Floating road a boon for broadcasting at World Champs
Constructing a 2,000m, international standard, regatta course is no mean feat. The Tangeum Lake International Rowing Regatta venue in Chungju, Korea – home to the 2013 World Rowing Championships – includes a state-of-the-art floating road.
A common complication at regatta venues is the ability to have a path or road following the entire length of the regatta course. In Chungju they have solved this problem by building it on the water. Thus, the creation of Chungju’s ‘floating road’ will remove the problem of having television boats on the water following race because the more boats there are on the water the greater the chance of creating wash for the rowers.
Chungju’s floating road is an engineering feat made out of connected concrete units filled with EPS, Extended Polystyrene. It travels for 1,400m of the 2,000m course, with the remainder being on land. The concrete units are joined together with connecting wires and to prevent the road from floating away a steel pipe pile is attached to the road every 20m. The floating road is able to ride up and down each pile to adjust to changes in the water level.
The floating road will predominantly be used for broadcasting vehicles and its design means that it will not move when a vehicle drives along it. Rather, the movement happens when the water level of Tangeum Lake is altered.
Being surrounded by water on three sides, Korea has used this type of engineering before, but on a much smaller scale for boats to anchor onto. For Tangeum the floating road will enable close filming of races for television broadcast.
“As the road is fixed onto piles, it provides a solid basis for the TV broadcast cars,” says Chungju organising committee member, Sunny Kim. “Various tests have been conducted to ensure that driving on the floating road would be just like driving on land.”
TV broadcasting will be the main use of the road, but when not necessary for this purpose coaches on bicycles will be able to use it.
The floating road took ten months to complete and was finished late last year. It has become a landmark of the Tangeum regatta course. “At night, thanks to the solar panels installed on the top of each pile, it lights up the path, making it a jogging path for the local residents, and there are plans in the future for this structure to be used as part of a marathon course, bicycle road, resident’s jogging path and so on,” says Sunny Kim.
Kim adds that because the road is floating, water is freely able to flow underneath so environmentally it is an advantage as there is no stagnant water.
The World Rowing Championships will be broadcast around the world with coverage being shown in 13 nations and on Europe’s sports channel, Eurosport. Korea will broadcast the championships live – a first for the country. Korea has been building up to these World Rowing Championships by showing World Rowing Cup coverage starting in 2011.
The World Rowing website, will also be live streaming the semifinals and finals from Thursday 29 August through to Sunday 1 September 2013.