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Florida gets go-ahead from world rowing

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/09/2017

New Zealand rowers will board the plane for Florida as planned after international officials gave the hurricane-hit region the green light to host the world championships.

A newly built venue in Sarasota-Bradenton in central Florida emerged relatively unscathed by Hurricane Irma, which pummelled other parts of the state and the Caribbean region heavily.

The regatta course at Nathan Benderson Park escaped the worst of the disaster and FISA executive director Matt Smith says local facilities are all expected to be operational well before the eight-day regatta begins on September 24.

More than 900 athletes from 69 countries will compete at the first world championship regatta in the United States for 23 years.

The 43 Kiwi rowers, plus reserves and management were to depart on Thursday night.

Rowing NZ chief executive Simon Peterson told NZ Newswire the athletes hadn't been distracted by the uncertainty of what damage Hurricane Irma might inflict.

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