aus03Marion Graemers is very happy to take part in the Lago Maggiore World Rowing Tour. She will arrive with her partner Graham and will also have the opportunity to visit other parts of northern Italy.

Can you tell me something about your passion for rowing (quote when and where you start activity, important results you think it’s important to stress)?
My main passion about rowing is it is a beautiful way to exercise outside. I live in tropical north Queensland Australia where the rivers are teeming with birds and in our river we even have a resident fresh water crocodile and I love mixing exercise with looking at the river changing with the seasons“.

What’s your job and how old are you?
” I am an artist. My main art form is basketry where I use plant material and manmade material to make containers and sculptural forms. This is my love but I make little money from this so I also work part time in a bookshop (I also love to read). I am 57″.

Can you describe the place where you generally row and your club?
aus01” I row with 2 clubs in Townsville. One with regular sculls – Townsville and James Cook University rowing club on a small fresh water river. I row between 2 weirs which are 4 kms apart. 3 mornings a week I get up at 4.30am to start rowing at 5am. I row a single and a double with my partner Graham Ward – who is also on the rowing trip with me. It takes about an hour and we are home again by 6am. Now because it is winter we row in the dark the sun rises about 6.30am but there is enough light from street lights and the moon when it is full to see. In summer when the sun rises earlier I row in the light which is a lot nicer as it is easier to see the birds and other wildlife. Our club has both competitive and social rowers and compete in various regattas in Queensland and Australia but now I am mainly a social rower loving the longer rows. This is a link to our club I am also a member of Coastal Rowing and Touring Australia. We have 12 boats in Queensland and 3 are in Townsville. In Townsville we have a Quad, Double and Single. Once a week I row in these boats. This row at the moment is also early in the morning on the weekend and there is a variety of places we go. Just off the coast of Townsville (8kms) we have Magnetic Island and it takes about an hour to row across, have a cup of tea and hour to row back. A very pleasant morning. We have seen turtles and dolphins and at the moment there are whales are migrating north and our dream is to see them up close (maybe not too close)This is a link to our rowing in the Coral Sea”.

Is Lake Maggiore your 1st FISA World Rowing Tour?
” No. I have been on 3 other FISA trips and have enjoyed them very much. (England, Holland and Ireland) The rowing with the history of the country and well as meeting people from other countries”

Is your 1st time in Italy?
“I have been to Italy once before in 1982 for 5 days. The typical young person’s travel in a combi van visiting all the famous sites in Europe in 6 weeks. Now I love to travel slowly and see much more of one place so am looking forward to seeing a part of Italy I have never seen the beautiful lakes”

After/before arriving on Lake Maggiore for FISA World Rowing Tour will you visit other places in Italy?
” After rowing we are spending a week at Menaggio, Lake Como walking the local trails. Then a few days in Milan before departing back to Australia. Where I look forward to being a tourist in a large town. Looking at art galleries and shops”.

How do you imagine your FISA World Rowing Tour on Lake Maggiore? What do you expect?
aus02” Hopefully sunny days, great rowing, good company and food and lots of things to see both historical and natural. But if it is raining and windy I will love the brisk cold and energetic row and then the warm hotel room after with good company and hot food”.

Have you read something about this place? If yes, what impressed you?
“The dramatic scenery combined with the history of the area. It always amazes me how long people have lived in Europe and how old the buildings are”.

How much do you train to row for 180 km in a week?
“180kms (which is 30 kms a day) I am fairly fit and row 4 times a week and ride a bike 3 days to work. This maintains my fitness level. I have found the rowing with FISA tours very pleasant and there is always a period in the day each rower coxes which I enjoy as well”.

How much is important to find also time for tourism and culture?
” Very important. This is why we travel to other countries. We are tourists and want to see the country, the rowing is a way to travel with people who have similar ideals and loves. And to go to places that are a bit off the tourist trails”.

If you want to add something, you are free to write!
” I am very excited about coming to Italy to row with old friends that I have met on previous FISA tours and meet new friends. I have met some great Australians from other parts of Australia that I never would have met if I didn’t do these trips. Because of our first FISA trip we met Warwick and Craig from Brisbane and Noosa ( 1400 kilometres south of Townsville) and now have coastal rowing boats in Townsville. Also have rowed in other parts of Australia with these people. Early this year we rowed with coastal rowing Australia in Sydney harbour and met other rowing friends. Kevin Hayes and Bev James (who are also going to Italy) we met in Ireland and England. These contacts also give us the opportunity to row in different parts of Australia. I also like to invite all the people we have met on these trips to come and row with us in Townsville”