A sporting chance

Heading for the Golden Horn to catch the rowing races

By Emily Arauz | September 8, 2017


The Balkan Rowing Championship takes place in Haliç this year on September 9–10. This will be a ‘Junior’ championship (18 and below). Consequently, the Haliç will be closed to the ship traffic for this event.

Rowing races are ideally followed by bicycles or at the finish area but unfortunately following by bike is not possible on the Haliç as there is no path. Therefore, you should plan to join the main spectators at the finish at Şair Nedim Park. There will likely be bleachers set up for fans where you should also be able to hear the commentary. If you are new to the sport or the teams, commentary can do wonders in helping you follow the progress of each race. The races are scheduled to start at 9am both days but may be delayed according to weather. In any case, plan an early day; races usually are finished around midday before the waves pick up. Finals, the most exciting and competitive part of the competition, will take place on the second day.

Romania has always been strong between Balkan countries, so be prepared to listen to their national anthem multiple times. However, Turkey has been challenging them for a few years now. Just last year in Kastoria, the victory of the Turkish men 8+ team was especially remarkable so keep an eye out for them.

In general, the 8+ is the most exciting race and usually take places at the end of the scheduled races each day. These boats are the fastest of all categories and the coordination of 8 rowers is very important because even the smallest difference may slow down the boat. Paired with the sound of the oars and yelling of the coxes, who try to motivate their teams, these final races become quite exciting.

Remember, rowing is an outdoor sport, so stay in harmony with the sport and bring your raincoat/cap in case of all possible meteorological events.

For more info: http://www.tkf.gov.tr/

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