Event description and key objectives
The 44th World Rowing Masters Regatta was hosted by Slovenia in the city of Bled – one of the most beautiful natural courses in the world. Bled is a city with a long tradition for rowing and a regatta course that has hosted many international regattas through the years. Rowing is a lifelong sport and stimulates grown up people to keep fit. Key objectives of organizers were to prepare fantastic competition on one of the most beautiful rowing courses and best venues in the world, to offer participants what they like the most – “An Incredible Experience” – rowing, competing and meeting friends. Masters rowers realise all of that as the 2017 WRMR has attracted record participation. More than 4,700 participants were registered, coming from nearly 900 clubs worldwide, competing in over 17,000 seats. In total with around 1,000 companions Bled hosted almost 6,000 people.
The huge entry in WRMR 2017 shattered previous records for masters regattas. Record big masters regatta in Bled (in number of participants) demanded great logistics in terms od hospitality and location itself (space, transport, informing athletes etc.). More than 300 people and volunteers helped to prepare and execute the regatta. More than 2,000 boats were stored in the boathouse area and more than 250 trailers were parked right at the venue. Very impressive. As the huge number of participants a bit surprised organizers at first it was at the same time great honour. At the end all ran like clockwork.
Rowing is a worldwide sport. A rower may compete as a masters rower from the beginning of the year during which he or she turns 27. This regatta attracted new rowers in younger categories and more women. How organizers communicated to the target group surely had great impact on the success of the event. Starting with promotion – being present on social media, regularly sending targeted newsletters with triggers like location, easy access, modern infrasturcture etc., with detailed but concise information and responsivness on email and mobile phones.
The content of the event expanded from “only” rowing to additional programme offering evening opening ceremony with a parade of Nations at the Bled Promenade, Royal Reception at the Bled castle with Octo ceremony, every day evening programme “Taste of Bled” ( live music at the Bled Promenade and “food market” offering traditional culinary delights) and number of one day tourist tours around Slovenia for participants and their companions to experience Slovenia in full swing.
The Slovenian rowing tradition has been crowned with the successful organization of the European and World Championships and the World Cup competitions at Lake Bled. Bled hosted the World Championships in 1966, 1979, 1989 and lastly in 2011 and has hosted the World Cup in 2010 and 2015 and record big Masters in 2017. With the enthusiasm and hard work, a reliable and very capable organizational structure was built with wide range of experiences. It can be said that effort made in the creating the best team for the hosting of elite rowing events was paid off , since the workforce and especially Organizing Committee members were eager to work also on other rowing events from 2011 on. After last year’s extremely successful World Masters Regatta 2017, the team was awarded with a new challenge – 2020 World Rowing Senior, Under 23 and Junior Championships.
The estimation is that during the Masters Regatta (duration of 5 days) 6.000 people were accommodated in Bled and surrounding areas. They stayed on average 6 days, making 36.000 lodgings. Daily consumption per person was 50€ per day averagely
From the brand BLED ROWING, that was introduced in 2015 for Rowing World Cup, organisers launched brands for different rowing events, such as Bled Rowing Events Team, Bled Rowing International regattas, Bled Rowing World Cup, Bled Rowing Labour Day Regatta, etc. The strategy is to have coherent communication for all rowing events on Lake Bled under representative logo and brand.
The use of sustainable practices
FISA (World Rowing) Strategic Alliance WWF and World Rowing global partnership aims to:
- Set new standards in sustainable sports event management, particularly in respect to clean water
- Raise public awareness of key freshwater messages
- Harness rowers all around the world to take actions that will protect water