Following the 2017 World Rowing Championships, which is to be held from 24 September to 1 October in Sarasota-Bradenton, USA, the Congress will decide on who will host the 2020 and 2021 World Rowing Championships.

This is the culmination of a process that begins with possible locations sending in a bid to FISA for their venue to be considered. The FISA Council then looks at the bids and chooses one that they recommend to the Congress. The members at the Congress then vote to accept or reject that recommendation.

This year three strong bids have been received for the 2020 combined (under-23, junior and non-Olympic senior) World Rowing Championships from Bled, (SLO), Plovdiv (BUL) and Poznan (POL). Last year was the first time that the combined regatta took place. In an Olympic year, normally it has been the junior and non-Olympic championships together with the under-23s being held separately. In 2016 at Rotterdam the regattas were successfully combined. There was support to combine them again and also strong interest from countries wanting to host this combined event.

In an unusual step, the FISA Council has chosen to recommend all three candidates rather than select one. In this case all three bid locations are well known to the Council and to the member federations that will be voting on who will be the host. All three bids have hosted numerous international events including all three playing host to 2017 events. Bled recently held the 2017 World Rowing Masters Regatta, Plovdiv has also recently hosted the 2017 World Rowing Under 23 Championships and Poznan hosted the second stage of the 2017 World Rowing Cup series.

The 2020 combined World Rowing Championships would take place from 16-23 August – in between the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

For 2021 Shanghai, China has bid to host the World Rowing Championships. If attributed the event, this would be the first time that the Shanghai Water Sports Centre has hosted a World Rowing Championships, but they are already experienced from hosting other international events.  The Centre is located 50km from the centre of Shanghai. It is a man-made course on the upper reaches of the Huangpu River, one of the most important drinking water sources for Shanghai.

“The bid was of exceptionally high quality. We were impressed by the professionalism of the bid team,” says FISA Executive Director Matt Smith. “Putting together the know-how of the Chinese Rowing Association, the experience of the venue team and the major event credentials of the Shanghai Administration of Sports, is a winning combination. The bid also has very strong support from the City of Shanghai and the Ministry of Sport for the People’s Republic of China, so we are confident that Championship would be in good hands.”

The bid is supported by WWF China, which has committed to promoting the WWF-FISA Clean Water partnership through the Championships and support the Shanghai Administration of Sport in managing the environmental sustainability aspects of the event.

“There is tremendous potential to promote the sport of rowing within China and a championships will support the development goals of FISA and the Chinese Rowing Association,” says Smith.

The FISA Council has recommended Shanghai to host the 2021 World Rowing Championships and it will now go to a vote at the FISA Congress on 2 October 2017 along with the vote for the 2020 combined World Rowing Championships.

FISA Council assessment of 2020 bids here

FISA Council proposal for 2021 here