The Australian Warwick Marler is one of the members “FISA Rowing For All Commission”. He follows the development of recreational and tour rowing. He is working together with Canottieri Luino for the Lake Maggiore Rowing Tour. His advise is extremely important for Luigi Manzo and his team. “I was struck by its beauty and the wonderful rowing opportunities it offered, as well as the rich culture of its environs. I am most impressed by the efforts of the Organising Committee in preparing a great itinerary with great rowing and cultural aspects and a relaxed and welcoming format”.
Can you tell me something about your passion for rowing?
“My wife, Bronwyn, and I took up rowing after one of our daughters began rowing at school in 1995. 2 of our daughters rowed at a very high level with age championship titles at a national and international level. As a result, as well as rowing myself, I became involved in coaching and administration. I was involved with the State governing body for a number of years; was president of the school rowing group for many years, chair of my club Commercial Rowing Club as well as being founding president and continuing to be president of Coastal Rowing Australia, the first coastal rowing club in this country.
I raced in Masters events for a number of years, including FISA Masters, but seldom race now. Bronwyn and I were introduced to tour rowing on the Australian FISA World Rowing Tour in 1997 and have been hooked ever since. We have now participated in 15 FISA World Rowing Tours as well as numerous other international and domestic rowing tours. We were the organisers of the FISA World Rowing Tour in Australia in 2010.
Tour rowing is now central to our lives. Coastal rowing boats are the best toys we have ever had to play with, and tour rowing must be the most fun you could ever have sitting down!
There have been many highlights. The FISA Tours are very special, but I cannot rank any one as the best as the delights are cumulative, with the wonderful fraternity developing with each tour. You get to know someone pretty well when you spend a day in a boat with them – to move the boat, as a crew, over a distance of 30 km or more. Then there is the wonderful fraternity when you get to shore. When you replicate this over a number of years, the friendships you form are very special.
In 2012, I was delighted to join the FISA Rowing For All Commission, and take on responsibilities for recreational and tour rowing. Now I am able to make my own contribution in the areas of rowing that I am most passionate about, and gain an appreciation of the contributions made by those who took on the role before me – Jens Kolberg (Norway), Stig Fischer (Denmark) and Bo Gammals (Finland). It is exciting to have an involvement in programs and events that promote tour rowing, in particular, and introduce it into new areas.
A highlight so far, perhaps, of my time on the Commission is setting up the FISA Tour Rowing Directory on the World Rowing website, which provides links to some rowing tour opportunities, internationally, for tour rowers. In time it is hoped that more rowing tour organisers will provide details of their events for inclusion in the directory”.
Which are the goals of FISA World Rowing Tour? Why did FISA decided to create this event?
“The principal objectives of World Rowing Tours are to promote tour rowing as such, and international fraternity. FISA created the World Rowing Tour to pursue these objectives.
Tour rowing is non-competitive. The format of the tour is that participants do not row in set crews – rather, the crews are changed each day, and generally, a rower would not row in the same boat as another rower more than one day on the tour and, except for boat captains, should not row in the same crew as another person from their own country.
It is also a showcase event – showcasing best practice in tour rowing organisation and format, and showcasing international fraternity, goodwill and understanding through tour rowing”.
And about Lake Maggiore? What do you think about this lake and the work of the Organising Committee?
“On my site visit in March, my first visit to Lake Maggiore, I was struck by its beauty and the wonderful rowing opportunities it offered, as well as the rich culture of its environs. I am most impressed by the efforts of the Organising Committee in preparing a great itinerary with great rowing and cultural aspects and a relaxed and welcoming format”.
Sport (Rowing), culture and tourism: how does FISA World Rowing Tour link all these elements?
“The FISA World Rowing Tour is a great way to link rowing, culture and tourism. Most participants will extend their stay to holiday in the region, and Italy generally”.
What do the participants expect from this event?
“Participants this year will look forward to receiving wonderful Italian hospitality,great local cuisine, rowing on one of the most beautiful lakes in the World and thefraternity of neand old friends that they have come to expect from FISA World Rowing Tours”.
What do you think about the development of Coastal Rowing in these years? How many countries are involved now?
“As well as being ideal tour rowing boats – in particular on exposed waters, FISA class coastal rowing boats are rowed in 6 continents and raced competitively in 4 continents. Coastal rowing is the fastest growing side of the sport. More than 30 countries are now involved in coastal rowing. This year we have the World Rowing Coastal Championships in Lima, Peru 13th-15th November. All coastal rowers are welcome to come and race in Pacific Ocean at Lima”.