Taking place in Cardiff Bay on Saturday 23rd July, the dramatic series provides a rare opportunity to watch world-class rowing in Cardiff just two weeks ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Helen Tan, Chief Operating Officer at Welsh Rowing, said: “This is a fantastic chance for people across the UK to see real future Olympic medal prospects in action here in Wales. With just 100 days to go, the countdown is on for the athletes. For most, HIR is the biggest event of their careers outside of World Championships and the Olympic Games, and we look forward to welcoming them to Cardiff in July. ”
HIR, dubbed as the #battleoftheblades on social media, has long been regarded as an important stepping stone for home nations athletes on the road to compete for Team GB, with Olympic greats such as Sir Steve Redgrave, Tom James, Katherine Grainger, Kat Copeland and even Sir Chris Hoy all having begun their international sporting journey’s here.
Five times Olympic Gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave, an ambassador for HIR, won his first international race while rowing for England in the Wales regatta in 1978. He explained how this year’s #battleoftheblades will be a not-to-be-missed warm up for an exciting sporting summer:
“We’re living through the golden era of British rowing now. We’ve got some great athletes for Rio and we should win two gold medals if not three, and a handful of other medals as well. Let the Battle of the Blades, the Home International Regatta, be the warm up to what I hope will be a golden summer for British rowers in this Olympic year.”
With its close proximity to Cardiff city centre and outstanding viewing opportunities along the barrage, Cardiff Bay is arguably one of the most vibrant and accessible venues on the HIR circuit. The course itself will run the width of the bay, starting on the Penarth side, running parallel to the barrage, and finishing at Mermaid Quay.
Welsh Rowing COO Helen Tan added: “It is a real privilege to be able to host this prestigious event at such a central and iconic location. This year’s HIR has around 400 male and female elite rowers from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales representing both senior and junior squads. This will certainly make for a fantastic spectacle in Cardiff Bay.”
Welsh Rowing have marked 100 days to go with the launch of the HIR 2016 website, which offers an insight into the history and legacy of HIR, as well as information for spectators. For more information on the event, visit www.hir2016.wales.
For more information on Welsh Rowing, the organisers of the 2016 Home International Regatta, visit www.welshrowing.com.