The World Rowing Federation, FISA, has developed a new event attribution process. This recognises that many regatta venues have benefited from significant investment by local, regional and national governments, to bring them to a standard suitable for hosting international competitions.
Launched at the end of 2017, the new process – called the Strategic Event Attribution Process (SEAP) – offers a more strategic and long-term approach to attributing FISA events. It allows interested parties to indicate all of the FISA-owned events between 2021 and 2028 that they believe would support their long-term events strategy.
There are 36 events open to bidding for the period spanning 2021 to 2026, including the 2023, 2025 and 2026 World Rowing Championships. For the 2021 to 2024 period, bids are invited for the junior and under-23 World Rowing Championships, three World Rowing Cup series regattas per year and the World Rowing Masters Regatta. In addition to the World Rowing events, FISA owns the European Championships at the senior, under-23 and junior level and these events for the 2021 to 2024 period are also open for bidding.
The first major milestone, the submission of preliminary bids, was reached on 15 April 2019. At the time of the deadline, 21 Member Federations submitted bids from 31 rowing venues, with the German Rowing Federation putting forward five venues for contention and the French Rowing Federation putting forward three.
Regulars on the World Rowing event circuit like Lucerne (SUI), Bled (SLO), Poznan (POL), Plovdiv (BUL) and Belgrade (SRB) have also put in bids. Several venues that have not hosted world-level events for many years have stepped forward again including Zagreb (CRO), Brive (FRA) and Villach (AUT). No less than three Olympic regatta courses are in the mix, including the 1972 Olympic regatta course in Munich (GER), which last hosted a World Rowing event in 2012, the 1976 Olympic course in Montreal (CAN), which last hosted in 2001, the Banyoles (ESP) 1992 Olympic course, which last hosted an event in 2009. There is also a possibility that Penrith, the Sydney 2000 Olympic venue will bid.
Bidders include an emergence of new venues, which – if successful in their bids – would host World Rowing events for the first time such as Hjelmsjo (SWE), Kazan (RUS) and Pretoria (RSA).
Moving into the final stage of the process, bidders have until 30 June 2019 to finalise all details and present final bids including financial guarantees. A complete review of all bid documentation will then be done by FISA to ensure that all standards have been met.
All World Championship events will be attributed by the FISA Congress, on 2 September 2019 in Linz, Austria. The World Rowing Cup events and the World Rowing Masters Regattas will be attributed directly by the FISA Council and announced at the same FISA Congress, while the European Championship events will be attributed by the European Rowing Extraordinary General Assembly later this year.
A detailed description of the SEAP bidding procedure and timeline can be found here.