-29, he wrote. They may be purchased at www.wrch2017.com/tickets.

Approximately 50 vendors will be on-site during all nine days of the event, he continued. “This excludes the dozens of other vendors who will be at the event on various days.”

The Opening Ceremony will be held on the evening of Sept. 23, beginning at 7 p.m. “The event is free for everyone and does not require a ticket,” he pointed out. It will feature a fireworks show “and some of the area’s most talked about and popular entertainment acts,” he added.

As of Aug. 22, Winitz wrote, reporters and photographers from 25 different countries have applied for accreditation to cover the competition.

NBC Sports Network and the Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, will carry the event in the United States, he added.