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GLRF completes whirlwind European tour

18 September 2007 | glrfcentral
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View all the images of the regatta course and the GLRF booth

GLRF Executive Director Brian Todd visited four European countries to promote GLRF, meet with GLRF members, and liaison with rowing clubs and sports organizations.


GLRF hosted a booth at the 2007 FISA World Masters Regatta at the Zagreb, Croatia Championship rowing facility. The event drew 2,910 entries from 39 countries filling 8,288 boat seats. Reactions to the GLRF booth were all over the place: indignation, laughter, outrage, and genuine warmth. GLRF members from Croatia, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, and England stopped by to say hello. The organizing committee of the regatta went out of their way to ensure GLRF had everything it needed. The regatta director personally came by the booth on two separate occasions to ask if there was anything he or his staff could do. The local gay and lesbian mutli-sports team, qSport, was instrumental in helping GLRF resource booth materials and liaison with rowing officials as well as host GLRF members. Their assistance cannot be thanked enough, perhaps a thousand million times would only put a dent in it.


During the regatta, GLRF had the good fortune to meet with five straight rowers from a Barcelona rowing club who were eager to assist and help organize the 2008 Eurogames rowing regatta. Following the FISA Masters regatta, GLRF traveled to Barcelona to meet with these rowers as well as another rowing club who had volunteered their assistance during the GLRF Feb 2007 visit to Barcelona. The results of the GLRF Regatta Advisory Barcelona visit report were discussed as well as the results of the input from the European GLRF community. Both rowing clubs went out of their way to be accommodating and took several hours of their time to discuss regatta options and to showcase several alternate locations for a coastal rowing regatta. Unfortunately, several attempts by GLRF to meet with the Eurogames 2008 organizing committee were unsuccessful.


At the conclusion of the Barcelona visit, GLRF traveled to Denmark to meet with GLRF members and the staff of the 2009 Copenhagen World Outgames. Like Zagreb, GLRF was treated with the utmost hospitality and kindness. GLRF member and former Denmark national team member Adrian T. acted as the doting host and studly Royal Danish Rowing Ambassador, taking GLRF on a tour of Denmark and inviting us along to experience the Danish National Rowing Championships. The weekend visit to Arhus provided a unique opportunity to meet national rowing team members first hand including super cool and soft-spoken world champions Mads Rasmussen and Rasmus Quist. GLRF member and top Danish rower Rune G. led a group of us on a bike ride tour of Copenhangen and hosted a dinner party in GLRF’s honor. The 2009 World Outgames staff opened their offices and their packed calendars to welcome GLRF, introduced the staff, and briefed us on the progress of planning for the 2009 Outgames rowing regatta. Currently two locations are under consideration: the inner harbor in Copenhagen and Lake Bagsværd. Other activities are being planned to make the regatta a truly memorable experience for all participants. Finally, a 16,000 meter piece on Lake Bagsværd with a talented 4+ crew turned the visit into sheer bliss. Words cannot begin to express the kindness and generosity of the Danish rowing community!


A weeknight stop in Zurich provided an opportunity for GLRF to meet with two Swiss GLRF members. They were eager to hear about the opportunities for rowing in Barcelona and Copenhagen. Like Croatia and Denmark, these generous hosts went out of their way to welcome GLRF with wonderful apartment accommodations, dinner at a delightful, bustling, and very local Swiss restaurant, delicious cappuccinos and a quick turn of Zurich at night. Watch out for these Swiss GLRF members - they are ueber competitive and so very very nice.


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