Heats and repechages have now been raced on the fully buoyed eight-laned Lake Zapotlan regatta course which has been described as one of the most beautiful courses in Latin America.

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A full team of FISA umpires has been at work with a back up of local national umpires and the energy and smiles of hundreds of volunteers.

There are 210 rowers taking part representing all Latin American countries that row. There are large teams from the United States, Cuba, Argentina and Mexico boasting entries in all of the 14 events. Canada and Brazil also have a large number of entries.

There was a threat of much rain due to it currently being hurricane season but the regatta has been fortunate to have some sunny days. One event, the men’s eight, was delayed due to wind.

The stage is now set for the 14 finals which will be spread over 17, 18, 19 October and, despite the United States usually dominating the results, it looks like this year there will be no one dominant country. Still the United States, along with Canada and Argentina look to be serious contenders for a number of gold medals. Brazil is also doing well, led by their recently-crowned World Champion (lightweight women’s single sculls), Fabiana Beltrame.

Home team Mexico is expected to please the crowds with some medals especially in the small boat Olympic events.

FISA president Denis Oswald will be present for the days of finals.

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Copy and photo thanks to Santiago Fuentes