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The Globe and Mail

Weather conditions may for force rowing delay at Olympic Games

Team Australia rows alongside Team Britain in the women's eight heat at Eton Dorney during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 29, 2012.


When it comes to rowing, Canadian women's rowing coach Al Morrow has been there, done that and gone back again for more medals.

With uncertain weather conditions forecast for the rest of this week at the 2012 London Games and the cross-winds at Eton Dorey, Morrow was musing Sunday whether or not FISA, the world governing body for rowing, might have to dust off some seldom-used rules.

"They have a whole series of things that will kick in if there's unfair lanes," said Morrow. "Let's say if you have a really bad cross-wind from one side, it could be calm and protected on one side and very rough on the other. So they have a fairness committee that meets every five or 10 minutes to decide if a lane is fair. They could ask for a two-hour delay, a half-hour delay. We've built into our schedule time to take a whole day off – that could be a lightning storm as well as winds – and another option is to put the fastest qualifiers on the calm side and reward them. Worst case scenario, they could reduce the race to 1,000 metres or to single-lane racing, which we call 'head style,' or a time trial. These are things way down the list that are terrible for the spectators, media and rowers, but they're there to create fair racing."

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